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Is Drexel Medical School Tuition Actually Worth It?

If the Drexel University College of Medicine is on your list of possible graduate programs, then you’ll want to hear about the true cost of attendance. There is a disparity in the ticket price of tuition and the reported amount of student loan debt. Drexel medical school might make your dream of becoming a physician possible, but the cost could spoil the dream.

Drexel medical school tuition cost

Drexel University College of Medicine’s tuition for a full-time student in 2019-2020 is $29,053 for one semester. There is also a general fee charged each semester of $838. That makes a total of $30,729 per semester. For one academic year, it’s approximately $61,458. This is reported on one section of the website, but digging further into the program yields different results.

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) program takes four years to complete. The tuition for any school will change year to year. Because of this, Drexel College of Medicine lists out the tuition for each year.

Tuition and university fees only for Drexel medical school 2019-2020

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
$59,820$59,782$59,782$59,782

The total cost for Drexel medical school tuition and university fees is $239,166. But this number doesn’t include:

  • Loan origination fees
  • Health insurance
  • Exams and review materials
  • Residency interviews
  • Cost-of-living expenses

The total estimated cost of attendance for each year is significantly more when these expenses are factored in.

Total estimated Drexel Medical School cost of attendance for 2019-2020

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
$83,821$84,313$89,734$88,832

The total cost of attendance for Drexel University medical school is $346,700 — a stark difference between the reported cost per term and reported tuition for the program.

If you were to only review the full-time student tuition, you would think the total cost would be $245,832, almost $100,000 less than the actual cost of the MD program. It’s this lack of clarity that brings physicians to Student Loan Planner® consultants after leaving grad school. Much of this ticket price is taken out in student loans.

Reported debt for Drexel University College of Medicine students

The College Scorecard data released by the Department of Education reports that the average debt for a graduate from Drexel medical school is $85,358. When the total program cost is about $347,000 this number isn’t matching up.

That’s because the number is the mean. This is the average for all grads, including those getting more financial help.

The number that is more reflective of the actual debt you take on in the program is the median debt reported on the College Scorecard. This number is $263,067. The reason this number is more accurate is that those who have significantly fewer student loans aren’t skewing the statistic, which is why it’s important to compare the mean and the median. The College Scorecard average debt is $85,358, whereas the College Scorecard median debt is $263,067.

There is a similar debt average reported by U.S. News and World Report. You won’t find it on Drexel’s U.S. News ranking page unless you pay for more access. Instead, you can find this number by looking at the list of high-debt medical schools. There, you’ll find that Drexel University College of Medicine is sixth on the list with an average student loan debt toll of $248,963 in 2018.

Even so, that average debt is out of date. It also doesn’t account for inflation or interest over the years you attend medical school.

When looking at any four-year projections for medical school, you should factor in that:

  • Tuition will rise on average 3% each year.
  • Cost-of-living inflation will rise just under 3% each year.
  • Your Unsubsidized Stafford loans (6.08%) and PLUS loans (7.08%) will accrue interest while you are in school.

This means that year four is going to cost much more than what is projected.

It’s safe to say that you’ll be leaving Drexel medical school with six figures of student loan debt. If you also took on student loan debt for your undergrad degree, your total debt could easily reach more than $300,000.

Why does Drexel medical school have a gap in reported debt?

The amount of debt taken on by students attending Drexel medical school is significant. The average debt on the College Scorecard is below six figures because it accounts for those who:

  • Received parental financial support
  • Received spousal financial support
  • Have additional grants
  • Have family money to fund education

It could also be a combination of these things or leaving undergrad without student debt. If this isn’t your situation, then the average debt doesn’t apply to you.

If you’re still considering Drexel University College of Medicine, then you need to look at the following factors instead of the average debt to get a clearer picture of the overall cost of attending:

  • Cost of attendance for all four years (not just cost of tuition)
  • Expected tuition and cost-of-living inflation over the time you attend
  • The amount of money you can personally contribute
  • Whether you can get any scholarships or grants to offset costs
  • The amount of undergraduate debt you’re bringing with you
  • The approximate amount of student loans you’ll need to take out
  • How much in interest those loans will accrue

Lastly, compare the cost of medical school with the physician’s job outlook. By doing this you can figure out if Drexel medical school is worth it for you.

What’s the future for Drexel medical school grads?

Ninety-six percent of Drexel University graduates are working or enrolled in further educational programs. This is a good sign for a private university. The physician job outlook is also positive.

The need for physicians is on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS reports the employment of physicians and surgeons will grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028. Not only this, but the Association of American Medical Colleges reports a serious shortage of physicians in the next few years due to an aging population and retiring doctors.

Your job prospects as a physician are good. And with the average salary for a physician at $208,000, you can find a way to strategically pay off your medical school loans.

Does it make sense to attend Drexel medical school?

There are cheaper medical schools compared to Drexel College of Medicine. If you can find an in-state public college you’re almost guaranteed to pay less.

That said, if you still have your eyes set on Drexel medical school, then you have a few different ways you can try to pay for it. You can choose to:

  • Pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You can start as soon as you enter residency at a non-profit hospital. After 10 years of work and qualifying payments, you may be eligible for forgiveness.
  • Go for Income-Driven Repayment plan forgiveness. Pay the least amount possible for 20 to 25 years and then receive loan forgiveness. You will pay taxes on the forgiven amount.
  • Refinance your student loans. Specialize in a high-paying area and refinance your student loans for aggressive payoff.

The plan you pick depends on where you end up completing your residency, what field you plan to work in and how much student loan debt you take on while in medical school.

If you choose the right student loan debt plan, then you are more likely to be able to afford medical school. Before taking on six figures of medical school debt, consider talking to a professional on our team. We offer a pre-debt consultation specifically for those investigating grad school but also wanting a plan for the student loans that come with it.

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