What would you recommend?

I’m leaving to start a post bacc in March of next year. My choice is a public university. It is roughly $100/credit BUT it is 45 miles away. The official post-bacc program is 10 miles away BUT it cost $600/credit. The issues I’m having are the time spent in driving…basically how much is my time worth. Any suggestions on which to chose?
Financially I can afford one without any loans. The other would be entirely on loans. I’m not in debt from undergrad and it would be nice to enter med school with no debts but it would also be nice to bike ride to the school versus fill up the tank every other day…
I guess since I’m coming from having a decent paying job I won’t qualify for need based loans so will hopefully get the non-need based but I haven’t a clue about school loans…
Any ideas, thoughts, experience or recommendations?

I live in Westchester, NY, work full-time in Connecticut, and go to school at Columbia in Manhattan. On the days I have class I have to drive from my job in CT to NYC. It’s 45 miles one way. Then I drive 25 miles to get back home after class.
I worked something out here at work so that I could leave early and avoid traffic. The average amount of time the trip takes is 1 hour. It’s slightly shorter the earlier I leave and can be much longer if I am not out by 4:30.
I used to do this very commute every day, both ways, for 5 years, back when I still lived in my old neighborhood. So I am used to it. However, I have to admit that not having done it every day in a while, now I feel very exhausted at the end of my class days.
I guess it depends on a few things. If you never take trips that length, it will feel very long and tiring for you for a while. Also, will you be driving with or against traffic? I am driving mostly against traffic and it still takes an hour (well, that does include looking for parking). Lastly, how many other things are you involved in? If you’re working FT, have a family, and are doing other activities, then the hours spent in the car are ever more precious.
Bottom line, it’s definitely doable, but it does take a toll on your body.
Your fellow road warrior,

I don’t have any easy answers on this one, but a couple things to think about in terms of driving. What time of day are the classes? If they are at night, consider what time you will be getting out of class and whether you will be sleepy at that time. If they are at a time that will require you to drive during rush hour, how bad is the traffic and will you mind dealing with it if it’s bad? If you are driving that sort of distance every day you want it to be as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. Also, keep in mind all the costs of commuting: tolls, if any, gas prices (which aren’t looking to be going back down any time soon), the more frequent trips you will need to make to your mechanic for oil changes, tire rotations, and all those other scheduled services that will be coming up far more often than they otherwise would. On the other hand, if you are someone who really enjoys drive time, you may find that the longer drive is a great way to relax and that may make up for the additional monetary expenditure.
Good luck with whatever you decide!

What is the payoff at the end of the programs? Does the official PB program have a better acceptance rate? Some kind of alliance, official or otherwise with a med school? Even being present in the hallways to see the "help wanted’ posters can make a big diff. If the difference is there, I’d pay the bucks. Is the only separator really the drive and the bucks? No matter what, go with your gut. Forget the head for awhile.

The acceptance for the undergrad pre-meds is 90%. Now I’m not sure how they arrived at that figure…in other words the accuracy. I would venture a guess and say that if you’re paying $20k/year for a small university then you would be serious enough to keep to your studies. The ratio of student:professor is 11:1…the biggest thing I’ve heard from people is how much 1 on 1 you get because the classes are so small. It is my opinion that the price keeps things small and quaint.
CHEAP SCHOOL: I found out from my sister that I would be driving with the flow and that the route I would have to take is a parking lot at the times I would need to drive it. The decision seems to be heading to the post bac…well actually since I have not transferred all my credits I have not received my degree so I could attend as an undergrad…
The first year acceptance for the formal postbacc + SMP is 78%. I don’t trust stats much so these figures don’t mean anything but the class to professor ratio does look good.
Now I have to look into how the loan process works…

here’s a suggestion. I’ve been recording my lectures every day. Then, whenever I’m out jogging or driving appreciable distances or riding the bus, I listen. I may only hear half a lecture before getting there but it’s still worth it. The repetition is very useful, and I can pause and rewind to get a point more clearly.
I use a Palm pilot to record digitally, then transfer it to my hard disk, convert it to MP3, and put it on a little MP3 player that I go jogging with. In my car I have one of those cassette-shaped gadgets that plug into the cassette player and accept input from anything with a headphone output, so I can play the lectures in the car. Of course, a low-tech cassette recorder would work just fine.