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Appropriate?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by yesm, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. yesm

    yesm Junior Member
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    I have a relatively low GPA (3.37) but an above average MCAT (34). So I was wondering if it is acceptable to email/call admissions offices and inquire as to whether it would be a waste of time for me to apply because of my low GPA. What do you think? Also, would email be too informal? Thanks for the help...
     
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  3. dknykid1980

    dknykid1980 Senior Member
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    personally i would call and ask for an admissions counselor.

    if you email them, your email will probably be put into a mail box which receieves a billion emails a day and most schools take a while to reply.

    I was in a similar situation and i had called the schools. they told me that a low GPA with a high MCAT score (30+) will be ok. So i think you are pretty set.
    34 is a pretty, damn good score
     
  4. psyche

    psyche Member
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    I think this is appropriate, although you'll probably get some non-commital kind of answer like "we accept a range of G.P.A.'s but the average is around 3.6." I think you have a good chance of getting in somewhere. Maybe you should take a couple of courses to boost you over the 3.4 hump, which seems to be the threshhold of acceptability for a lot of schools.
     
  5. Kry

    Kry cranky
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    There is more to a GPA then numbers. (EG: did you have any F's/D's... and in what classes...) If your grades early on were bad and have an upward trend it'll look much better. I think you have a good chance if your LORs/ECs are good.
     
  6. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    I really doubt asking the schools is going to help. Medical schools never like to say that they have GPA/MCAT cut-offs (even though they do... at least to some extent). They want you to think that they give everyone thoughtful consideration despite any GPA/MCAT scores. I think that's how the justify the $60-80 application fee. :rolleyes:

    A 3.37 hurts, but it's not all that bad when you have a 34 MCAT. Was the 34 relatively balanced? And do you have decent ECs? If so, then I think you're ok. Just apply to a wide range of schools and a lot of them! If I were you I'd apply to at least 30... with at least 10 lower tier. And, of course, apply to all your state schools.

    Good luck :)
     
  7. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    Hey Yesm--

    I would say call the school you want to go to, but don't just ask anyone (ie, the person who answers the phone) if your GPA is going to hold you back or if it will be balanced out by a strong (congrats, by the way!) MCAT. Instead, why don't you call the school and ask to set up an appt with an admissions counselor to talk about your overall application. Schools get kind of squirmy when you start questioning them about GPA/MCAT cut-offs, but I think that showing intrest in their school this early in the game and taking the inititave to talk to them would only help you.

    Of course, this is only helpful advice if you live w/in an easy drive or your top-choice school. Maybe you could schedule a phone interview just to talk about your application. If you do talk to them or meet with them, don't focus on whining about your GPA-- ask if they could suggest ways to boost your acceptance chances, what sort of ECs they would recommend...blah blah blah.

    In any case, I don't think it's a waste of time for you to apply this admissions cycle. Best of luck!!
     
  8. ellerose

    ellerose Member
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    I disagree with Relatively Prime. Schools, especially if you are talking to admissions officers (not the secretary), will, or at least should, give you advice based on your scenario. Two separate cases:
    A friend had good grades, lots of research and some clinical experience and probably great LORs. Then she took the MCAT and bombed it (in the mid-20s range). She called her first choice school, which happened to be the state school, and told them the dilemma. They told her that based on all of her ECs and grades, that her score would not preclude an interview and real consideration before the adcom (she did get an interview).

    Another friend had an awesome application. Grades, LORs, experience, research...the whole nine yards. Wanted to go into MD/PhD. Took the August MCAT and bombed it (low to mid-20s). Called every single school he had applied to (he had already sent his AMCAS), and each one of them told him that he needs to withdraw his application, take the MCAT again, and apply next year (which he did, and ended up getting into several MD/PhD programs).

    Point: if you talk to the right people in the admissions offices of the schools you are applying to, you will get answers. They may not be the answers you like to hear, but they should be honest with you.

    Yesm, as long as you have an otherwise strong applicaton (great ECs, great LORs, and a great personal statement) you should be fine. Just build up that GPA by kicking ass in upper division science courses this coming year.

    Good luck! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  9. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    I was just going by what most medical school's websites say. I suppose they might say something different if you call them... however, I'd just make sure that you talk to someone who knows what he/she is talking about.

    ellerose: For the case of that one guy who had all the medical schools tell him to withdrawal... I'm thinking the medical schools are going to be a lot more honest after they get your $80 check. Did he do this before or after he got secondaries? This is a major money-generator for medical schools. THink, what is 2,000 times 80? $160,000! They want to get as many people to apply as they can... that's why schools stopped being selective at the secondary level.
     
  10. ellerose

    ellerose Member
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    I actually didn't ask if he had secondaries yet. I'm inclined to say that he didn't, but I'd have to double check that. I hear what you're saying about secondaries being the bread and butter of the application cycle for med schools, but I think most admissions officers would/should still be honest in their advice to applicants, regardless of where they are in the application cycle.
     

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