Are you referencing this: https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-your-degree-worth-11574294910?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=6.
I read it. Just describes a website that the Department of ED opened that allows you to see the average first year salary by major and gives an estimated monthly loan payment based off of the average cost. Here is Stanford's page on that website: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/school/?243744-Stanford-University.
Please point me in the right direction as to where you found this info as it related to the PA program. I can't. In fact, this website appears to only have undergrad certificates, associates, and bachelors degrees. While you could extrapolate, I don't think that it is particularly helpful to.
You bring up a great point though. I have been thinking long and hard about this cost. I ran some numbers. Following the tuition page on the Stanford PA website: http://med.stanford.edu/pa/tuition.html. Using their numbers, so the totals for all 9 quarters and assuming all of that as a loan the total is: $273,432 (assuming 4 quarters on campus and 5 off, they are trying to get subsidized housing for the whole program, but not yet confirmed). Yea thats a lot. Plugging this into a student loan payment calculator on a 10 year loan is gross. It comes out to a monthly loan payment of around $3,041. Thats more than I currently bring home in a month. Yikes. According to salary.com, the average PA salary in San Francisco is $132,958 with most salaries falling above $122,387. Lets assume you make $110,000. Using a take home pay calculator your monthly income would be about $6,100. So if you are effectively paying half your monthly income in student loans. Thats highly frowned upon. I think Dave Ramsey would throw up thinking about it.
Take a breath. If you look at the tuition page again, the estimated costs they put down are huge. Take the rent row for example. They estimate that on campus housing for 4 quarters will be $20,400. Thats $1,700 a month. Go to their student graduate housing price sheet https://rde-stanford-edu.s3.amazonaws.com/Housing/PDF/2019-20_Grad_RatesChart.pdf. 17 of the 22 housing options offered fall below $20,400 a year with some of them falling well below. Three of the options are about half. They also estimate $8,000 for food, which is $153.85 a week. They estimate $8,300 for personal expenses so car insurance or payments I guess? Moral of the story is there are places to cut costs. If you can get your loan total down to even $250,000 your monthly payment drops to $2,700 a month. If you slum it and pay extra a month, you greatly decrease your interest too.
So yea. It's going to suck for 10 years. Really suck. But it's not impossible or undoable. For shits and giggles I looked at what it would cost for someone going to medical school that took out $300,000 and did a 3 year family medicine residency. Using averages for residency stipend and first year salary. I used the AAMC calculator, which has a ton of features, of which I understand none, so I tried to do the most basic. It appears that this fake person would pay somewhere between $424-$3,600 (low in residency, high as an attending) a month depending on their income based repayment and length of loan term. Paying on the lower end results in a 16 year repayment with the total including interest ballooning to around $544,000. Average family medicine salary is $231,000. It is not unreasonable to think that a PA with 5yrs experience (About when family medicine docs leave residency) can make above $150,000. I have seen on message boards PAs in the bay area making close to $200,000 in family medicine or urgent care. The earning potential is there.
All told it is absolutely something to take into account. Speaking for myself, I feel as though the extra costs can be outweighed by the extra things Stanford can offer. These are things they mentioned during the interview. I plan to hold them to the impression they gave and make it worth it.