I want to transfer but didn't get any financial aid. Help!!!

<p>I currently go to Rutgers which is a state school in New Jersey. So far my debt is around 40k and it will cost be about 17k to go there each additional year. I'm going into my junior year. I really hate it here because it's far too big for me and there is not a lot of individual attention. Therefore, I applied to a few schools last spring. I got waitlisted at Wesleyan and was recently accepted. However, they gave me no financial aid. </p>

<p>My EFC was around 60k, I think. However, it's misleading because I have three older sisters and we are in massive debt. We had to take out loans for their schools and my parents tried to keep their debt from getting out of control by paying the interest.</p>

<p>I received some subsidized loans at Rutgers last year when my sisters were in school. This year, however, they all graduated so they weren't included in the FAFSA. The monthly payments are going to be ridiculous for their college debt and my parents simply can't help me out financially.</p>

<p>I will need be completely responsible for the 55k/year if I decide to go. This will mean major debt for me after I graduate. I'm also thinking about going to med school.</p>

<p>Do you think I could possibly talk to Wesleyan to get some aid? If I don't get any, would it still be worth it to go there? FML.</p>

<p>No to both questions. Unfortunately no college will give someone with a $60K EFC aid because of debt that isn't medical. And no school is worth that much debt. Doctor's salaries are going down. Big debt for undergrad and grad will cripple you for 20 years.</p>

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My EFC was around 60k, I think. However, it's misleading because I have three older sisters and we are in massive debt. We had to take out loans for their schools and my parents tried to keep their debt from getting out of control by paying the interest.

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<p>The FAFSA does not take into account your debt, although some schools will make modifications for the purposes of their aid based on things like huge medical bills or something really awful and extraordinary like that. The FAFSA does take into account how many siblings you have in college by dividing the EFC based on the number of kids in college at once; if you have $60,000 individual EFC with 4 people in college then either your parents have a high income, significant assets, or there was some sort of mistake. And as you said, after your sisters graduate they and their student debt won't be taken into account either by the FAFSA.</p>

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Do you think I could possibly talk to Wesleyan to get some aid? If I don't get any, would it still be worth it to go there? FML.

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<p>It's always worth a shot. Your financial aid appeal letter could make mention of your parents' financial situation and any other details that might be pertinent. However, they might not give you enough to meet your need and they might not increase your aid package at all, especially since you are a transfer. In that case, I'm not sure that I can recommend trying to go there. </p>

<p>You mentioned that you were going to med school after this. If you really want to go to medical school, you do NOT want to borrow all the money you can borrow now for an expensive undergraduate school. It makes much more sense to go to a cheaper school for undergrad (since it doesn't matter that much where you go) and then save your resources to go to a more prestigious or expensive medical school. One problem that you might run into is that you might destroy your credit by taking out huge loans in undergrad and then not be able to afford to go to medical school at all because you won't be able to qualify for future loans. You will also be in trouble trying to pay back on all of those loans. </p>

<p>Unless Wesleyan comes through with significant aid in the form of grants (which is unlikely; they promise to meet full need but they only promise to meet full need without loans for families making under $40,000/yearly but I don't think your family meets that criteria), I wouldn't pin my hopes to that school.</p>

<p>Agree with Redroses.</p>

<p>And, hopefully, the OP's post will be a note to many who have multiple children to put thru college. Taking out a bunch of debt for the older siblings can mean big problems for the younger ones. </p>

<p>I hope your sisters will be helping your parents pay back the debts incurred for their education since you will have to pay for your debts.</p>

<p>Stay at Rutgers ...you have med school to pay for!</p>

<p>Even as is, graduating Rutgers you will have almost 80K in debt (40K + 17K + 17K). That's pretty insane already. It sounds like Wesleyan you would graduate with almost 150K in debt. You need to be realistic -- 150K is not "twice as hard" to pay back as 80K -- it is exponentially harder to pay back because at some point debt goes from being barely manageable to actually crippling your every future option.</p>

<p>Play with debt calculators.</p>

<p>80K paid off over 20 years
$610/month
Interest paid on top of original loan: 66K !!!</p>

<p>150K paid off over 20 years
$1,145/month
Interest paid on top of original loan: 124K !!!! (REAL COST is your loan plus interest - REAL COST OF FINISHING AT WESLEYAN is 274K!)</p>

<p>Sorry. You aren't the only person out there having to look away from the pricey universities. W makes Rutgers look like a real deal right now, when in reality the 80K in debt is way too much to have paid for your undergrad.</p>

<p>It's not "misleading." Financial aid calculators don't consider your family's personal debt; they consider that to be a personal decision that you and your family need to deal with.</p>

<p>You can try to appeal your decision at Wesleyan but it's unlikely that you'll get anything extra. If you don't, it is definitely not worth it to borrow $55K per year - that's $110K on top of the $40K you already borrowed. You probably won't even be able to borrow that much (you'd need cosigners, and if your parents already have a high debt load they might not be eligible anyway). Use a loan calculator. Even if you got 30 years to pay it back (which many private loan corporations will give you) you'll be paying nearly $1,000 a month for 30 years. You'd need to make almost six figures to pay all that back. And that's before you even take on any debt for medical school.</p>

<p>But if you're planning to go to med school it doesn't matter where you go to undergrad, anyway. If you go to a reasonably decent place (Rutgers counts) and take the required courses, do well, get a high GPA, score well on the MCATS and get some medical experience (volunteer, shadow a doctor, do a medical research program over the summer, etc.) you'll be fine.</p>

<p>You know, on top of the college admissions things that hs counselors have with their students telling them to reach for their dreams and all that mess, I wish they had realistic conferences with their students addressing issues such as the cost of school and what debt really means, what starting salaries are like in fields, thinking long-term (like sharing the wisdom that undergrad degrees don't really matter for doctors!), etc. I think it'd save a lot of heartbreak in April and May.</p>

<p>I understand what most of you are saying. Anyone have any experiences or stories to share? What if I get a part time job and start paying off the debt before I graduate? Is this possible? There must be other ways to not make the debt so humongous.</p>

<p>One thing though: why do people keep saying it doesn't matter where you go for undergrad if you are going to med school? I always hear this but don't really get it. Don't the opportunities you have available matter? Don't the experiences you gain and the person you become matter?</p>

<p>What if I get a part time job and start paying off the debt before I graduate?</p>

<p>Frankly, you should be doing that already to minimize your Rutgers debt which is already too big - especially for someone who will be med school bound.</p>

<p>One thing though: why do people keep saying it doesn't matter where you go for undergrad if you are going to med school? I always hear this but don't really get it. Don't the opportunities you have available matter? Don't the experiences you gain and the person you become matter?</p>

<p>Not really. And, certainly not worth even more crushing debt. What will matter is your GPA and your MCAT scores.</p>

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One thing though: why do people keep saying it doesn't matter where you go for undergrad if you are going to med school? I always hear this but don't really get it. Don't the opportunities you have available matter? Don't the experiences you gain and the person you become matter?

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<p>The experiences you gain and the person you become matter, but it's a mistake to think that Wesleyan will make that much of a difference at the core of who you are. The opportunities you have available don't matter as much as your willingness to take advantage of them, and someone who is really driven and determined will excel anywhere. As mom2 said, what you're looking for a high GPA and great MCAT scores. Medical school is not quite as numbers-oriented as law school in my experience but the prestige of your undergraduate school is simply not that important. It's certainly not worth hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt.</p>

<p>
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Is this possible? There must be other ways to not make the debt so humongous.

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<p>What kind of jobs are available in your area? I lived in the DC metropolitan area; the job market for teenagers and college students wasn't that great; the part-time job that I had -- in addition to work-study -- did not pay that much. The interest payments on a private student loan for $55,000 alone would have devoured the greater portion of my wages.</p>

<p>My main concern at this point actually isn't the crushing debt; I don't see how you will qualify for a private student loan above and beyond your federal student loan. If your parents have really high levels of debt, they might not be able to cosign a loan for you and then you simply won't have even the option of attending Wesleyan with a lot of debt. It might not even be possible.</p>

<p>*My main concern at this point actually isn't the crushing debt; I don't see how you will qualify for a private student loan above and beyond your federal student loan. If your parents have really high levels of debt, they might not be able to cosign a loan for you and then you simply won't have even the option of attending Wesleyan with a lot of debt. It might not even be possible. *</p>

<p>Very true. And, how is this student going to get loans for med school? The max federal loans for undergrad + med school is $224k. </p>

<p>That's why the current debt needs to be reduced thru working.</p>

<p>One thing though: why do people keep saying it doesn't matter where you go for undergrad if you are going to med school? I always hear this but don't really get it. Don't the opportunities you have available matter? Don't the experiences you gain and the person you become matter?</p>

<p>Indirectly, yes. What I meant was, the name of your school - whether you went to Rutgers or Wesleyan - won't matter enough to make a difference in your direct admittance. The opportunities you have available matter of course, but Rutgers is a huge university with many, many opportunities to gain medical experience. Not only that, but if you are in New Brunswick you're only an hour from New York and an hour from Philadelphia, where many great medical schools exist for you to do research or speak with medical school professors or something. Most REU programs for the summer and other medical ed programs for the summer are open to kids regardless of university.</p>

<p>What I'm saying is, Rutgers is at about the same place on the national universities rankings as my undergraduate alma mater is on the liberal arts colleges rankings. I'm at Columbia for my PhD, which is in the top 10 in my field. I'm on the medical campus, and I know health professional students (including medical students) from a wide range of colleges, from places like Wesleyan to places like Rutgers to places I've never heard of before.</p>

<p>Your life, and the kind of person you become, are far more largely determined by you than where you went to university. You can make opportunities and things happen for you where you are now. If the big school environment is bothering you, start small study groups with other motivated, driven pre-med students to encourage each other. If you feel you're not getting enough individual attention, visit with professors during their office hours to get extra help. I'm sure there are tutoring resource centers at Rutgers; take advantage of those. Hook up with more advanced students who have taken the MCAT already or are preparing for medical school admissions and chat with them. You can create a more nurturing and close-knit environment for yourself on your campus.</p>

<p>But if what you really wanted was a smaller college-like environment, why didn't you apply to in-state resources for that? The College of New Jersey is a public liberal arts college; it's much smaller than Rutgers (enrollment is 5600) and it's ranked #5 of master's universities in the north by U.S. News, so it's highly regarded. Their retention rates are high and their admitted students' SAT scores are pretty high, too. Perhaps you did apply there, I don't know.</p>

<p>I got rejected from TCNJ out of high school and missed their deadline when looking to transfer (February 15th!?). Of course I would have preferred to go there. Rutgers is just not a great place if you want to learn or be premed in my opinion.</p>

<p>I already have a job this summer and few thousand dollars in my savings account from previous ones. I bet I could have at least 10,000 dollars by the end of the summer to put towards tuition. Then I could get a job during the school year and make at least 5,000. Then make 5,000 during the next summer and 5,000 my senior year.</p>

<p>I can take a gap year before medical school and try to get a job. Maybe I can make 40,000 with a full time job salary. By that time, my debt will be reduced significantly (65,000 all together)! You guys think this would work? I'll have ~85,000 in debt before going to med school if you do the numbers.</p>

<p>*I'll have ~85,000 in debt before going to med school if you do the numbers. *</p>

<p>Yikes! </p>

<p>And won't you need over $200k more for med school? Do you have any idea what your monthly payments will be? Keep in mind that these debts will be growing (accruing interest) while you're in school. So, you could easily graduate from med school with over $300k in debt. </p>

<p>Just to give you an idea....</p>

<p>Loan Calculator
**
Loan Balance: $300,000.00**
Adjusted Loan Balance: $300,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 9.80%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 10 years</p>

<pre><code>Monthly Loan Payment: $3,931.37
Number of Payments: 120

Cumulative Payments: $471,764.71
Total Interest Paid: $171,764.71
</code></pre>

<p>Do you really think a young doctor can afford to make monthly payments of $4,000 per month for 10 LONG years???</p>

<p>Will it really cost that much to go to medical school? Why is the interest rate so high? Maybe taking another gap year will help? Perhaps I can win the lottery...</p>

<p>Do you think I should call the Wesleyan advisors and ask them if it's worth it? Has anyone ever done that before?</p>

<p>Med schools are so hard to get into that I don't think many who can get a spot risk gap years. And if you wait to apply, you'd probably need to take a low paying research job to keep med school prospects alive.</p>

<p>Do your parents plan to help pay back your loans too?</p>

<p>*Will it really cost that much to go to medical school? *</p>

<p>Well, let's look at the facts....</p>

<p>The COA for med schools (public and private) is about $45k-70k per YEAR. So, for 4 years, you'll be looking at $200k+ </p>

<p>Why does that surprise you? You're thinking of paying $50k per year for undergrad. Med school costs more than undergrad. </p>

<p>Why is the interest rate so high? Maybe taking another gap year will help? Perhaps I can win the lottery... *</p>

<p>The interest rate is so high because you're taking out loans that aren't fed student loans. </p>

<p>So far, you've been borrowing more than the federal student limits. (you've borrowed $40k for 2 years) What rate are you paying for those additional loans?</p>

<p>You need to have a heart to heart with your parents. If they are paying for your siblings' loans, but not yours, then that's not fair. If anything, your siblings need to pay their fair share of the loans taken out for their education.</p>

<p>Redroses, many medical students take gap years nowadays. It's becoming a lot more acceptable for older medical students to return to school after a successful career doing something else. </p>

<p>OP, it would take you more than one gap year at $40,000 to pay down your loans. I don't know where you are getting $85,000...if you transfer to Wesleyan and finance the entire $55,000 per year in loans (if you can even get loans for that much), that's $110,000. Add that to the $40,000 you already have, and that's $150,000.</p>

<p>If you are given a 10-year repayment period, assuming an average interest rate of around 8.25%, you'd be expected to pay over $1,800 a MONTH on those loans. It's impossible for that total to all be Stafford loans so you're not eligible for income-based repayment on the majority of that. There's no way you can afford to pay $1,800 a month with $40,000 salary. Even if they gave you extended repayment of 30 years (some lenders will) that's still over $1,100 a month. You can't choose how much per month you want to repay your lenders; they set it for you.</p>

<p>Even let's say you stayed at Rutgers and added $34,000 to your already $40,000 borrowed. That's $74,000. With a 30-year repayment you're going to be paying back $555 a month, which will still be a struggle on $40,000.</p>

<p>What I'm saying is a gap year <em>may</em> not be the best plan.</p>

<p>I agree with M2CK, you need to sit down and crunch these numbers. Right now Wesleyan is not looking financially feasible for you - even if you weren't planning on going to medical school it wouldn't be, but with the med school plans it becomes even less of a good idea.</p>

<p>The non-federal loans we have are 8% or less interest.</p>

<p>The more I think about it, the more I think it could work. Won't med schools also give me financial aid? My sister got more aid from graduate school because she had high monthly payments. Do most students end up paying the sticker price for med school?</p>

<p>You said I'll graduate med school with around 300k in debt. I think this estimate is too high. First, I'll be working throughout med school and, second, I bet they'll give me some kind of financial aid. My parents said they'll help me pay off the monthly payments once I graduate also.</p>

<p>I really am just hoping there is a way this could work. I know it's not the most rational decision on paper but could it work? Is it possible? It's not like I'm going to Wesleyan for all 4 years - just 2!</p>

<p>I really appreciate this btw!</p>

<p>*Won't med schools also give me financial aid? *</p>

<p>Do you mean free money? No. Grad school is very different from med school. Students pay for their own med school either with cash or loans.</p>

<p>Do most students end up paying the sticker price for med school?</p>

<p>Yes.</p>

<p>And, people can't earn that much while in med school....typically, you'll only be able to earn spending money, clothing, entertainment, and car costs.</p>