Sunday, April 6, 2008

Financial Woes Before Matriculation


With a letter of acceptance in my hands and only two weeks from the date of its arrival, I had to decide whether Touro was the school for me. One week passed and the deadline continued to approach ever so quickly. I faxed my letter of intent to the office of admissions; confirming my decision to attend TUCOM in the fall.

If only it was that simple. Just when I thought I was done, in order to show them proof of my desire to attend, I had to make a sort of down payment, that would "reserve" my seat. That wouldn't have been so bad if it were pocket change; it cost $2000. Lucky for me I had enough in my savings account to meet the demand and still eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch! Can you see me smiling? You know the big cheesy grin that says, 'I can't believe I just spent so much money and to think this is only a fraction of the cost.' At least this goes towards my tuition.

A couple days later, still eating PB&J for lunch and loving every moment of it, I received more letters of felicitation emailed to my inbox. They were well received until I realized it was time to get back to work. My "To Do" list just quadrupled in size... literally. I had just paid $2000 to find out it was time to spend more money.

  1. New this year, Touro is requiring all first year students to have a laptop. So if you own one, that's not really a problem. Unfortunately, I don't fall into that category. Now I'm on the hunt for a new way to spend another $2K, this time in the form of a mechanical box that is smarter than me. I am considering a tablet PC as it may offer functions more suitable to the classroom. (I could just write my notes on slides rather than type my own set in an outline) The appeal of a regular laptop is that I already know the major functions and could work efficiently from the start.
  2. All students are required to have medical insurance. This isn't really something new, just that it means I have to look for insurance again as I will be leaving my current employer. They mentioned that there is an allotment of $2000 which I assume can be included in the cost of my loan to cover this expense. That is unless my wife has a job that comes with the proper benefits.
  3. Speaking of loans, in my mind this translates to debt. The school pointed me in the direction of an online loan counseling session. It is a program that defines the main points of loans, important definitions and some of the consequences if I fail to repay the borrowed money.
    • Certainly, the first place to start is with the FAFSA once your taxes are finished.
    • Next, look for independent scholarships to help reduce overall costs at FastWeb.
    • Specific to Touro and many other institutions is the online loan counseling.
    • It is recommended that you verify your credit report FREE for any inconsistencies.
  4. Before matriculation, I have to prove my health in the form of a physical. An immunization and medical history, if I can gather all that paperwork, is needed too.
  5. Perhaps only requested by Touro, one more copy of my undergraduate transcript showing that I really did attend college and meet the prerequisite requirements.
They informed me that I was placed on the mailing list for my graduating class of 2012. That should be really nice for study groups and other activities, should we ever have the time for a BBQ or something. After a little searching, I found my class had a group on Facebook and a forum at the Student Doctor Network. It's good to know I have a way to contact other students before even attending the school.

Now that I've officially declared my future full of debt, it's time to look at housing. To buy or not to buy... condo, townhouse, single family home. What lender is going to want me -- pretty soon I won't even own half of the assets I use!

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