Am I considered a non-traditional and disadvantage applicant?

Sep 8, 2014
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Pre-Medical
I am currently a full time student at a 4 year college in NY. I was not born here. My family migrated to US in 1998 when I was around 11-years-old. I started public education at the age of 12. I was enrolled in the last quarter of 7th grade. Before that I was in elementary school till grade 3rd in my country. I was in enrolled in a private religious school in between the time I missed public education which was solely based on a different language and had nothing to do with public education in anyway. There are 6 of us in the family and my father yearly income was $33,000 before 2002. After 2002, my father's income dropped down to $14,000 until last year which it also dropped down to $13,000. My father is type 2 diabetic and has been since 1995.
I received my GED diploma at the age of 21 in 2008. I attended a community college in NY in Spring 2009 semester and was enrolled in 3 ESL courses. Over the course of 2009, 2010, 2011, and Spring 2012 I took courses at this community college and took about 74.5 credits. I ended up with an overall 2.8 GPA at this community college.
In fall 2012, I transferred to a 4 year college in NY. I took 69 credits at this 4 year college over the course of four semesters. I ended up with an overall 3.93 GPA at this 4 year college. I was enrolled as a full time student during these four semesters. Currently I am enrolled as a part-time student as this 4 year college taking 9 credits. I cannot afford to attend school full time due to financial reasons. I will be graduating next year in fall 2015 with an over all 3.95 GPA and will have taken 99 credits at this 4 year college. I have retaken a few courses also which I did terrible in during my community college because I could not attend those classes due to financial reasons I had to miss them.
I am planning to start volunteer work soon at a few places. I have also started studying for the MCAT which I plan on either taking next year or 2016. I have also been offered a paid research by my organic chemistry professor which I have anxiety to start because I am terrible at laboratory work. Hypothetically speaking if I am to ace the MCAT or do exceptionally well and end up with 3.4+ over all GPA and have 300+ research hours and 400-500 hours volunteer work. Do I have a chance at top tier medical schools for an MD program? Am I considered a non-traditional and disadvantage medical school applicant?
I am currently 27 years olds. I will be applying to medical school at the age of 28. I am only interested in an MD program.
I would very much like some professional guidance on this matter. Any help is very much appreciated.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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In some ways you are a non-traditional student in that you are not applying to medical school after 3 or 4 years of college at the age of 21 or 22. On the other hand, you have not come to medicine after working at another career so you aren't the typical non-traditional student either.

You are an immigrant. You have been educated from the age of 12 (about 15 years) in the US. From your teens onward your family has lived in poverty. You could self-identify as disadvantaged given that you lived in poverty as a teen. Whether this will help your application depends on the school but it will not substitute to grades and MCAT score.

You don't mention having been employed despite being 27 years old. You have not done research and you have not volunteered in any way. All told you have a 3.5 GPA. How well you may do on the MCAT is unknown. In my opinion, your chances of being admitted to a top MD program are slim.

You have a long road and not the strongest application. The costs of applying are steep. You should get some employment as soon as possible and begin preparing for the new MCAT which will be given beginning in Spring 2015.
 

mimelim

Vascular Surgery
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Sep 19, 2011
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+1 to everything @LizzyM said.

The real question you have to answer is what do you bring to the table. From your post, there just isn't a whole lot. I don't really see your actual GPA (although I guess I can assume 3.5) which will be on the lower side. You also don't have an MCAT score. You have zero research or volunteering. Other than coming from a disadvantaged background, what exactly do the schools gain by taking you?

Why are you "only interested in an MD program"? Seems like an odd thing to throw in there.
 

Goro

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Top tier? No. You'll need a 3.7+ for that, along with an MCAT >34-35. A compelling story also helps, along with killer ECs, not just the cookie cutter variety.
Any MD program? Yes.
Non-trad? Kind of.
Disadvantaged? Yes.


Hypothetically speaking if I am to ace the MCAT or do exceptionally well and end up with 3.4+ over all GPA and have 300+ research hours and 400-500 hours volunteer work. Do I have a chance at top tier medical schools for an MD program? Am I considered a non-traditional and disadvantage medical school applicant?
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you all for your feedbacks. I appreciate it very much. I am just trying to understand how the application process works and where I stand currently. You guys have given me some good insights. I plan on taking the MCAT in 2016 April or June. I have started studying for it now. I am also starting volunteer work next week. As far as research goes my professor wants me to do 20 hours of research a week for a year. I cannot fit that in to my schedule because he only works Mon-Thur. I can only do 10 hours so I will talk to him about that. There is also an opportunity at top tier universities for summer research which I am planning to apply to. My concern is do admission committee regard upward trend GPA for about 91-99 credits a good thing or it do not really matter?

I have taken 69 credits so far with a 3.93 GPA. I have about 22-30 credits to go until I graduate and I plan on getting a 4.0 in all of them.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
+1 to everything @LizzyM said.

The real question you have to answer is what do you bring to the table. From your post, there just isn't a whole lot. I don't really see your actual GPA (although I guess I can assume 3.5) which will be on the lower side. You also don't have an MCAT score. You have zero research or volunteering. Other than coming from a disadvantaged background, what exactly do the schools gain by taking you?

Why are you "only interested in an MD program"? Seems like an odd thing to throw in there.
Everything is still in works at the moment. MD programs are cheap in most schools and also benefit towards residency programs compare to DO. I am just curious to know what type of applicant am I considered and how should I plan my next 2 years when applying to medical schools in June 2016.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
In some ways you are a non-traditional student in that you are not applying to medical school after 3 or 4 years of college at the age of 21 or 22. On the other hand, you have not come to medicine after working at another career so you aren't the typical non-traditional student either.

You are an immigrant. You have been educated from the age of 12 (about 15 years) in the US. From your teens onward your family has lived in poverty. You could self-identify as disadvantaged given that you lived in poverty as a teen. Whether this will help your application depends on the school but it will not substitute to grades and MCAT score.

You don't mention having been employed despite being 27 years old. You have not done research and you have not volunteered in any way. All told you have a 3.5 GPA. How well you may do on the MCAT is unknown. In my opinion, your chances of being admitted to a top MD program are slim.

You have a long road and not the strongest application. The costs of applying are steep. You should get some employment as soon as possible and begin preparing for the new MCAT which will be given beginning in Spring 2015.
I applied for couple of jobs but no one hired me. In my teenage years I worked for my father when he had his business. I worked for him for about 5-9 years. I am eligible for FAP application at AAMC. You are right it is very expensive. I have been selling my notes at school and tutoring on the side and saving money. I want my application to be competitive and I know MCAT is an unknown thing but I feel it is my ticket to top tier medical schools with addition to research and volunteer and upward trend GPA. What should I tell my professor who is offering me a paid internship at his lab. He is offering me 20 hours a week and he only works from Monday-Thursday. I cannot fit 20 hours into my schedule between Monday-Thursday. The most I can fit is 10 hours. What should I tell him? He wants me to do it for 1 year and I do not mind that at all.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Top tier? No. You'll need a 3.7+ for that, along with an MCAT >34-35. A compelling story also helps, along with killer ECs, not just the cookie cutter variety.
Any MD program? Yes.
Non-trad? Kind of.
Disadvantaged? Yes.


Hypothetically speaking if I am to ace the MCAT or do exceptionally well and end up with 3.4+ over all GPA and have 300+ research hours and 400-500 hours volunteer work. Do I have a chance at top tier medical schools for an MD program? Am I considered a non-traditional and disadvantage medical school applicant?
I do have a story. But I do not have a 3.7+. The most I can get is 3.4+. I can try my best to do exceptionally well on the MCAT coming 2016. Thank you for clarifying it. I have a difficult time understand my situation. I just want guidance on what I should do in the next two years.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Get your GPA up. Ace the MCAT. Since you came to English as a language late, be extra careful for the MCAT VR section.

Get lots of service volunteer hours, and show us you know what you're getting into, and that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years.

I do have a story. But I do not have a 3.7+. The most I can get is 3.4+. I can try my best to do exceptionally well on the MCAT coming 2016. Thank you for clarifying it. I have a difficult time understand my situation. I just want guidance on what I should do in the next two years.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Get your GPA up. Ace the MCAT. Since you came to English as a language late, be extra careful for the MCAT VR section.

Get lots of service volunteer hours, and show us you know what you're getting into, and that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years.
Thank you! I definitely will. At the end of that day its all repetition. I will go hard on this.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
In some ways you are a non-traditional student in that you are not applying to medical school after 3 or 4 years of college at the age of 21 or 22. On the other hand, you have not come to medicine after working at another career so you aren't the typical non-traditional student either.

You are an immigrant. You have been educated from the age of 12 (about 15 years) in the US. From your teens onward your family has lived in poverty. You could self-identify as disadvantaged given that you lived in poverty as a teen. Whether this will help your application depends on the school but it will not substitute to grades and MCAT score.

You don't mention having been employed despite being 27 years old. You have not done research and you have not volunteered in any way. All told you have a 3.5 GPA. How well you may do on the MCAT is unknown. In my opinion, your chances of being admitted to a top MD program are slim.

You have a long road and not the strongest application. The costs of applying are steep. You should get some employment as soon as possible and begin preparing for the new MCAT which will be given beginning in Spring 2015.
I have just 1 more question. So between the age of 7-12 I attended a private religious school. I got a degree which is considered to be one of the highest in my religion. Only about 0.5% of 2,000,000,000 Muslims have done it. Its to be able to memorize and recite the Quran without looking. It consists of about 1700-2000 pages of 16 lines. Do I mention that in my application also or should I just leave it out?
 

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
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Apr 21, 2012
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Thank you all for your feedbacks. I appreciate it very much. I am just trying to understand how the application process works and where I stand currently. You guys have given me some good insights. I plan on taking the MCAT in 2016 April or June. I have started studying for it now. I am also starting volunteer work next week. As far as research goes my professor wants me to do 20 hours of research a week for a year. I cannot fit that in to my schedule because he only works Mon-Thur. I can only do 10 hours so I will talk to him about that. There is also an opportunity at top tier universities for summer research which I am planning to apply to. My concern is do admission committee regard upward trend GPA for about 91-99 credits a good thing or it do not really matter?

I have taken 69 credits so far with a 3.93 GPA. I have about 22-30 credits to go until I graduate and I plan on getting a 4.0 in all of them.
Why would you turn down your professor's offer for 20 hours, yet apply to a separate summer research program. These programs might sound cool, but unless you really want to expand your academic breadth, there's really no point. Just devote more time to your current lab. You'll experience far more efficiency and greater research production by devoting your time to one lab.
 
OP
SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Why would you turn down your professor's offer for 20 hours, yet apply to a separate summer research program. These programs might sound cool, but unless you really want to expand your academic breadth, there's really no point. Just devote more time to your current lab. You'll experience far more efficiency and greater research production by devoting your time to one lab.
I can't because of classes. Can't fit it into schedule. :(
 

Aerus

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I can't because of classes. There is no enough time. :(
If you're a part time student, there's definitely enough time. If you can't handle a 20 hour per week research gig and being full time, med school will eat you alive. 10 hours a week is not enough if you want to contribute something useful to a lab.
 
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SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
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Pre-Medical
If you're a part time student, there's definitely enough time. If you can't handle a 20 hour per week research gig and being full time, med school will eat you alive. 10 hours a week is not enough if you want to contribute something useful to a lab.
I was thinking 10 hours a week till the end of December 2016. I can do that. That would look good.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Depending on the lab, you may be able to work in the lab when the professor is not there. He will give you things to do and you'll do them. Sometimes things need to be tended in the off hours, weekends, etc. Ask what he has in mind in terms of work hours and if they all have to be Monday through Thursday between 8 and 5 or if there is flexibility.

Rote memorization of a large quantity of material is an achievement but not one that would be of value on a med school application. That's just my opinion and I'm open to hearing differences of opinion from fellow adcom members.
 

Goro

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Probably won't impress people at the Touros or Einstein!

Seriously, pure brute memory is worthless in anything without understanding or application.


Depending on the lab, you may be able to work in the lab when the professor is not there. He will give you things to do and you'll do them. Sometimes things need to be tended in the off hours, weekends, etc. Ask what he has in mind in terms of work hours and if they all have to be Monday through Thursday between 8 and 5 or if there is flexibility.

Rote memorization of a large quantity of material is an achievement but not one that would be of value on a med school application. That's just my opinion and I'm open to hearing differences of opinion from fellow adcom members.
 
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SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
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Pre-Medical
Depending on the lab, you may be able to work in the lab when the professor is not there. He will give you things to do and you'll do them. Sometimes things need to be tended in the off hours, weekends, etc. Ask what he has in mind in terms of work hours and if they all have to be Monday through Thursday between 8 and 5 or if there is flexibility.

Rote memorization of a large quantity of material is an achievement but not one that would be of value on a med school application. That's just my opinion and I'm open to hearing differences of opinion from fellow adcom members.
You're a probably right.
 

kraskadva

...
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What is so special about Touros and Einstein?
They're Jewish (founded by & majority of students/faculty are)
Everything is still in works at the moment. MD programs are cheap in most schools and also benefit towards residency programs compare to DO. I am just curious to know what type of applicant am I considered and how should I plan my next 2 years when applying to medical schools in June 2016.
:eyebrow: what do you mean by cheap? Typically they are very expensive.

Also, from what you've said above it's not clear what your citizenship status is. Do you have permanent residency or citizenship in the US? If you do not, there is a whole other set of issues you will have to deal with as an applicant.
And you should continue to work on your English skills- you will need your English at a higher level in order to do well on the MCAT.
 
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SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
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They're Jewish (founded by & majority of students/faculty are)

:eyebrow: what do you mean by cheap? Typically they are very expensive.

Also, from what you've said above it's not clear what your citizenship status is. Do you have permanent residency or citizenship in the US? If you do not, there is a whole other set of issues you will have to deal with as an applicant.
And you should continue to work on your English skills- you will need your English at a higher level in order to do well on the MCAT.
What does them being Jewish have to do with my application and religious achievement?

I am a US citizen and have been for past 9 years.

I definitely need to work on my English skills. Hopefully doing crazy amount of verbal passages will help.

Cheap as in Stony Brook is cheaper then NYIT DO program.
 
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SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
15
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Status
Pre-Medical
What does them being Jewish have to do with my application and religious achievement?

I am a US citizen and have been for past 9 years.

I definitely need to work on my English skills. Hopefully doing crazy amount of verbal passages will help.

Cheap as in for example Stony Brook MD program is cheaper then NYIT DO program.
 

Aerus

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What does them being Jewish have to do with my application and religious achievement?

I am a US citizen and have been for past 9 years.

I definitely need to work on my English skills. Hopefully doing crazy amount of verbal passages will help.

Cheap as in Stony Brook is cheaper then NYIT DO program.
Verbal passage practice helps with a certain competency in reading comprehension. I have no idea how good you are at reading dense literature, but if you have any doubt, you should start practice reading and analyzing articles. Practicing verbal passages helps with the timing and logical reasoning, but it won't help much with reading comprehension if you aren't understanding the passages.
 
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SniperWolfisKurdish
Sep 8, 2014
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Verbal passage practice helps with a certain competency in reading comprehension. I have no idea how good you are at reading dense literature, but if you have any doubt, you should start practice reading and analyzing articles. Practicing verbal passages helps with the timing and logical reasoning, but it won't help much with reading comprehension if you aren't understanding the passages.
What types of articles do you suggest? Is there any websites you can send me links to? It would be very much appreciated.
 

kraskadva

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What does them being Jewish have to do with my application and religious achievement?
Well...
1) just answering your question regarding @Goro 's response to your question about memorizing the Koran being regarded as an achievement.
2) if you are so politically unaware as to not understand why mainly Jewish organizations would be unimpressed with a Muslim religious achievement, then I'm not quite sure what to say.
I am a US citizen and have been for past 9 years.
One less issue for you to worry about then.
I definitely need to work on my English skills. Hopefully doing crazy amount of verbal passages will help.
mmmm, maybe, maybe not. I would look into a class if I were you (and not an ESL class, but a university level English literature or Philosophy class). Having been an international English teacher, the mistakes I see you making in writing give me a pretty good idea of your language skills and the MCAT verbal section is a high level English test for even a native speaker.
Cheap as in Stony Brook is cheaper then NYIT DO program.
Oookaayy... yes, Stony Brook (>$32.5k/year OOS) is more expensive than NYIT COM (>$52k/year), but those are not the only schools out there and MD/DO tend to average the same tuition across the board. They're all still expensive and they all still are competitive to get into, so you can't guarantee you'll get into the one with the lowest tuition.
Also, I hope this n=2 sample size isn't the reason you're against DO schools...
 
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Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
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What types of articles do you suggest? Is there any websites you can send me links to? It would be very much appreciated.
Articles such as Economist and New York Times. Books on philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and history.
 
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