hello from the new guy on the block

Hello everyone. Need some guidance. I am a math teacher/educator with 17 years experience and have decided I want to become a medical doctor. I have a bachelor in math, a masters in education, and a doctorate in education.

I realize that I need to take some pre-requisite science courses before I even start to prepare for the MCAT.

My desire is to go back to school full time. However ***** I recently found out that I cannot receive federal financial aid for this career change UNTIL I go to medical school.

What financial options are out there to help a person like me make a career change?



Poster Emergency! was a high school Spanish teacher before she embarked on completing her premedical prerequisites. She just graduated from medical school. As she points out in the following link, there is a little known rule allowing career changers to take out federal student loans for 12 months:


The link above has excellent advice. That’s precisely what I’m doing now. In my first post-bacc year I took advantage of the year’s worth of FA while doing coursework. In my second year I petitioned the biology department for permission to obtain a second bachelors degree, and was approved. Currently, I’m dangerously close to running out of undergrad money because I attended a private school for my bachelors. I’ll be taking the GRE this summer and applying for winter entry into a masters in biology program on my campus.

Depending on where you are with your loan status, there’s a good possibility you’re ok for your pre-reqs. If you’re out of undergrad money, or have issues with defaulted loans, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. Don’t forget to check into scholarship opportunities, or even tuition-reimbursement at work if they’ll allow it (or offer it). As was mentioned on the referenced link, private loans are also a possibility. If all else fails, I’d consider attending a state school and just budgeting like crazy to cover the expenses. That’s probably what I’ll have to do for fall while I wait to begin the masters.

Welcome to the group! Best wishes to you!

I did the federal student loans which covered SOME of my costs for prereqs. There’s a limit of 12,500 dollars for non-degree students, I’m pretty sure. Other than that, used a home equity loan to finance the rest of my prep year (tuition and living expenses) - rented out the house (to my daughter and her friend) so my living expenses were based on an inexpensive apartment. Figured I’d need to sell the house to move for whereever I’m doing med school anyway (and perhaps again for medical school). This is obviously not going to fit many other peoples’ situation…but just thought I’d share it as may stir some creative ideas for you.


I got into a degree program for a second B.S. to be eligible for aid, and am using federal aid to pay for classes only. I am still working full time to pay my other expenses and keep my benefits(luckily for me, I’m enrolled at a huge major state university close to home that offers a lot of evening classes at low tuition, and so far I’ve been doing my pre-reqs at night). This works for me, but I don’t have a family or a life! If you’ve taught for 17 years, are you eligible for retirement yet, and would that help you pay for some living expenses while you are in school?