What a great website to stumble on!! I am 29 and will earn my BA in Psychology in May 2006 (Summa Cum Laude, Baby!!!)and have decided that med school might be a better choice than a PhD program. I think I can handle the course work, but the financing scares the crap out of me. It took me 10+ years to get my first degree because I always work full time. My family is poor and my boyfriend/hubby does not make alot of money. Is it possible?? Thoughts?? Suggestions??
Well, I went through some of this myself. Fortunately, I already had a bachelor’s so I could work while knocking off prereqs, but I’ve had to face the fact that when it comes time to go to med school, I will quit my job and take out big, fat loans. I will have a roommate. I will eat tuna, and cheap vegetables. And black beans.
There are possibilities in the military, in scholarships, in the public health services, to help pay for med school. But if none of those turns out to work out for me, my med school financial aid office pointed out there’s a reason their graduates have a 0% default rate. Even with finances and liability insurance tightening up for doctors, I’ll be able to repay those loans.
I don’t know if this makes you feel better or not. But the point is, it’s all possible.
It’s possible. Keep in mind that as a professional student, it is assumed that school is your full time job. Thus, you are eligible to borrow living expenses in addition to your tuition.
For example - the budget for first year students at my school is around $41,000. You can see the budget breakdowns for all four years here . Medical students are currently eligible for $38,500 per year in federal loans (more at some schools). As you can see, the budget exceeds that all four years. However, because the budget justifies expenses for whatever that amount is, if you have no other source of income, you generally are able to borrow the additional amount from private sources as long as you have decent credit.
Most budgets are fairly reasonable. You can see that ours, however, assumes that you have a roommate and split costs. The downside to budgets is they are not allowed to include $$ for credit card or car payments. Many of my fellow students (who do not have cars) may be hurting when rotations role around 3rd year and they need them.
I don’t think you will need to live like a complete pauper. It certainly pays to be frugal, though.