puahate

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How many schools are you guys applying to? Right now it looks like 30 to 35.
 

PursuingHappy

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I talked about my unique experiences and hobbies. And also my minor in philosophy
Thank you! Follow-up question: for the diversity essays where diversity is more broadly defined, did you use the same essay or include other things, like unique experiences, hobbies, interests, etc.?
 
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Some calls? Tell me more! :)

What would you calling them for?
I was planning on calling to see how schools view grad GPAs. There's a lot of conflicting information on SDN depending on who you talk to, so I figured I'd just ask the schools directly to get the most accurate answer. I have a sub 3.00 cGPA and sGPA from undergrad with a significant upward trend, and a 4.00 at my SMP. I don't want to waste money on schools who are going to screen me out, so I'm trying to apply as smartly as possible by calling first.
 
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I was planning on calling to see how schools view grad GPAs. There's a lot of conflicting information on SDN depending on who you talk to, so I figured I'd just ask the schools directly to get the most accurate answer. I have a sub 3.00 cGPA and sGPA from undergrad with a significant upward trend, and a 4.00 at my SMP. I don't want to waste money on schools who are going to screen me out, so I'm trying to apply as smartly as possible by calling first.
I have not seen conflicting information about SMP gpas. It's clear to me that both DO and MD schools love students that kill those as they have proven to be able to handle the rigor of med school. The conflicting info is about regular master programs as you need a B or higher to even pass.
 
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I have not seen conflicting information about SMP gpas. It's clear to me that both DO and MD schools love students that kill those as they have proven to be able to handle the rigor of med school. The conflicting info is about regular master programs as you need a B or higher to even pass.
When I said there's conflicting information, I meant information from the real world conflicts with what I've seen on SDN. I spoke with the director of admissions of the medical school affiliated with my SMP and she said that not all medical schools will take into account my SMP GPA. That was corroborated when during the AAMC online med school fair, I asked about SMP GPA's and was shafted with the "holistic review" automated response three times. It definitely differs from school to school, and considering my uGPA, I don't see anything wrong with calling and asking because it could potentially save me hundreds of dollars, if not over $1k.
 
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I have not seen conflicting information about SMP gpas. It's clear to me that both DO and MD schools love students that kill those as they have proven to be able to handle the rigor of med school. The conflicting info is about regular master programs as you need a B or higher to even pass.
Don't get me wrong though, SDN is a great resource and I've learned a lot, even in just the past couple of months. I just know that I really don't have money to waste and I want to double check.
 
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When I said there's conflicting information, I meant information from the real world conflicts with what I've seen on SDN. I spoke with the director of admissions of the medical school affiliated with my SMP and she said that not all medical schools will take into account my SMP GPA. That was corroborated when during the AAMC online med school fair, I asked about SMP GPA's and was shafted with the "holistic review" automated response three times. It definitely differs from school to school, and considering my uGPA, I don't see anything wrong with calling and asking because it could potentially save me hundreds of dollars, if not over $1k.
Don't get me wrong though, SDN is a great resource and I've learned a lot, even in just the past couple of months. I just know that I really don't have money to waste and I want to double check.
Double checking is never a bad thing. I wasn't advising against it.

Personally, I am wary of getting solid information from the student workers or receptionists that answer the phone when the general Admissions numbers are called (on certain topics). I think it's worth a shot, but you may still get conflicting info from the same institution depending who answers and which day you call. If the information you seek isn't on the school website then it is unlikely that they have a solid policy on it that goes for every applicant.
 

puahate

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Bro, I am ready for May to come. I am trying to fill out my application.
 
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ArdorAyurveda

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Hey Everyone. Can some people help me think of a school list. Here is my summary.

Nigerian Female, MA resident, background: alot of adversity face in childhood-adolescents took care of my mother/siblings alot, 1st gen
3.2 sGPA, 3.4 cGPA I attended a Top 5 Public University. Major = Biochem, Minor = Womens Studies
MCAT: 502 to 507
Research: 1) 2 years (~1000 hrs) studying cancer. Possible 1st author publication in a few months (30% possibility) high clinical relevance. 2) Public health research around air pollution + pregnancy (1 year)

Volunteering: Sexual assault center for 3.5 year, birthing center in hospital for 1 year, medical missions trip (Clinical Experience), prison arts volunteer
Work:College tutor (2years), Teaching literacy in low income community 2.5 years, proctored exams, 3 months in the same cancer research lab after graduation, Camp counselor for inner city kids, camp counselor for kids interested in stem coming from minority/marginalized backgrounds.
Leadership: Eboard of Multicultural Org for 2yrs, Student Government (College Wide) 1 year, Deans advisory board for 1.5 years
Shadowing: Radiation Oncology = 30hours, Pediatrics = 60hours, Internal Medicine (from a DO) = 60 hours
Strong LORs

I got my Phlebotomy license but never used it because I got a different Gap year job. I got a lot of experience through the class though.

I thoroughly enjoy Biochemistry research so school with a good research base would be
I am 100% committed to working in a low income community as a Physician, so schools like with good community engagement are a +++

Here is my current list. With my lower GPA i will probably apply to 30 schools
Umass
Howard
Chicago Rosalind Franklin
Meharry
MSU Human Medicine
Morehouse
Washington University St. Louis
New York Medical College
Rush University
Rutgers
Tulane
UMiami
Albany Medical College
Drexel University College of Medicine
GWU
Temple
Tufts
University of Rochester
Georgetown
U Chicago
Stanford
Cincinatti
SLU
Michigan
Dartmouth
Keck at USC
Loyola
VT
Washington (Seattle)
Northwestern
I would remove Northwestern, U Chicago, Stanford, WashU...I think those are a bit too high of reaches for you. Everything else looks good to me. Consider applying to Creighton, they look for students committed to service. I would also remove Washington (Seattle). UW has a preference for applicants who claim residency in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, or Montana (possibly another state that I may be forgetting?) because those states do not have their own state medical school. Your application would likely be a donation.

Do you have MSAR? Consider purchasing it, it's the best $30 I ever spent.

Best of luck! I foresee you getting into at least a couple of medical schools. You have a decent shot at places like Tulane, GWU, and Morehouse that value service to underserved communities.
 

Doctorburke

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Consider applying to Creighton said:
what other schools look for students with committed to service?
 
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Lucca

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Y'all I would strongly advise not applying to as many schools as some of you are listing on this thread. 30-35? It's nuts. Unless you are extremely borderline then there is no reason to be applying to that many schools. Not to be callous, but my own opinion is if you need that many schools on your list to have a real shot at getting in somewhere then you are not ready to apply to medical school. Secondary burnout is real. And application costs are extremely high. Even if you're on FAP, you should try to apply to the maximum FAP will pay for and no more. Once you start traveling and potentially booking flights to many places you'll see there's a lot of unexpected expenses in this process. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was way too neurotic / didn't believe in my own app so I applied to around 23. It was way too many, in retrospect I shouldn't have applied to more than 15 because I only even attended 10 interviews (all I could afford, spent every dime I saved for the cycle). That's about 1,000 dollars I could've saved in secondaries and potentially more if I received fewer invites from the 15. Yes, getting II after II is rly nice for the ego and all but I would much rather have the money right now staring down moving expenses and a higher COL area for med school. I'm gonna feel like a millionaire once that MD/PhD stipend kicks in lol.

If you are a competitive URM (above average admitted stats for your demographic and all ECs checked) and you have a reasonable list, you will have options, especially if you are including programs strongly targeting URMs like the HBCUs and schools in underserved areas. I'd recommend never applying to more than 25. If you're a superstar, consider keeping it between 10-15.
 

puahate

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Y'all I would strongly advise not applying to as many schools as some of you are listing on this thread. 30-35? It's nuts. Unless you are extremely borderline then there is no reason to be applying to that many schools. Not to be callous, but my own opinion is if you need that many schools on your list to have a real shot at getting in somewhere then you are not ready to apply to medical school. Secondary burnout is real. And application costs are extremely high. Even if you're on FAP, you should try to apply to the maximum FAP will pay for and no more. Once you start traveling and potentially booking flights to many places you'll see there's a lot of unexpected expenses in this process. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was way too neurotic / didn't believe in my own app so I applied to around 23. It was way too many, in retrospect I shouldn't have applied to more than 15 because I only even attended 10 interviews (all I could afford, spent every dime I saved for the cycle). That's about 1,000 dollars I could've saved in secondaries and potentially more if I received fewer invites from the 15. Yes, getting II after II is rly nice for the ego and all but I would much rather have the money right now staring down moving expenses and a higher COL area for med school. I'm gonna feel like a millionaire once that MD/PhD stipend kicks in lol.

If you are a competitive URM (above average admitted stats for your demographic and all ECs checked) and you have a reasonable list, you will have options, especially if you are including programs strongly targeting URMs like the HBCUs and schools in underserved areas. I'd recommend never applying to more than 25. If you're a superstar, consider keeping it between 10-15.
Let's say you are a URM 3.5 510. Don't you think a person like that is a borderline candidate on the line of excellent URM and just average URM? I know I will only squeeze (I know I won't SOLIDLY get into one but maybe get pulled off a WL or get a late-in-the-cycle acceptance) into one or two top 20s so I am trying to increase my chances to get into those schools.
 

Lucca

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Let's say you are a URM 3.5 510. Don't you think a person like that is a borderline candidate on the line of excellent URM and just average URM? I know I will only squeeze (I know I won't SOLIDLY get into one but maybe get pulled off a WL or get a late-in-the-cycle acceptance) into one or two top 20s so I am trying to increase my chances to get into those schools.
I wouldn’t get so hung up on the T20 designation. Unless you are trying to be a leader in academic medicine, it’s not very important as long as the school has a history of matching people where you want to go and a good home dept in Fields you are interested in. With a 3.5/510 and solid ECs I’d say apply to 20-25 at the absolute most with a good mix of mid and top tier schools + your state schools.
 

puahate

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I wouldn’t get so hung up on the T20 designation. Unless you are trying to be a leader in academic medicine, it’s not very important as long as the school has a history of matching people where you want to go and a good home dept in Fields you are interested in. With a 3.5/510 and solid ECs I’d say apply to 20-25 at the absolute most with a good mix of mid and top tier schools + your state schools.
what if you prewrote for 30 schools already and you have the money for 30 apps and support for interviews?
Do you think it's still worth it?
 

Beyonce2.0

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what if you prewrote for 30 schools already and you have the money for 30 apps and support for interviews?
Do you think it's still worth it?
You’ve already prewritten for 30 schools?? That’s bonkers, go you!
 
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puahate

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You’ve already prewritten for 30 schools?? That’s bonkers, go you!
I needed something to do between my score release in October and June. Might as well be proactive
 

Lucca

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what if you prewrote for 30 schools already and you have the money for 30 apps and support for interviews?
Do you think it's still worth it?
It’s up to you. I don’t think it will be.
 

puahate

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I'll be real with you... I'm just super conservative and scared about getting rejected from all schools. Deep down i know you are right, as a URM with my stats i should be fine with 15 schools, but if on the slight chance i don't get in, i will feel like crap. If i put my all in with 30 or so schools and strike out, then i will be content with my efforts.



It’s up to you. I don’t think it will be.
 

PursuingHappy

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I echo what Lucca said. I totally had the same feeling and applied to 28 schools. I applied MD/PHD so I was probably even more anxious than u. My stats were below average and I took the MCAT twice. I ended up getting into multiple T10 and T20 schools. If you really feel like u need to apply to 30, go ahead. Just be aware of the costs. I spent over $3000 on travel costs, even with most schools paying for hotels. I recieved FAP as well and wish I had just applied to the 16 that they gave for free.
I'll be real with you... I'm just super conservative and scared about getting rejected from all schools. Deep down i know you are right, as a URM with my stats i should be fine with 15 schools, but if on the slight chance i don't get in, i will feel like crap. If i put my all in with 30 or so schools and strike out, then i will be content with my efforts.
 

Beyonce2.0

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I echo what Lucca said. I totally had the same feeling and applied to 28 schools. I applied MD/PHD so I was probably even more anxious than u. My stats were below average and I took the MCAT twice. I ended up getting into multiple T10 and T20 schools. If you really feel like u need to apply to 30, go ahead. Just be aware of the costs. I spent over $3000 on travel costs, even with most schools paying for hotels. I recieved FAP as well and wish I had just applied to the 16 that they gave for free.
Can I ask how many schools you ended up interviewing at to rack up $3000+ in travel costs for MD-PhD?
 
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PursuingHappy

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20. One school's plane tickets cost me $652 alone. And it's not just plane tickets. Uber's, food, trains, buses, etc. I live far from an airport, so it costs me 40-70 to get home after an interview, depending on the time of day. I wish I was exaggerating. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't gone on so many interviews, but the higher ranked schools didnt offer me an interview until around October, and I had already paid for tickets for the others.
Can I ask how many schools you ended up interviewing at to rack up $3000+ in travel costs for MD-PhD?
 

Lucca

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20. One school's plane tickets cost me $652 alone. And it's not just plane tickets. Uber's, food, trains, buses, etc. I live far from an airport, so it costs me 40-70 to get home after an interview, depending on the time of day. I wish I was exaggerating. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't gone on so many interviews, but the higher ranked schools didnt offer me an interview until around October, and I had already paid for tickets for the others.
Word. It’s all those little expenses that get you even when you save on flights and hotel
 
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hello, everyone
just looking for some advice on what I can do to improve my application for the upcoming cycle. I'm planning on taking a gap
URM: AA male, first gen college student
- cGPA: 3.53 ( strong upward trend )
- sGPA: 3.62
- MCAT: 514 (CARS 127)
- state of residence: IL (Illinois )
- Research: anatomy cadaver 3 poster & 1 presentation
(300 hours )
- Clinical Experiences
Medical assistant (1200 hours)
pharmacy tech (2000 hours Don't know if this one counts as clinical hours )
Hospice volunteer (110 hours )
- Non- clinical experiences
tutor of low-income high school student at their high school
(80 hours )
Internship at domestic violence/ drug addiction clinic
(120 hours )
Teaching assistant (60 hours )
- other activities
Vice-president of the powerlifting club ( 1 yr)
helped create Pre-med minority association on campus

Any feedback would be highly appreciated. thanks so much for your time and help
 

PursuingHappy

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How early were you guys getting interviews and acceptances?
I recieved my first interview in August; that was when all my LOR were finally in. First acceptance in November.
 

Lucca

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How early were you guys getting interviews and acceptances?
First interview in August (TX school), first acceptance in Nov
 

Lucca

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I suggest these schools:
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCLA
UCSD
USC
Kaiser
California University
Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix)
Mayo Arizona
Boston University
Tufts
Quinnipiac
Hofstra
Einstein
Mount Sinai
Georgetown
Miami
Tulane
Creighton
St. Louis
Loyola
Rosalind Franklin

Is my current list too top heavy?

UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCLA-DGSOM
UCLA-Drew
UCSD
USC
UCSF
Stanford
Kaiser
CNU
California University
Touro-CA
Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix)
Mayo Arizona
Harvard
Oregon H&S
Ohio State
Case
Quinnipiac
Hofstra
Einstein
Sinai
Cornell
NYMC
Miami
Tulane
Creighton
George Washington
Loyola
Rosalind Franklin
U Chicago
Rush
Michigan
U Colorado

Thanks so much. Also, why is CNU so frowned upon over here? I know they don't accept federal loans, but they did score higher than every UC besides UCSF on STEP1
 

Faha

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Is my current list too top heavy?

UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCLA-DGSOM
UCLA-Drew
UCSD
USC
UCSF
Stanford
Kaiser
CNU
California University
Touro-CA
Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix)
Mayo Arizona
Harvard
Oregon H&S
Ohio State
Case
Quinnipiac
Hofstra
Einstein
Sinai
Cornell
NYMC
Miami
Tulane
Creighton
George Washington
Loyola
Rosalind Franklin
U Chicago
Rush
Michigan
U Colorado

Thanks so much. Also, why is CNU so frowned upon over here? I know they don't accept federal loans, but they did score higher than every UC besides UCSF on STEP1
Your list is good and you should receive several interviews.
 
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Hey Everyone. Can some people help me think of a school list. Here is my summary.

Nigerian Female, MA resident, background: alot of adversity face in childhood-adolescents took care of my mother/siblings alot, 1st gen
3.2 sGPA, 3.4 cGPA I attended a Top 5 Public University. Major = Biochem, Minor = Womens Studies
MCAT: 502 to 507
Research: 1) 2 years (~1000 hrs) studying cancer. Possible 1st author publication in a few months (30% possibility) high clinical relevance. 2) Public health research around air pollution + pregnancy (1 year)

Volunteering: Sexual assault center for 3.5 year, birthing center in hospital for 1 year, medical missions trip (Clinical Experience), prison arts volunteer
Work:College tutor (2years), Teaching literacy in low income community 2.5 years, proctored exams, 3 months in the same cancer research lab after graduation, Camp counselor for inner city kids, camp counselor for kids interested in stem coming from minority/marginalized backgrounds.
Leadership: Eboard of Multicultural Org for 2yrs, Student Government (College Wide) 1 year, Deans advisory board for 1.5 years
Shadowing: Radiation Oncology = 30hours, Pediatrics = 60hours, Internal Medicine (from a DO) = 60 hours
Strong LORs

I got my Phlebotomy license but never used it because I got a different Gap year job. I got a lot of experience through the class though.

I thoroughly enjoy Biochemistry research so school with a good research base would be
I am 100% committed to working in a low income community as a Physician, so schools like with good community engagement are a +++

Here is my current list. With my lower GPA i will probably apply to 30 schools
Umass
Howard
Chicago Rosalind Franklin
Meharry
MSU Human Medicine
Morehouse
Washington University St. Louis
New York Medical College
Rush University
Rutgers
Tulane
UMiami
Albany Medical College
Drexel University College of Medicine
GWU
Temple
Tufts
University of Rochester
Georgetown
U Chicago
Stanford
Cincinatti
SLU
Michigan
Dartmouth
Keck at USC
Loyola
VT
Washington (Seattle)
Northwestern
Does anyone know of an applicant such as this that had success in the USMD process? I'm trying to advise a friend with exactly these stats, except a 514 MCAT. Most everything in ECs checks out as well, but the research is lacking. Thanks! Also, I love threads such as these.
 

LadyGlen

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Y'all I would strongly advise not applying to as many schools as some of you are listing on this thread. 30-35? It's nuts. Unless you are extremely borderline then there is no reason to be applying to that many schools. Not to be callous, but my own opinion is if you need that many schools on your list to have a real shot at getting in somewhere then you are not ready to apply to medical school. Secondary burnout is real. And application costs are extremely high. Even if you're on FAP, you should try to apply to the maximum FAP will pay for and no more. Once you start traveling and potentially booking flights to many places you'll see there's a lot of unexpected expenses in this process. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was way too neurotic / didn't believe in my own app so I applied to around 23. It was way too many, in retrospect I shouldn't have applied to more than 15 because I only even attended 10 interviews (all I could afford, spent every dime I saved for the cycle). That's about 1,000 dollars I could've saved in secondaries and potentially more if I received fewer invites from the 15. Yes, getting II after II is rly nice for the ego and all but I would much rather have the money right now staring down moving expenses and a higher COL area for med school. I'm gonna feel like a millionaire once that MD/PhD stipend kicks in lol.

If you are a competitive URM (above average admitted stats for your demographic and all ECs checked) and you have a reasonable list, you will have options, especially if you are including programs strongly targeting URMs like the HBCUs and schools in underserved areas. I'd recommend never applying to more than 25. If you're a superstar, consider keeping it between 10-15.
Wholeheartedly agree with Lucca. My initial school list was 25 schools, but I pared down and ended up applying to 16 and receiving 10 interview invites. I was apprehensive and second-guessed my decision because I felt very "borderline", but had been told by multiple people here on SDN and in person that I had a very good shot and chose to trust that.

I also understand wanting to maximize your chances though. And if a top school is your goal, you want to give yourself the best shot, which can mean applying to a lot of schools. But even with this, 30-35 is a lot. If you are URM, have a 3.5+, 510+, and a well-written application with good ECs, you will get more interviews than you expect. And the cost adds up FAST. Still paying off my credit card because I didn't have enough saved o_O
 

puahate

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But you had a high tier app. Some of us are average (like me).
Wholeheartedly agree with Lucca. My initial school list was 25 schools, but I pared down and ended up applying to 16 and receiving 10 interview invites. I was apprehensive and second-guessed my decision because I felt very "borderline", but had been told by multiple people here on SDN and in person that I had a very good shot and chose to trust that.

I also understand wanting to maximize your chances though. And if a top school is your goal, you want to give yourself the best shot, which can mean applying to a lot of schools. But even with this, 30-35 is a lot. If you are URM, have a 3.5+, 510+, and a well-written application with good ECs, you will get more interviews than you expect. And the cost adds up FAST. Still paying off my credit card because I didn't have enough saved o_O
 

LadyGlen

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But you had a high tier app. Some of us are average (like me).
I don't know that I'd call my app high-tier. My stats were similar to yours. 510 MCAT and 3.65 cGPA. But I am a non-trad with some unique experiences. Perhaps that had something to do with it.

If it's important to you to apply to 30 schools to feel like you gave this cycle your best shot, go for it. I don't think you need to, but I understand not wanting to have regrets.
 
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I don't know that I'd call my app high-tier. My stats were similar to yours. 510 MCAT and 3.65 cGPA. But I am a non-trad with some unique experiences. Perhaps that had something to do with it.

If it's important to you to apply to 30 schools to feel like you gave this cycle your best shot, go for it. I don't think you need to, but I understand not wanting to have regrets.
Do you think the shorter school list applies to a re-inventor though? My undergrad GPAs are sub-3.00, but my grad GPA is a 4.00. I definitely haven’t gotten the same feedback as you from SDN and interviews aren’t as likely for me. That’s why I was thinking of casting a large net.
 
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I echo what Lucca said. I totally had the same feeling and applied to 28 schools. I applied MD/PHD so I was probably even more anxious than u. My stats were below average and I took the MCAT twice. I ended up getting into multiple T10 and T20 schools. If you really feel like u need to apply to 30, go ahead. Just be aware of the costs. I spent over $3000 on travel costs, even with most schools paying for hotels. I recieved FAP as well and wish I had just applied to the 16 that they gave for free.
Yup, I had similar experience. I did not have as much confidence in my app as I should have. If I did I could have been more discerning. For example, I would have cut out some of my state schools since I was trying to go OOS in the first place and schools that would have been a bit of a donation. I was determined to one-shot this and also get a chance to travel since I never did growing up. It worked out in the the end but don't recommend doing it too much for others.
 
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puahate

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Yup, I had similar experience. I did not have as much confidence in my app as I should have. If I did I could have been more discerning. For exam, I would have cut out some of my state schools since I was trying to go OOS in the first place and schools that would have been a bit of a donation. I was determined to one-shot this and also get a chance to travel since I never did growing up. It worked out in the the end but don't recommend doing it too much for others.
But this is all probability. On the distribution scale you guys are the 1%. I am middle class when it comes to stats.
 
Oct 17, 2017
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How early were you guys getting interviews and acceptances?
Don't know if you're still interested in this but,

First II (6/20 for an 8/17 Interview Day) Yay Texas schools!

First Acceptance (10/15) Go Blue!
 
Oct 17, 2017
499
812
41
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
But this is all probability. On the distribution scale you guys are the 1%. I am middle class when it comes to stats.
That's fair. Stats matter, but if the rest of your app is solid, I also think that can help you out. I might be wrong though.
 
Oct 17, 2017
499
812
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Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Tempura, weren't you debating between Umich, Feinberg and Hopkins and some other T10?

I hear what you're saying, and I agree. But realistically, you're application was likely very good to begin with.
Touché. Lol