Med: Cushy Scholarship

August 5, 2007

I must admit…when I see Clegal writing about the cost of law school, I begin to feel a bit guilty. Granted, I don’t feel TOO bad since he’s heading to Harvard Law–but comparatively my education cost is a bit of a steal (at least this year). No, med school isn’t cheaper than law school–and is in fact one year longer–but I manged to lockdown a pretty damn good scholarship.

Because I’m heading to my in-state public school, I was able to apply for the “Illinois General Assembly Scholarship.” Basically, each Illinois State Senator and Representative gets eight one-year Tuition Waivers to hand out to their constituents. Even better, they generally reserve a few of them for graduate school students–so the competition for this scholarship consisted only of students in my immediate state congressional district attending in-state public graduate schools. In other words–not a terribly large pool.

Also, because it’s a Tuition Waiver–and not just a dollar amount scholarship–there’s no cap on the amount that recipients are awarded. For example, a student attending NIU that received this scholarship will see a benefit of roughly $5,000 (one year’s tuition), whereas my scholarship values is upwards of $26,000. That’s a nice chunk of my future potential debt.

That “future potential debt” figure for me has taken quite a plunge since I was first accepted to medical school. My first acceptance came from a private school in Northern Illinois that was quite (and overly) expensive. I’m talking around $64,000 for the annual budget. At the time, however, it was my only acceptance, so I needed to just shrug my shoulders and say “whatever, i need to take on the debt.” Furthermore, I would not have been eligible for the scholarship because it isn’t a public school. About a month later I got into UIC (Annual budget $42,000), and I made the (easy) decision that I would be going there for medical school. All in all, I’ve saved roughly $120,000 from what I could have been paying for school–I’ll take it.

And who knows…i CAN apply for the scholarship every year. How’s that for added motivation?

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