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best schools to attend for undergraduate premedical education as a minority?

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by foreveryoung90, May 17, 2007.

  1. foreveryoung90

    foreveryoung90

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    Hello. I am a junior in highschool and currently trying to figure out what university/college to attend once I graduate. I want to go into medicine (obviously) so are there particular universities I should be looking at? As a minority I want to make sure I attend a school that is not only going to offer me a great education but also will allow me to still feel comfortable. I live in Maryland but I want to go to school out of state. I want to go to either New York or Florida. My top choices from those states are NYU and UMiami but both are really expensive and my mother is a single mother with no money saved so I dont think they are realistic choices for me. Also I heard that they really care how much money you make because they want people that can contribute to their school. Is this true? I really want to go to Florida State University but is it a good enough school. It ranks 110 in the nation but is that even important? Should I go to a better school? I called a Florida Hospital and asked about Florida International and she told me not go to there b/c its not accredited but on chea.org it says the school is accredited however US News rankins places it in the four tier. As you can see I am really confused so someone please give me some sort of advice. thnx =] By the way I'm a girl if that matters at all at which school I should attend.

    I almost forgot to say I'm African American. =]
     
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  3. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Hi, I am a Floridian, and I can assure you that FIU is definitely accredited. It's a state (public) university. Where it ranks on USNWR's list, I haven't a clue. I don't think college ranking matters all that much as long as the school is accredited, you earn good grades, and you do well on the MCAT. My suggestion to you is that you go wherever you think you can do well and can afford to go. You're still a junior, so presumably you haven't applied yet. Is there any reason why you have to go out of state? I ask because if you could go to school in-state for free, you should consider doing that. I went to college in FL for that exact reason and was fully scholarshipped for all four years. Medical school is very expensive, and most people must take out significant amounts of loans (we're talking six figures here). I don't know if Maryland will give scholarships to its students to stay in-state like FL does, but you should definitely check into that.

    If you want to try applying out of state, then you should look into applying for scholarships that are transferable or that are awarded by each college. Most if not all colleges offer scholarships. Here's a link to FIU's scholarship page, for example: http://www.fiu.edu/scholarships/ You will also be filling out a FAFSA, which is for need-based aid. If you qualify, you may get grants from the individual school. Miami is a very expensive school, but they definitely offer scholarships there. I applied there as a high school senior and was accepted with a half-tuition scholarship. This was a long time ago, but they have many scholarships. Here is a link to their scholarship page: http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,29532-1;44908-2;29913-2,00.html

    Hope these are helpful, and best of luck to you. :)
     
  4. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin 10+ Year Member

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    Where you go to undergrad will matter a bit, but honestly not that much. Provided you do well, you can get into medical school from any accredited school in the country.

    As Q said, medical school is very, very expensive. For instance I an instate yet still have to pull out 40K per year in loans. Out of state, would be closer to 60K/year. So go somewhere cheap for undergrad. It just isnt worth spending a fortune for undergrad when you will be spending a fortune for medical school.

    At any public school you will find a nice diverse student body and also cheap tuition.
     
  5. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Go the the AAMC site AAMC and do some downloading and reading of the documents there. You can obtain loads of information. You should definitely download this document Bookmark for Students Interested in Medicine as it has many resources.

    The undergraduate school that you attend has less of an impact on your admission to medical school than your performance at that undergraduate school. Many small liberal arts colleges produce high numbers of students who matriculate into medical school. You want to pick a solid four-year college or university where you can flourish both academically and personally. There are many out there so figure out what you want in a college in terms of location, enviornment and support. Make sure that your high school grades are strong and that you have a solid background in academic preparation. Getting good grades in college comes from having all of the necessary tools to do well. Your high school counseling office should help you with this.

    Things that you can work on right now that will help you with college success:
    • Strong reading and writing skills.
    • Ease and knowledge of computer skills.
    • Strong science and math skills.
    • Disciplined study habits.
    • Good physical conditioning.
    • Good communication skills.

    Visit the sites, keep your grades up, get the skills that you don't have or brush up on the ones that you DO have, find a good mentor (if you don't already have one) and keep moving forward.


    Be sure to look at this thread Top 10 Schools Graduating Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanic and Asians

    Glad to have you posting on our Underrepresented in the Healthcare Profession site!
     
  6. foreveryoung90

    foreveryoung90

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    Wow thank you all so much for your replies. The websites you gave me were great. I still want to go to FIU but am leaning more towards FSU because it is more respected and i think they seem to have better opportunities. if i stay in state i guess UMBC would be the best choice because they are a top feeder into the medical schools at Harvard and Duke and i heard they lend excellent support to minorities. but i dont think i would enjoy the school overall because it is so small and i really dont want to stay in Maryland

    should i jus go to the best school i can get into b/c i can get into better schools than the ones i mentioned. i really would love to go to NYU but MONEY MONEY MONEY!! i jus really dont have it and so it would be too costly.
     
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Apply to both in-state and the OOS schools, and go somewhere that gives you a lot of grant or scholarship aid and where you can do well. Seriously, the worst thing you can do is to saddle yourself with a huge college debt and then add on an even huger med school debt on top of that. Getting into med school depends on your personal performance, not on where you went to school.

    FSU also has scholarships; it's a great school. I spent a summer taking classes and doing research there when I was in HS. You said you're female; they have a special dorm for women interested in science (or at least they did when I was in HS). It's kind of pricey for you to go there as on OOS student though. Do you have any family down here? If you could establish in-state residency for FL, that would make FSU pretty cheap for you. Here's their cost estimates; you can see how much cheaper it would be if you could get state residency: http://financialaid.fsu.edu/apply/cost_ungrad.html And the scholarship page: http://financialaid.fsu.edu/aid/scholarships_ugrad.html
     
  8. lasolanegrita90

    lasolanegrita90

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    Thnx for asking that question becuz I was about to ask the same thing. I'm graduating soon too. I'm not really sure where I want to go but I think I should go to UMBC. They offer good scholarships and since i live in Maryland the tuition will be pretty cheap (w/ the scholarships of course). I'm also thinking about Howard though. The only thing keeping me from wanting to go there is the fact that I think it will be too sheltered of an environment for me. I'll be used to being comfortable and surrounded by other black people all the time but in the real world once I go into medicine it won't be like that so I think I should go to a more diverse school. Also if I go to Howard I know i'm gonna be partying wayyy to much and I don't want to risk that. I mean i'm serious about my education and stuff but with so many other black people around I really think i'll have trouble not giving in..lol.

    wait i jus realized you live in MD too!! wat county?? I live in Prince Georges.
     
  9. freelove

    freelove MS-12.... 2+ Year Member

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    Hey I'm an African-American student from MD, but I'm closer to graduating from college rather than high school. ;) It's good to see that you all are taking your decision so seriously. I was in a similar situation, (I wasn't thinking about Howard, I preferred to go to the real HU, lol) and I chose my institution based on the amount of scholarship money. UMBC, and other very highly ranked HBCUs and PWIs were both options for me, however, money talks really loud, and the other schools were not offering me as much in terms of money.

    College is what you make it. Some schools will literally be throwing opportunities in your face, other schools may require to do a little searching. Some schools have really good support networks built in, other schools will require you to create your own. Find out what kind of person you are, what kind of learner you are, and make that a very big factor in your decision.

    But to address some of your concerns more specifically, Howard is a hardcore party school, but if you find a good group of focused friends you should be okay. Also, no college, HBCU or not, is an adequate representation of the real world. Some one told me it was the last playground before the real world and I found that to be very true. I'm not from PG, I'm from a VERY ethnically diverse county that is also within MD, and I have found that people are people, no matter what color they are. Lauryn Hill said it best "not a game new under the sun", and believe me life at HBCU does not change that.
     
  10. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    How can a place that is/was an institute CLAIM to be "THE REAL HU"?:confused: :eek:

    There can be ONLY one.

    That ONE is HOWARD UNIVERSITY in Washington, DC 20059

    To the topic at hand, HBCUs are no different from any other college campus REALLY in terms of the distractions that are available to you or that present themselves to you. Just as you would expect to see diversity at majority institutions, there is a GREAT deal of diversity at an HBCU. Truthfully, much more than you would ever expect.

    As far as opportunities, there are many programs and other resources that you will be afforded at HBCU that you may not otherwise come in touch with some place else. Your college experience is ultimately, what YOU decide to make of it, in terms of your friends, activities, study habits and career progression.
     
  11. MahlerROCKS

    MahlerROCKS 5+ Year Member

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    What about Davidson in North Carolina or any other top LAC? These colleges offer a wonderful education because the coursework and curriculum is rigorous, but the small size of these colleges allows for a personal experience. Most of the top LACs, including Davidson, are need blind, so they will not consider your financial situation when they decided whether or not to admit you. The top LACs generally also have sizeable endowments, so if FAFSA says that your family can contribute X, these colleges will have you pay that X amount, and they will cover the rest--in many cases, it can be less expensive for low-income students to go to private schools than to public ones
     
  12. JamalFSU

    JamalFSU 2+ Year Member

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    GO TO AN HBCU!!!!!!!!!!!


    OP, since you're considering Florida and since it looks like you're willing to stay in Tallahassee to go to FSU, why not FAMU??? As you can probably tell by my ill conceived choice of a username (I'm really puttin myself out here :laugh: ) my alma mater is FSU.. and its a great school.. good quality of education! However, after going through the med school application cycle, myself and other minorities noticed a certain unexpected trend in the selection process by the top med schools ... THEY SEEM TO BE GIVING PREFERENCE TO MINORITIES FROM HBCUs!! -- even ones WITHOUT established or explicit feeder agreements to the institution! Now this hasn't been verified entirely and it's based largely on hearsay and personal anecdote... but I talked to my Pre-med advisor here at FSU (who encounters both FSU and FAMU pre meds) about the phenomenon after I learned about it and she confirmed that that seemed to be the case in her experience as well ! (although she didn't realize it until I mentioned it, otherwise she probably wouldn't have pumped my head up at the beginning of the application cycle by telling me I was gonna get into all the reach-schools I had applied to! lol).... However, it should be noted FAMU has been listed as a top state feeder school to "elite grad programs" in general ( See http://www.collegejournal.com/special/top30statefeeder.pdf and http://www.collegejournal.com/sidebar/20030930-feeder-sb.html ) so maybe not all HBCUs; it's at least apparent top grad programs hold FAMU in special regard

    Also, FIU???????????????????? With a near 60% Hispanic student body, FIU is basically the Spanish FAMU BUT Without the apparent feeder-benefit! The premiere institutions of Florida's State University System (SUS) are UF and FSU.. and as far as state school feeders are concerned looks like only FAMU (#11) and UF (#26) made that 2003 top 30 list by Collegejournal .. So I really wouldn't consider FIU at all UNLESS you REALLY REALLY wish to live in miami -- but if money IS an issue and if you don't have any connections in miami get ready to shell out mad $$ for that cost of living!!! The cheapest places to go to school would be Gainesville (UF) and Tallahassee (FSU and FAMU)!


    But as others have said, where you go to school at isn't the end-all .. so.. do you

    Anyways, hope this helps!
     
  13. JamalFSU

    JamalFSU 2+ Year Member

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    Haha I, too, would like to know what the real HU is ?? ?
     
  14. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    The real HU is Howard (since 1867). Hampton Institute (in 1984) changed their name to Hampton University and since then, there has been a bit of good natured "ribbing" between alums of the two schools. Of course the arguement could be made that the original HU is Harvard founded in 1636 but as Harvard College until 1780.
     
  15. avenue

    avenue Partying like a rockstar. 2+ Year Member

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  16. SlicMic

    SlicMic 2+ Year Member

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    OP...... I remember what it was like to be in the throws of college decisions and thinking about how this ONE decision was not only going to forever alter the course of my life, but it was a make or break decision for my professional desires. I wish I would have known then not to stress it so much because most things don't matter near as much as you think they do when your 16.

    My advice? Go where it's CHEAP.....and a comfortable learning environment.......and CHEAP. What many 17-18 year olds fail to realize is that most of us graduated college with Arts and Science bachelor degrees that were relatively useless without years of experience, advanced degrees, or both. Ive seen too many leave college with over $60,000 in DEBT and can't find a job paying more than 25,000 a year......trust me its very ugly. So you say to your young high school self "but I KNOW that I want to be a doctor and I am going to med school!!!"......who knows what will happen to you in the next few years. You may change your mind, get married, have a baby, have a close family member die, or have any number of weird sorts of things happen to you that affect your future. Even if you end up going to medical school, who knows how much it will cost you in 6 or so years when you go......with the outrageous rising cost of med education we could be talking about close to half a million dollars in debt. So why pile on loan debt early on?........just some things to think about.

    Basically the moral to my story is:: Where you go is less important to medical schools than you think and the important part is How much you actually like the school, curriculum, classroom support, etc (look beyond the glossy brochures) and then take a deep breath and make an excel spreadsheet of how much all this love it is going to actually cost you (don't forget the interest!).....then play pros and cons. Because my budding pre-med student........Student Loans are o so real.
     
  17. foreveryoung90

    foreveryoung90

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    I live in Montgomery so your county is next to mines. I lived in PG for a few years but then we moved to Montgomery.
     
  18. foreveryoung90

    foreveryoung90

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    Can someone please let me know of some good universities in New York (other than Conrell, Columbia, and NYU). Does anyone know how good the universities in the SUNY system are? The tuition is very reasonable and my parents really would like me to choose New York over Florida. Currently I am looking at SUNY Binghamton.
     
  19. CheerBear11

    CheerBear11 2+ Year Member

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    This is a very interesting thread. And I really like a lot of the responses that pretty much are in agreement with what I am about to state: Where you go for undergrad is not the DECIDING factor on where you get into medical school. Several people, and even some of my friends from high school think you HAVE to go to a "brand name" school or an Ivy League in order to get into the medical school of your choice -- NOT TRUE! And some of them have gone and kudos to them, but they have taken out many loans and so are already high in debt before medical school and all of its expenses even starts.

    I went to my state school to stay close to home and also because I knew it was a good education that I could get without having to pay an arm and a leg. It's not ranked up there with the ivy leagues, but it is still an awesome school. Ive won fellowships as an undergrad, gotten involved, stayed on top of my game and got into many great medical schools and even gotten some scholarship offers. So blankly all Im saying is it is not that serious where you go to undergrad because as everyone has been saying :You make your college experience. I battled with this as I was choosing a college because I always believed that misperception until I went to orientation and I was like man, I can get a great education here for a low price, and if I could go back, I wouldn't change a thing. :D

    WOOP WOOP
     
  20. selenium

    selenium New Member 7+ Year Member

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    Save yourself the trouble later on. Go to a name school. Following order:

    1-Private
    2-State schools
    3-Everything else

    Reason: I know for a fact that many medical schools (including Univ of Miami) go by a point system to offer interviews. Undergrad school is a BIG deal. Think about...take some one with a 4.0 at FIU vs. 3.0 at Harvard. Hands down the 3.0 will be offered an interview. Yeah, it's going to cost you money...just sign for them yourself...don't let your parents co-sign on anything.

    I met a Rad Onc attending once that even told me that when he was interviewing for residency at Harvard or Yale (can't remember which) one of the interviewers laughed at him and said, "we've never taken a state school applicant," mind you, he went to Univ of Florida Med and top of class/boards. Therefore, this is your career and if you really want to go to a good MD school then you need to go to a good undergrad.

    Listen, I'm a minority just like you. My mom is a widow. After years of going through the motions I know what it takes now to go places. Remember there are a lot of people out there whose parents are physicians, lawyers, etc and have the money to back them up. You, unfortunately, don't. Don't do yourself a disservice...apply to good schools. By trying to save some money by going to FIU you'll be eliminating yourself from the race before it even begins. I went to FIU and graduated recently from med school. Trust me I think it was a lot more difficult for me than someone that had school name recognition.

    In this country it's all about what schools/titles are associated with your name. Anybody that tells you otherwise is full of bologne.
     
  21. budhak0n

    budhak0n 2+ Year Member

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    First off... My personal opinion would be to go to school whereever you feel the most comfortable.

    Undergraduate is about so much more than simply your coursework, and although you may have things planned out to the final days of victory as a junior in high school , you may find that come your senior year in college you are a completely different person.

    You may also find that you've followed your plan to the Nines and stand exactly where you always thought you would wind up.

    I am not a doctor, nor am I a member of an admissions committee , nor am I in a position of responsibility for large numbers of people's personal and public health... so I can not in all good faith scribe in a manner that bestows upon my words a certain air of infallibility or expertise....however I can say this....

    Your race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or chosen hobbies will not be as great an issue during your collegiate career as you may fear. Race, although not an issue which has reached a point of total repair, is not in this country what it once was.

    Just within my generation ( Born 1968) we have seen a dramatic and definite shift and change in the way race is treated in society.

    Not being an african american myself, I'm Irish american, I can't speak to what it is like but I hardly believe that race is to this day a major issue that would in some way or in ANY way affect your chances of matriculating to medical school through just about ANY major University within the United States.

    Money? Well yes money does indeed play a part in all things but money in and of itself is merely a medium.... You can achieve your goals and Money although important should not be your primary focus...

    More important to me, and as I've said this is my personal opinion, would be for you to get actual experience in a health care setting, even if it means volunteering with nurses or aides or orderlies or even cafeteria workers ..... Do not fall into the soap opera trap and lovely Mozart background imagery of the wealthy surgeon floating about in his maze of glory and wealth.......

    Go .. See what doctors do every day before deciding at 16 .. that this is the life for me.....

    And don't worry about the color of your skin, or your religious beliefs, or your tendency to write bad poetry or draw poor renditions of Renoir...

    We have come much further in the past 40 some odd years than you may believe... A dream is there for all, provided that you choose to Pursue it...

    And as the founding fathers stated centuries ago, the ONLY thing that is guaranteed is the "PURSUIT".. what you make of it will entirely be your own.
     
  22. elwademd

    elwademd 2+ Year Member

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    the us news and world report rankings aren't really that important when evaluating schools. in the end, you need to be a great student regardless of the college that you go to.

    provided your mother is willing to co-sign, you shouldn't have a problem getting student loans to go to college and also for medical school. if you get into school, there are plenty of financial counselors who know how to get financing for the students. also, make sure you apply for scholarships- local ones are just as good as anything else, and in the end, money out of someone else's pocket is always a good thing!

    you need to seriously consider xavier university of lousiana. i went there, graduated, went to medical school, and am now in residency. in my graduating class (2000), there were probably 90 or so of us who got into medical school or dental school. the staff there knows what to do, and as long as you do what you need to as a student while you're there, there's no reason that you too won't be in medical school 4 years after enrolling there.
     
  23. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I have to of course put my plug in for Oakwood College in Huntsville, AL. Its a premed machine like Xavier, but Oakwood is also known for its strong Christian environment, its small class size, and its amazing gospel music. Take 6 and Brian McKnight came from Oakwood.

    This year like 20 folks applied and only 2 didn't get in. 1 got into Mayo Clinic with a full ride, another got into Cleavland Clinic with a full ride and a stipend, 4 of us got into LLU with 87% scholarships, we had 1 full scholarship to Meharry, and the list goes on. Its a great school as the others, but of course I'm biased and I think its the best premed school in the country.
     
  24. elwademd

    elwademd 2+ Year Member

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    oakwood's also a good school! a good friend of mine from medical school went there.

    i see that you're at loma linda- my friend (mentioned above) is there as a radiology resident, and i'm not too far away at white memorial doing internal medicine.
     
  25. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Cool. I hope we run into each other. My fiance (almost wife, lol) will be flying out the LLU around July 23rd, so we'll start getting acclimated to the area around that time.
     
  26. socooltoo

    socooltoo 5+ Year Member

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    Hey DoctaJay!!! Welcome back man. I have to side with my boy Jay there. Oakwood is pretty amazing and the friends and experience you leave with is unmatched.
     
  27. eag

    eag Member 10+ Year Member

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    Check out Xavier University of Louisiana. It ranks first in the nation in placing African American students into medical schools and have been ranked for the past 14 years. There is a 77% acceptance rate of Xavier graduates by medical schools which is almost twice the national average, and 92% of those who enter medical schools complete their degree programs.
     
  28. lander20

    lander20 7+ Year Member

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    I realize you are looking to attend college out of state, but I will drop a plug for my alma mater. I would urge you to consider Johns Hopkins University. JHU is a school that has a strong commitment to minority recruitment and diversity in their student body. I believe the quality of education at JHU is excellent and the school has a strong reputation in the sciences.

    As for the monetary concerns, assuming your grades/psat/sat etc are strong, you should be a good candidate for merit scholarships at many schools. Due to your financial situation, several schools may also offer need based scholarships.
     
  29. Mahliah

    Mahliah 2+ Year Member

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    hSDN Member
    Lies, lies and more lies.

    Go to your state school and graduate debt free.
     
  30. birdy826

    birdy826 2+ Year Member

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    Private schools give out more money, I wouldnt even worry about the money at this point. Just go to the school that you want to go to. Public Schools don't have a lot of grants to give. It would have cost me more to go to my state school than to a private LAC! Also don't look at the sticker price...that may not be what you end up having to pay.
     
  31. DrLeon

    DrLeon 7+ Year Member

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    Since I didn't see any plugs for my alma mater I guess I have to be the man to do it. I went to Penn State and never regretted my decision. I was given a full academic scholarship known as Bunton-Waller Fellowship. This fellowship which provides full tuition to OOS students is set up primarily for the minority students that are accepted there every year (approx. 50/year). Outside of the money, there is a committee of faculty in each college at the university who are designated as Bunton-Waller advisers. The head of this committee is Henry McCoullum, one of the high ranking officials in the college of science. They make sure you take the classes necessary to get into med school and check on your progress to make sure you're doing the right thing. Other than the Bunton-Waller, Penn State has it's own medical school in Hershey Pennsylvania. Several of my friends from UG are there now and they're all AA.

    I am all for going to an HBCU and may have gone to one if I didn't get my scholarship, but you have to talk to a few people to make sure it's the right one for you. A few people I have talked to that have attended some not-to-be-named HBCUs and have complained about constant problems in the financial aid office and many other administrative departments that have cause headaches and distracts to the students. My suggestion would be to inquire about the administrative processes from some people that have attended the schools.
     

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