Hey! I’ve been thinking about moving to another state a year+ in advance of applying to med school in order to establish in-state residency and increase my chances of getting accepted. What are your thoughts? What factors should I weigh when making this kind of decision?
Those are the broadly applicable questions, but I have some specifics that are making my personal decisions tougher. I’m 32 years old and currently finishing the second semester of my DIY post-bacc. I had a previous BA in the humanities and worked on the administrative side of healthcare before deciding I wanted to pursue med school myself. I moved to a southern state with a partner, who’s now a second year med student, and since we were planning to be here for four years, I bought a condo and established my residency in this state. I have in-state tuition for the school where I’m taking my pre-reqs and my living expenses are very low.
BUT my partner and I broke up. Now I’m pretty miserable in this southern city and have virtually no local support within a day’s drive. I have no interest in staying in this state or attending the in-state med schools here. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d move either to LA, where I have a number of close friends and a ton of acquaintances, or to somewhere in NY state, where I have both friends and family. Obviously, though, money is a factor! Moving to another state is expensive and the cost of living will be higher, especially in LA. I’ve considered selling my condo, but since I haven’t lived here for two years yet, I’d owe a lot in taxes (to the tune of a year’s worth of tuition!!); if I kept it and rented it out, my property taxes would go up substantially and the rental income wouldn’t cover my rent in a lot of other cities.
For my circumstances, it kind of comes down to whether a year of improved mental health, social support, and increased chances of getting into my dream school are worth somewhere around $40-55,000. My pre-health advisor recommends doing the whole process (pre-reqs and med school itself) as cheaply as possible. People I know who are in med school say it’s probably worth being out that much money to attend a better school in a city that’s a good cultural fit for me, where I’d have a lot of local support. How should I weigh these substantial opportunity costs?
Thanks for any insight you can offer!