A premed posted this question recently in the premed forums of studentdoctor.net:
A Different Way of Ranking Medical Schools
Basically I’m wondering if there is any better way for me to figure out what each medical school will cost in the long run. Something that factors in a school’s financial aid, residency requirements (ex. if they will consider you a resident after the first 1-2 years), cost of living, etc. A list with separate data for OOS and IS average indebtedness would be perfect if this exists.”
The Wrong End of the Telescope, Maybe?
My first reaction to this question was, “Wow this is going to be really difficult to figure out.” In order to get what this student wants, you would need to factor in things like financial aid award methods on a school-by-school basis. Not every med school’s financial aid office will treat you the same. So that’s a massive research project right there.
I doubt a financial aid office is going to give you their decision-making criteria. It would be too easy to game the system if you had that.
My second thought was, “Oh wait, this is backwards.” Here’s how I would do it. I wouldn’t care one bit about how to pay for medical school tuition when I pick schools to apply to. I would only start to care about tuition for those schools that I got an acceptance from. That’s going to be a lot fewer schools, and this will make the financial aid research project a lot easier.
Let’s pretend I’ve been accepted to two out-of-state schools. I would then contact the two schools financial aid office, share that I got accepted, and start with one question:
“Will you consider me as in-state at some point?”
That will tell me A LOT right there. A financial aid office isn’t going to tell you what kind of a package they’re going to give you, so there’s no point in asking. Instead, I would go to the “Second Look” weekend when it’s offered and start to ask current med students to help me out. I’d give the basics of my financial life and ask what their experience has been. Pretty soon, you’ll find someone with similar financial background who can tell you what happened to them. Bingo!
That’s a much easier way to do this than to try to figure out how to pay for each individual medical school all up front. It’s just not worth the time.