Declining an MD Acceptance and Reapplying (California Northstate)

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TiredAndConfused123

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I am a current applicant with one acceptance to California Northstate University. I was aware of the school's issues when I chose to apply and interview, but I went through with it knowing that the LCME was due to update CNU's' accreditation status during the course of the cycle (as the two year probationary period came to an end). If CNU achieved full accreditation, I would have been happy to attend. However, it seems that the LCME has recently decided to extend CNU's 'provisional, on probation' status for one more year, leaving them subject to withdrawal of accreditation again at this time next year. With this news in mind, I am considering declining my acceptance to CNU and reapplying this coming cycle.

If I opt to withdraw and apply again, would AMCAS notify schools that I had previously been accepted to an MD school, and if so, is this something I should directly address in my primary application? I understand that declining an MD acceptance is generally very ill-advised, and I would not have even thought to do so under any other circumstances. Any general thoughts/guidance about my situation would also be greatly appreciated!

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I don’t know if AMCAS themselves would notify schools but you’d have to say you’ve previously applied/been accepted to a school in the new application which would be a pretty big red flag for most schools bc they’re gonna scrutinize why you declined the A originally, if you go that route make sure you have an extremely good and well thought out plan to explain this situation in future interviews
 
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What makes you think you will be more successful than this cycle, which presumably resulted in 1 acceptance, when you apply with the stigma of being a reapplicant?
 
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CNUs match list still been very good depsite the accrediation issue. They also have a teach out policy for all students in the event the school shuts down I believe. Id probably go to CNU over the headache of reapplying. I also don't have all the facts tho just my opinion
 
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My understanding is that schools who get shut down like that are forced to pay for their students to transfer (we had some med students at my med school a few years ago in that situation).

Make sure you confirm that, but if you get that confirmed, I'd take the MD acceptance
 
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CNUs match list still been very good depsite the accrediation issue. They also have a teach out policy for all students in the event the school shuts down I believe. Id probably go to CNU over the headache of reapplying. I also don't have all the facts tho just my opinion
Thank you for your thoughts! I am aware of the teach out policy and have read that 'students would have all the rights and privileges of students in medical education programs at LCME-accredited medical schools if a medical education program was to lose LCME accreditation'. However, I worry that a loss of accreditation could still affect their students' prospects of matching successfully. I read on another thread that medical school accreditation status is a factor that many program directors (> 40%) consider.
 
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What makes you think you will be more successful than this cycle, which presumably resulted in 1 acceptance, when you apply with the stigma of being a reapplicant?
If you are interested, I would be more than happy to private message you with specific ways in which my application would be improved. However, as you are alluding to, there would be considerable risk in reapplying regardless. My concern is that the risk of an unsuccessful reapplication could potentially be outweighed by the potential risk of struggling/failing to match if CNU was to lose accreditation during my time there.
 
IIRC on a CNU some of the ADCOMS on here replied that they wouldn’t look down on an applicant turning down their A if it were to CNU. I would be curious to see if they still feel this way given the update. That being said, I’ve looked at CNUs reach out plan and unfortunately I am not really sure it’s as protective as some of the others on this thread seem to believe. Definitely worth reading again, but this is a very unique circumstance that deserves true adcom perspective and input.
 
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I would attend. HUGE gamble that I would not be willing to take.
 
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Thank you for your thoughts! I am aware of the teach out policy and have read that 'students would have all the rights and privileges of students in medical education programs at LCME-accredited medical schools if a medical education program was to lose LCME accreditation'. However, I worry that a loss of accreditation could still affect their students' prospects of matching successfully. I read on another thread that medical school accreditation status is a factor that many program directors (> 40%) consider.
40% actually seems low--I have to imagine other factors like step 2, clinical grades, research, LORs, interview, etc are all much more highly considered. It is one piece of the puzzle when they evaluate your application, and of course if you had another option you likely would be better off choosing another option. At present you don't have another option, and "having a medical degree" is undoubtedly the number 1 factor that program directors will consider.

Of course only you know what factors have changed since your prior application and whether it is reasonable to expect you would do any better by reapplying. However, my personal perception is that applicants tend to significantly overestimate how much they have improved their application in one year's time, often because they have further bolstered areas that were already strengths without adequately addressing the real deficiencies. Take that for what you will.
 
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Thank you all very much for your input! Unfortunately, it seems that there will be some risk no matter how I proceed, so all I can do is make the best decision with the information currently at hand. I emailed the LCME directly and they were adamant that students will be protected by the teach-out policy and will be eligible for USMLE, applying for residency, state board exams, etc. regardless of any change in accreditation status after the class has matriculated. With that in mind, I am leaning towards matriculating at this time. Again, thank you so much for your thoughts - I really appreciate you taking the time.

For anyone who may stumble across this thread in the future, other schools are not notified if you have been accepted to a medical education program in a previous cycle, but you do have to indicate if you previously matriculated or enrolled on the primary application.
 
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Thank you all very much for your input! Unfortunately, it seems that there will be some risk no matter how I proceed, so all I can do is make the best decision with the information currently at hand. I emailed the LCME directly and they were adamant that students will be protected by the teach-out policy and will be eligible for USMLE, applying for residency, state board exams, etc. regardless of any change in accreditation status after the class has matriculated. With that in mind, I am leaning towards matriculating at this time. Again, thank you so much for your thoughts - I really appreciate you taking the time.

For anyone who may stumble across this thread in the future, other schools are not notified if you have been accepted to a medical education program in a previous cycle, but you do have to indicate if you previously matriculated or enrolled on the primary application.
Good luck future doctor! Please keep us all updated should you learn more. As CNU will continue to have a probationary status, hearing from future and current students will be a massive benefit to future applicants!
 
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I don’t know if AMCAS themselves would notify schools but you’d have to say you’ve previously applied/been accepted to a school in the new application which would be a pretty big red flag for most schools bc they’re gonna scrutinize why you declined the A originally, if you go that route make sure you have an extremely good and well thought out plan to explain this situation in future interviews
I went through the entire 2025 application and I don't see anywhere where it asks you to say whether you've been accepted to any school previously. They ask you if you have applied to individual schools before, but there is no question that asks if you've received a previous acceptance. Can I ask where you got that information?
 
I would take the acceptance. I've heard of similar situations during residency closures. The affected residents were placed into nearby programs to finish their training. Something similar would probably happen if LCME were to close down the school.

Also keep in mind that the CNU woes are not known to every residency program director around the country. Especially on the east coast or in rural areas. Even if they do know, you might get some sympathy during residency interviews.
 
I was fortunate enough to be accepted off the waitlist to another MD program and will not be attending CNU (California Northstate University College of Medicine). Until now, I was planning to attend CNU for the reasons I'll list below in the hopes that it may be of use to other students in similar situations in the future. This is not meant to be an endorsement of CNU - my decision to attend rather than reapply was made in the context of my personal situation, and I may very well have made a different decision if I had been in a different situation.

Huge thank you to @Goro @gyngyn and others who took the time to provide me with very valuable insights when I was in the process of making this decision (although I would suspect they may not agree with some of what I've said here)

1) in Feb/Mar 2024, the LCME decided to extend CNU's provisional accreditation (and probation) by one year instead of withdrawing accreditation. from what I gleaned from the LCME accreditation flowchart, that was actually a breach of protocol and the 'normal' course of action would have been to withdraw accreditation entirely if they were not willing to give full accreditation (because it had been 5 years since CNU got provisional accreditation). according to the dean of CNUCOM, the LCME made this decision because CNU has made significant progress towards meeting the LCME's standards in the past 2 years and is on track to be fully accredited next year if the progress is sustained. i do not want to speculate about whether this claim is credible or not

2) to clear any confusion, CNU students would NOT be shuffled to other programs in the event that CNU loses accreditation - they would finish their education at CNU. the LCME told me directly that the CNU class of 2028 would be considered graduates of an accredited institution and be fully eligible for USLME, state boards, residency apps, etc. EVEN IF the school was to lose accreditation next year. again, i do not want to speculate, but this may still potentially still directly or indirectly harm ones' chances to match, especially in a more competitive specialty. however, i did still find this to be reassuring.

3) it is within the LCME's power to tell a school they cannot recruit new students and need to focus resources on current students. the LCME told me directly that CNU will be able to recruit new students in the coming cycle. this is pure speculation, but I would hope they would not allow them to recruit new students if they thought it was probable that they would shut down the school next year.

4) the current CNU students i've spoken to (anonymously on SDN and through their virtual visit) all seemed happy with their decision to attend CNU and the education they're receiving

5) CNU has consistently had reasonably strong match results despite being on probation

6) I would not be fully financing my med education through the private student loans they offer. I definitely recommend looking into disadvantages of private students loans and applying for loans through the CNU affiliated lenders ASAP after being accepted to see what your terms are. anecdotally, the interest rates can be higher than federal student loans, even >10% in some cases, and most people I spoke to were unable to get approved without a cosigner

In regards to the question of whether schools will be notified that an applicant had been accepted in a previous cycle, I asked the AAMC directly and they said the following:

"Please be aware that the other schools you have applied to through AMCAS will not be informed about which schools have offered you an acceptance. However, if you have previously been accepted into a program and decide to submit a new application to the same program, you will be considered a reapplicant."

I do not see anywhere on the primary AMCAS application where it asks if you have been accepted to a program in a previous cycle (although it does ask about enrollment/matriculation). However, I have absolutely no insight into the inner workings of the AMCAS application service and these things are subject to change so I highly recommend doing your own research before making any decisions.

While I'm unsure how often I'll be on SDN moving forward, please feel free to message me privately or post in here about anything I've discussed above. I do hope CNU receives full accreditation next year for the sake of the wonderful CNU students I spoke to on this platform.
 
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I went through the entire 2025 application and I don't see anywhere where it asks you to say whether you've been accepted to any school previously. They ask you if you have applied to individual schools before, but there is no question that asks if you've received a previous acceptance. Can I ask where you got that information?
Yea like I said, I couldn’t remember if it was applied or accepted but looks like AMCAS is previously applied but I have seen in some secondary applications asking for prior acceptances
 
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I was fortunate enough to be accepted off the waitlist to another MD program and will not be attending CNU (California Northstate University College of Medicine). Until now, I was planning to attend CNU for the reasons I'll list below in the hopes that it may be of use to other students in similar situations in the future. This is not meant to be an endorsement of CNU - my decision to attend rather than reapply was made in the context of my personal situation, and I may very well have made a different decision if I had been in a different situation.

Huge thank you to @Goro @gyngyn and others who took the time to provide me with very valuable insights when I was in the process of making this decision (although I would suspect they may not agree with some of what I've said here)

1) in Feb/Mar 2024, the LCME decided to extend CNU's provisional accreditation (and probation) by one year instead of withdrawing accreditation. from what I gleaned from the LCME accreditation flowchart, that was actually a breach of protocol and the 'normal' course of action would have been to withdraw accreditation entirely if they were not willing to give full accreditation (because it had been 5 years since CNU got provisional accreditation). according to the dean of CNUCOM, the LCME made this decision because CNU has made significant progress towards meeting the LCME's standards in the past 2 years and is on track to be fully accredited next year if the progress is sustained. i do not want to speculate about whether this claim is credible or not

2) to clear any confusion, CNU students would NOT be shuffled to other programs in the event that CNU loses accreditation - they would finish their education at CNU. the LCME told me directly that the CNU class of 2028 would be considered graduates of an accredited institution and be fully eligible for USLME, state boards, residency apps, etc. EVEN IF the school was to lose accreditation next year. again, i do not want to speculate, but this may still potentially still directly or indirectly harm ones' chances to match, especially in a more competitive specialty. however, i did still find this to be reassuring.

3) it is within the LCME's power to tell a school they cannot recruit new students and need to focus resources on current students. the LCME told me directly that CNU will be able to recruit new students in the coming cycle. this is pure speculation, but I would hope they would not allow them to recruit new students if they thought it was probable that they would shut down the school next year.

4) the current CNU students i've spoken to (anonymously on SDN and through their virtual visit) all seemed happy with their decision to attend CNU and the education they're receiving

5) CNU has consistently had reasonably strong match results despite being on probation

6) I would not be fully financing my med education through the private student loans they offer. I definitely recommend looking into disadvantages of private students loans and applying for loans through the CNU affiliated lenders ASAP after being accepted to see what your terms are. anecdotally, the interest rates can be higher than federal student loans, even >10% in some cases, and most people I spoke to were unable to get approved without a cosigner

In regards to the question of whether schools will be notified that an applicant had been accepted in a previous cycle, I asked the AAMC directly and they said the following:

"Please be aware that the other schools you have applied to through AMCAS will not be informed about which schools have offered you an acceptance. However, if you have previously been accepted into a program and decide to submit a new application to the same program, you will be considered a reapplicant."

I do not see anywhere on the primary AMCAS application where it asks if you have been accepted to a program in a previous cycle (although it does ask about enrollment/matriculation). However, I have absolutely no insight into the inner workings of the AMCAS application service and these things are subject to change so I highly recommend doing your own research before making any decisions.

While I'm unsure how often I'll be on SDN moving forward, please feel free to message me privately or post in here about anything I've discussed above. I do hope CNU receives full accreditation next year for the sake of the wonderful CNU students I spoke to on this platform.
Congratulations OP! Thank you for the confirmation. I have 2 friends who are one year behind me that attend CNU. I do not attend CNU. The feedback from them that I got was consistent with what you posted above. They seemed not worried.

With regards to your #2 above, the match is on the student and not particularly the school. All residency programs are open to CNU students, especially if they are a strong candidate. They have to network and build connections like everyone to match competitively.

My biggest beef with this school is they don't allow fed loans, which is a crock of ****, but if you want to be an MD and you are limited in options, CNU will afford you that chance.

Good luck OP.
 
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