HPSP with a family

Hi everyone! First post for me, so I’ll try and make it quick.

I’m a active duty AF officer applying to med school this cycle. I’ve been in the AF for nine years as a pilot and have a wife with three kiddos. I’ve already been released from my career field, just applied to USUHS and will automatically qualify for HPSP with my undergraduate GPA and MCAT scores. My wife is supportive with me going to medical school but not really on board with HPSP and the finical toll that it will have on my family (family of 5 living on 30K a year).

What I was wondering is if anyone has had experience, or knows of anyone who has, going through med school on HPSP scholarship with a family and if they were able to secure additional loans for living expenses? After discussions with several med school finical advisors, it seemed that it would be difficult getting additional finical support or student loans if you already are on HPSP. Appreciate any advice. Thanks for the help!

Answered on the podcast!

I was an AF pilot for 11 before going to school on HPSP in what evolved into a family of 4. Between the stipend, GI Bill, savings, and some rental income, we were able to live comfortably in a small-ish house in a mid-sized city. Location will have a big influence on how far you can stretch the cash. When you separate, you can use the end of service move to get you to your medical school, which saves some. You’ll also get the HPSP signing bonus. My buddy with a family of 5 (army pilot) is doing something similar. His kids qualify for medicaid because of his income status.

If you’re truly worried about the money and are willing to sign on forever, USUHS may be the way to go. The active duty pay and benefits will definitely help you maintain your current lifestyle, but the DC area is pretty expensive. Look deeper into USUHS too. Their board study time is pretty minimal compared to civilian schools, and their 4th year is packed full of rotations while we HPSPers are getting months to interview for residency. I only know single people there, and they pretty much left for months for 3rd and 4th year rotations (can probably do most/all locally?) Not show stoppers by any means, just something to consider when you try to figure out the school with the best fit for your family’s needs. I’m not on this forum much anymore, but shoot me an email if you want to discuss this further.