dweji16

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Anyone here apply to more than 50 or 60 schools?

Just curious... about what the outcomes were and if doing that huge of a number of secondaries is even feasible...

i would if I had the money to... sigh.
 

Hoody

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I am going to apply to pretty much all the schools....md, do, texas, carribean,
 

TooMuchResearch

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Welcome to the annual "Can I apply to every school?" thread. I wouldn't recommend it. I would suggest (at the absolute! most) maybe 25-30 schools. It's $31 per school for Amcas after $1xx for the first school. Secondaries run approximately $76 per school, but that includes a lot of public schools. Assume closer to $85 per secondary. To be safe, assume 5 interviews for 1 acceptance. Assume $300 per OOS interview (give or take a bit).

Find schools that are a good fit (GPA, MCAT, and...you know, school-specific stuff). You'll be fine, trust me.
 
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Anyone here apply to more than 50 or 60 schools?

Just curious... about what the outcomes were and if doing that huge of a number of secondaries is even feasible...

i would if I had the money to... sigh.
Look at residency requirements for each school you do apply to because some schools won't really accept OOS or will give HUGE preferences to in-state applications. You may as well save some money and time by not applying to these type of schools.

Plus, filling out 50-60 secondaries quickly (as in within 2-3 weeks of receiving them) is nearly impossible. I applied to almost 40 initially and only managed to fill out 30 secondaries due to time.
 
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I know I'm a little more relaxed and laid back about this whole process than most of my pre-med friends but I am ONLY applying to in-state schools. We have around 6 allo and 1 DO and I'm banking on somebody accepting me, lol. I just know that I'd never be able to afford going to an OOS school and it doesn't pay to waste the money and time applying. If you are wise about where you apply there is no reason to apply to more than a dozen or two schools at the most. Stick with to the safety, good fit, and reach suggestion when applying. Just my $.02 ;)
 

LizzyM

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Applying to more than 20 schools is wasting your time and money and wasting the time of those people who will handle your application. It is far better to apply to fewer schools and do a good job on each secondary than to do a half-ass job and make mistakes (I've even seen an essay where the applicant expressed great interest in attending a different med school -- I guess the find and replace function didn't work as it should have. )

If your application is good, 50 applications will exhaust you and your bank account. You will feel obligated to attend every interview until you have an offer (mid-October at the earliest) and that will drain your bank account (or run up a credit card bill). It will also have you sounding rehearsed far sooner in the season than other applicants (that isn't good as it comes off as insincere). You will also be stressing out about not hearing from some schools until later in the season (you are going to be "late" with the supplementals at some schools just because you will have a backlog of them in the weeks after your AMCAS goes in.)

There aren't 50 medical schools in the country that are a good fit for you. Look at your personal characteristics (state residence, academic performance, interests outside of clinical medicine such as research, community service, global health, and recreational activities) and your lifestyle preferences (e.g. do you love or hate cities of > 1 million, want to be close to an area with others who share your ethnicity, religion or other characteristics)... if you are honest with yourself and do your home work you can strike many schools off your list as those you wouldn't attend even if offered admission. (We see this along with the pussywillows every spring, "I got one offer of admission but I don't like the school, does it look bad to decline the offer and reapply in the next cycle?")

Buy the MSAR. Pour over it with a packet of post-it notes in one hand and a highlighter in the other. I guarantee you will come up with a solid list of 20 schools and if you are very well prepared you may actually walk away with 10 interview invites and 5 offers. If you aren't as strong but you target your applications well , you'll get the one offer you need and it will be a school where you'll be happy to attend.
 

flip26

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Applying to more than 20 schools is wasting your time and money and wasting the time of those people who will handle your application. It is far better to apply to fewer schools and do a good job on each secondary than to do a half-ass job and make mistakes (I've even seen an essay where the applicant expressed great interest in attending a different med school -- I guess the find and replace function didn't work as it should have. )

If your application is good, 50 applications will exhaust you and your bank account. You will feel obligated to attend every interview until you have an offer (mid-October at the earliest) and that will drain your bank account (or run up a credit card bill). It will also have you sounding rehearsed far sooner in the season than other applicants (that isn't good as it comes off as insincere). You will also be stressing out about not hearing from some schools until later in the season (you are going to be "late" with the supplementals at some schools just because you will have a backlog of them in the weeks after your AMCAS goes in.)

There aren't 50 medical schools in the country that are a good fit for you. Look at your personal characteristics (state residence, academic performance, interests outside of clinical medicine such as research, community service, global health, and recreational activities) and your lifestyle preferences (e.g. do you love or hate cities of > 1 million, want to be close to an area with others who share your ethnicity, religion or other characteristics)... if you are honest with yourself and do your home work you can strike many schools off your list as those you wouldn't attend even if offered admission. (We see this along with the pussywillows every spring, "I got one offer of admission but I don't like the school, does it look bad to decline the offer and reapply in the next cycle?")

Buy the MSAR. Pour over it with a packet of post-it notes in one hand and a highlighter in the other. I guarantee you will come up with a solid list of 20 schools and if you are very well prepared you may actually walk away with 10 interview invites and 5 offers. If you aren't as strong but you target your applications well , you'll get the one offer you need and it will be a school where you'll be happy to attend.
Only weak applicants consider doing this, and as LizzyM points out, it is a bad idea.

If you are from the typical state with at least one instate med school, if you look at the MSAR, it is hard to find 50+ schools where you have any kind of chances, even if you are a superstar applicant, because of instate preferences.

Also - the typical dope who is a weak applicant applying to 50 schools is applying to every one of the schools in the USNWR top 30 or so - schools where they have virtually no chance - and then they are applying to the 20 schools that they should have focused their attention and apps on in the first place.

Save the time, money, and frustration and find those 20 schools. I burned out on 15 secondaries...could not stand to do one more.
 
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RokKidA

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That would be such a headache keeping track of all the waitlists, rejections, acceptances, and any letters of intent you would write on top of all the secondaries.

Plus, I'd love to see the how your interviewer would react when they ask you, "So, how many schools have you applied to?"
You: "....60."
Interviewer: :eek:---->!!:thumbdown:mad:!!!
 

Sammich117

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Yikes, 50 applications would drive me mad.

I submitted my primary to about 30.. maybe a couple more.. and then sent in 20 secondaries... I ended up deciding the secondaries were too much of a hassle, or too expensive, or just found out things last minute that changed my mind. If I did it again I definitely would have researched more to avoid those extra primaries that went to waste. 20 secondaries was also rather rough to do, but it was tolerable. I'd suggest 15-20.

The idea of 50 just blows my mind.
 
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not to mention god forbid if 2 schools have interviews on the same day
 

Narmerguy

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not to mention god forbid if 2 schools have interviews on the same day
Or back to back and 1000 miles apart.
 

Appless

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dear god dont do this. I am what sdn would say is a "weak" app numbers wise so i freaked out and applied to like 40 (though it was free for me due to fap as well as a grant from my hospital). Becuase it was free i did about 42 but it was still a stupid idea. In the end 10-15 of those schools were just a complete waste of time as my mcat would preclude me from most of them no matter what (i.e u chicago, mayo, dartmouth, etc...). Also you will find that many schools you just dont want to go to. I had the mentality "any med school ill be happy with" but after you visit them (or look at their OOS tuition adn realize you dont want 300-400k in debt) and the cities, you realize you are just kidding yourself. If you are from any state but CA id say 20ish is the max. If you are from CA, you have no state schools that you can count on, so id so going 30-35 isnt unreasonable due to our ridic state reqs and schools. I mean if you have a 30 mcat and are applying ot yale, harvard, mayo, etc you are just wasting your time. And if you apply to 50 you are invariably applying to schools ways out of your reach or schools that take little to no OOS .
 
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I applied to 16 schools and spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 doing it (app fees, travel, etc). Unless you are independently wealthy and have NOTHING else to to, I would not recommend it. I was already overwhelmed keeping track of 16. Plus it makes that "why do you want to come to our school" question kinda irrelevant.... and I was asked that at all but one of my interviews.
 

BlueElmo

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50 schools. Man, that would be a nightmare.
 
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yeah...just some rough math..if you applied to 50-60 schools and got say 10 interviews, you're looking at $10,000 right there...not wise financially or in regards to your time
 

dweji16

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Yeah. There is no way I would apply to 50 schools. I was just talking with some kids during MCAT class that said they were applying to all of them except for the ones that don't accept OOS period... like 70 or something ridiculous.

Was wondering if it was feasible because it seemed pretty ridiculous to me financially...

But yes... I guess I do have to apply to around 40 or so since I'm from CA and there is no way I would get into any CA school with my GPA... sigh...
 

Excelsius

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Anyone here apply to more than 50 or 60 schools?

Just curious... about what the outcomes were and if doing that huge of a number of secondaries is even feasible...

i would if I had the money to... sigh.
Yes, I know at least two SDNers who did.

There are two aspects - applying to more schools will increase your probability of getting an acceptance, on the other hand, as Lizzy mentioned, the quality of your applications will decrease and therefore lower the probability of an acceptance. So, if you are serious about applying to many schools, you should start writing your essays and your secondaries months before you apply. SDN has an archive of past questions on secondaries and even if the questions change slightly, you can just recycle the material you have already written. Plus depending on your financial situation, you can ask for application fee waivers.

To help you out, I am including a post I made some time ago about some rough estimations:

.Some quick numbers: let's assume that you have pretty bad grades - low GPA and mediocre MCAT. Let's assume that your acceptance probability to any one school is about 2% (the national average is 42.7%). That's a very conservative number assuming that some schools have 10th percentile matriculant GPAs below 3.2 and the majority have it lower than 3.4. So if you apply to 15 schools within your echelon, your probability of getting at least a single acceptance will be 1-(98/100)^15=0.2614. Maybe that's not that great, but you didn't apply to many schools. Let's increase that to the higher number of 40 schools: 1-(98/100)^40=.5543. A 55% acceptance probability is better than a flip of a coin and is 13% better than the national average, and all this simply by applying to many schools. ..If you do look at matriculant data, then you'll see something like 1.79% matriculation for Georgetown or 8.84% for Alabama. The range is from 1.22% to 20.49% (or 40-100% at the higher end if you include the special programs). A conservative average for all schools is 4.48% (5.64% if you want to be all inclusive). But again, these numbers are for matriculants only and they don't say much. The acceptances could be a one or several percentages over that. My 2% is only an estimation of the average. If the average applicant has about 5% chance of getting into any one school (average being around 3.65 GPA and 30.8P MCAT), 2% is reasonable because it has 60% less probability of getting in than the average student..
Please note that if you have unresolved issues on your application, it would be better to take care of them before you apply because the most important thing here is applying smartly. Without proper strategy, quantity won't help you as much. Know exactly what your weaknesses are. If you have a lower GPA but very high MCAT, some of the top schools that concentrate heavily on the MCAT (and research) might give you an acceptance whereas "easier" schools might not even give you a secondary. I have seen this happen several times. Just know the game and play it well.
 

AyCaramba

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I applied to 30+ schools, and yeah it sucked and was expensive, but the bottom line is, it worked. I could have decreased this number significantly by taking out the schools at which I had virtually no chance, but what's the fun in that?
 

amakhosidlo

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yeah...just some rough math..if you applied to 50-60 schools and got say 10 interviews, you're looking at $10,000 right there...not wise financially or in regards to your time
Yeah I applied to 28 schools, ended up spending over 5 grand ( and that's with canceling half my interviews and going to ridiculous ends to save $$ on airfare)

I nearly lost it cranking out 28 secondaries. 50? Jesus...

That being said though, looking back I could NEVER have predicted which schools actually ended up giving me love. Even staying reasonable re: stats, it was so random I'm glad I applied as broadly as I did. As long as you're pragmatic in picking your schools, the only thing limiting you is patience and $$...
 
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I initially applied in the neighborhood of 32 and then after doing research on secondaries, I ended up not filling out 7 secondaries. I also had the mentality that I just really want to go to med school so I was going to take my chances. I recommend that you just pick about 20 schools ( If you're a weak applicant and/or Ca resident, I'd say 20-30). However, all it needs is applying smart and knowing what you want. Do research beforehand and you'll end up saving yourself time and money. :thumbup:

Oh, and like others said, when the schools ask "why us?" you have to think of more than a reason "I thought I had a shot". Part of the research is finding something that gets you excited about the school.
 

bamtuba

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I went to 12 interviews and that alone cost me more $$$ than I ever dreamed. It was worth it to me, but in hindsight (20/20 you know...), I could have turned some places down pre-interview and it would NOT have been a mistake.

I would hate to think what it would be like to interview 20-30 times (if you are fortunate) and think the best advice I could give you (take it or leave it) is ONLY APPLY TO THE SCHOOLS YOU WOULD ATTEND!

Don't just apply out of desperation. If your application is really so bad that you would need to bank on the 1-120 schools approach (you only need one yes! :rolleyes:) then your chances are not really going to go up that much for admission until you get your app improved. (You will however get a LOT of really nice water-marked rejection letters to hang on your wall...)

Don't apply until you are ready. Save your $$$ and resources for getting things as good as they can be and then apply broadly AND wisely. Shoot for the moon as much as you can afford (ie. go for the top places whether you think you have a shot or not) but also choose schools that you think you'll have a good shot at as well as some where your numbers statistically line up to or go above the avg for the school. Don't let other peoples' opinions determine where you apply, but if EVERYONE is telling you the same thing (ie. you really need to improve X) then take that in consideration before you go all in.

:luck:
 

LizzyM

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Send me your AMCAS application, your list of 40 schools and $1000 cash. I'll cut your list to 20 schools and pocket the grand. You'll still come out ahead. /jk

:laugh:
 

RogueUnicorn

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Send me your AMCAS application, your list of 40 schools and $1000 cash. I'll cut your list to 20 schools and pocket the grand. You'll still come out ahead. /jk

:laugh:
10 bucks says now you'll receive PMs asking you if you would be willing..
 
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I applied to a total of 40 schools using TMDSAS, AMCAS, and AACOMAS for PRIMARY applications. The reasoning was due to my lower MCAT score. I felt competitive to most DO schools so I applied to all of them, then some select AMCAS schools and all TMDSAS schools (resident of Texas).

When secondaries started coming in, I was more selective as to which schools I submitted them to. So ultimately, I submitted about fifteen secondaries of the 40 schools I originally applied to relatively early in the application cycle. The reason for this was to save a little money and also give me a last ditch effort to try to get an interview late in the cycle if I did not hear anything from the fifteen schools I really wanted to go to.

It was expensive, but I guess I figured it would beat re-applying. To me, $3,500 in application fees was completely worth it and I am a starving independent college guy with no financial support from family.

In hindsight, I should not have bothered with AMCAS and cut down on the number of DO schools and I probably could have saved about 2,000. Do your research, I feel like I should have done more. At the same time, even if I was one of the most competitive applicants I still would have applied to at least 20 schools just to be safe.
 
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ILikeDrugs

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Maybe you should start making a list of criteria that are important to you in choosing a med school. I use to think like you. I'm broke, live off <$15k a year by myself, and know that my AMCAS fees will be waived. I was going to apply to every school that I knew I could have a chance at with my current GPA and future MCAT score. That would have been 60 schools. Then I started to realize to how different med schools are from each other. So know I have a list of things that I will consider when choosing med schools. Maybe looking at my list will help give you some ideas.

GPA/MCAT
Curriculum type (NO traditional schedules :thumbdown:)
Less mandatory attendance requirements (skipping lecture and learning on my own)
Location (grew up in big city area, L.A., and tired of it, I want wilderness/outdoor area so that I can do the outdoor things that I like to do)
No research intensive school. (If >70% of the matriculating class has experience, I won't bother since I have minimal/borderline research experience)
Cost
 

bannie22

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I applied to 28 schools.

I guess I'm a weak applicant.


50 is overdoing it for me.

I have a friend who has applied to 30/40 schools, not including pharmacy school.

His stats are above average for SDN too. (i feel that SDN averages around 33/3.7... somewhere there)
 

Marcus Brody

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