Addressing the "What are you doing during your gap year?" secondary question.

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Med.Geek

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So almost every single secondary asks if I have taken a gap year or if I intend on doing so. I am currently applying for a Fulbright Award, and if granted, I will take a gap year to work with a refugee population abroad. If this were the case, I would obviously ask the school to defer my acceptance (given that I am even granted one).

I don't know if mentioning this would raise some eyebrows on the ADCOM. I could skip the question altogether, although I have already listed that I was an institutional nominee for the award in my primary app.

What are your thoughts? Could this hurt my chances for an interview in any capacity?

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So almost every single secondary asks if I have taken a gap year or if I intend on doing so. I am currently applying for a Fulbright Award, and if granted, I will take a gap year to work with a refugee population abroad. If this were the case, I would obviously ask the school to defer my acceptance (given that I am even granted one).

I don't know if mentioning this would raise some eyebrows on the ADCOM. I could skip the question altogether, although I have already listed that I was an institutional nominee for the award in my primary app.

What are your thoughts? Could this hurt my chances for an interview in any capacity?
Skip the question. Given your WAMC you have a decent chance of facing some resource/yield protection at lower ranked schools and a chance that you will defer will only reduce your odds. Don't mention it at interviews either unless specifically asked. Consider yourself going to medical school next August until you have the fulbright acceptance in hand, then start requesting deferrals from whichever schools you hold acceptances to
 
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Skip the question. Given your WAMC you have a decent chance of facing some resource/yield protection at lower ranked schools and a chance that you will defer will only reduce your odds. Don't mention it at interviews either unless specifically asked. Consider yourself going to medical school next August until you have the fulbright acceptance in hand, then start requesting deferrals from whichever schools you hold acceptances to

That makes perfect sense. Thanks for your response!
 
The question is what are you doing between now and June/July 2020. Technically, if you are a rising senior in college the question does not even apply to you. Don't mention the Fulbright. No school wants to consider themselves your plan B.
 
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The question is what are you doing between now and June/July 2020. Technically, if you are a rising senior in college the question does not even apply to you. Don't mention the Fulbright. No school wants to consider themselves your plan B.

I definitely did not intend for the question to come off that way. The Fulbright would have just been a one-year culturally enriching experience prior to my matriculation to medical school, which is definitely my plan A. Though in terms of the timeline, your response makes perfect sense. Thank you!
 
I definitely did not intend for the question to come off that way. The Fulbright would have just been a one-year culturally enriching experience prior to my matriculation to medical school, which is definitely my plan A. Though in terms of the timeline, your response makes perfect sense. Thank you!

if you are applying to medical school with the intention of asking for a deferral if your Fulbright comes through then, yes, medical school is your plan B. But no one needs to know that.
 
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if you are applying to medical school with the intention of asking for a deferral if your Fulbright comes through then, yes, medical school is your plan B. But no one needs to know that.

Got it!
 
if you are applying to medical school with the intention of asking for a deferral if your Fulbright comes through then, yes, medical school is your plan B. But no one needs to know that.
This is interesting, at least at my school, Fulbright applicants are not 'penalized' during the MD application process. We judge them as we do with any other applicant who is not applying for Fulbright. If they end up getting the award, we simply grant the deferral knowing that when they do matriculate, they will bring those experiences to the classroom to educate their peers. We typically learn of the awardees early enough to adjust waitlist movement as needed. What's the rationale against accepting them? Just curious about other viewpoints. Thanks!
 
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This is interesting, at least at my school, Fulbright applicants are not 'penalized' during the MD application process. We judge them as we do with any other applicant who is not applying for Fulbright. If they end up getting the award, we simply grant the deferral knowing that when they do matriculate, they will bring those experiences to the classroom to educate their peers. What's the rationale against accepting them? Just curious about other viewpoints.

This is exactly my thought process. If it comes up in an interview, I am hoping they understand it the same way.
 
This is exactly my thought process. If it comes up in an interview, I am hoping they understand it the same way.
Well based on the responses here, it's definitely institution-dependent, so caution should be exercised if you do choose to bring this up.
 
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Well based on the responses here, it's definitely institution-dependent, so caution should be exercised if you do choose to bring this up.

I guess I'll err on caution's side and avoid it unless it is explicitly asked. Thank you for your advice!
 
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This is interesting, at least at my school, Fulbright applicants are not 'penalized' during the MD application process. We judge them as we do with any other applicant who is not applying for Fulbright. If they end up getting the award, we simply grant the deferral knowing that when they do matriculate, they will bring those experiences to the classroom to educate their peers. We typically learn of the awardees early enough to adjust waitlist movement as needed. What's the rationale against accepting them? Just curious about other viewpoints. Thanks!

I'm really curious as to the rationale as well. I was denied a fulbright deferral at one of my acceptances. If I remember correctly it was in March when I requested it, so there was plenty of time to fill the seat. I ended up going with another school anyways which offered a better scholarship, but if that hadn't happened the deferral denial could have very well pushed me away from attending that school.
 
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