Aug 11, 2010
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Hi all,

I've been going back and forth between taking night classes/doing a formal post-bacc/going to a cc for my pre-reqs and so far, due to money issues, the community college route is most practical. this allows me to work full time, still, and get my credits without spending as much. for example, one class at a close university is about four thousand dollars, while one class at the local cc is about 600. to me, that's a great deal of a difference, especially if i'm willing to take out the massive amounts of loans for medical school.

what does everyone think about this? i'm not looking to get into a very high ranked/selective/research heavy school being that i'm a nontrad student, and will be trying my hardest to just get into a med school, but i've heard some had things about getting my coursework done at a local cc.

thanks for the advice.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Whittier
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I heard both that schools don't care if your credits come from a CC and that they do care if you take them there.

I've taken all my physics, gchem, and ochem, at a CC. I think you learn the material better there because of the small class size and the availability of the instructor. I did well in the MCAT, so I dont think it's taking the 'easy' way out.

I would recommend you make sure the classes you are taking actually count towards the classes meds schools want.

But we aware, most likely molecular bio and biochem will not be offered in CC.
 

FrkyBgStok

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the easiest way to answer your question is to use the search feature. this has been discussed a hundred gazillion times. if you take all your prereqs at a community college when you could have taken them at a university, admins are going to question the classes. you are not doing yourself any favors going to a CC. there are only 2 possible outcomes. the CC does nothing, or the CC hurts you. Why take the chance?

look, i broke it down in the most simplest of forms because, frankly, i don't feel like retyping everything that could be found. adcoms don't really care about your financial situation, and in the grand scheme of things, you are talking pennies.
 

FrkyBgStok

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I heard both that schools don't care if your credits come from a CC and that they do care if you take them there.

I've taken all my physics, gchem, and ochem, at a CC. I think you learn the material better there because of the small class size and the availability of the instructor. I did well in the MCAT, so I dont think it's taking the 'easy' way out.

I would recommend you make sure the classes you are taking actually count towards the classes meds schools want.

But we aware, most likely molecular bio and biochem will not be offered in CC.
look i am not trying to be a dick, but if you get in to medical school PM me. I have never seen anyone who has taken all their prereqs at a CC that has been accepted. also when you say you did well on the MCAT, how well?
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Whittier
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I got a 30 on my first try without even finishing the 2nd half of ochem or taking any practice exams =/(Ran out of time before the test day). I'm sure I can get it up at least 2 points, but I havent decided if its worth it.

My science GPA is 3.8
Overall GPA 3.4
Been volunteering as a clinical care extender in a hospital for almost 8 months.

I think I have a good chance.
But yes, I'll let you know.
I'll be applying this coming year.
 

TriagePreMed

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If you can go to a 4-year, do so. If not, go to community college. Your MCAT will be the deciding factor for ADCOMs to know if you had rigor during your college or went to an inflation school.
 
OP
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Aug 11, 2010
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yeah, i've definitely utilized the search feature but, a lot of people post their questions again because they feel it's specific to their issue. i guess in my case, i'm nontraditional and i have no money. ...which seems pretty common but it's good to see responses for my personal post. but i suppose if i'm not willing to dish out the thousands for my classes, what's med school tuition, then? there are a lot of ways of looking at this.

i was merely asking for others' opinions... i'll most likely utilize a pre-med advisor and dish out the pros and cons along with this forum.

thanks for the responses.
 

Helen Wheels

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look i am not trying to be a dick, but if you get in to medical school PM me. I have never seen anyone who has taken all their prereqs at a CC that has been accepted.
I took all my pre-reqs at a CC. I did get into med school this year, though it is a DO school. I was in a similar situation to you, OP. I was working full time, taking pre-reqs, as well as being a caregiver to an ill family member. I needed cheap and I needed evening classes. I had a rough app experience last year applying only MD which may be partly from the CC classes though I had some other weaknesses with my application. If I could do it over, I'd get my pre-req classes from a 4 year school (not necessarily a formal post-bac). But, really, needing to work a day job and not having money sometimes throws a wrench into the works.

Best of luck, sdfa8.

Here is a helpful, balanced article on this topic: http://www.studentdoctor.net/2009/04/community-college-and-professional-school-admissions/
 

Woland

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look i am not trying to be a dick, but if you get in to medical school PM me. I have never seen anyone who has taken all their prereqs at a CC that has been accepted. also when you say you did well on the MCAT, how well?
This thread all together is another abuse of a dead animal...:beat:

But since we are talking about "knowing a guy", just since I moved to Oregon, I have met a third (now fourth) year MS at OHSU who did all her prerequisities at a mid-state community college before finishing her degree at OSU (where she took not-so-required Biochem) and a 2nd year EM resident (currently in SoCal) who did all of his prerequisited (once again, except upper division Cell/Mol. Bio and Bio chem) as a post bac at a Portland Community College (which in no way associated with OHSU).

Bottom line for OP: $600 vs $4000 is a huge difference, and if money is a valid concern for you -- just say so. If an adcom can not comprehend this -- you will have other schools (and/or next year) to apply.
 

FrkyBgStok

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I took all my pre-reqs at a CC. I did get into med school this year, though it is a DO school. I was in a similar situation to you, OP. I was working full time, taking pre-reqs, as well as being a caregiver to an ill family member. I needed cheap and I needed evening classes. I had a rough app experience last year applying only MD which may be partly from the CC classes though I had some other weaknesses with my application. If I could do it over, I'd get my pre-req classes from a 4 year school (not necessarily a formal post-bac). But, really, needing to work a day job and not having money sometimes throws a wrench into the works.

Best of luck, sdfa8.

Here is a helpful, balanced article on this topic: http://www.studentdoctor.net/2009/04/community-college-and-professional-school-admissions/
good information. thanks for letting me know, and i will use it, however for the OP i would like to bring attention to the bolded part. very good information.
 

NakMuay

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good information. thanks for letting me know, and i will use it, however for the OP i would like to bring attention to the bolded part. very good information.
Are you all warm and reassured now, dickhead? You've been on this forum for the better part of a decade. Have you gotten into medical school yet?
 
OP
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Aug 11, 2010
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thank you everyone for pitching in, and especially for the helpful article.

still will be debating this in my head, though i found a pretty awesome alternative, or at least a compromise if anyone wanted to know, or had a friend who could benefit from the information:

UMD - where i went to UG - has a great program called "Science in the Evening". these classes are only offered fall and spring semester, so for winter and summer you're on your own in terms of tuition, but the program offers in state tuition for anyone and everyone. basically, i'd be paying substantially less during fall and spring semesters, and dishing out out of state tuition for the classes i take during the winter and summer sessions. the courses are only in the evenings, obviously, and covers all the pre-reqs plus more. though with working full time, i can only afford to take about 2 classes a semester, which is why i'd have to utilize winters and summers so i'm not spending 5 years getting my pre-reqs done.

i'm currently a NY resident so i can't take advantage of the UMD classes during the winter and summer, but in state tuition for fall and spring seems pretty great.
 

StudyShy

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I know of 3 people in southeastern Michigan to be accepted with cc credits (1 @ Wayne State, 1 @ U of M, 1 @ MCO). One of the boys, got a "B" in calculus at the cc.

I'm taking my prerequisites at the cc that is 5 minutes walking distance from me. Short drive time + 80 dollars per credit hour made a huge difference in my decision. Plus, the universities in my area don't offer classes when I can take them since I work full time at the local hospital and take graduates courses elsewhere. I would have had to drop everything to take physics, chemistry, and biology at a 4-year university. We will see how it goes when it is time to apply. At least there is always the Caribbean! :)

Generally this is how it goes:

4-year university (the best)
2-year college (middle range)
online courses (the least)

Just whatever you do, ace that MCAT!
 

fizzgig

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what was your major/school/gpa for your undergrad. if you went to a hot school on scholarship and had a great gpa, especially one in some tough/science major, i would tend to be less concerned about it. not saying no one will judge you about it but it would make me feel a lot less worried, and as you say the difference in money is HUGE. if, on the other hand, you went to a school that is perceived as uncompetitive/unknown and got a 3.0 in whatever, then you are going to be in a tougher situation, because they might not know what to do with your 4.0 from CC when trying to gauge how strong you are, you know?
 

FrkyBgStok

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Are you all warm and reassured now, dickhead? You've been on this forum for the better part of a decade. Have you gotten into medical school yet?
Nope. Fixing my application because it was full of community college credits and was flat out told by my dream DO school that my CC credits weren't going to cut it and I am able to infer it would be the same or worse at more competitive schools. So people can take my advice or disregard it, I don't care either way, just don't be suprised when you are in my shoes.
 

TriagePreMed

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Nope. Fixing my application because it was full of community college credits and was flat out told by my dream DO school that my CC credits weren't going to cut it and I am able to infer it would be the same or worse at more competitive schools. So people can take my advice or disregard it, I don't care either way, just don't be suprised when you are in my shoes.
Do you have problems with your GPA and MCAT too? Because then your community college courses would definitely be a hindrance.
 

SFO-IST

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Speaking directly to college admissions officers from a UC campus, they specifically told me, without me asking, that I should take my classes at a 4 year institution and NOT a community college. At several schools I interviewed at this year, they specifically asked during the interview what schools I got my pre reqs at. The fact that several interviewers formed their impression of me based on what school I did my post-bac at is an important item to take note of.

I think the take home message is that some schools will red flag you for taking CC classes while others will not. I think it's also safe to say that it looks more impressive for all schools if you take your classes at a 4 year institution.

Best of luck.
 

FrkyBgStok

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Do you have problems with your GPA and MCAT too? Because then your community college courses would definitely be a hindrance.
No. When I apply, I will have a 3.7 cGPA and a 3.6 sGPA. I did bad on the MCAT but I am retaking it in January, however I hadn't taken the MCAT when I went and spoke to the admission counselor at the school.

I was all for community college credits and everything mapped out for an awesome schedule with a great plan for the prereqs. To be fair, I am not just older. I have school age kids and this med school is about 4 miles from my house, so while I am applying to a few medical schools, I REALLY want to to go to this one.

Anyways, I asked them how they looked at community college credits for some of the prereqs and they said, "We really prefer they are not done at a CC. We don't care which university and you can do them at X 4 year college or X 4 year in the area, but we feel they really need to be from one of those." I also asked if that changes at all because I am working 70 hours a week at 2 jobs and they said, "No, not really."

I was not happy about this and I assumed that since this is a DO school (albeit a great DO school), an applicant is only setting himself up for failure if their intentions are to go to a more competitive school.

I think it is awesome you guys are having luck getting into medical school with CC credits. Like I said, I really want to go to this school so I am going to do whatever I can to increase my chances and not put myself at any kind of disadvantage. Maybe this is the only school.

The way I see it is this school can't be the only one that feels this way.
 
Aug 11, 2010
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I hate to interrupt but, what does DO stand for? ...back to our regular programming..
 

fizzgig

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google doctor of osteopathy. similar track to MD, more focused on holistic view of med as i understand it.
 
Dec 3, 2009
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The way I see it is this school can't be the only one that feels this way.
OP (...and FrkyBgStok), Here's the deal with taking your prereqs at a community college. It will NOT prevent you from gaining acceptance into a U.S. allopathic medical school. That being said, there are some legitimate concerns that the ADCOM's will have when they see this. Most important of those being the idea that community college courses are less rigorous and less intense than university courses. This is because they are catered to an "open admissions" student body; let me explain. At most community colleges around the country, anybody who applies will get in, granted you have a high school diploma or equivalent. This is what creates the "open admissions" student body. Because the student body is so diverse in terms of the individuals' learning capabilities and goals, the classes, more often than not, are "dumbed down" a little bit.

I took three of my prereqs (Bio 1&2, Chem 1) at the community college level. When I graduated with my AA and transferred to the university, I had just completed Chem 1. Two weeks later I was at the university taking Chem 2 to complete the sequence. Taking part 1 at the comm. college and part 2 at the university made it very clear to me why some schools discourage the community college premed coursework.

That being said, The advice that I have received from countless advisors has been the same across the board. They all recommend taking (and getting an 'A') 1 or 2 additional upper level hard science courses at the university. This will demonstrate to the ADCOM's that your good grades from the community college are legit. If you were to get all A's at the community college and then go and get B's at the university, that would make all of your A's at the community college look like inflated B's.

Now, I'm not sure if youre even planning to go to the university at all or if youre just going to do EVERYTHING at the community college. If your plan is to do everything at the community college, I would highly recommend that you take 1 or 2 at the university. I know the $$ is an issue, but I feel that an extra $500 or so for a class at the university would be worth your money. Look into getting financial aid if you need it. They are handing that **** out like it's nobodies business. I am a nontrad as well so I can appreciate the situation that you're in. But it's also my personal belief that you need at least some classes at the university level.

good luck
 
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FrkyBgStok

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i am not sure where I said that you can't get in with CC credits. maybe you can point that out to me. i am tired of arguing. OP just do what is best for you. if you get in great, if you don't you wouldn't be the first.
 

Pons Asinorum

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there are only 2 possible outcomes. the CC does nothing, or the CC hurts you. Why take the chance?
This. As happens every two weeks or so around here.

Also,
Is this serious?
Are you all warm and reassured now, dickhead? You've been on this forum for the better part of a decade. Have you gotten into medical school yet?
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning, but buddy you can feel free to crawl off somewhere else and fellate yourself. Pre-allo, sure that flies. Around here, you need to contribute a bit more than that before you start calling out long-time posters for stating conventional wisdom (and being patently honest in their representations of such.) I wish you the best of luck, which I hope includes for you hemorrhoids and a mildly successful career in comedy. Your snark will carry you far. Or at least to a stongly self-congratulatory sense of "boy I showed him!" on an internet forum, based on your robust collection of 16 posts under this particular user profile. I wish I could hit you with an open hand right now.
 

Pons Asinorum

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Are you all warm and reassured now, dickhead? You've been on this forum for the better part of a decade. Have you gotten into medical school yet?
I'm right, I do need another cup of coffee, because the above post makes me crack the tiniest of Grinch-y grins when I read the below. I am not above the warm blanket that is schadenfreude; I'm not proud of that...

Coming to this forum a couple days ago has kind of made me wonder if I'm just wasting my time. Everyone here seems to have GPAs that are off the charts. I don't.

I graduated in 2008 with a 3.04 GPA in MIS. My last year of college I averaged a 3.82, but all the other years were lousy b/c I didn't apply myself. One semester I even got a 1.8. Another, a 2.3. Its a miracle I even got above 3.0.

Fortunately I didn't take any of the science prereqs back then, so I never had the chance to mess those up too. I started taking them this year...at a community college. I'm taking gen chem and physics right now, and am right on track to get As. I've also taken AP I and II and aced those. However, I'm concerned my grades will be discounted b/c its community college, and they might wonder if the sudden jump in my grades is b/c the classes are easy at CC.

I'll probably take the rest of my prereqs at university after finishing the chem/physics series. Hopefully it won't be too late by then.

Anyway, hi, I'm NakMuay. Nice to be here.
 
Dec 3, 2009
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i am not sure where I said that you can't get in with CC credits. maybe you can point that out to me. i am tired of arguing. OP just do what is best for you. if you get in great, if you don't you wouldn't be the first.
look i am not trying to be a dick, but if you get in to medical school PM me. I have never seen anyone who has taken all their prereqs at a CC that has been accepted. also when you say you did well on the MCAT, how well?
nuff said
 

FrkyBgStok

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nuff said
Yep. I until this thread I stood by that. Admitting that I have never heard of anyone isn't admitting that it can't be done. And until I sit on an actual admission committee I won't say it. Unlike you saying it for sure can be done. It doesn't change the fact that this process is incredibly competitive and considered even more so for nontrads, why would anyone do anything at all that might make even one adcom question the validity of their education. That is my opinion and that is where my advice will lie. People can disregard it, I really don't care. Not everything works for everyone.
 

TriagePreMed

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Yep. I until this thread I stood by that. Admitting that I have never heard of anyone isn't admitting that it can't be done. And until I sit on an actual admission committee I won't say it. Unlike you saying it for sure can be done. It doesn't change the fact that this process is incredibly competitive and considered even more so for nontrads, why would anyone do anything at all that might make even one adcom question the validity of their education. That is my opinion and that is where my advice will lie. People can disregard it, I really don't care. Not everything works for everyone.
For me it is because I'm unable to pay the education at a 4-year college. Classes are $900 each, and each of the post-bacc programs here are 35k or so. I'm going to be applying almost exclusively osteopathic and as a disadvantaged student, so I'm hoping the ADCOMS can at least see why I did it.
 

FrkyBgStok

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For me it is because I'm unable to pay the education at a 4-year college. Classes are $900 each, and each of the post-bacc programs here are 35k or so. I'm going to be applying almost exclusively osteopathic and as a disadvantaged student, so I'm hoping the ADCOMS can at least see why I did it.
and you have never come on here with this "holy than thou" attitude, so with that I enjoy your posts and your input and i truly wish you the best.

there are some people that have no choice and it is either take the risk of having them looked down on or not do it at all. i am actually not talking about those type of people. i am talking about the people that want to try to beat the system. others just don't feel like making certain sacrifices.
 
OP
S
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you've all been a great help.

i've registered for two classes - phys1 & genchem1 at the science in the evening program i mentioned, where i can get in - state tuition at a 4 year state college, so currently i'm pleased.

if i need to take summer/winter, i may consider going to a community college just for 1 or 2 classes, to save as much as i can...but i'm definitely heading down the loan direction either way or not... so maybe the few hundred bucks i'm saving per credit isn't AS important as saving money & taking a risk.

as for the argument going on there between a few posters... i have no words, but bottom line is i'm still grateful for all the advice given!