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moxymed

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gonnif

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My question is whether it's better to apply early this cycle (June-July) with the only strong point on my incomplete app my MCAT or later with a complete app? I would have multiple ECs as well as some prereqs to supplement in Aug. I also believe I would have better LOR by Aug.

I'm shooting for lower-tier schools ... U of Miss, LSU, U of ND

I could take the MCAT May-June and maybe foresee myself getting an average-high score. I could really see myself getting a great score, 35+, if I wait to take it Aug-Sept (which is cutting it uncomfortably close for my app). Of course, I could also bomb it either time.

My GPA dropped towards the end of undergrad. It's no excuse, but the reason was a 20-hr sem, severe health problems (resolved) and recovering from domestic violence. I'm not even sure these things would be worth mentioning in an interview, I just want to get my life back on track. I realize my plan is fairly rushed, but I've wanted this for 6 years now and I've wasted so much time.

Yes, I am aware taking the MCAT before Ochem is dumb. I've dropped Ochem I twice (late) and completed "Elementary Ochem" (same as Ochem I) with a C. Waiting til my Ochem summer course is over would be an obvious advantage.

Stats ...
- BS Biology: grad 1 sem early in 2014; cGPA 3.25, sGPA 3.21 (C in Phys II)
- Currently finishing Micro w/ anticipated A
- Worked PT plant pathology research 6 months
- Worked FT endocrinology lab (not research, routine lab work) 3 months (graveyard shift, great rec out of it)
- Worked FT/PT children's learning facility (cognitive therapy) 1 year

Plans for Summer 2016 ...
40 hrs shadowing GP
100+ hrs hospital volunteer
50+ hrs CASA volunteer
Complete Ochem I/II with As at local uni
Retake Calc I online at original uni to change D to A (would raise cGPA to 3.4 after other classes)
Neither, with your GPA and plan to take MCAT before Ochem, you should seriously consider skipping this cycle, taking the course, prepping for the MCAT well, and applying next year where GPA (hopefully), MCAT, ECs and application timing will be more in line with a successful application. Applying when this weak, with a late MCAT, and either an "incomplete" early app or a late marginally better app is a formula for being rejected and having to apply next year again. In addition to the time, effort, and money wasted on such an application, being a reapplicant is an inherently weaker position to be in. Thus your chances will lessened by having a failed application. Reconsider, seriously reconsider
 

ciestar

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Be prepared to explain why you withdrew from ochem twice. My withdrawing from ochem came up in a couple interviews.
 
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moxymed

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moxymed

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piii

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I'm a resident of CA, though I did my undergrad in TX. My state is beyond competitive, it's insane.
What's the best approach when your home state is not going to work? Apply private? Plot residency elsewhere?
Apply to your state schools, target OOS privates, and only public OOS that you are above their median stats, that accept more than 25% OOS, and that you preferably have a tie to the state or institution.
 
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moxymed

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ciestar

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What did you say? Thought about that. My professor was literally known for being one of the hardest Ochem profs in the state, following an outdated 80s curriculum and textbook. Honestly, I knew that going in and it boiled down to bad choices and maturity.
Basically that i bit off more than i could chew.. My course load was a bit heavy and i was struggling with ochem, badly, and because of me putting so much more time into studying for ochem..my other grades started to drop. I basically said that I ultimately dropped the class to save my GPA, that doing well in my other classes was much more important than sacrificing everything to do better in ochem.
 

Hospitalized

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What makes you think you can get 35+? It's called 99th percentile for a reason.
 
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gonnif

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So, in a hypothetical world where I got a decent MCAT score early (30-35), had about half of those hospital & CASA hours and maybe all 40 of shadowing, and Ochem I complete, it would still not be worth my time? I'd be sending in my supplemental info (remainder of hours, Ochem II, Calc) in late August.

I'd also plan on taking Stats and Biochem Fall 2016/Spring 2017.
My thinking is I could take the MCAT and just see where I stand before I spend the extra effort for this year.

HOWEVER, I'm also not blind ... I could always finish my prereqs and substantially boot my GPA to a 3.5, take my time studying for the MCAT and score (35+? Not trying to be arrogant, test-taking has saved my ass my entire life), do my clinical hours/volunteering/shadowing at a normal pace and maybe have time for being an EMT, something I've wanted to try.

If it's truly not worth it to apply to these low-tier schools, I'd rather do it right and wait.


The applicant suffers from that common, but little discussed problem, "premature application". Its can be an embarrassing problem when you "put in" your application "too quick" and before you get to enjoy any of it, its over with a "fast rejection" often saying "but nothing like this has never happened to me before." Like in life, may never hear from the school you thought loved you, ever again.

Here are the facts in this case

1) Your GPA is low; GPA is likely a more important indicator to an adcom of overall ability than an MCAT score
2) Hypothetical and hopeful MCAT scores are just that and applying without knowing your score is a gamble period
3) Finishing your Ochem and Calc, even if reported in secondary app, would not be included in GPA calc which is based almost exclusively on AMCAS primary Application.
4) Online retake of Calc may not satisfy prereq requirement for schools that do not permit online course for fulfillment
5) Taking MCAT without Ochem AND Biochem is just, to put it bluntly, a freaking bonehead move that makes me want to dope slap you. What a thing to do to ensure a lesser score.

If it please the members of the SDN jury, the above facts clearly show that this hopeful student is simply not prepared to put the best application forward to medical school .
 
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LizzyM

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Do it right, do it once.

Do not take the MCAT before taking O-chem and biochem. Do not apply in 2016. Applying twice is painful and expensive and demoralizing.
Your GPA is already marginal for medical school and you are from what is almost one of the worst states (plenty of schools but far too many fellow applicants). consider finishing school and setting up housekeeping in a state that more gentle. It is almost impossible to qualify as a resident of Massachusetts but many other states are less stringent. Someone here is sure to have some advice in that regard. What about Mississippi, Louisiana or North Dakota?

You may have been working toward this goal for 6 years but it will be 7 and counting if you apply prematurely. Cool your jets and be read to kick a$$ and take names next year.
 

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Applying when you're not ready is a signal to adcoms that you make poor choices and that you have an inability to delay gratification.

Apply once, when you're 100% ready. Med schools aren't going anywhere, and there will likely be a few more open by the time you apply.
 
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moxymed

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moxymed

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moxymed

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gonnif

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Another prospective applicant saved from almost certain disaster. @LizzyM our work is done here.
 
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GrapesofRath

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It is almost impossible to qualify as a resident of Massachusetts but many other states are less stringent.

Someone here is sure to have some advice in that regard. What about Mississippi, Louisiana or North Dakota?
Mass. requirements to become a resident are very stingy but UMass certainly isnt as stingy in terms of who they classify for IS purposes. It's within the schools power to determine who they do or dont consider IS. For cases like this, it's best to contact UMass specifically to see they would view an individual case.

As for if the OP wants to move to a "better" state for MD admission this table should be the key thing they use, particularly IS matriculation%
https://www.aamc.org/download/321466/data/factstablea5.pdf

Some state schools really dont seem to care if you move there live there for a year then apply(states like Ohio actually borderline encourage this/use it to entice applicants). And then there are states on the opposite end of the spectrum: there was a case 5-10 years ago where an applicant sued University of New Mexico's medical school because they found their rejection was tied to the school not really considering them "IS" even though they moved there and followed the state's requirements. In other words, U of MN looked at them as "gaming" the system and didnt appreciate it.

OP if they're interested in this just has to put in the time, call the schools, see if they can find people who did something similar to them and had success with it to decide if which states this could work for. There are definitely examples of this working successfully, you just have to find them. In fact Id encourage them to at least ponder entertaining the idea: their prospects are much different if they take a couple semesters to remediate their GPA and do well on the MCAT if they are in say West Virginia or Louisiana as oppposed to CA.
 
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LizzyM

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Mass. requirements to become a resident are very stingy but UMass certainly isnt as stingy in terms of who they classify for IS purposes. It's within the schools power to determine who they do or dont consider IS. For cases like this, it's best to contact UMass specifically to see they would view an individual case.
This is from the Massachusetts med school's website:
“If tuition for the Medical School is set at a lower amount for residents of the Commonwealth, a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.”

With respect to this statute, the term “immediate family” means an applicant’s parent, spouse, child or sibling; and the words “resident(s)” and “resided” mean domicile – a person’s true fixed permanent home or place of habitation, where he or she intends t
o remain permanently.
 
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GrapesofRath

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This is from the Massachusetts med school's website:
“If tuition for the Medical School is set at a lower amount for residents of the Commonwealth, a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.”
The key word in your post above is tuition. Tuition is a separate discussion from whether or not someone is classified as IS or OOS for admission purposes for a state school. There are certainly state schools which wont give you IS tuition if you came in as OOS after first or second year of school even though you could qualify for being a resident of that state. That's where what you are referring to comes into play; schools dont want to lose money in tuition from OOS residents trying to declare in state residency. Some state schools will let OOS applicants do this(Ohio schools come to mind).

I bring all this up because I had a roomate in this exact spot for UMass: moved to Boston worked for 2.5 years before applying and was in this predicament. He called the school and they told him "we'll classify you as IS for admission purposes but you arent going to get IS tuition". Obviously this is n=1 and YMMV, but these things are variable and come down to the school's disgression. He ended up getting a II there so they held up their end of the bargain in that regard. Now none of this is particularly relevant to the OP because if we are talking about states to move to to "improve" your chances, MA is not near the top of anybody's list.
 
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gonnif

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You know I have been doing this too long, when I can actually recall seeing a document on this about 2 or 3 years back. Of course I cant find the original document but here is the gist:

A) The statue that @LizzyM pointed out specifically refers to only tuition residency requirements: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 75, Section 34A states “If tuition for the Medical School is set at a lower amount for residents of the Commonwealth, a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.”

B) The situation that @GrapesofRath notes falls under a different section which gives rule making power to the Board of Higher Education: Massachusetts Law Chapter 15A, Section 9 (t) provides that the Board of Higher Education has the duty and power to issue rules to be used by all public higher education institutions defining who is a resident of the Commonwealth for the purposes of admission and tuition expenses.

In 2008, Commissioner for the Board of Higher Education issued rules under its authority pursuant to Chapter 15A, Section 9 (t) to establish a student's residency as required by Chapter 75, Section 34A (see rules issuance). If I recall, because this decision, it called into question if this was also applicable to admissions. So The Board issued a document a few years later to clarify this that ran along the lines of 1) statute on residency that specified 7 years etc was specific to tuition; 2) there is no statute concerning residency requirements for admission; 3) the Board of Higher Education has statutory authority for rule making for both admissions and tuition; 4) residency requirements for purposes of tuition can be considered separate from residency requirements for admissions; and 5) The Board issues a very vague policy that mainly gave the campuses much leeway in deciding who was a resident for purposes of admission.

In sum, an applicant may be considered in state for purposes of admissions but out of state for purposes of tuition. Now that UMass has a formal policy of 25 seats for OOS, who knows if this vague policy will still be used.
 

moxymed

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gonnif

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I hate to hijack the discussion, but would any of you happen to know if Texas would grant me residency if:

1) I establish domicile 12 months before the June 2017 admissions cycle
2) I am gainfully employed, averaging at least 20 hrs/week the entire year
3) Receive no support other than scholarships and file independently on my taxes
4) Also take no more than 4 credits at a time (I believe they have a rule about max 5 credits/sem when establishing residency)

I am literally plotting my life around relocating back to TX for med school and I will probably go, even if there's a chance I have to wait another 12 months next June to convince ADcoms I'm not there for the wrong reasons. CA med school is just not happening (and it's expensive as hell here).
http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/index.cfm?ObjectID=6D1466D9-AEA5-DE00-C12F3F75E7367718

Lots of rules, regulations, tests, and other hoops to jump thru . Above link is source to understand this
 

moxymed

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