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Is it possible to graduate from college and med school debt free?

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Zemira! Medical school debt free can be difficult but you can ease up on college debt with a few tactics. First of all, you can take AP classes in high school and get the credits transferred and also take gen ed classes in community college as well. The first semester of college your schedule is assigned by an adviser based on your major, you can move it around but it is harder to adjust it. Afterwards you make your own schedule so you can decide what to take and when to take it; that being said if you can fill out gen ed classes with cc then that would be feasible. In addition, although it isn't highly recommended to take important science classes like for premed courses at cc, if you need to take one or two over the summer I would recommend to do it at cc. The cost is much cheaper than at large institutions and the benefits are the same, just remember to keep it minimal no more than maybe two. Also if you could find a part time job on campus through work-study when applying for FAFSA or in general, because there are many opportunities for students to make extra cash which can help with books. The financial aid office can help as well; they have ton of information and make sure to take out loans as a last resort and if you do go for federal first! Federal loans have very low interest and the subsidized federal loans are better because the interest is paid as long as you are in school. The link below gives more information about FAFSA loans!

Best of luck!

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Thanks Yasemin G! Zemira M.

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi, Zemira!

If you're concerned about the rising costs of higher education and want to graduate with as little debt as possible, there are ways to ensure that. Going completely debt free? may be a little trickier.

Choosing the path toward your undergraduate education based on cost might be attending a community college before enrolling in a four-year school. Pursuing admissions into a college that offers full-ride scholarships could also be an option for your undergraduate experience.

As for medical school, there are programs that would allow you to attend school with and "earn back" the cost of attendance by working upon graduation in different areas of the country that need medical personnel. For example, https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/pay-medical-school-through-service/.

I use four factors when encouraging students to make decisions about finding an institution that would be a good fit: academic, social, financial, and career. Based on your situation, you may want to prioritize these factors in determining which colleges would be best for you.

Thank you, much appreciated! Zemira M.

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Trevor’s Answer

You can go through the military and they will pay for med school. However, you have to work for them for a few years (I think it is a 4-year commitment) in return. My father in law did this and he is now doing very well as an emergency surgeon.

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Karina’s Answer

Hi Zemira,

I have a BS and Associates and zero debt. The Air National Guard has paid for my college. I’m on track to get my Master with little to no loans at all.
Don’t waste your time/money going straight to a 4 yr college for general ed courses. Look for more economical ways, while attending accredited colleges.

Thank you! Zemira M.