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Deciding between Stony Brook University & DeSales

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Hello everyone! So, I am very thankful to have gotten into both SBU & Desales, but I am struggling to decide between them... Stony Brook is in-state for me and 15 mins away from home, so the tuition is significantly cheaper than DeSales’ ($53,000 as opposed to DeSales’ $79,000), and I wouldn't need to pay rent.

I am struggling because even though SBU would be much cheaper overall, and has an excellent reputation and ranking, I just did not feel like I connected with the faculty there, and I wasn’t very excited after the interview. Even though the programs are both 24 months, SBU seemed more rigorous and fast-paced. The students at SBU also seemed a bit older, which makes me feel like I'd be the inexperienced one of the bunch. Another concern is that I don't really want to live at home. Living with my family would save me money, but it may also drive me crazy with the added stress of PA school ? I would most likely want to live on LI no matter what school I go to though, and so going to SBU may make it easier to get a job in the area once I graduate. SBU also ends in May, which I've heard is better for new PA grads in terms of job hunting.

On the other hand, DeSales is a bit more expensive, but definitely not as expensive as some programs out there. It has clinical experiences during the didactic year, such as a student-run free clinic and shadowing that I would not have at SBU.  I also really connected with the faculty there and could picture myself going there and being happy. DeSales also had a brand-new, huge simulation lab that the PA students get to use a lot. DeSales is also one of the only programs in that area, you get more one-on-one time during clinical rotations, whereas w/ SBU, you’re with other LI PA students and med students.

Some stats:

PANCE 5-yr pass rates: SBU-97%, DeSales-100%

Class size: SBU-44, DeSales-80

Campus: SBU-within a hospital & affiliated w/ med school, DeSales- w/in an undergrad campus

Both have full cadaver dissection labs

Electives: both have 1 elective

Start date: SBU- June, DeSales- August

PBL classes: SBU- have only about 4 of these activities throughout didactic year, DeSales- small group class discussion twice every week throughout all of didactic

 

Overall, the main things that would drive me to go to SBU are the low cost and the ranking. Otherwise, I like DeSales more. Some insight on this dilemma would be much appreciated!!

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My gut reaction is to say go with the cheaper school and save money because (1) if you're taking out loans for school, being in debt sucks in the long-run; (2) the program is only 2 years so unless the faculty seems unorganized or anything other than reasonably normal, I dont think "not connecting" on the initial meeting with them is a huge deal; (3) in the end both programs will make you a PA-C.

That being said I sympathize with not wanting to live at home. Personally, living at home almost becomes a toxic environment for me so I was willing to pay rent near my school to save my mental health even though I could have reasonably commuted from home to save money. 

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9 minutes ago, Cup said:

My gut reaction is to say go with the cheaper school and save money because (1) if you're taking out loans for school, being in debt sucks in the long-run; (2) the program is only 2 years so unless the faculty seems unorganized or anything other than reasonably normal, I dont think "not connecting" on the initial meeting with them is a huge deal; (3) in the end both programs will make you a PA-C.

That being said I sympathize with not wanting to live at home. Personally, living at home almost becomes a toxic environment for me so I was willing to pay rent near my school to save my mental health even though I could have reasonably commuted from home to save money. 

Thanks for the input! I agree that the initial meeting may not be the best gauge as to whether I will enjoy the program or not. It is well-established, so I am sure they know what they are doing. I have considered paying more to rent a place for myself during pa school, but it just seems silly when I could live only 15 mins away for free

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6 minutes ago, skram said:

Thanks for the input! I agree that the initial meeting may not be the best gauge as to whether I will enjoy the program or not. It is well-established, so I am sure they know what they are doing. I have considered paying more to rent a place for myself during pa school, but it just seems silly when I could live only 15 mins away for free

 15 min away is pretty nice.  But you can also always spend your time studying in a library or elsewhere on campus if being at home makes you too crazy. Just make home a place to eat/sleep/shower. ?

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I would go with the cheaper school- I'm just saying that as a recent graduate trying to tackle debt.  I think it's hard to tell what the experience will be like just based on the interview.

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I think having a good feeling about the school, and generally being excited to be there is very very important - it will make it so much easier for you to be successful at the school you really want to be. In the end, you will make enough money to cover all the tuition expenses/loans you may have. You will spend the 2 most intense years in that school, so you better go in being excited about being there:) Good luck!

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