Case Western vs. State School (full tuition scholarship)

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2018
Reaction score
I just got off the waitlist at Case Western and I'm trying to decide between my state school (with a full tuition scholarship but low rank) and Case. I am very torn about this decision and would appreciate any help with making this choice or any additional information you have about Case Western's medical school.

Case Western:

  • Top 25 research school (great ranking)
  • Affiliation with Cleveland Clinic
  • Engaging IQ sessions
  • Networking and better connections
  • 4 month research block
  • No class after noon and possibly more free time
  • Pass Fail preclinical (AOA isn't released until after residency match I think)
  • High STEP 1 average
  • Great match list
  • over $60,000 a year in tuition
  • city of Cleveland
  • very cold weather and lots of snow (I would be coming from a place with no snow and warm weather)
  • far away from home
  • lectures are not recorded (but they are not mandatory)
  • required IQ session 8-10 am MWF (not always a morning person and might find it difficult driving to school in the snow early in the morning)
  • 2 year preclinical
  • large class size
State School:

  • Full tuition scholarship so I just have to cover housing
  • Already go here for undergrad, so I'm familiar with the school, faculty, and classmates
  • Close to family (2 hour drive away)
  • Warm weather (no snow)
  • Lots of volunteer opportunities
  • They provide a lot of free resources for STEP 1 and other things during med school
  • Recorded lectures
  • 1.5 year preclinical
  • Pass/Fail preclinical (although there is Junior and Senior AOA)
  • Slightly smaller class size
  • Not very well known
  • Low-tier ranking
  • Most people match in primary care (although there are a few people matching in some competitive specialities)
  • Not as well known for research
  • May be difficult to match into competitive programs
  • Low STEP 1 average (although they provide many resources to students)
  • May be difficult for networking and making connections (faculty is not as well known as they may be in Case)
Since I'm not sure what specialty I want to pursue, I don't want to close the door to the competitive ones. However, it's a lot to consider for both schools, so any insight is appreciated! Please feel free to add or remove anything from this list if you have additional information!

Members don't see this ad.
Definitely the state school. If you are able to get into case you should be able to do great at your state school and hopefully not close any doors in terms of matching. That free tuition will leave you less burdened and make it easier to choose a specialty without worrying about paying back your loans. Imagine going to case and falling in love with a lower paying specialty and then not pursuing it because of the 300k loans you'll have to pay off after. Only way I would say case is if it was only like a 100k difference but for 300k i think most will say to take your state school. I'm very against loans though so I am biased in that send and most of the time I tell people to take the cheaper option. Seems like many others here agree in this case though.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users