What I see is the cost barrier. We’re not in the Top 10% of wage earners, yet even our med school son needs 6 digit loans to do med school and the first of those digits isn’t 1. Most of that is med school and living expenses. He’s not living it up. He shares a 2/1 apartment reducing his rent to $500/month. Part of it is the expensive tests, needing a decent wardrobe, and in non-Covid years, travel for interview residencies, etc.
We’ve mused many times including within the last week that I have no idea how those without significant means do it. He tells me many students scrimp to try to save - and this well into their 20s, for some, 30s. Next year he at least starts getting paid instead of taking out more loans, but it’s not a doctor’s salary for 4-5 more years.
It’s something we were aware of before he chose his path, so nothing new nor unexpected and he will work through it. It’s something he’s wanted to do since he was 8 (literally) and he enjoys it tremendously. He’s also very, very good at it based upon scores, patient, doctor, and peer reviews - currently interviewing at several top programs for residency. He’ll make it work and we help as we can, both in the past and future. But how does anyone with an average - or less - income even contemplate being able to follow his path?
On top of that, we’re in a statistically average school district. I work in that school district. I pulled him to homeschool starting in 7th grade because I didn’t see a way he could get the foundation he needed (and was capable of) at my school nor are there good private schools around us. I knew enough to get/provide a top notch high school education for him - and knew enough about our school, etc. How do “typical,” esp lower income, parents do this to even give their student the foundation to do as well in college as they need to for med school acceptance?
Lest anyone wonder (because people often do), I’ve asked him if he regrets homeschooling - he tells me he doesn’t. Nor did it make it difficult for him to go on to a Top 30 college socially or academically.