Jun 22, 2015
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Hey everybody,

So I am an int'l student (us citizen) interested in premed, bme major who will be attending college as a freshman this fall 2016. I am also thinking about grad school- a little confused. I have 3 options:
1) UC Davis OOS- my most expensive option (plus OOS tuition continues to rise), and prob will not get "value for money" either. However, I feel like I would fit in at Davis. Additionally, I have family and support system in Norcal, friends at UCD and my hometown where I grew up is nearby. Since I might not be able to get into a Cal med school, I would get my chance to live in Cal as well. I would be pretty happy there.
2) U of Rochester- Really loved the school's programs, I know I would get a very good educational experience. Not too sure about how I will fit in at the college, since most students seem to be from upper class white backgrounds, and mostly from the Northeast. Weather is a huge turnoff because I have never experienced snow, and I would def miss the sun.
I did however get a scholarship, and now UR is around 3K less than Davis (and Davis will increase) So more "value for money"
3) Community college in California, then transfer: My parents' idea- but not mine. It would def save money for med school, and I could get into a better college as well. I'd like to know the pros and cons of being a premed while being a transfer student at a CCC.
However(and I know it sounds immature) but I had a bad high school experience, and then a gap year, and was really really looking forward to the college experience. So idk what to do.
Another option is going to Davis, then transferring (if I can keep the grades) to a better UC. However, I really do not want to go thru any kind of transfer at all.
There is a small chance that I may get in-state tuition at the UCs- I am def eligible, so it depends on my cal resident parent, who has not been very cooperative so far.
My finances are in a complicated situation, in that there is just enough to pay for college, but not med school at all (unless I go the CC route) Well, actually, it is wayy more complicated than that (owing to an even more complicated family situation which I would rather not discuss here).
 
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Jun 22, 2015
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One more question: might be helpful if UCD undergrads could answer! Between Davis & Rochester, prestige does not matter too much to me, but quality of students does. And if SAT scores are any indication, UCD students seem to fall short, while Rochester is generally known as a ivy-league reject school, with a better quality of students. I fall in the higher range of the middle 50% at Rochester, while I am wayy above the Davis middle 50% range. I've also seen a survey of colleges with smartest students where Rochester was ranked #60 and Davis some #162.
Since I'm unable to visit, could anyone tell me about the academic atmosphere at Davis? Are there intellectual and in-depth discussions among classmates? With professors? Are students at Davis generally interesting people? Due to its laid-back quality, are students unambitious at Davis?
I know this is kind of an ironic statement seeing as I'm thinking of premed, but I'm truly the kind of person who cares more about learning for learning's sake rather than just getting As and finishing ge reqs because they have to, and an environment where people come to for the sole purpose of getting a job later. I do not want to go to Davis just so I can get better grades there. I'm not 100% set on med school just yet, and I want to be in an intellectual environment where I can be inspired and pushed by my peers to better myself. Will Davis give me that?
I'm thinking of trying for the Honors college at UCD if I enroll, will that give me the atmosphere I want? The reason being that Davis is quite suited to me in other ways, and I do not want to spend my next 4 years in a dark,cold place like Rochester.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Ok more questions: Are academics at Davis challenging enough to make you really think?
IS there a big difference in prestige/quality of education to merit going to Rochester? (my family thinks Davis is better)
Will there be a significant difference in the med colleges I may be able to get into? (I know this really depends on me and what I do in college, and I may not stay premed etc etc, but please do answer the question)
Do a significant number of UCD students go on to grad school? (whether its med/law/business whatever)
 
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Technology

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There is a small chance that I may get in-state tuition at the UCs- I am def eligible, so it depends on my cal resident parent, who has not been very cooperative so far.
My finances are in a complicated situation, in that there is just enough to pay for college, but not med school at all (unless I go the CC route).

Keep in mind that the majority of medical school matriculants loan money! So you definitely will not be alone! It may be more difficult to get a loan if you are not an American citizen (before entering medical school), but I am sure you can make it happen.

I would attend Rochester, if I were in your position, considering the number of pre-med students at UC Davis.
 

Nontradunderdog

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As someone who grew up in rochester I have nothing but respect and admiration for UofR and would recommend it to anyone. Though I will say in a very cajun accent Lake Effect snow is the devil.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Keep in mind that the majority of medical school matriculants loan money! So you definitely will not be alone! It may be more difficult to get a loan if you are not an American citizen (before entering medical school), but I am sure you can make it happen.

I would attend Rochester, if I were in your position, considering the number of pre-med students at UC Davis.
I am an American citizen, btw. Excuse my ignorance, but how does the number of premed students affect my chances? Isn't it the quality of med school applicants that counts, and not quantity? I've heard many people say UCs are bad for premed, but can't really understand why...Also, if I go to Davis, I will be looking to attend med/grad schools NOT in California (unless, of course I get into somewhere like Stanford/UCSF :p) Likewise, if I go to Rochester, I would want to attend grad school in California. Does this make any difference?
 

Technology

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I am an American citizen, btw. Excuse my ignorance, but how does the number of premed students affect my chances? Isn't it the quality of med school applicants that counts, and not quantity? I've heard many people say UCs are bad for premed, but can't really understand why...Also, if I go to Davis, I will be looking to attend med/grad schools NOT in California (unless, of course I get into somewhere like Stanford/UCSF :p) Likewise, if I go to Rochester, I would want to attend grad school in California. Does this make any difference?

Yes, you are definitely right about the quality of students > quantity of students, however, there are likely going to be many pre-med students at UC Davis that need LORs from professors – this is just one way in which the quantity of students is detrimental. Many of the UC schools tend to have rigorous competition, which results in grade deflation. Some people negate this mindset about California schools, though, and believe you can work hard and achieve a 4.0 like any other school – only people who have attended a UC school and another undergraduate school truly know the answer to this mystery.

You could potentially becomes a resident of California if you attend UC Davis, which may be advantageous for matriculating into a UC school for grad school or medical school, however, I believe becoming a California resident during your undergraduate for tuition purposes may not count – you depend on your parents who do not live in California.

So if you attended Rochester and wanted to come to California, or attended UC Davis and wanted to attend a school NOT in California, you would not necessarily have an advantage either way. The school you are attending would not count in terms of being in-state in either of those scenarios.

The best way to matriculate into schools like Stanford/UCSF is to have high stats and relevant ECs that show you know what you are getting into and prove that you are compassionate and have a benevolent desire to help the less fortunate (this includes sick patients and many other groups of people).

Addressing the main point of your thread once again, I would definitely choose Rochester, unless you are certain you want to attend a grad school or medical school in California (like me :cat:). Rochester is overall much more well-known throughout the country (besides the West Coast) and is much safer for maintaining a high GPA. Keep in mind, the school you attend will not be the reason you get into a Californian medical school.
 
Jun 22, 2015
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Thanks for your answer. If UC Davis DOES have grade deflation, don't the med school adcoms take that into account, like I've heard they do Berkeley's? I am asking because I saw a thread on CC the other day, started by a premed who graduated successfully from UCD, and he/she claimed there was grade deflation, but adcoms take that into account. She also mentioned that there were a couple of people in her class who got into UCSF/Harvard/UCLA. So it is doable, right?
Technically, I do have a parent who is a Cal resident. However, he has refused to help, so I know that for all intents and purposes, I am OOS unless I can convince him otherwise (unlikely).
As I said, if I get into any great grad/med schools in Cal, then I wouldn't mind staying in Cal-otherwise, OOS.
I feel like I am going to choose Davis, simply because I think I'll be more comfortable there, even tho all answers seem to be in for of UR. It's a fantastic school, but I think I need to take into account my family problems.
Also, if I don't do med school, I'm interested in working in biopharma/biotech companies, and Davis' location may give me an advantage.
I'm definitely thinking of working in Cal- I may work a few years after undergrad, before going to med school.
 
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QuizzicalApe

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At the end of the day, you're going to be spending 4 years where you choose to go. The most important thing is that you're going to be somewhere where you will be happiest.
 

aalamruad

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Davis does have (aggressive) deflation, period. They give out the lowest GPA in the top 50 except for Princeton - its a 3.2 median GPA I believe? Most other top 50s give out a 3.5+

No one really cares though. A 3.6 from any of the UCs is going to look better than a 3.8 from any of the Cal States, but a 3.3 from Davis is going to kill more options than low institutional quality. Here's one good anecdote:

https://www.mdapplicants.com/profile.php?id=31083

Davis is also infamous for having sophisticated but unemployable graduates mulling around the Bay Area...its sort of SF's version of NY's Juliard. There's no support, no counseling, no career guidance, and grade deflation.

Also, UCB's graduates fare far worse than you'd expect in MD admissions. Some of this is racism against asians, most of it is the institutional culture of the post-2001 UCs. Generally I would advise caution with any of the UCs, and advise to avoid UCD on account of an institutional culture adequately summarized by:

UC Davis student here. Ridiculously easy to get a 4.0 at this school. Kind of a joke.
 
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