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Hey all,

I have been accepted to a program in CA and am mildly freaking out about how much debt I am going to be in when all is said and done...

Tuition is around $54,000 per year and then after calculating in all of my recurring bills and the estimated cost of a “higher end apartment” for $2000/month my total for both years is around $200,000...obviously I am going to try and find an apartment for cheaper (hopefully less than $1500 but it’s not looking good in terms of safety and location).

I am really not liking these numbers and this was the only program I was accepted to...the program in my current state is only $87,000 for the WHOLE program where rent is MUCH cheaper...but I was dropped from the “active consideration” list here unfortunately AND the program is not yet accredited...

Has anyone else been in this same situation and or does anyone advise trying to apply again to go somewhere cheaper? I know my chances will be slim regardless because I no longer work in patient care so I feel like my only options are going where I was accepted and being in a ton of debt or start looking at other career paths (which I can’t even imagine doing)

I guess I am most worried that I will never be able to get out of debt (dramatization) if I end up only finding a job that pays $85,000 a year and I want to start a life, have kids, etc.

Any advice or words of encouragement from those in debt following school please chime in!

Thanks!

Edited by confuzed
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I will be in same amount of debt as you when I graduate. I sat down with a financial adviser before starting school and came up with a game plan and I will sit down again with him when I graduate and regroup. The debt is scary, but it's part of the process unfortunately. 

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I'm starting PA school soon and will be heavily relying on student loans for the next two years. Honestly, you just got to live with the debt. It is/will be your reality. I still have TONS of student debt from undergrad, but knowing that I'll be a PA soon with a better income I am not too too worried. I am aware though of how much student loans I'll be taking out (and accumulating on top of undergrad debt) so I am/will be cognizant of how my money will be spent. Buy things second-hand, try to move in a cheaper area (during school and when you graduate), consider roommates, and have a budget plan. Do you NEED this or do you just WANT it? As long as you're aware of your lifestyle and the debt you're taking on, it's a step towards the right direction. Just have a game plan for the next few years. Have monetary goals to motivate how you spend money right now. I hope to pay off all of my student debt within 10 years and I know I will have to make sacrifices, but in the end it'll be worth the financial freedom (which is pretty motivating). Set yourself up for success and future you will thank you. 

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2 hours ago, mooredc said:

I will be in same amount of debt as you when I graduate. I sat down with a financial adviser before starting school and came up with a game plan and I will sit down again with him when I graduate and regroup. The debt is scary, but it's part of the process unfortunately. 

This is definitely something I am going to do to help put myself a little more ease so thank you for sharing.

 

2 hours ago, brooks23 said:

Similar debt, wife, and kids when I graduated. Prioritize your payments and living expenses when you're done and you'll get into the habit of living within your means while aggressively paying it off. 

Thank you for the words of encouragement.

 

1 hour ago, johncfl said:

You could also look into some of the loan repayment programs...

I have looked at some of the repayment programs and potential fin aide I could be offered but obviously they have their own pros and cons in terms of location and specialty. I also understand I could qualify for more options if I’m more open-minded to what’s available through these programs, so thank you.

 

43 minutes ago, aba51 said:

I'm starting PA school soon and will be heavily relying on student loans for the next two years. Honestly, you just got to live with the debt. It is/will be your reality. I still have TONS of student debt from undergrad, but knowing that I'll be a PA soon with a better income I am not too too worried. I am aware though of how much student loans I'll be taking out (and accumulating on top of undergrad debt) so I am/will be cognizant of how my money will be spent. Buy things second-hand, try to move in a cheaper area (during school and when you graduate), consider roommates, and have a budget plan. Do you NEED this or do you just WANT it? As long as you're aware of your lifestyle and the debt you're taking on, it's a step towards the right direction. Just have a game plan for the next few years. Have monetary goals to motivate how you spend money right now. I hope to pay off all of my student debt within 10 years and I know I will have to make sacrifices, but in the end it'll be worth the financial freedom (which is pretty motivating). Set yourself up for success and future you will thank you. 

Thank you for the information, I really appreciate it. I think I was having a mild freak out after receiving my fin aide package yesterday but after reading everyone’s experiences (on here and other postings) I am feeling more confident in my ability to pay them off in the future.

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Look.  It's a LOT of debt.  A lot.  With huge repayments.

$200k for program A and $87k (I assume tuition only?) with added living expenses for program B.

So approx 100k less for program B.  (and I suspect even less of a difference)

What kind of job do you have now?  I assume not something making 100k (85 is a lower estimate for PA).  Maybe you're a CNA or EMT or something else...let's be generous and say making 50k.  If you delay starting a year (or more!) you have 50k+ in lost potential income.  If you add that hypothetical 50k to the cost of program B, things start to even out if you're just considering numbers.

Remember there is never  guarantee of an acceptance in the future.  And not a guarantee of getting into a cheaper (or the cheapest) program.

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Just take a deep breath, as long as you have a job out of school you will be able to pay that money back while having a job you love. We're all in the same boat.

I think it would be a mistake to not start school immediately considering loss of a year's income coupled with the uncertainty and stress of applying to schools/interviewing. Maybe that's just me.

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Guest thatgirlonabike

Find a room mate!  I'm super disappointed that everyone in in incoming class is wanting to live alone.  Having a room mate saves a ton of money.   

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While making 80k a year working tons of overtime as a respiratory therapist, I lived way within my means, had a cheap apartment, was single without kids and STILL had a hard time paying off 50k of undergrad debt in a 2 year time frame. People think it'll be super easy to pay off debt after school and everything will be great. Life expenses, taxes, and other misc stuff add up, making debt payoff really tough. Unless the person has aggressively paid off a large amount of debt before, don't listen to the people that say "Just live within your means, you'll be making plenty of money, you'll pay it off soon enough." Debt does not need to be your reality. I recommend watching/listening to Dave Ramsey's take on student debt. 

 

Personally, I've held off on applying to the easier private schools in my area due to the cost. I'd rather not get accepted to the state school this year ($40,000 total for the whole program) than pay the tuition for the private school ($140,000 total for the whole program). I'm sure you want to be a PA really bad, but is the financial burden worth it? I rather be patient, save some money, get some more experience and get into the cheaper school. You'll pay less for tuition and have an extra year to save money. Don't listen to the people who say debt is okay and reality. They are the people who have car payments their entire life and can never get ahead, despite having a well-paying job. 

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It takes money to make money. I will admit 200k is on the high end to have in debt. I'd be a tad scared with that amount. In the end though, you don't want to hesitate too long. In my case, I was making $35k/yr pre-PA school, if I had waited 3 years to apply to save up some money that's losing out on $50k/yr working at a salary of $85k as a PA. Granted many new PA's after a year or two find new jobs paying in the 6 figure range, at that point I'd be losing out on $70k, which makes waiting even worse.

Any entrepreneur would easily invest $150k if they knew they'd be making six figures for the rest of their lives with that investment. Also you will not be making $85k forever as a PA. 

Some people are just bad with debt, and there are plenty of success stories here who were able to pay off loans quickly. 

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2 hours ago, JD2012 said:

It takes money to make money. I will admit 200k is on the high end to have in debt. I'd be a tad scared with that amount. In the end though, you don't want to hesitate too long. In my case, I was making $35k/yr pre-PA school, if I had waited 3 years to apply to save up some money that's losing out on $50k/yr working at a salary of $85k as a PA. Granted many new PA's after a year or two find new jobs paying in the 6 figure range, at that point I'd be losing out on $70k, which makes waiting even worse.

Any entrepreneur would easily invest $150k if they knew they'd be making six figures for the rest of their lives with that investment. Also you will not be making $85k forever as a PA. 

Some people are just bad with debt, and there are plenty of success stories here who were able to pay off loans quickly. 

The math doesn't add up like some people think. You'll accrue well over $1,000/month in interest ALONE with a 200k loan balance.  You tact on a mortgage and car payment to 200K worth of debt and that 100K PA salary won't be very luxurious for the first 10 years after school.  

Rushing into things and disregarding the financial impact can be a very regretful experience. Been there, done that. 

Edited by Jawn_Snow
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