Aug 11, 2020
16
5
Status
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi everyone,

The title explains it all - what made you choose your DPT program? What factors should I consider?

Background: I am from Hawaii (no PT schools) and my funds are limited so I am looking at schools all over the nation that offer lower tuition rates for OOS students. I am just not sure if I'm making the right decision in basing my DPT programs purely based on cost. Specifically, my current cheapest option (by a large margin) is in a small town in Texas, which is a lot different from Hawaii. Should I just follow my wallet and live in a setting I am unfamiliar with for three years or pay 30-50k more to study in an area a bit more familiar to home in terms of demographics/location?

Has anyone regretted this lowest cost approach? Has anyone wished they took this lowest cost approach? Any insight would be appreciated!

Thank you!
 
Jan 24, 2020
30
14
Status
  1. Physical Therapy Student
Hi!! I chose my program based on the state i live in –– Georgia. Unlike Hawaii, we have about 8 programs here, but not all were within commuting distance for me. I really did NOT want to move & add the extra expense of living costs. I got accepted into Emory University (private) & Georgia State University (public). Initially i secured my seat by putting down a $1000 deposit with Emory because thats the school i got into first & didn't want to risk not being in PT school. However, I ended up forfeiting that deposit :( BUT i don't regret it at all –– the cost difference alone Emory $100k & GSU $65k was enough to make me feel better about my decision. And now that i'm two semesters into the programs, I still have NO regrets. I know everybody talks about go to the cheaper school & I 100% agree, especially because you do have to worry about money/ living expenses. A DPT is the same no matter which school you get it from. Yes things like ranking, clinical placements, large vs. small city all sound appealing but remember, this is only 3 years of your life & your debt will significantly affect your life after graduation. Hope this helps!
 
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Reactions: 2 users
Aug 11, 2020
16
5
Status
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi!! I chose my program based on the state i live in –– Georgia. Unlike Hawaii, we have about 8 programs here, but not all were within commuting distance for me. I really did NOT want to move & add the extra expense of living costs. I got accepted into Emory University (private) & Georgia State University (public). Initially i secured my seat by putting down a $1000 deposit with Emory because thats the school i got into first & didn't want to risk not being in PT school. However, I ended up forfeiting that deposit :( BUT i don't regret it at all –– the cost difference alone Emory $100k & GSU $65k was enough to make me feel better about my decision. And now that i'm two semesters into the programs, I still have NO regrets. I know everybody talks about go to the cheaper school & I 100% agree, especially because you do have to worry about money/ living expenses. A DPT is the same no matter which school you get it from. Yes things like ranking, clinical placements, large vs. small city all sound appealing but remember, this is only 3 years of your life & your debt will significantly affect your life after graduation. Hope this helps!
This was exactly the insight I was looking for - Thank you so much for your response! :)
 
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dptnaynay

2+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2018
26
20
Pick the cheaper school! I go to a PT school in a somewhat small town in Texas although I am from here so the transition wasn't much. You'll make friends with the people in your cohort, you can get involved in school clubs to meet people with similar interests etc, meet people at gyms, bars etc. If you don't like it, you can leave after 3 short years with less debt and the same degree you'd get at any other school.
 
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Reactions: 1 user

btjack22

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2017
16
4
Georgia, United States
Status
  1. Physical Therapy Student
Hey I'm a 3rd year student so I've had some time to think about this. Pick the cheaper school for sure! I factored in cost, location, graduation and board pass rates, and class size to name a few. However, one thing I did not consider is that if you want to go into specialty practice, it may be worth it to attend a school with a strong faculty representation of the specialty you want to go in, or at least a history of students going into that specialty/having clinical affiliations that help groom students in that area. My school isn't bad, but unfortunately as a guy who wants to focus on sports PT and pursue residency education, I believe I did myself a disservice attending a school that is not very strong in sports and orthopedics but is very strong in acute care. It may be helpful to look at the course curriculum as well to see if the classes align with where your interests are- every school will have the minimum courses to prepare you for NPTE but there is some wiggle room for a program to focus more on some things than others. I would say after looking at those things just ask questions to get a feel of what a program's identity and strengths are! Every program you apply to may be a good program in terms of preparing you to become a physical therapist, but every program has different ways of doing that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Aug 11, 2020
16
5
Status
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hey I'm a 3rd year student so I've had some time to think about this. Pick the cheaper school for sure! I factored in cost, location, graduation and board pass rates, and class size to name a few. However, one thing I did not consider is that if you want to go into specialty practice, it may be worth it to attend a school with a strong faculty representation of the specialty you want to go in, or at least a history of students going into that specialty/having clinical affiliations that help groom students in that area. My school isn't bad, but unfortunately as a guy who wants to focus on sports PT and pursue residency education, I believe I did myself a disservice attending a school that is not very strong in sports and orthopedics but is very strong in acute care. It may be helpful to look at the course curriculum as well to see if the classes align with where your interests are- every school will have the minimum courses to prepare you for NPTE but there is some wiggle room for a program to focus more on some things than others. I would say after looking at those things just ask questions to get a feel of what a program's identity and strengths are! Every program you apply to may be a good program in terms of preparing you to become a physical therapist, but every program has different ways of doing that.
I honestly did not think of that - thank you for your response!
 

ya1

Mar 9, 2019
402
200
Hi everyone,

The title explains it all - what made you choose your DPT program? What factors should I consider?

Background: I am from Hawaii (no PT schools) and my funds are limited so I am looking at schools all over the nation that offer lower tuition rates for OOS students. I am just not sure if I'm making the right decision in basing my DPT programs purely based on cost. Specifically, my current cheapest option (by a large margin) is in a small town in Texas, which is a lot different from Hawaii. Should I just follow my wallet and live in a setting I am unfamiliar with for three years or pay 30-50k more to study in an area a bit more familiar to home in terms of demographics/location?

Has anyone regretted this lowest cost approach? Has anyone wished they took this lowest cost approach? Any insight would be appreciated!

Thank you!
I picked the one that sounded the easiest and the least stressful (a longer program with the least number of units per semester). I wanted to be as mentally comfortable as possible.
Lowest cost approach is the smartest thing you can do, I believe. You will be spending most of your time studying (unless you are gifted and do not need much time to absorb information from classes). So it does not matter where you are. Just make sure you consider the cost of living when you do the budgeting, not just the tuition.
 
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Reactions: 1 user
Apr 26, 2020
2
1
Status
  1. Physical Therapy Student
Hi, I considered schools mainly based off of tuition costs and graduation/board pass rates. I am from Wisconsin, but I decided to attend Northern Illinois University as they do not have out of state tuition for any U.S. resident and they are very affordable (~$60K for the entire 3-year program). In addition, it would not hurt to look into schools who offer Graduate Assistantships as they typically offer a stipend and tuition waiver for working a certain amount of working per week. I am a Graduate Assistant and it is extremely helpful financially with reducing cost of tuition and getting a paycheck. The area is also very affordable as for cost of living. For you, I would definitely consider tuition and cost of living as you will be spending a lot of your time studying. Also, some programs do allow you to have resident, in-state tuition after your first year if you complete some requirements (such as driver's license, etc) so definitely take a look at that when researching and thinking about which school to attend. Let me know if you have any questions! :)
 
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