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wondering about financial aid

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mvalento, Jul 26, 2000.

  1. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member
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    i've got a question about financial aid- i know that most students get loans to cover tuition and other school-related expenses. but where do med students get the finances to cover their personal lives? for example, many school profiles that i have looked at give the cost of living in their areas to be around $10,000-15,000 per year. is that covered in loans as well? as a student already in debt from time spent at a private undergrad school, i don't have the money to cover costs of housing and other essentials while in med school and i am just curious as to how med students in this situation (i'm sure there are many) cover their expenses. thanks!
     
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  3. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient
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    since the budget that a school determines for you is different from school to school it's hard to say. Financial aid, how much you get, and whether you get it at all is pretty complicated and different from school to school, too. However, most schools give you less than $1000/mo for living expenses. I am looking at my financial aid statement right now. For room and board, books and supplies, transportation costs, personal expenses, and loan fees I am given around $15k/yr. Most students I know stretch that as far as they can with communal living, sharing texts and supplies, etc. Some (including myself) work a part-time job to make ends meet. I guess it depends on your personal situation. That's just me. Most people that I know just keep piling on the loans until they can't get any more. It doesn't seem to be a problem for most to pay them off. I, personally, am trying to get a military scholarship. Since I am older it helps to distribute the money a little more evenly. From what I understand you can get loans on top of a scholarship (up to a certain point) to cover additional expenses.

    I am sure someone will be able to state this a little more coherently than I.

    Geo
     
  4. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    To answer your question, yes living expenses are covered by loans such as the Federal Stafford loan. Med students are elligible to receive just over $30,000 per year in Stafford loans. That should cover you tuition and living expenses at a state school. Private schools can cost around 30K just for tuition alone! In that case, you will need private loans on top of your Stafford's. Hope this helps.

    One last thing, each school develops a yearly budget for its students. Your loan amounts cannot excede the budget that the school has set. It will all make since to you when you start the process.
     
  5. Sdonnenwerth

    Sdonnenwerth Junior Member
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    Hey, One other thing you might consider. Many states have programs geared towards trying to pursuade medical students to commit to staying and practicing medicine in a rural location in that state. I'm on that type of program in Kansas. Basically, the state pays my tuition and I get a $1500.00 check each month to cover my expenses. In return, I have to practice in Kansas for 1 year for each year I take the money. It's a great deal since I'll collect a competitive salary while I'm working off the loan. You can check into that if it interests you.
     
  6. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member
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    thanks for your advice, guys. it definitely shed some light on the subject. i am considering a military scholarship, although the prospect of spending 4 years on duty is a little intimidating- but who knows, it could turn out to be a great experience. i had never heard that some schools offer financial help in return for students practicing in their state- very interesting! however, i'm not sure if this would apply to me as much as i am only applying to one public school (minnesota-tc), and am more likely to end up at a private school somewhere else. thanks again guys!
     
  7. Arti

    Arti Member
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    MVALENTO:

    You are not the only one that is coming into medical school with heavy undergrad debts. But a military scholarship is not the only solution, all the schools include living expenses into your estimated expenses for the year. Depending on your financial situation and which private school you will get accepted into, you financial package may include a non-repayble grant that could cover a good portion of your expenses. I considered a military grant but found it to be too limiting, since you will have to do your residency in the military hospital. Also you never know how your personal life will end up in 4 years (significant other?wife?kids?) imagine if you get separated from them and get shipped in the middle of nowhere.

    ALmost any debt can be payed off after medical school. Some schools (Duke, Stanford, Cornell) will try to shoot for your debt to be 70-80K, other schools (osteopathic, Georgetown, Tufts, BU, George Washington) will shoot for your debt to be 130+K, but even in worst case senariou you will be able to pay it off with almost no problems.

    Choose carefully the schools you apply to and
    do the research on the military grants.

    Arti
     
  8. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member
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    ARTI,
    I dont expect to change your mind but I wish you had done more thorough research yourself.
    Especially on the subject of Military Residencies. If you use pay, quality of life and board pass rates as standards of the quality of residency programs ours are the tops. And guess what, if you dont get the residency you want in the military match you can get accepted into acivilian residency and get an educational delay while you attend that program. Approx. 20% of our HPSP Graduates do that. I can put you in touch with several in my area and many nation wide.
    As for the seperation part, you are right, that could happen but I get the impression that you think it is the "norm" and it is not. Except for extreme circumstances (i.e. war and militarized zones) your family travels with you at government expense I might add. You get 30 days vacation with pay each year and unles you are in an "extreme situation" would spend more time with your family than could in a civilian environment.
    I'm sure there is a military hospital near you. Go there and ask a fellow physician about his schedule, his work load, and his work environment. I think you would be suprised to find that a 50 hour week is rare, his patients show him the utmost respect (they have to, he outranks 80% of them) and he has virtually no finacial worries. His housing and medical care for his family are paid for, he has no malpractice insurance or other operating costs, no or very little (camparitivly)educational debt, and he is allowed to moonlight at local facilities for extra money if he chooses.
    Nuff said.


    [This message has been edited by DocHunter9 (edited 07-28-2000).]
     
  9. misfit

    misfit Blinded Me With Science
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    DocHunter9:
    I have to respond to your post. I understand you are a recruiter for military medical positions in the Army, yet you glamorize the life of military doctors to the extent that it is misleading.
    I personally work with three ER physicians who have served in the military. All three entered under a HSPS scholarship and all served during the Gulf War. What did I learn? Military medicine is worth it if you have no family obligations. Otherwise, whether during peacetime or war, you ARE sent away from you family for extended periods. The military needs your services and puts you where they need you, often WITHOUT the family tagging along. Also, not a single ONE of these physicians got a SINGLE day of their paid vacation. NOT ONE. They made that point very clear to me. You officially get this paid time off, however, it is another matter of whether or not you get to use it. You must submit formal requests for time off and if it is denied, sorry go back to work.
    Also, each of these physicians did enjoy their time in the service. Generally, they were well-respected. HOWEVER, they complained they were often treated like second-class citizens by outranking physicians and, ESPECIALLY, by the career line-officers (non-med corps officers). The doctors were treated as "hired help" and put down for not possessing knowledge of weapons, tactics, etc. But, each of the doctors did say they made an excellent salary and had no wants for housing, clothing, etc. Plus, as you pointed out DocHunter, they had no start-up costs/malpractice insurance to deal with when they practiced.
    Would I go into the military as a physician? I am considering that very prospect right now. I have no family or significant other to care for, so I have no "baggage" at this time. I find the financial aspects very appealing and the discipline would be very beneficial for me. But, I am not happy that I would be treated like dirt because of some officer's capricious-pr*ck attitude. I think medical doctors deserve the utmost respect for the work they do and the training they endure.
    So, DocHunter, I understand you wish to encourage more docs-to-be to become military physicians. But, be careful! It is not glamorous, it is very hard work and often you will not have the status and privileges afforded to civilian physicians. Thanks and good luck to all of those applying for military scholarships.

    misfit
     

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