Hi all, in a bit of a dilemma here:
This is my third year applying to both Canadian and US schools. I was accepted to 2 US schools last year and this 1 so far this year, but I decided to try again for Canadian schools one more time last year because of the financial impact of studying in the US. I did not interview at any Canadian schools last year, and am losing hope for this year day by day as I am likely not competitive (transferred between 2 undergrads and took 6 years to complete).
Anyways, I interviewed at 4 US schools in December and have been accepted to 1 so far. I am tired of putting my life on hold, and have decided to make up my mind this year. Problem is, the 4 years will cost OVER $430 000 based on current cost of attendance, projected tuition increases, and the abysmal exchange rate. Is it even worth going into dentistry with that much debt? I am most likely not interested in specializing, but am willing to practice in rural and underserved areas (would prefer it even, I hate the extremely competitive and borderline fraudulent nature of dental practice in urban areas). However, realistically, I would still be making under $200K for the majority of my career, probably closer to $120K maximum after tax. With interest, I would be likely be paying off my debt for over 18-20 years if I choose to live comfortably, and I don't even know what I would do for retirement.
I am only having second thoughts about this issue because one of my ECs has been with the local RCMP detachment where I've been volunteering as an auxiliary officer. I have excellent connections and references from the force, and I would have an excellent chance of getting hired as a constable. I know several who make $100K+ with overtime before taxes, and the pension is a massive bonus. I'm genuinely conflicted about both careers. I'm South Asian, so my parents and family are strongly pressuring me to go with dentistry, saying that I can easily pay the loans back in a few years (LOL) and that I am greatly overqualified for policing. They are extremely stubborn and I cannot make them understand how long I'll be slaving away to pay my debt while living like a student. I love dentistry and working with my hands, but I just don't know what the future holds, especially with the number of dentists passing the equivalency test from Asian and African countries and working for pennies over here and the attitude the government/insurance companies and the public have towards dental professionals. I also want to maintain a positive relationship with my family, and I don't think that would be possible if I gave up the opportunity to go to dental school to be a cop.
What would you do?