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200k Debt ?

Nimarc66Nimarc66 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited March 2011 in Northeastern University
So of course like the many other students on this forum I see NU as my first choice college. Unfortunately my parents are unable to contribute at all in paying for college, and I received very little financial aid. Meaning I'll have to take out private loans. I am planning to graduate in 4 yrs so hypothetically that's 50k per semester meaning 200 k in private loans. Then I hope to enter Med School which could mean another 200k. So I am walking out of all my schooling with 400k debt. Is that worth it? I could always go to a college like Stony Brook pay about 40k for schooling. But I hated Stony Brook when I visited and couldn't really see me enjoying it there. I mean I know if I go to NU I'll be happy, but I am worried with being overwhelmed with debt. I know many other doctors who racked up that much debt and told me it wasn't a problem for them, but it still worries me a little. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Post edited by Nimarc66 on

Replies to: 200k Debt ?

  • polarscribepolarscribe Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    In a single word: No.

    Do you really understand what you're talking about doing? Borrowing close to half a million dollars in total - something you can't even do without parental cosigners. That would mean your parents have to agree to be responsible for the loans if you can't pay them - which could drive them into bankruptcy. If they can't afford to pay $50,000 a year now, what makes you think they could (or would) borrow that much?

    With interest, you're talking about maybe $600,000. Your monthly payments will be $5,000 over 10 years. Stretch to 20 and you might be paying $750,000. Even if you become a doctor, you won't be able to afford a house, a new car, vacations or much of anything, for that matter. You will be under an insane amount of debt for the majority of your life.

    Find a cheaper school. No university is worth $50,000 a year - not least if you're borrowing every penny.
  • wilberry228wilberry228 Registered User Posts: 396 Member
    Unfortunately I think polarscribe is right. My daughter looked at several schools and in her case, NU worked out to be the cheapest. The other schools would have caused us to borrow at least some of the $50K a year for schools that offered her nothing.

    If NU had not offered her anything, I don't think we would have chosen it despite all the bells and whistles. One thing you have to consider is where will it get you - if you think you'll make the money to pay it off, then perhaps it's a good investment. I don't know that you can know that you will be immediately successful as a doctor. I know doctors who are still struggling to pay off loans because they put themselves through school. Not everyone can be a 7 figure neurosurgeon.

    Stony Brook is not a bad option if it is that much cheaper, but are those your only two choices? Can you work to make up some of the money? I would prefer to borrow the money mainly for the med school - since that is the part that will return the investment.
  • StevieTopSidersStevieTopSiders Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Why is college so expensive? Universities charge insane amounts of money to the people who can least afford it: stiludents...

    @OP: I think that, in this situation, you should go to Stony Brook. If you study hard and do well, you can get into a good med school, which seems more important than undergrad. Plus, you will have a molehill of debt, not a mountain.
  • neuchimieneuchimie Registered User Posts: 1,562 Senior Member
    Usually it's agreed that if you have your sights set on an expensive grad school (like going to medical school) you should limit the costs of undergrad as much as possible. Not only would the loans you take in college be a lot, but they'd also be gaining interest for 4 to 8 years (while you're in college and then grad school) before you'd even start to pay them off.
  • Emily2007Emily2007 Registered User Posts: 981 Member
    You say that you'll be happy at NU, and that might be true. NU is fun, I like it a lot. But where you go to college is not the be-all-end-all. Lots of schools are fun, and you can do well at lots of schools.

    I get the "first choice" thing. I get that at 18, you see yourself happy at a college and you just want to go there. But life doesn't end when you graduate college.

    Being 23 is awesome. You have freedom and opportunity and you can kinda do whatever you want. You're going to want to go on crazy trips with your friends, you're going to want to travel, and go to bars, and pay WAY too much those baller raybans (not that I know anything about that...), and live in a non-gross apartment close to the T, or move to a new city, or buy a car. Debt puts a huge damper on fun. Being on a super tight budget is tough. A good amount of NU students can relate to that. There's a lot of freedom that comes with having a little money, and by being that far in debt and that broke, you're going to have to sacrifice a lot of that fun stuff that comes with being older.

    Honestly, I don't think it's always the best decision to choose Dream School X over Other School Y if it means lotsa debt. You may love your four (or five) years, but there's still a lot of life left over after that, and life starts to get a lot more expensive.

    Oh man, 200k in debt is so so much debt. Med school, sure, easy, big loans are a part of being a doctor and 200k of med school debt will be paid off someday (maybe when you're 40... but it'll get paid and you'll have a comfortable living off your salary even with loan payments). But 400k, man, that's like major major broke.

    Carefully consider how much debt you'll actually accumulate. I don't know anyone who actually took out THAT much in debt, and to rack up 200k means NO grants, not paying anything out of pocket, plus some hefty living expenses (the poors of NU, like me, often move off-campus where rent is sorta bearable and eat lotsa ramen and don't buy TOO many pairs of ray bans). Consider all your options, and try to figure out what's really best in the long run--not just what's best for the next 4/5 years.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,380 Senior Member
    I'm not sure you could even get $200K private loans. But if you could...to me it sounds crazy... especially with plans for grad school.
  • vmarc2011vmarc2011 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I remember having this same dilemma a few months back, before I was wait-listed sadly. I want to be a doctor too, and NU and Boston would be a dream, and only in a dream would I be able to afford it. I want to live in Boston sooooooo bad, I'm still waiting on BU (my back-up plan) and their decision letters. But I'm not going regardless of what they say, because I can't afford it. I really wish I was filthy rich so i could pay for the schooling myself. The fact of the matter is even though I really don't want to go to a school that is offering me a full scholarship, it all comes down to the money. I would be absolutely happy in Boston! But I guess I will have to save that for graduate school, nothing is going to stop me from going to graduate school there lol. But don't do it, I think if you go to NU you will only worry about that debt looming over your head. I used to say you can't put a price on fun to persuade myself into thinking taking that amount of money is okay. It is not. Even though I'm telling you this, I'm still having trouble accepting the fact that I am going to another university, but you have the rest of your life outside of the 5 years at NU, and I just don't think 200k is wise choice for 5 supposedly fun years.
  • WiseGuy57WiseGuy57 Registered User Posts: 204 Junior Member
    My advice- go where you can afford. If you're going on to get a higher degree, then where you receive your undergraduate degree doesn't matter as much as what you do during your time as an undergraduate. More expensive schools may offer more opportunities, but opportunities still exist elsewhere, you just have to look harder for them.
  • upcomingseniorupcomingsenior Registered User Posts: 134 Junior Member
    NO!! that's almost half a million in loans! if you have your heart set on medical school, i would go to the least expensive school you've gotten into. or at least one that is cheaper but still a good school. what schools have you gotten into?
  • Nimarc66Nimarc66 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I decided to go to Penn State University Park. I visited and it was great. So many people so many different things to do, I'm sure I'll be happy. Thanks again!
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