4. Apply to cheap schools. There is minimal difference between a $50K program in a low cost-of-living area and a $200K program in a high cost-of-living area....except for the $200K difference in cost.
5. Yes, I would "drain down" most of your savings to get through school. No need to keep $50K in savings earning .5% interest while you're racking up graduate loans at 6.5% interest. Keep a small amount ($2-$3K) as an EMERGENCY savings.
6. Goal = Get through school with the absolute smallest amount of debt you can. Then, when you graduate, keep living like you're poor and get the debts paid off.
Cementing some of his points.
#4: Applying to cheap school cannot be stressed enough. One thing people believe is that cheap schools have low quality of education/curriculum. Just like they think about brand names in clothing. All these people are victim of great marketing.
I graduated from Sophie Davis/Harlem Hospital PA program in NYC. That school is a CUNY. Tuition at the time was less than 4k a semester.
As far I can remember, passing rate on first attempts has always been in high mid 90s. We've won multiple times (we are one of the top winners) in medical jeopardy at the New York State Society of PA (NYSSPA), We've also won the VERY first and Third AAPA challenge Bowl.
#5: Agreed with him 100%.
#6: Couldn't have said it better myself.
I know I'm thinking way too far ahead (I haven't applied, let alone been accepted), but I am a planner to the extreme.
I have ~50k in my savings account, which will continue to grow if I stay in my current employment. Does this account have a significant/negative impact on my financial aid amount? In terms of debt, I have ~10k in undergrad loans (payments are small).
Good that you are planning. My advice is to continue to work and save. Preferably in a CD type account. The reason is that you know debt is coming, so I would say to keep that money liquid (in cash). While I agree with Boatswain on contributing to your RETIREMENT (keyword: retirement) accounts, I feel like this is not the goal at this particular moment. Most of your retirement accounts are money that are not readily available to pay off your school debts.
I would rather start a PA career w/o debt or very low debts, than to have plenty in my retirement accounts with an insurmountable collection of interested debts!
1. I would pay off that 10k debt FULLY. Even though the payments are small, they there are STILL added interests. Why give more money to some rich banker than what he/she deserves?
2. Put the remaining 40k in a CD/money market account. The reason I say so is that you want it to be handy if you ever need to spend it on school related expenses (paying HALF of your tuition = less loan taken).
3. CONTINUE to save as much as you can. Keep in mind, you will not be able to work while in PA school. Whatever you save can all go toward tuition. If you haven't noticed, I am really big on paying your tuition to the max!!! Most of the PA students I see rotating in my job complain about how much they will owe after PA school. I fell bad for them because some have undergrad loan + grad school loan amounted to 150-250k!!
if your school tuition is 80k/semester that's 4-6 times that amount when you graduate. If it is 80k/year, that's 2-3 times that amount.
If you save an extra 40k before you enter school, you'll either have full tuition money for a semester or a year. that's 80k (40k you had + 40k recently save) less in loan!
bottom line in #3 is that saving for retirement is not wise at this particular time. Saving for tuition in a CD/money market account is 100% wise.