What did your status page say?

  • Tier 1 + invite to Penn preview

    Votes: 5 6.8%
  • Tier 1 + you will be considered for admission very early

    Votes: 2 2.7%
  • "Regular" Tier 1

    Votes: 63 85.1%
  • Tier 2

    Votes: 4 5.4%

  • Total voters
    74
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mdeast

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Just out curiousity...I'm copying last year's thread since deciding this afternoon that I still really want to go to Penn. Discuss away.

A place for those of us living in waitlist limbo to share info, feedback, and suggestions.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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So I guess you would you say you prefer Penn over Stanford?

At least Penn seems open to LOIs/updates/acknowledging our existence. :laugh:
That's a toss up (and it'll depend on who you are). I will say this...after visiting Stanford, almost every other medical school program in the nation seems like it has some catching up to do. They are resource overloaded (there's so much money available and people wanting you to use it) and one of the few schools that really actively supports interdisciplinary supports to a real meaningful degree. How 'bout a BioDesign course that combines law students, med students, business students, and grad students for making new innovative biomed solutions that often emerge as real products from the class? I was impressed by the Stanford med students more so than students I met at any other school.

Having said that, Philly is so infinitely >>>>>> Palo Alto for me that I'd take Penn over Stanford personally. It's hard to argue that Penn's curriculum isn't awesome as well. I think Stanford might have a slightly superior program because of all the monetary support and real, seamless access to it's research and grad school community (Stanford Law and Business), but the feel and culture of Penn and Philly mold better with me.

I'm keeping my name on at both places and actively pursuing them, but in a dream world of getting in off of both, I'd chose Penn.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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More votes....more votes :)
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Seems like if you didn't get accepted, you essentially got the Tier 1 WL. My impression is that the Tier 2 is virtually nonexistent, judging from this and past years' polls. It's a difficult position to be in because we have no way of knowing how we stack up.
 

bookfreak89

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That's a toss up (and it'll depend on who you are). I will say this...after visiting Stanford, almost every other medical school program in the nation seems like it has some catching up to do. They are resource overloaded (there's so much money available and people wanting you to use it) and one of the few schools that really actively supports interdisciplinary supports to a real meaningful degree. How 'bout a BioDesign course that combines law students, med students, business students, and grad students for making new innovative biomed solutions that often emerge as real products from the class? I was impressed by the Stanford med students more so than students I met at any other school.

Having said that, Philly is so infinitely >>>>>> Palo Alto for me that I'd take Penn over Stanford personally. It's hard to argue that Penn's curriculum isn't awesome as well. I think Stanford might have a slightly superior program because of all the monetary support and real, seamless access to it's research and grad school community (Stanford Law and Business), but the feel and culture of Penn and Philly mold better with me.

I'm keeping my name on at both places and actively pursuing them, but in a dream world of getting in off of both, I'd chose Penn.
Can you not get easy access to Penn Law/Business?
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Can you not get easy access to Penn Law/Business?
Oh no you can. But...Penn does limit the total number of classes you can take outside the medical school (although, it's up in the air whether you'd have time for this anyway)...slash, the whole university at Stanford is designed specifically to be interdisciplinary. They design courses that intentionally bring students from separate schools together (i.e. Biodesign). Socially, both are the same because both schools hold big events to get the grad school communities talking and mingling. I think Penn is one of the few awesome schools that also really promotes interdisciplinary pursuits...but it's just not as encouraged and integrated into the curriculum as it is at Stanford. Also, if you check out Stanford's financial aid system...they basically make it highly advantageous to stay for a 5th year and get another degree.

I think Penn's 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum beats out Stanford's system...but comparing them from a support/ease of access to opportunities perspective...The Med Scholars and Traveling Scholars programs at Stanford are unbeatable....up to $72,000 for research, scholarly pursuits and travel over your five years. They just make it so easy.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Maybe option 2 doesn't exist this year?
 

bookfreak89

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Oh no you can. But...Penn does limit the total number of classes you can take outside the medical school (although, it's up in the air whether you'd have time for this anyway)...slash, the whole university at Stanford is designed specifically to be interdisciplinary. They design courses that intentionally bring students from separate schools together (i.e. Biodesign). Socially, both are the same because both schools hold big events to get the grad school communities talking and mingling. I think Penn is one of the few awesome schools that also really promotes interdisciplinary pursuits...but it's just not as encouraged and integrated into the curriculum as it is at Stanford. Also, if you check out Stanford's financial aid system...they basically make it highly advantageous to stay for a 5th year and get another degree.

I think Penn's 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum beats out Stanford's system...but comparing them from a support/ease of access to opportunities perspective...The Med Scholars and Traveling Scholars programs at Stanford are unbeatable....up to $72,000 for research, scholarly pursuits and travel over your five years. They just make it so easy.
Thanks for the clarification. What do you think about the notion that Stanford's clinical training is "lacking" than other schools? (Whatever that means) I know that Stanford is a research beast though. :cool:

Oh, and sorry for hijacking the thread. :oops:
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Thanks for the clarification. What do you think about the notion that Stanford's clinical training is "lacking" than other schools? (Whatever that means) I know that Stanford is a research beast though. :cool:

Oh, and sorry for hijacking the thread. :oops:
Are you deciding between the two? I honestly think clinical differences between medical schools doesn't mean too much. You learn the bulk of your clinical skills as a physician in your intended area of practice as a resident not a medical student. But...even the M1s and M2s I talked to at Stanford seemed very well versed in clinical practice...most of them volunteered at the free clinic, many had already spent significant time shadowing at different affiliated hospitals, and they'd often present diseases they encountered in class as sort of grand round style presentations (if you've been to a Grand Round before). All before entering their M3 year.

I think the 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum is the best idea for medical education. It just gives you more time to explore specialties before having to apply for residency. Which...given I'm someone who likes to take a lot of time to make decisions, is important to me.

You'll get slightly more interesting cases in some departments at HUP than you will at Stanford Hospital, in the ER for instance. But considering they're both Top 20 hospitals and have great clinicians, you'll still get a ton of variety of interesting cases at both places (people travel far to see doctors at both places). Stanford also has affiliated hospitals...VFW hospital, East Palo Alto hospital, etc. that have more diverse patient populations than those coming from Palo Alto.
 

bookfreak89

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Are you deciding between the two? I honestly think clinical differences between medical schools doesn't mean too much. You learn the bulk of your clinical skills as a physician in your intended area of practice as a resident not a medical student. But...even the M1s and M2s I talked to at Stanford seemed very well versed in clinical practice...most of them volunteered at the free clinic, many had already spent significant time shadowing at different affiliated hospitals, and they'd often present diseases they encountered in class as sort of grand round style presentations (if you've been to a Grand Round before). All before entering their M3 year.

I think the 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum is the best idea for medical education. It just gives you more time to explore specialties before having to apply for residency. Which...given I'm someone who likes to take a lot of time to make decisions, is important to me.

You'll get slightly more interesting cases in some departments at HUP than you will at Stanford Hospital, in the ER for instance. But considering they're both Top 20 hospitals and have great clinicians, you'll still get a ton of variety of interesting cases at both places (people travel far to see doctors at both places). Stanford also has affiliated hospitals...VFW hospital, East Palo Alto hospital, etc. that have more diverse patient populations than those coming from Palo Alto.
I wish. :rolleyes: I am applying this upcoming cycle. Stanford and Penn are among my top choices and I just wanted to learn some more about them from someone who has knowledge with both schools. Thanks for answering my questions during this stressful period. Good luck with Penn! :luck:
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Who's the (1) who got a Tier 2? MD/Phd?
 

anfleisch

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May 14, 2008
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Maybe we would get a better idea by making the poll "Will you accept or decline your Penn admissions offer?"
 

anfleisch

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I found it interesting at first that they say 12-50, 12 being such a specific number instead of 10-50. I think they must give out 12 invitations for the Penn preview. So if another 100 keep their acceptances until May, there's probably in the range of a 20-30% shot, hopefully.
 

bobsmith

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My guess was that the 12 number represents the least they've taken off in recent history
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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I was hoping someone else would join me in Tier 2 so I don't stand out so much. T.T

But yes, MD/PhD.
Yeah, I think tier 2 is for MD/PhD waitlistees, so don't feel so bad.
 

thamsenman

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.
 
Jul 23, 2009
57
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I am choosing between Stanford and Penn so that was helpful. There is the P/F thing at Stanford, however, which I do find attractive. If anyone has some insight and preferably no vested interest, please please PM me. Harvard is my other consideration and I'm super t[SIZE=-1]orn between the 3[/SIZE]. Sorry for thread jacking and good luck on the Penn waitl[SIZE=-1]ist!!!!!
[/SIZE]
 

bookfreak89

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I am choosing between Stanford and Penn so that was helpful. There is the P/F thing at Stanford, however, which I do find attractive. If anyone has some insight and preferably no vested interest, please please PM me. Harvard is my other consideration and I'm super t[SIZE=-1]orn between the 3[/SIZE]. Sorry for thread jacking and good luck on the Penn waitl[SIZE=-1]ist!!!!!
[/SIZE]
Woot. My unnecessary questions actually helped someone. :D
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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I am choosing between Stanford and Penn so that was helpful. There is the P/F thing at Stanford, however, which I do find attractive. If anyone has some insight and preferably no vested interest, please please PM me. Harvard is my other consideration and I'm super t[SIZE=-1]orn between the 3[/SIZE]. Sorry for thread jacking and good luck on the Penn waitl[SIZE=-1]ist!!!!!
[/SIZE]
That's a tough choice, but one you should be glad to be able to have the power to make. I'd definitely suggest second look weekends. I did not interview at Harvard (rejected pre-interview), but I did interview at Penn and Stanford (and am still waitlisted at both but trudging onward...le sigh). I think the program at Stanford is better if you're at all interested in biomedical advances/getting another degree/interdisciplinary pursuits. Penn has all these things, but they're implemented better in Stanford's curriculum and there's way more financial support for them. I found both Penn and Stanford students to be amazing, but generally, Stanford students seemed a bit more ambitious about pursuing outside interests than most Penn students I know (as in medically related interests, not personal hobbies/passions). It's the only school where I was truly intimidated by how amazingly accomplished the students were (everyone I met either has a couple of patents, founded a NGO, won a prestigious international fellowship, etc....I was blown away)

Average Debt at Penn = $120,000 vs. Debt at Stanford = $80,000 despite Palo Alto being a more expensive place to live than Philly is. This is coming from their strange financial aid system, that basically promotes you to do a year of research in the US or abroad (or getting a second degree)...such that you graduate in 5 years with extra experience and less debt than you would if you went through in 4. I'm sure they explained that on interview day.

I think the 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum is superior at Penn, and that Philly is a better city to live in than Palo Alto (depending on whether or not you can survive cold weather in the winter and if you like/dislike big east coast cities). It is, however, not P/F after the first semester...whereas Stanford is P/F for the first two years, and only recently P/F/Honors for the last two. Both have amazing match lists, so you can get in anywhere from going there. If you want to end up the East Coast, Harvard and Penn have advantages. West Coast, DEFINITELY go for Stanford. Given the choices, I'd still chose Penn because I'm a East Coaster and love living in Philly. If Stanford were in Philly, I'd probably chose Stanford. But it isn't. I leave Harvard out, because I know less about it...other than the fact that it's Harvard.
 
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Jul 23, 2009
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Wow that was very helpful and thoughtful. Many thanks. I started a thread to try and get some more opinions. I'm rooting for you to get off the Penn waitlist!
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Wow that was very helpful and thoughtful. Many thanks. I started a thread to try and get some more opinions. I'm rooting for you to get off the Penn waitlist!
No problem. Good luck with your decision. Just saw the Penn Preview schedule...I am mucho jealous. You should go.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Just FYI, checking over last year's thread. Only 15 students are invited to Penn Preview from the waitlist every year (last year, 10 showed up). Anyone who was...you should feel honored. This included a chunk of MD/PhD students as well.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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bump for more poll responses.
Well, I think most people get the idea by now. Very, very few people were invited to preview off the waitlist. Last year 10 attended from the waitlist. Seems like less people were given "early consideration" this year as well. Almost everyone else (I assume some 600 of us) were placed on Tier 1 Waitlist. Very few were placed on Tier 2, and this is basically considered a rejection. Judging from the FAQs page, about 400 will join the waitlist initially (the others withdrawing). This number will dwindle to about ~100-200 by the time May rolls around with students enrolling at other schools and moving on with acceptances elsewhere. 12-50 students come off it in May/June. Starts around May 15th if they do open up, but spots will fill up relatively quickly.

I'm gonna wait a week or two and write my LOI when I can formulate some new things to include as updates. I've done some shadowing and presented at a conference, but nothing very big. I did write a LOI just 3 weeks ago...haha, so not much has changed!
 
Nov 9, 2009
23
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Could someone please paste the wait-list letter for the "regular" Tier 1 and "Early Decision" Tier 1? Are we sure there is a difference? There was a post last year from someone who emailed the director of admissions, and her response was that there should be no difference within the tiers... She could very well be covering up their internal ranking system, but I just wanted to be clear that there was a notable difference in the language. Does anyone have any information on this for this year too?
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Could someone please paste the wait-list letter for the "regular" Tier 1 and "Early Decision" Tier 1? Are we sure there is a difference? There was a post last year from someone who emailed the director of admissions, and her response was that there should be no difference within the tiers... She could very well be covering up their internal ranking system, but I just wanted to be clear that there was a notable difference in the language. Does anyone have any information on this for this year too?
I have the regular tier 1, but yes...there is a difference in language. If you get the Penn Preview Invite and/or top of waitlist letter, you're often considered for admission off the waitlist as early as April 15th vs. May 15th for regular waitlistees.
 
Nov 9, 2009
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Thanks mdeast!! Just curious, where did you get the info on the specific dates for wait-list consideration? (i.e. April 15th for "Early" and May 15th for "regular")
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Thanks mdeast!! Just curious, where did you get the info on the specific dates for wait-list consideration? (i.e. April 15th for "Early" and May 15th for "regular")
Check out last year's thread. There was a MD/PhD student who got in off the Waitlist + Preview Invite in early May. Other students started coming off as early as May 13th...and then continuing for about 2-3 more weeks. Waitlist movement seemed to stop in early June. And it was basically officially closed down early July. I just remember in the Waitlist FAQs they said the waitlist can move as early as April 15th and continue until the day before classes start (August 9th).

For reference:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=614187
 
Mar 17, 2010
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does anyone know who you are supposed to address a letter to? I am going to email it but I'd like to put a person's name on it.
 

exeunt

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sigh.. keeping my fingers crossed til august.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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does anyone know who you are supposed to address a letter to? I am going to email it but I'd like to put a person's name on it.
Gaye Sheffler.
 

exeunt

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for those of you who have already written a LOI and are going to write another one.... what is there to say that hasn't already been said? :confused:
 

Sentinel

Ride into the Danger Zone
Jul 13, 2009
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for those of you who have already written a LOI and are going to write another one.... what is there to say that hasn't already been said? :confused:
re-iterating your interest in Penn in slightly different words isn't nesc a bad thing. Part of persistence is doing the same thing over and over again till they get annoyed and let you in :D

That's what my friends who applied from back in college told me...
 
Nov 9, 2009
23
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Hi everyone! Not sure if anyone has gotten advice from a premed advisor on this, but is it good to send a LOI right after you hear about your waitlist status? Or is it good to hold off for a couple weeks? Also, how frequently should you contact the school after you send your LOI? Some random sites on Google say every few weeks, but I feel this could appear pushy to some schools. Has anyone gotten reputable advice on this?

Also, for people who have already sent in a LOI, did you get a response from Gaye/Admissions?
 
Sep 18, 2009
54
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Boston
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Also, for people who have already sent in a LOI, did you get a response from Gaye/Admissions?
Was just about to ask this :thumbup:. Anyone get a confirmation? I can't tell on my status page, unless I'm not looking right.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Was just about to ask this :thumbup:. Anyone get a confirmation? I can't tell on my status page, unless I'm not looking right.
I think last year she did eventually send confirmation emails to those who submitted letters (1 or 2 week delay). I think a letter now is important, but it's much more important to send a second letter in early/mid May...close to May 15th. Letters every few weeks aren't too helpful, unless there is something significant to say (updates, etc.). Around May 15th is when the waitlist is looked at seriously, and reiterating that your plans and intentions (i.e. Penn is my absolute first choice, I will absolutely attend here if accepted) is very important.

Gaye will have no idea what's happened with you between now and May 15th unless you update her near the waitlist movement time period. You could have put a deposit down an apartment in another city, started making friends with students at another school, etc. And believe me, this will happen to many of us even if we don't expect it to. Penn doesn't want to take people off the waitlist who will reject the offer...this hurts their ranking by increasing the number of people they accept. Thus, it is imperative to keep the updated close to waitlist movement time that you still have Penn as your absolute first choice.
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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Bumpity. Any new updates from my fellow waitlistees?
 
Oct 6, 2009
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my student host @ Penn got in off the waitlist. he said that he sent them a letter every other week for 6 weeks with his 3rd letter being a LOI and then got in shortly after.

good luck
 
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mdeast

mdeast

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my student host @ Penn got in off the waitlist. he said that he sent them a letter every other week for 6 weeks with his 3rd letter being a LOI and then got in shortly after.

good luck
Hmm interesting. I was gonna send my first one next week. I don't know what else I'd say 2 weeks later, lol.
 

bobsmith

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hm, does anyone ever get in off the waitlist without writing a LOI? i only briefly looked over last year's waitlist thread and it seemed like everyone who got in had written them.

although i guess if you were enthusiastic enough about penn to write them a LOI, you'd probably also be enthusiastic enough to post on SDN about getting in off the waitlist
 
Nov 9, 2009
23
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That's interesting. From what I heard, that's not ideal protocol in general for waitlists because the adcoms will start thinking you are desperate or too aggressive. I've actually been told that being like that could have the opposite effect. Perhaps your host was unusually charming and won the adcom over ;)

In terms of LOIs, I think mdeast's earlier advice on this thread makes sense. Send a letter now that conveys your optimism about your chances and how you gladly accept your WL position. Then send a letter around the time the waitlist gets a lot of movement (around May 15). If you have important updates between those times, let the adcom know of course.

In terms of the LOI, do we only address it to Gaye? Is she the sole person making decisions for WL folks? What about the assistant dean (I think his name is Galetta)? It seems weird that one person would be responsible for potentially a third of the class...

my student host @ Penn got in off the waitlist. he said that he sent them a letter every other week for 6 weeks with his 3rd letter being a LOI and then got in shortly after.

good luck
 

anfleisch

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May 14, 2008
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I think the files are still scored throughout the process. Which guides the decisions, but I do think she makes them.
 
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