Posted: 8/25/2004 9:11:21 PM EST
Got a shipmate, 50 YO working stiff who is blessed/cursed with a truly bright, talented, motivated daughter.
She's 17 and has her sights set on being a pediatrician!
The kid is motivated as all hell, and I think the odds are that she's in this for the long haul.
HS junior year and in the super-duper advanced placement class.
Big question is this: How the hell can a working stiff finance college, med school etc.
I've suggested USPHS to him.
It's all I can think of.
Years ago, MY education was cheap, but not any more!!!!!
I know this is a shot in the dark, but WTF. Can't hurt to ask.
I'm interested as well.
I'm looking to go in "for the long haul" as well.
Right now my plans are to no matter what get college paid for, regardless if it requires selling my soul (Taking out student loans.)
My advice is to get a college scholarship and then go into debt for medical school.
I went to college for 4 years for free because of my ACT score and the fact that I was a National Merit Scholar. Since your friend's daughter is a junior, she is in the perfect place to get her college paid for. Tell him to make sure she takes the PSAT (also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in her junior year. If she makes it to the semi-finalist stage she is golden. To do so, she needs to be in the top 1% or so in the nation. To make finalist, she needs to take the SAT to prove your first test wasn't a fluke, and be in the top 0.5% in the nation. They then hand out additional scholarships to the finalists.
Honestly, my college didn't care if you only made it to the semi-final round. They would give a 4 year free ride with room and board for National Merit.
The other best way to get college paid for is through the ACT. Score high and you go for free. At the University of Arkansas it took a 33/36 to get the free ride.
Really, all of the public service in the world doesn't mean jack crap when it comes to the top scholarships. It is all about intelligence and talent. I never lettered in any sport, wasn't in the band, didn't join clubs, and my parents are far from rich, but I got my BA without one dime of debt. Actually, I made money, but I don't think most states allow that anymore.
Medical school is a different story. The only full scholarships I know of are for minorities. Of course, my main experience is with my school, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I am going about 25k per year in the hole because you can't work and go to med school. The loans are very easy to get though, and you don't need any credit rating to get them because they are guaranteed by an outside organization. I get 1000 per year in scholarship, and that is typical for most students.
Jblachly is another med student on the board. You should also get his experiences.
If I can be of any help, let me know.
EDIT: I just noticed you are in PA. Your friend's daughter will probably need to take the SAT instead of the ACT. ACT is a southern thing.
Don't be afraid of student loan debt. I took out 35K to finance the first part of my graduate school education (1/2 subsidized and the other standard) before I was granted an assistanship that is worth free tuition and 25k/yr in stipends + medical/dental insurance. I can expect to make twice the salary once I finish my doctorate than had I stuck with a bachelor's. I think of it as short term debt. Plus interest charges on loans can be written off on your taxes.
My cousin has her Masters and joined the Navy to pay for Med school (plus she wants to serve). Sadly it's a 14 years commitment-7 years school and residency, 7 years active duty.
My Father In Law is a retired anesthesiologist (sp) and he says that loans are the best bet. You'll make enough as a doc to pay them back no problem, according to him.
part of her motivation may be that she's somehting like the 10th or 12th generation we know of to serve in a military, starting in the 1670's in Canada; the second woman from our family, and of my Grandmothers 7 grandkids, both men and she have/are serving. We are very proud of her.
First off, the idea that parents are responsible for paying all college expenses is absurd. Your friend can and will have to help, but it isnt his sole responsibility. The daughter needs to understand that and accept the fact she will owe a lot of money post graduation.
Now, my advice and experience:
Try to avoid student loan debt as long as possible. This means living at home and doing her premed at a local state university if possible. I was lucky to have a 4 year state university locally, living at home cuts expenses dramatically. She should pursue any scholarships, grants, etc available, and be willing to work part time if possible. I paid all of my prepharmacy education without taking out any student loans.
Once she is in medical school, she will need to borrow money via student loans since it is unlikely she will be able to work much while school is in session. The trick is not to overdo the debt. This can be done if she is realistic about budgeting, and she does not have monthly debt like car payments. Her father can help with groceries, car insurance, reasonable spending money as he can afford it, etc. I qualified for enough loan money to cover most of my living expenses in addition to tuition/books/fees, and worked during Christmas/spring break/summer break. She should aggressively pursue any grant or scholarship money available also, there is a lot available once you are in medical school.
My basic goal was to graduate pharmacy school owing no more than one year gross salary in debt. At the time of my graduation (1996) this was around $60k, and I borrowed a total of $54K over 4 years. I have paid most of it off already and should finish a year early. The standard repayment plan for student loans is 10 years, extendable to 15 or 20 years under certain circumstances. If she plans for a 10 year repayment plan and defers repayment until after her residency, it is a managable debt load. Most recent grads dont realize it, but it will take her 2-5 years to really get herself financially grounded after school is finished. She should plan accordingly, even if that means putting off the big house and H2 for a few years.
Hope this helps.
she should work for scholorships for college, I went to a state college absolutly free, and then went to medical school, Getting loans for med school Easy, in fact I borrowed a little bit extra to take a trip to Europe in between my 1st & 2nd years, so tell them to only worry about college
If I had my twenties and career to do over again I would have went the USPHS route myself.
I did scholarships in undergrad then student loans thru med school. You're generally allowed 10-20 years to pay them off.
Might be a western thing, too, since I took the ACT.