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Washu for 55k/yr or Dartmouth for 25k/yr?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MadSong, May 5, 2007.

WashU for 55k/yr or Dartmouth for 25k/yr?

  1. Washu

    40 vote(s)
    26.8%
  2. Dartmouth

    109 vote(s)
    73.2%
  1. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Changing...
    I got in at both WashU in St. Louis and Dartmouth. Because I'm an intl. student and didn't get washu's full scholarship, I won't get any financial aid from washu. DMS, however, offered me a nearly 30k/year scholarship. It's really difficult for me to decide right now. Here are what I think the pros and cons of each school:
    Washu
    Pros:
    1. size of the city and diversity. I grew up in a huge city and really like cities. Also, I'm an intl student so I appreciate diversity.
    2. more research opportunities.
    3. larger hospitals.
    4. warmer weather. Again, this is a personal preference because where I grew up we don't really get much snow. However, my undergrad is in Iowa so I'm used to cold winters now.
    5. Extremely convenient to go to the airport. Light rail goes every few minutes or so from the med school to STL and it takes only 20 minutes.
    Cons:
    1. 55k a year for me with no fin. aid. I'll have to take a huge private loan to cover most of it. I think the pressure of loan repayment will be pretty high after school.
    2. I can't think of any more. Am I missing some?

    Dartmouth:
    Pros:
    1. only 25k/year after 30k scholarship.
    2. small/tight-knit class and presumably more individual attention.
    3. no traffic problems, no city crimes.
    4. Opportunities to do rotations at many different places.
    Cons:
    1. Small town.
    2. Lack of diversity.
    3. Long winters.

    So what do you guys think? 55k/yr for washu or 25k/yr for DMS? Assuming most of it is covered by loans.
     
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  3. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    3,162
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    Dec 18, 2005
    It depends on how much you value $120,000.

    Dartmouth by a landslide.
     
  4. Vvandenn

    Vvandenn Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 16, 2006
    120k is a LOT of money to be saved. I'd definitely go with Dartmouth.
     
  5. NexusMD

    NexusMD 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 23, 2006
    The money you save will be well worth the small town and bigger jackets you'll need in Dartmouth.
     
  6. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    if research/academic medicine is very important to you, wash u. otherwise, dartmouth
     
  7. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

    590
    1
    Mar 30, 2006
    Dartmouth for sure. You'll be prepped for any kind of medicine (including academic/research) and your low debt load will allow you to pursue whatever you choose. You'll be free to do what you love, not what you think you have to do to pay the bills.
     
  8. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    3,154
    7
    Jul 31, 2006
    It is a good thing this is not a Vandy vs Dartmouth poll. Otherwise, you would have to go to Vandy and pay alot more money!
     
  9. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    oh, and congratulations on getting into Wash U...an outstanding achievement :thumbup:
     
  10. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Feb 23, 2007
    I'd take Wash unless you are dead set on staying on the coast for residency. The cost of living difference is likely to be pretty significant, so my vote is for the StL.
     
  11. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2006
    Err...Dartmouth is the cheaper one, wtf...
     
  12. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    1,713
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    Feb 23, 2007
    Okay I looked it up then. Cost of living in New Hampshire looks about 25% more expensive than StL. Maybe overall it's a little bit shorter by the cash, but the research opportunities at Wash are going to be awesome.

    If you are an east-coast person, by all means take Dartmouth. I just don't think that I'd want to live in the cold like that.

    Your location says Iowa, however, and I'm likely to think that whatever you borrow for Wash will yield a pretty solid return in the long run.

    Of course if you are dedicated to a non-competative specialty, I'm sure that you could get a full-ride at a suitable school for no tuition.
     
  13. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    i guess your decision is how much is it worth to you to give up a phenomenal school for a good one?

    i agree with Crit Mass 100% btw ;)
     
  14. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    1,713
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    Feb 23, 2007
    Yeah normally I'm a pretty strong supporter of "take the cheapest because you never know what you're going to specialize in given that your board scores are ultimately in your hands in any case," but there are a lot of other things going on here.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I am from the midwest and a huge Card's fan. If the OP was from New England and used to living up there, I might give different advice. I'm sure that Dartmouth grads do well in the match.

    Just to sum up Dartmouth, though, I'd have to move to a cold place with a less heterogeneous student population that is probably not my style, have significantly fewer research opportunities, and have to pay a lot more for my rent and my dinner. I just don't think that I'd like living there, and that's going to make it harder for me to get ready for my boards which is by far the most important thing.

    Now maybe the OP's status makes it harder to get financial aid, and if interest rates are outlandish for whatever aid is available as a result of not being eligible for federal aid, I may reconsider.
     
  15. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    unfortunately, the research resources aren't comparable. i'm at a school ranked very similarly to dartmouth, and i see that we sometimes lack clout in federal funding and publications in top journals. the OP is obviously very motivated, and if he/she is truly interested in academic medicine at a top institution, it would be best to attend a school that consistently places top 5 in the research rankings, if the finances are doable.
     
  16. Finian

    Finian 7+ Year Member

    36
    0
    Sep 11, 2006
    While choosing a medical school is indeed a matter of personal preference, athletic teams included, it always amazes me how some people characterize Dartmouth--a school they have neither visited or researched.

    1) myth #1-- not a great school for research. There is plenty of research going on and much more on the horizon. The new C. Everett Koop Medical Science Complex, a brand new translational and research facility, is scheduled to open in September '09. There is little time for research in your first two years of medical education and Dartmouth offers loads of research opportunity should you choose it.

    2) myth #2--lack of diversity. What the patient population lacks in diversity it more than makes up in numbers. There are 1.7 outpatient visits annually and those numbers are increasing. DMS offers multiple opportunities for rotations both in the USA and internationally. The small class size allows the dean of students to make arrangements for ny clinical rotation in whater specialty you might want to pursue at prospective residency hospitals. This explains the great match results. Every student is encouraged and expected to take advantage of this option.
    And one more note--Dartmouth College/DMS/Tuck/Thayer work hard to bring diversity to their institution through admissions, staffing, and cultural programming. Walk around the town and check out the Hopkins Center for a list of events. No one will feel out of place in Hanover.

    3) myth #3--the weather sucks. It always amazes me that someone would prefer a relentlessly sunny and hot climate to one that changes every three months. Spring, summer, and fall in NH are nothing short of spectacular and there are opportunities for outdoor activities that are fun and inexpensive, i.e., hiking, biking, running, swimming, golfing, tennis, maple sugaring, bird watching, and spring skiing at Tuckerman's Ravine. NH and VT embrace winter and welcome snow. The annual Dartmouth Winter Carnival transforms the town with ice sculptures and bon fires. Cross country skiing and snow shoeing on the public golf course is a blast, as is skating on Occum Pond. And the easy accessability of the Dartmouth Skiway allows even a busy med student to spend a few hours on the slopes in the afternoon. Winter is cold, but cold is refreshing and exhilarating.

    I would think seriously about dismissing a $30,000 annual scholarship for the slim possibility of a better residency and more research opportunities at Wash U.
     
  17. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    Nov 19, 2004
    If you're a minority, go with diversity EVERYTIME!
     
  18. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

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    May 9, 2006
    well, my bias is that i think the midwest isn't that great. so if someone's paying you to be in beautiful part of the northeast, then what's the debate?

    i don't think col is going to put a big dent in the decision being weighed here. so you might save, what, 10-20k over four years at wash u? that's still a lot to save at dartmouth.
     
  19. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 23, 2005
    Hilbert Space

    dude, the average low in Hanover in January is 9 degrees. Humans did not evolve in such a climate.
     
  20. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

    4,304
    42
    Dec 4, 2005
    Right behind you
    55 x 4 = 220 K

    25 x 4 = 100 K

    Northeast >> Midwest


    Case closed.
     
  21. Finian

    Finian 7+ Year Member

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    0
    Sep 11, 2006
    But January only lasts a month, then the temp rises and the days are longer. You can't truly appreciate the joys of spring until you've experienced the cold of winter.

    Also, the two brief months of winter bring humans indoors more often for those fun and inexpensive "indoor" games.
     
  22. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats 5+ Year Member

    2,455
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    Nov 23, 2005
    Hilbert Space
    influenza is fun as well. :thumbdown:
     
  23. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    i don't think anyone is disputing that you can find great research here, but honestly, you can say this about almost any medical school. i'm at a school ranked pretty much the same in research, and i'm very happy with my work, but you can't deny that you aren't harvard or wash u, which are in the same league as far as research. if you had attended any national or international scientific (even clinical research) convention and saw the difference in representation from these schools, you would understand a bit better

    i don't think anyone would dismiss $30,000 easily, people are just going by which characeristics are most important to them. none of us really know which is most important to the OP. i am also trying to decide b/w med schools where there is a huge cost difference, one more research-oriented than the other. the difference in cost will not be my deciding factor.
     
  24. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    1,713
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    Feb 23, 2007
    In my case, I'd have to fly back and fourth to come home from Dartmouth but could drive from StL. Since my hometown has no airport, there would be additional rental car expense, etc. Given the relative cost of living, the monetary difference is misleading. I assumed that the same would be true for a person from Iowa. Now if "home" is really some other country, maybe that's not a big deal.

    Here is what really angers me about pre-allo. OP, get back here and tell us more about your situation now that people have given advice.
     
  25. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    23
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    Jun 19, 2006
    Changing...
    First I'd like to thank everyone for giving detailed advice and also for some PM's I got from current washu students.
    To Critical Mass, I have given a lot of information about myself in my post and not many people seemed to have read it.
    Anyway, I do value research and washu's research op is a big plus in my mind.
    I also like warm weather and city life. Without a money difference, I'd choose st louis over hanover hands down.
    Also, I'm doing undergrad in Iowa. Home is not in the US. That's why an airport only 20min away is a big plus for washu.
    So, really, the only reason I can think of for myself not going to washu is the money. I just have to decide how much I value that money to give up what I like better. Interestingly, current DMS students all tell me that much money is a lot and current washu students all tell me I'll be able to pay it back in just a few extra years. What do you guys think?
     
  26. Steiner

    Steiner 10+ Year Member

    849
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    Sep 24, 2004
    Washington
    St. Louis has some of the worst areas in any city in Vegas. If that matters. Dartmouth is a far safer environment. You think of these things when you have a family.
     
  27. HreComesTheSun

    HreComesTheSun 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 4, 2006
    i feel for you OP, cause my own poll amongst my colleagues/family also has the majority saying go to the cheaper school, but i am completely on the fence. we really don't know enough about you...like do you have other loans you need to pay back, will there be anyone helping you pay for med school, etc? you sound like you would be happier at wash u, and i think there was another thread about if it's worth it to pay much more at a school you would be happier at. for me the answer is yes, hands down. i have yet to see a physician in financial trouble because they chose the more expensive top-ranked school, but hey, maybe someone out there has a story.
     
  28. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Changing...
    I don't owe any money at this point. Since I'm not eligible for federal student loans, my loan rate will be around 7%. I'm not so worried that I will end up bankrupt or anything close, because my parents have the resources and are willing to make the payments for me if I'm short on money. It's just that they'd rather see me being independent. I'm mainly worried about: 1) if for some/any reason I later find out I don't like washu that much, then I'll really regret going to washu, whereas if I go to DMS and not like it, I can take comfort in not having much loan. 2) I really want to know if there really is a significant difference between the two schools in getting into good residency programs. I compared the match lists from last year and it seems like washu has an advantage over DMS, in terms of percentage of students who went to prestigious hospitals and who entered competitive specialties. But I also hear people say that if you work hard, you'll get the residency you like no matter if you go to washu or DMS.
     
  29. mave

    mave Chill out, man. 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Tennessee
    MDApps:
    You've apparently never been to St. Louis. I lived there for 18 years and would never for a minute have said that it is relentlessly sunny or hot. We have four seasons, and they are extreme.

    By the way, weather is a perfectly valid reason for choosing a school. If you're miserable in rainy weather, you wouldn't go to school in the Pacific Northwest. If you're paying this much to go to school and you're going to be making yourself at least somewhat miserable in other ways, you owe it to yourself to pick a school where you can be happy for whatever reason.
     
  30. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 21, 2006
    crazyland
    Your not gonna get a much better rate with federal student loans.

    What have you included in $25K vs $55K? Does that include living expenses or just tuition?

    I'm also a midwesterner than would normally say go for the cheaper school every time. I don't know anything about Dartmouth but have heard so much about WashU. In this particular situation, I think I would pick WashU.

    Is St Louis any warmer than Kansas City? I wouldn't consider our midwestern weather warm... slightly warmer than Iowa, but not enough to really count. (I grew up in Iowa and currently live in Kansas City).
     
  31. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Changing...
    The figures include both tuition and living expenses.
    I don't know if St Louis is warmer than Kansas City, but it's definitely much warmer than Dartmouth. According to monthly averages, St Louis has ~2.5months of below 30 temperatures whereas Hanover, NH has about 5 months.
     
  32. swtiepie711

    swtiepie711 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 16, 2006
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't WashU state that they will look at what you will need to borrow in loans and then give you half as scholarship? I thought that was their whole thing????

    Using the 2006-07 estimate for the cost of education at $56,802 for the first year of study, if the need-analysis estimates that the student and parents can contribute $26,802, the student "documents" financial need of $30,000. Once this amount is determined, we fund the first $5,000 with a Federal Stafford Loan, and the remaining need ($25,000) is funded half by scholarship and half by additional loan. Therefore, the student with $30,000 of documented need would receive a $12,500 scholarship and $17,500 in loan support. Many medical schools do not provide any scholarship funds until a significant portion of the student's need is covered by loans.

    Even with this, did you not receive any assistance other than loans?
     
  33. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Changing...
    What you said is for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For international students like me, we get $0 aid whatsoever.
     
  34. swtiepie711

    swtiepie711 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 16, 2006
    I saw you were an international student, but didn't see that they excluded them from the scholarship - wow, that's a true bummer!
     
  35. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    Weather: I don't think there is a significant difference in these 2 locations for weather. That is, it isn't like Florida vs. Minnesota or something.

    Airport convenience: Seriously? How many times are you planning on flying somewhere during the school year? 3-4??

    Research: Opportunities are going to be there for you at either place. How much research can 1 student get up to? You're 1 person - it doesn't matter if one school does tons more research than another - you're not a school, you're an individual, and you'll only be able to do just so much with research, wherever you go. Therefore, thinking one of these schools will give you some great difference is splitting hairs, if you ask me. You're not going to be spending all this time just immersing yourself in research after research. Are you?? With what spare time that you will have?? The point is, difference in research or research funding doesn't significantly affect your education overall because most of your time is going to be spent in other areas. One other thing - Dartmouth puts you close enough to all of the Boston hospitals if you're that interested in research & feel they aren't up to snuff.

    Money: Especially as an international student, I think this is a huge consideration. Again, you aren't talking about $10k per year here. These schools aren't going to dramatically differ in the education opportunities they provide you, but the money IS significant. Unless you think you'll be miserable there, I think this is the deciding factor.

    Congrats & good luck!
     
  36. DuckHunter

    DuckHunter 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 11, 2006
    WTF is this thread????? You told me that we would room together at Wash-U, and now you're talking about going to Dartmotuh or however you spell it!!!! Pshaw, this is like being dumped at prom :( :( :(

    This Is Sparta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  37. MadSong

    MadSong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Calm down. I think you have the wrong person. I don't even know you and never considered rooming with anyone. So don't worry, your roommate is probably still going to washu.
     
  38. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

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  39. cavergirl

    cavergirl

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    I don't think classes are held outside. Probably more of your overall time in med school will be spent sitting in a library or elsewhere studying, rather than walking between buildings. I probably would not take a job as a crossing guard in Hanover, but for med school, I think the benefits of Dartmouth far outweigh a little cold weather.
     
  40. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

    1,423
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    May 9, 2006
  41. TSK

    TSK Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    This is truly a tough decision as the only reason I can suggest picking Dartmouth over WashU is the money....Sure, Dartmouth's an ivy league, but trust me, no one's gonna **** themselves if you tell them you went to Dartmouth. Hanover is cold, homogeneous, and I personally wouldn't want such a small class size. I briefly considered going to Dartmouth for their MPH program for my application year and when I say briefly, I mean I looked at the letter of acceptance, scratched my head, and was over it. I personally am physically incapable of living in New Hampshire.

    Either school will give you a great education with excellent opportunities. If the dough is the only deciding factor (which of course can be a HUGE factor) flip a coin. That's how I make all of my important decisions. :thumbup:
     

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