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How I am Paying for Medical School

Medical school can get expensive especially if you attend a private medical school or live in an expensive area. I do not want anyone to be discouraged at the seemingly cost of professional schools. I hope this post could allow you to choose schools wisely and encourage you to apply to medical school despite the cost.


I'll start with the cost of attendance for my school. I attend a low cost public school and live in a relatively cheap area of California, not as cheap as other states.


Here is the breakdown:

Year 1 Cost of Attendance:

Books and Supplies: $4,331.00

Direct Loan Origination Fees: $472.00

Personal Costs: $2,110.00

Room and Board: $22,660.00

Tuition and Fees: $41,430.00

Transportation: $1,575.00

Total: $73,128.00


Year 1 Finances, Loans, and Scholarships Received:

SCHOLARSHIPS (FREE MONEY): $15,550.00

DEAN'S SCHOLARSHIP: $45,000

LOAN FOR DISADVANTAGE SOM (0% interest loan for any specialty): $12,578

Total: $73,128.00


Year 2 Cost of Attendance:

Books and Supplies: $2,176.00

Direct Loan Origination Fees: $472.00

Personal Costs: $1,975.00

Room and Board: $21,650.00

Summer Award Offset: $2,542.00

Tuition and Fees: $42,665.00

Transportation: $1,650.00

Total: $73,130.00


Year 2 Finances and Scholarships Received:

SCHOLARSHIPS: $12,000.00

DEAN'S SCHOLARSHIP: $45,000

FED DIRECT UNSUB STAFFORD LOAN: $15,657

FEDERAL DIRECT GRAD PLUS LOAN3: $0

Total: $72,657.54


TOTAL LOANS/AMOUNT I OWE: $28,235

LOANS FROM UNDERGRAD/PostBacc: $40,000 (paying)


THESE NUMBERS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING BECAUSE I AM APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND LOW INTEREST LOANS.


NOW, Let's talk about repayment options and how long it would take me to repay with a minimum salary of $250,000/year. This is assuming I choose the lowest paid specialty.


I have accumulated $28,235 on loans in medical school that are under either disadvantaged or Stafford direct plus loan. If I pay $3,500 per month I would pay this loan off in about 8 months or less than a year. Note that the LDS or disadvantage student loan does not have interest.


This corresponds to less than 20% of that minimum salary ($250,000) and for the lowest paid specialty. If I choose a surgical specialty or cardiology, the salary can go as high as $400,000-$600,000/year. The numbers would be different.


In addition, this is not taking into account any repayment options, loan forgiveness for particular specialties that are available through specific employers, or other scholarships that I have yet to apply to.


Despite the seemingly high cost of tuition, in the end it will pay off. If you are passionate about medicine, and cannot see yourself doing anything else, the loans are just one small hurdle in your path to medicine.

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