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jamieh

Crazy amount of debt?

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So, I will be starting PA school this July and I just got my financial aid award letter and it is making me so anxious and upset over the amount of loans I can't think straight.  I will be paying for tuition and living expenses entirely on my own.  As of now I will have to live alone because I was waiting to hear from another school and couldn't sign a lease, now everyone has room mates.  Tuition alone for the school is $41,500 per year.  My letter states I can take up to $73,000 for this first year for everything.  If I did that for both years, I would be almost $150,000 in debt without interest...so probably closer to $175,000.  I feel like this is just a crazy amount of debt to be in for two years and when I read other forum posts, it seems like people are saying more like 90,000 in debt.  I don't want to take out the full amount because I don't think I'll need it but even still it's going to be much over $100,000.  My other option is to do a 1hr 20 min commute (without traffic) and risk my study time and sanity.  Is anyone else in this much debt? I just feel so overwhelmed right now! 

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Consider taking the full amount if the low interest loans. You will need $$ even after graduation until you pass PANCR, find a job and get your first paycheck. Look into some loan repayment programs. What state do you think you will be in after graduation?

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I agree about taking the full amount.

 

After graduation there is job searching, taking the PANCE, licensing and credentialing. Even if you shorten the job search by landing something prior to graduation, it is very unlikely you will start getting a paycheck for several months. Since I graduated in the good old days prior to rolling test dates, I did not get my first paycheck for 3 1/2 months. That's a lot of ramen.

 

There are several alternatives to your situation. But first, I would recommend against the hour plus commute. That is too long. Time is a huge commodity in PA school, that commute is a waste.

 

While your classmates may have already roomed up, things change. Query again and see if anyone wants to add another person to the lease. If they are realistic, more people means less cash out of their pocket, more carpooling and a deeper bench of study partners. That said, you will be stuck with these individuals for the next 2 years. Going home to them after a long day can add to stress. Seek out other roommate situations. Does your program have graduate housing available? While this may be a more expensive option, convenience can be well worth the price. Also put your living situation in perspective. Your life will be very busy with little downtime. If you are single, home just needs to be a bed and a desk.

 

Your estimates about what you owe are within the range I have discussed with students. I have seen students walk away owing just tuition, some with over $200k due to a combination of education debt. There are the fortunate few who had others pay, got significant scholarships or just had the money in savings. There are opportunities to pay off this debt in a variety of ways, loan forgiveness, working extra, bonuses, or the federal loan forgiveness program: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.

 

But the only way you pay off those loans is to go to school, earn the degree, pass PANCE and start working.

Good luck.

G Brothers PA-C

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So, I will be starting PA school this July and I just got my financial aid award letter and it is making me so anxious and upset over the amount of loans I can't think straight. I will be paying for tuition and living expenses entirely on my own. As of now I will have to live alone because I was waiting to hear from another school and couldn't sign a lease, now everyone has room mates. Tuition alone for the school is $41,500 per year. My letter states I can take up to $73,000 for this first year for everything. If I did that for both years, I would be almost $150,000 in debt without interest...so probably closer to $175,000. I feel like this is just a crazy amount of debt to be in for two years and when I read other forum posts, it seems like people are saying more like 90,000 in debt. I don't want to take out the full amount because I don't think I'll need it but even still it's going to be much over $100,000. My other option is to do a 1hr 20 min commute (without traffic) and risk my study time and sanity. Is anyone else in this much debt? I just feel so overwhelmed right now!

It's a lot of debt because the amount of tuition is INSANE! For that kind of tuition, they should guarantee you will get a job paying >$100k/yr. Fat chance of that. Tuition at many schools has really become abusive but, as long as students keep anteing up, tuitions at many schools will continue to increase.

 

Sent from my KFAPWI using Tapatalk

 

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So, I will be starting PA school this July and I just got my financial aid award letter and it is making me so anxious and upset over the amount of loans I can't think straight.  I will be paying for tuition and living expenses entirely on my own.  As of now I will have to live alone because I was waiting to hear from another school and couldn't sign a lease, now everyone has room mates.  Tuition alone for the school is $41,500 per year.  My letter states I can take up to $73,000 for this first year for everything.  If I did that for both years, I would be almost $150,000 in debt without interest...so probably closer to $175,000.  I feel like this is just a crazy amount of debt to be in for two years and when I read other forum posts, it seems like people are saying more like 90,000 in debt.  I don't want to take out the full amount because I don't think I'll need it but even still it's going to be much over $100,000.  My other option is to do a 1hr 20 min commute (without traffic) and risk my study time and sanity.  Is anyone else in this much debt? I just feel so overwhelmed right now! 

Damn dude. Might as well just go to med school.

 

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but you'll be looking at more than $175,000 when including interest.

 

If I were you, I would save the living expenses and just pay the tuition. Make the long commute and study at school. Plenty of people did that in my school and got good grades.

 

Another option is a scholarship like HPSP or NHSC. Look into them. I did HPSP and, while I can't say that I particularly enjoyed my time in the military, I don't regret doing it.

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So, I will be starting PA school this July and I just got my financial aid award letter and it is making me so anxious and upset over the amount of loans I can't think straight.  I will be paying for tuition and living expenses entirely on my own.  As of now I will have to live alone because I was waiting to hear from another school and couldn't sign a lease, now everyone has room mates.  Tuition alone for the school is $41,500 per year.  My letter states I can take up to $73,000 for this first year for everything.  If I did that for both years, I would be almost $150,000 in debt without interest...so probably closer to $175,000.  I feel like this is just a crazy amount of debt to be in for two years and when I read other forum posts, it seems like people are saying more like 90,000 in debt.  I don't want to take out the full amount because I don't think I'll need it but even still it's going to be much over $100,000.  My other option is to do a 1hr 20 min commute (without traffic) and risk my study time and sanity.  Is anyone else in this much debt? I just feel so overwhelmed right now! 

Have you considered looking outside your program for roomates? Within the same university seems like a better bet than CL. Sometimes faculty and professors lease out garage apartments etc. to graduate students (many of them live very close if not on campus). I have also had good luck finding roomates on forums for special interest groups where you share a similar interest with someone such as mountainproject.com for rock climbers, bodybuilders.com for workout aholics, knittersunited.com....you get the picture. Re-evaluate what you need to make ends meet, don't go overboard but also don't leave yourself high and dry in the event that you need to travel for emergency reasons, medical incidents, a meal out to destress, etc. I'm a super thrifty person, but also recognize the anxiety that I could create unneccesarily by not taking enough in loans. I think I'm expecting to be just about $110k in by the end of 27 months however I have yet to sign the dotted line.

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So, I will be starting PA school this July and I just got my financial aid award letter and it is making me so anxious and upset over the amount of loans I can't think straight.  I will be paying for tuition and living expenses entirely on my own.  As of now I will have to live alone because I was waiting to hear from another school and couldn't sign a lease, now everyone has room mates.  Tuition alone for the school is $41,500 per year.  My letter states I can take up to $73,000 for this first year for everything.  If I did that for both years, I would be almost $150,000 in debt without interest...so probably closer to $175,000.  I feel like this is just a crazy amount of debt to be in for two years and when I read other forum posts, it seems like people are saying more like 90,000 in debt.  I don't want to take out the full amount because I don't think I'll need it but even still it's going to be much over $100,000.  My other option is to do a 1hr 20 min commute (without traffic) and risk my study time and sanity.  Is anyone else in this much debt? I just feel so overwhelmed right now! 

While I only interviewed at 2 programs from 4 invites,  the 18 program I applied to all have pretty substantial tuition rates averaging somewhere near 75K/yr.  So you're not the only one in this boat. The important thing like gbrothers said is to get that degree and start working. I think one positive from high tuition rates is that hopefully graduates will be less likely to accept sub-par pay. And you can probably get this paid off faster than you think if you get good financial coaches. For ex. I paid 50k in loans in 4.5yrs after graduation with a bachelor (granted I don't have kids).

 

I agree with taking out the full amount, you can always pay back what you don't use, although interest starts does accruing if the loan is unsubsidized. I also wouldn't do a 1h 20m commute, what if you get stuck in traffic and miss class. But good luck, there is loan repayment or check out the benefits for joining the reserves after graduating.

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While I only interviewed at 2 programs from 4 invites,  the 18 program I applied to all have pretty substantial tuition rates averaging somewhere near 75K/yr.  So you're not the only one in this boat. The important thing like gbrothers said is to get that degree and start working. I think one positive from high tuition rates is that hopefully graduates will be less likely to accept sub-par pay. And you can probably get this paid off faster than you think if you get good financial coaches. For ex. I paid 50k in loans in 4.5yrs after graduation with a bachelor (granted I don't have kids).

 

I agree with taking out the full amount, you can always pay back what you don't use, although interest starts does accruing if the loan is unsubsidized. I also wouldn't do a 1h 20m commute, what if you get stuck in traffic and miss class. But good luck, there is loan repayment or check out the benefits for joining the reserves after graduating.

 

Thanks for your reply.  I was getting nervous hearing people say that that much loan money is not worth it and getting very discouraged from what I was initially so excited about.  Good luck to you in your PA journey :)!

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Have you considered looking outside your program for roomates? Within the same university seems like a better bet than CL. Sometimes faculty and professors lease out garage apartments etc. to graduate students (many of them live very close if not on campus). I have also had good luck finding roomates on forums for special interest groups where you share a similar interest with someone such as mountainproject.com for rock climbers, bodybuilders.com for workout aholics, knittersunited.com....you get the picture. Re-evaluate what you need to make ends meet, don't go overboard but also don't leave yourself high and dry in the event that you need to travel for emergency reasons, medical incidents, a meal out to destress, etc. I'm a super thrifty person, but also recognize the anxiety that I could create unneccesarily by not taking enough in loans. I think I'm expecting to be just about $110k in by the end of 27 months however I have yet to sign the dotted line.

 

Unfortunately my program is at a brand new satellite campus so finding room mates outside my program is a little tougher but I will look into it. Thanks!

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I heard from a lot of current PA students that 100-150k in loans is the norm..

It's good that you are feeling the financial pressures; hopefully, it'll make you more financially conscious and stop you from making bad decisions on money! Hang in there, it'll be worth it at the end :)

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I graduated with about 135K in debt (all PA school), and I'm not going to lie - it sucks.  My monthly payments repayments are more than my mortgage (10 year plan).  I have 2 jobs so that I can afford to pay my loans and also save for retirement.  I also commuted 1+ hour each way to save on rent (and for other reasons) and while it was doable and I did well in school (I had 11 years back experience as a medic) it was HARD.  You miss out on a lot of social/group events including study groups.  Not to mention the lost time in your day.  For my surgery rotation I was waking UP at 0230 in the morning.  That was a very long 4 weeks.  My situation was slightly complicated in that I lived alone and had 2 dogs to care for so hard to crash on couches, stay late, etc

 

Not trying to sound discouraging but your anxiety is not unfounded.  It can be hard.  If I could do it again, I'd probably look for a school with cheaper tuition or one close to my parents so I could of moved in with them (and I was 33 when I went to school!  Lol).  

 

The debt is manageable but it is hard.  Good luck!!!!!  

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