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Is there such a things as "Aiming too low"?? Rejected for stats too high?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Crystaal, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. Crystaal

    Crystaal

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    I was curious... Is there such a thing as aiming "too low" when applying to medical schools? I've heard people say things like *not* to apply to only the lowest 20 schools (in terms of stats) if you have decent/average numbers, because those schools might think you are using them as a "safety" or something. I know, it sounds really stupid. My gut feels like this is bogus speculation on the part of neurotic premeds, but I was wondering what SDN thought.
    Personally, I have ~3.8//3.7//34 but I'm mostly looking at schools that have 3.6-3.7//3.5-3.6//29-33. I mean... Is there anything wrong with that or should I throw in some higher-stat schools?
  2. jokerman55

    jokerman55

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    Yes yes yes. Don't waste your money! I regret applying to GW & Tulane because they rejected me right off the bat (3.8 and 39 mcat)
  3. Crystaal

    Crystaal

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    Aiish, seriously?
    This process is going to give me ulcers.
  4. Dwan

    Dwan

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    It does make sense, most of the time people with stats like 3.8/39 are just using those types of schools as "safeties."
  5. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor

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    You were not rejected from Tulane because your stats were too high. Had you matched the mission of Tulane and been accepted you likely would have gotten an academic merit scholarship to boot.

    The number of applicants to any school is so much greater than the number of available positions that schools can create quite arbitrary mission statements and non-academic requirements. But nobody is going to be rejected from a school solely because their stats are 'too high'. SDN has this persistent rumor that mediocre stat medical schools deliberately screen out high stat applicants because, if accepted, they likely would not attend the school anyway. The fact of the matter is that mediocre stat schools generally have non academic mission statements and would be quite happy to accept high stat applicants that also meet the mission.

    Has anybody ever heard of an 'academically mediocre' scholarship?
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    The notion that schools reject folks with too high stats is totally a myth, propagated by folks who aren't willing to accept the fact that they simply weren't a "good fit" for the place they were statistically "too good for". In most (all) cases that same school will accept multiple people with higher stats than the person making these claims. You are not judged solely on your numbers, and won't be interesting to every program, no matter how good your numbers are.
  7. WorldChanger36

    WorldChanger36

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    No one gets rejected because their stats are too high. With that in mind your stats can change how schools looks at you. Keep in mind it is a significant investment of time and money to interview and try to accept people so school want to accept people that a) fit their program b) want to go to their school. If a school is mid tier and you are applying out of state, are not urm, has few of the attributes the school is looking for and did not apply EDP ( if available) it is a dead give away that the only thing you are applying on is your numbers. If you were truly interested in school X that you are two standards above their normal GPA and MCAT you would apply EDP but in reality you may like the school and you would go their if the other schools like Mayo, NYU and WashU tell you to kick rocks. So some schools will interview and accept you and some will reject you from the start. Get your MSAR and look at the stats averages for the school ( yes the averages not the median, you have to do a bit of math) if your stats are to standards above this, then look at the average amount of applicants if it is 10 to 12 thousand, you will have a very hard time beating out all the other people like you and the school is less likely to take a risk on you. However if the school is under 8 thousand and it is oos friendly you have a strong shot to get in because there are less peeps with your stats. Also always apply to all yes all of your in state schools if they show in state favorship regardless of their average stats.
  8. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    That's not really true. Schools yield protect since they don't want to interview people with no interest in the school.

    I don't think any school has a maximum GPA or MCAT, but I do think that if you're a couple of standard deviations above their average matriculant, you might get tossed without clear ties to the school/region.
  9. StriveForGlory

    StriveForGlory

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    Low-mid tier schools want to boost their numbers. So they would probably love to take everyone who is above their average. If they think you are a good fit they are going to accept you. And they will maybe give you a scholarship to seal the deal.

    However I think Cooper rejected people based on high stats last cycle. It was their first cycle, so I think they were scared of people with high stats matriculating elsewhere and wanted a secure first class. If you look at the class thread from last year a good number of high MCAT candidates got rejected without an interview. But this is probably a singular example and more indicative of new schools than well established ones.
  10. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    i also think that many rejections are despite high stats, not because of them. it's very difficult to get into med school for everyone and numbers aren't everything, although they are very important.
  11. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 2

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    Who is to say they didn't reject those "high stats" applicants because something else was missing from their application, namely a solid reason they would want to attend Cooper?
  12. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    I think that just proves L2D's point. I would consider being genuinely interested in the school a prerequisite for interviewing there and "fitting in." If I didn't think an applicant wasn't interested in the school I wouldn't want them interviewing there no matter what their stats. I think it has left to with yield protection and more to do with not wasting people's time.
  13. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Yes, but schools also take into account competitiveness of a candidate when evaluating the "interest level" of an applicant.

    It's not like the high GPA/high MCAT applicants are saying they don't really want to go (I'm sure they brown nose just as much as the mediocre students).

    Schools are inferring it based upon their credentials and likelihood of getting into an objectively better institution.
  14. MedBound1

    MedBound1

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    +1 to everyone saying that this is a myth.

    It's amazing that when people with really high stats get rejected from a in-state primary care oriented school they exclaim "I must've been too good for their stats!" when they have written all over their PS and secondary essays that they want to be a super-specialized research doc.

    You won't get your application tossed out if you show genuine interest for the school and it's mission, and this needs to reflect in everything you write for them.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  15. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    I think that certain schools definitely yield protect. My friend had a 4.0/40, did a mph at gw, and is doing global health/health policy as a career, and didn't even get an interview from GW. My other friend had similar stats, is dead set on urban EM and did TFA in an inner city, and got an immediate rejection post-secondary from BU (like 15 min after they submitted the secondary)

    I think BU took maybe an hour in my case so obviously they were carefully considering my app ;)
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    You might have to sell yourself a bit better as to why you want to go, but they aren't going to reject you because your numbers are too good. Most of the time folks with high stats can't hide the fact that they think they are too good for the school, that they are using it as a backup, and come off arrogant. Or they have no real reason or nexis as to why they want to attend such a school because they actually don't want to attend that school and have thus put very little thought into it. They get rejected for that arrogance, that unpreparedness, not their numbers. Someone else with the same stats who does a good job of selling themselves to that school and why they are interested will get in. Med school applications are like dating. This aspect is basically the same idea as a guy getting shot down by a gal and saying, she must be a lesbian -- just because she wasn't impressed by you doesn't mean somebody else can't close the deal.
    Giveypup likes this.
  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    without seeing their application I don't think this anecdotal example is meaningful. The PS, LORs, ECs, word of mouth etc have a lot to do with getting the interview too. Something easily could have rubbed a particular adcom the wrong way in terms of good fit, and the rejections could have nothing to do with numbers. There are definitely 4.0/40 types who attend each of BU and GW -- those are very popular locations for med school.
  18. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Obviously the 15 minutes was enough to read and carefully consider their application to see if it fit the school's mission, huh?
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Given the number of applications places get, 15 minutes per applicant isn't so crazy. Just means they were a pretty clear cut bad fit.
  20. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 2

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    Yeah...It makes a lot more sense that schools would use numbers alone to screen out top applicants who actually want to attend their school..... :rolleyes:
  21. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    BS. I reviewed apps for a high volume school, it takes much longer than 15 minutes if you're actually reading the entire application including letters and essays. You're also making the assumption that whoever is reading it picks it up the second it was submitted and reads it. I submitted mine at midnight on a Monday night (PST) and had a rejection by 1 AM PST. I'll bet any amount of money no one was sitting up at 3 AM in Boston reading my application.
  22. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    It's an easy way to pare down a huge list of applicants. Narrow your list to the group that will traditionally pick your school, pick the best of those, call it a day.

    As far as BU goes, I went to undergrad in Boston, my brother is a resident there; all things that would have been useful for them to know had they actually read my application :)
  23. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    Sounds like we've got another Jalby.

    (sent from my phone - please forgive typos)
  24. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    For those saying that people are coming across as arrogant or too good for a program, that's kind of ridiculous.

    Only the truly socially inept would make that kind of mistake, and while there are some of those applying to medical schools, the good schools reject them as well.

    The only thing "arrogant" about these types of applications are the high GPAs and high MCATs.

    The audacity!!
  25. MedBound1

    MedBound1

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    Contrary to what SDN believes, not everyone with a very high GPA/MCAT wants to go to a Top 20 research med school... and many don't.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  26. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    It doesn't bother me, I got into much better schools than BU. I just think it's a stupid philosophy. The only type of student BU seems to be able to select for their class over other schools appears to be murderers.
  27. MiracleforMD

    MiracleforMD

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    I have to admit, I kind of laughed at this notion.
  28. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    I'm not saying you can distinguish between all of them, but there are some that are clearly better (and faculty at the worse school would even agree, although maybe not publicly).
  29. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    lol
    [​IMG]
  30. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    wow that was like two years ago okay?
  31. OCDOCDOCD

    OCDOCDOCD

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    Speaking from anecdote, I had a roommate who had excellent stats. 3.95 GPA in physics/biology, 35 MCAT, and very good ECs. He even got interviewed by Harvard (didn't get in though). There was one time where he came back from an interview trip though where he complained that the first thing his interviewer had said was "Look, it's obvious we're your safety school, why do you really want to come here?" and that it had only gone further south from there. Unsurprisingly he didn't get accepted there either.

    So yes, it does happen, at least if you don't have a good reason for applying to a school whose average stats are well below yours.
  32. Thego2guy

    Thego2guy

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    lmao!! I shouldn't be laughing, but that did catch me off guard.
  33. MiracleforMD

    MiracleforMD

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    I agree 100%, but you have to admit that the word using the word "objective" there is "objectively" wrong. :laugh:
  34. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Nah, I used it intentionally since it can only apply between schools that have vast differences in resources where only a crazy person would argue against one being better than the other.

    There are a few school combinations where this is clearly true, eg Harvard vs that school in Puerto Rico that almost had its accreditation revoked.
  35. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Two murderers in 15 years. Coincidence? I think not.
  36. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Wait, there was another one?
  37. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Google Daniel Mason.
  38. MiracleforMD

    MiracleforMD

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    Fair.
  39. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    apparently a doctor in buffalo shot his ex-girlfriend then killed himself
    hm...
  40. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Was he a med student at the time? Didn't think so. Both BU ppl did it as 4th years...
  41. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    I thought 4th year was supposed to be low stress and chill.

    ...or is that a BU elective?
  42. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Where did Dexter go? (Yes, he is an MD on the show.)

    [​IMG]
  43. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    I don't think they say.

    But they do say he graduated top of his class...only to become a blood spatter analyst.

    My guess would be Miami. No way he could make it through the rigors of med school without Harry counseling him not to kill the gunners everyday.
  44. JustinMC

    JustinMC

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    By the holistic appl review, i assumed that they consider the applicant as a whole. numbers only matter to an extent.
  45. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    What does this even mean? I've looked at a dozen mission statements and they're all the same. Blah blah blah, compassionate patient care, blah blah, patient-centered education, blah blah, research that advances medical science, blah blah diversity. It's all the same.
  46. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor

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    +120
  47. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    gotta use your decoder ring bro.

    SDN gives you one if you become a "lifetime donor".
  48. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    You're just jealous.



    (kidding, for those who can't read between the lines. He's right)
  49. MedPR

    MedPR

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    Those are the median averages. So you're slightly above their median. It certainly doesn't mean you are too good for those schools (because you aren't). Those schools have a bunch of students with your stats, a bunch with slightly below the median, and then a handful way below and way above. That's how it works.

    Your GPA/MCAT aren't why they rejected you.
  50. kestralray

    kestralray

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    The general consensus seems to be that this is a total myth. I have heard this mentioned before about BU--that they either reject or wait-list (I'm not sure which, though I realize it's kind of a big difference) people with higher stats that they think are using them as safeties. Of course, this is hearsay. I don't really know. And they do get a ridiculous number of applications.

    I find it hard to believe that schools will outright reject high stat applicants, but I can imagine them wanting them to grovel and show their interest (via secondaries/letters) a bit more. Even back in high school I heard about colleges doing that.

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