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Poll: PA School Student Loan Debt

PA School Student Loan Debt  

140 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. How much student loan debt did you have upon graduation from PA school? (Do NOT include other debts including other student loans)

    • $0
      10
    • $1-25,000
      6
    • $25,001-50,000
      7
    • $50,001-75,000
      17
    • $75,001-100,000
      17
    • $100,001-125,000
      25
    • $125,001-150,000
      28
    • $150,001-175,000
      16
    • $175,001-200,000
      7
    • $200,001-250,000
      5
    • =/> $250,001
      2

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  • Poll closed on 06/13/2019 at 09:17 AM

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On 5/15/2019 at 10:28 PM, Hope2PA said:

Aren’t the most expensive programs still less than $100,000? My question is what the heck were those in debt over $150,000 doing? Does no one know how to live within their means anymore? Rent the cheapest place, eat a lot of peanut butter, or cans of whatever is on sale!  

I'm currently attending a program that is about 110K base tuition (but it's where I got in so I had to take it right?), which doesn't account for cost of living. I'm 35, married and this school is in close proximity to a major metropolitan area where the lowest 1BR rents are around 1600/mo for 500 sq feet in very shady neighborhoods. My wife and I pay 2k/mo for a barely amenable 1BR with paper thin walls in a poorly run building.  Food and travel are also expensive. I have no undergrad debt (GI Bill), my wife is working PT but continues to hunt for FT employment, I find myself maxing out Stafford and Grad Plus each semester just to make rent/food (@home)/travel and other basic expenses. I am by no means going to make myself and my family live off of ramen and peanut butter and never ever leave the house for social/dining out/recreational activity. I have found myself taking out smaller private loans to make ends meet and have something left in my savings when I graduate. I have accepted that on completion I will be close to 180-190k in debt. To me this is just the "nature of the beast" and while I'm annoyed at the cost of tuition, books, and the ridiculous amount of self funded hoops the program is making us jump through there's just no other option. I am coming up on clinical year and considering taking PT/Perdiem work as a medic since I've maintained my cert but don't know if that will play out based on rotation sites and schedules. That's just me though and 2 cents.

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1 hour ago, FunkyMedic said:

I'm currently attending a program that is about 110K base tuition (but it's where I got in so I had to take it right?), which doesn't account for cost of living. I'm 35, married and this school is in close proximity to a major metropolitan area where the lowest 1BR rents are around 1600/mo for 500 sq feet in very shady neighborhoods. My wife and I pay 2k/mo for a barely amenable 1BR with paper thin walls in a poorly run building.  Food and travel are also expensive. I have no undergrad debt (GI Bill), my wife is working PT but continues to hunt for FT employment, I find myself maxing out Stafford and Grad Plus each semester just to make rent/food (@home)/travel and other basic expenses. I am by no means going to make myself and my family live off of ramen and peanut butter and never ever leave the house for social/dining out/recreational activity. I have found myself taking out smaller private loans to make ends meet and have something left in my savings when I graduate. I have accepted that on completion I will be close to 180-190k in debt. To me this is just the "nature of the beast" and while I'm annoyed at the cost of tuition, books, and the ridiculous amount of self funded hoops the program is making us jump through there's just no other option. I am coming up on clinical year and considering taking PT/Perdiem work as a medic since I've maintained my cert but don't know if that will play out based on rotation sites and schedules. That's just me though and 2 cents.

Read further, my second post on this topic was my out of touch surprise at the current costs of program alone. Last I had checked, most expensive below $100,000, I was thinking upper $80,000-low 90,000.  The cost is becoming ridiculous  considering the potential return and saturation of young PA and NP willing to accept low salaries.

I wish you the best, when time comes for job, hope you don’t have settle for below $100,000.  

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2 hours ago, FunkyMedic said:

I'm currently attending a program that is about 110K base tuition (but it's where I got in so I had to take it right?), which doesn't account for cost of living. I'm 35, married and this school is in close proximity to a major metropolitan area where the lowest 1BR rents are around 1600/mo for 500 sq feet in very shady neighborhoods. My wife and I pay 2k/mo for a barely amenable 1BR with paper thin walls in a poorly run building.  Food and travel are also expensive. I have no undergrad debt (GI Bill), my wife is working PT but continues to hunt for FT employment, I find myself maxing out Stafford and Grad Plus each semester just to make rent/food (@home)/travel and other basic expenses. I am by no means going to make myself and my family live off of ramen and peanut butter and never ever leave the house for social/dining out/recreational activity. I have found myself taking out smaller private loans to make ends meet and have something left in my savings when I graduate. I have accepted that on completion I will be close to 180-190k in debt. To me this is just the "nature of the beast" and while I'm annoyed at the cost of tuition, books, and the ridiculous amount of self funded hoops the program is making us jump through there's just no other option. I am coming up on clinical year and considering taking PT/Perdiem work as a medic since I've maintained my cert but don't know if that will play out based on rotation sites and schedules. That's just me though and 2 cents.

Are you service connected at all?

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8 hours ago, FunkyMedic said:

I'm currently attending a program that is about 110K base tuition (but it's where I got in so I had to take it right?), which doesn't account for cost of living. I'm 35, married and this school is in close proximity to a major metropolitan area where the lowest 1BR rents are around 1600/mo for 500 sq feet in very shady neighborhoods. My wife and I pay 2k/mo for a barely amenable 1BR with paper thin walls in a poorly run building.  Food and travel are also expensive. I have no undergrad debt (GI Bill), my wife is working PT but continues to hunt for FT employment, I find myself maxing out Stafford and Grad Plus each semester just to make rent/food (@home)/travel and other basic expenses. I am by no means going to make myself and my family live off of ramen and peanut butter and never ever leave the house for social/dining out/recreational activity. I have found myself taking out smaller private loans to make ends meet and have something left in my savings when I graduate. I have accepted that on completion I will be close to 180-190k in debt. To me this is just the "nature of the beast" and while I'm annoyed at the cost of tuition, books, and the ridiculous amount of self funded hoops the program is making us jump through there's just no other option. I am coming up on clinical year and considering taking PT/Perdiem work as a medic since I've maintained my cert but don't know if that will play out based on rotation sites and schedules. That's just me though and 2 cents.

You're halfway through it.

My recommendation is to plan on moving as soon as you graduate.  Move to small town America, where nobody else wants to live, and where you can get paid >$100k/year and yet rent a 4 bed/2 ba home for $1200/month.

Even with your huge debt load, you can have it paid off in 4-5 years and then start building wealth. 

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These stories are depressing and disconcerting. It is unacceptable that there are programs putting you into debt 2x your expected salary on graduation. 

Is our degree going to be the next BA in "communications" or "liberal arts"? Going into massive debt in relation to your salary? 

Doom and/or gloom.

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2 hours ago, MediMike said:

It is unacceptable that there are programs putting you into debt 2x your expected salary on graduation. 

It's not "programs" that are doing this, it is individual people's decisions.

Our national student loan problem could be solved by removing the bankruptcy protections from student loans.  Suddenly banks wouldn't offer this kind of money to students, thus forcing colleges to pare back expenses.  Look around most universities today and you will find unbelievably expensive student centers, lavish dorms, and hundreds of overpaid people with titles like "Vice President of Student Support Animals".   All funded by rapidly increasing tuition rates and fees, which are often funded by students taking out loans from banks who know they will be repaid.

Edited by Boatswain2PA
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We can argue semantics all you want, but fact of the matter is that these programs are charging a ridiculous amount of money. 

While I agree that people don't HAVE to attend the more expensive programs or they can feed their kids and spouses dry toast and ramen or whatever it is pretty sad that it's a decision that has to be made. 

I'm going to go ahead and point out the hyperbole in your statement, having attended two universities in the past 10 years, if there WAS a position such as the "Vice President of Student Support Animals" I would have found that individual and hung out with them. Because animals are neat.

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They are charging that much because they find people who will pay that much.  Most people can only pay that much because they can get loans for that much.  And banks only loan that much money to young people because they have a guarantee that they will get their money back, and interest and fees.

Take away that guarantee by making student loans bankruptable, and suddenly you dry up the source of the problem.  Banks would be forced to look at students ability to repay, and would limit the enormous student loan debts.

I'm glad you recognized the hyperbole.

Edited by Boatswain2PA
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12 hours ago, Boatswain2PA said:

You're halfway through it.

My recommendation is to plan on moving as soon as you graduate.  Move to small town America, where nobody else wants to live, and where you can get paid >$100k/year and yet rent a 4 bed/2 ba home for $1200/month.

Even with your huge debt load, you can have it paid off in 4-5 years and then start building wealth. 

I absolutely plan to move to the middle of nowhere, I am from rural NC and I can't wait to get out of the city. We own a home and are currently renting it (3br/2ba) for 1100/mo (My actual mortgage is 1k/mo). Probably gonna sell that when we build enough equity but I honestly hope i can find an ED position that challenges me by working without the "big hospital" niceties and after a year or so of getting my feet under me pick up an UC gig to make some extra cash.  The biggest question i'm facing right now is to apply for a residency or not. I'd hate to stay here for another year at 1/2 pay and put my family through 80 hr work weeks but I'd really like to develop the skills a residency can provide.  Cross that bridge when I come to it.

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18 hours ago, corpsman89 said:

Are you service connected at all?

I am, burned up CH.33 in undergrad (hindsight is 20/20 here).  But I just got off the phone w/ the VA and apparently I will be eligible to apply for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM scholarship, so hopefully that works out. It will probably put a 30k dent in my expected ammount of debt.

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24 minutes ago, FunkyMedic said:

...apparently I will be eligible to apply for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM scholarship...

Good luck!!!  and thank you for your service!

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20 hours ago, FunkyMedic said:

I am, burned up CH.33 in undergrad (hindsight is 20/20 here).  But I just got off the phone w/ the VA and apparently I will be eligible to apply for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM scholarship, so hopefully that works out. It will probably put a 30k dent in my expected ammount of debt.

If you are service connected then look into Vocational Rehabilitation. I used all of my GI bill benefits in undergrad too. Qualified for Voc Rehab and they are paying for PA school in its entirety, plus housing stipend. Go to eBenefits, then request an appointment for Voc Rehab. It may change your life. Had a classmate (started PA school with Loans), looked into Voc rehab after starting PA school, qualified, and Voc rehab payed all his previous loans. 

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7 hours ago, corpsman89 said:

If you are service connected then look into Vocational Rehabilitation. I used all of my GI bill benefits in undergrad too. Qualified for Voc Rehab and they are paying for PA school in its entirety, plus housing stipend. Go to eBenefits, then request an appointment for Voc Rehab. It may change your life. Had a classmate (started PA school with Loans), looked into Voc rehab after starting PA school, qualified, and Voc rehab payed all his previous loans. 

Thanks for that didn't know it was an option after GI bill was used, does that require a disability rating?

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disability rating = service connection. So if you do not have a disability rating than you will not qualify for it. The GI bill does chip away at voc rehab benefits, but there is a way to file for an extension. 

PM me if you want any more info. 

Edited by corpsman89
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