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Ultimeaciax

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I am in a dilemma in choosing what to do next year.

I am a senior and planning to graduate this semester. I have ~3.3GPA with 12X credits, and I want to improve it through a second science major/postbacc program. So far, these are my options:

1. Stay and get another science major at my current school. This is the cheapest path as my UG is a state school, and I can continue to receive my grants/scholarships.

2. SFSU Formal Post-bacc - Pretty popular/reputable program and relatively inexpensive. Though, the cost of living in San Fran is too expensive. If I go here, I'll need $25k loan (I can get this thru federal loan).

3. Wash U in St. Louis post-bacc - Very reputable school...so, I guess their teaching quality is pretty good as well. I heard the staff and school are super nice and supportive. Relatively new program with a lot of flexibility. Limitless opportunity for research. Tuition can be expensive. I'll be more in debt though.

4. Post-bacc Research Program Education - This kind of program doesn't boost your GPA in anyway, but it can be a resume booster. I can increase my credential for medical school thru this. I've applied to several top-notch research schools. I'll probably apply for an MD/PhD if I go with this route. I love research, by the way.

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So, those are the four very difficult choices I have to make. Finance is probably one of the top factors. I don't want to be in more debt (I'm in around 25k debt now), because I know that med school is going to be extremely expensive.

I look forward for your input. Thanks
 

jslo85

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This is just my opinion (disclaimer haha)

I would just enroll at the local university as a post-bacc student and take the upper division sciences that you have not taken. There should be plenty if you have yet to really hit them as in (toxicology, histology, AnP, immunology, virology, infectious diseases, genetics, evolution, neurophysiology, sensory physiology etc) while using some of your free time to expand on your clinical activities. Ideally it would be at an SMP but that would be discounting financial concerns which would be substantial seeing that you'd have to relocate, pay rent, etc. I haven't done a calculation but I would roughly say as a full time for a year, you might be able to boost it by .2 possibly if you recieve all As. More importantly it would establish an upward trend in upper level classes that would give Adcoms a general gauge on how you might do in harder (medical school level) courses.

Really work hard on your MCAT if you haven't taken it already. Obtaining a 35 with a 3.5 GPA with an upward trend, great LOR and solid E.C. will get you interviews in my opinion at schools. Realistically not top 20 schools but there are many to choose from.
 

Xcited392

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+1 on jslo's post.

Your number one priority right now is to get the best grades (4.0 ideally). So, I'd choose the program where you know that you can do well at.

And also, are you ready to move far away for something temporary? Assuming that you're going to do 1 year of post-bacc work, I think it's not worth it to move across the country, find housing, buy furniture, and all the usual move-in hassles.

However, if you think there's a particular place where you'll be really happy at, then by all means go there, since you'll probably won't do well if you're unhappy and stressed.
 

TyrKinase

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Another vote for staying at your undergraduate school.

I have some personal experience with the SFSU Formal Post-bacc and while it works for some, I'm not sure it's worth the money. As long as you can enroll in the classes you need for medical school, stay where you are.

Also, saving money = awesome.

Have you taken any science courses?
 

Xcited392

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1. Stay and get another science major at my current school. This is the cheapest path as my UG is a state school, and I can continue to receive my grants/scholarships.
What do you mean by "getting another science major?"

Do you mean that you want to be a 5th year senior and get another major? Or do you want to do a second bachelors?
 

Ultimeaciax

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What do you mean by "getting another science major?"

Do you mean that you want to be a 5th year senior and get another major? Or do you want to do a second bachelors?
Sorry for the ambiguity of my post. I meant 5th year senior with another major.
 

Xcited392

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Sorry for the ambiguity of my post. I meant 5th year senior with another major.
No prob.

Well, having been in your situation last year, I was told that a 5th year is not as good as doing a post-bacc. The reason is that on the AMCAS grades section, your 5th year senior grades aren't considered "post-bacc," but a continuation of your "senior year" grades. So, your 5th year GPA could be a 4.0, but if your senior year was a 3.0 (for example), then the AMCAS senior year GPA would be the average of the 2 years. On the other hand, if you graduate after senior year and do a post-bacc and get a 4.0, they will be able to see the upward trend from senior year to post-bacc.

However, in the end, the cGPA and sciGPA will be the same, regardless if you do a 5th year or post-bacc. It's just that when you do a post-bacc, the upward trend is a bonus.

That said, could you graduate as planned, and then enroll in classes at your undergrad for post-bacc work? Perhaps your school has a second bachelors (you don't have to finish the degree) or a non-degree program. The only obstacle would be getting enrollment priority for classes. I am currently doing a second bachelors because I have first priority in classes and the non-degree program is limited to a few credits.

Good luck.
 

Ultimeaciax

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The problem of doing a postbacc is that you're considered as a graduate student...meaning that I won't be able to get my Pell grants, school grants and scholarships.

However, I think I'll be able to keep my financial aid if I do a second bachelor (since I'll still be considered as an undergrad)? Hmm...I'll contact my advisor to discuss about this option.

So many choices, so little time.
 

robflanker

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If you are doing a post-bac at most places you are considered an undergrad.

You are only considered a grad if you are doing an SMP
 

Ultimeaciax

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It is true that postbaccs can take undergrad courses, but for financial aid, it is considered as grad study. FAFSA will no longer treat you as an undergrad, as you're already graduated. Thus, they'll give you grad loans instead of undergrad's Pell grant or SMART grant.
 

robflanker

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Only if you've used up all your loan options; it is possible to get UG loans for post-bac work if you didnt take any out during UGrad
 

ali20685

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It is true that postbaccs can take undergrad courses, but for financial aid, it is considered as grad study. FAFSA will no longer treat you as an undergrad, as you're already graduated. Thus, they'll give you grad loans instead of undergrad's Pell grant or SMART grant.
At Penn, during the orientation the Financial Aid person stated that a post bac is considered undergrad (NOT GRADUATE). She had stated that there were several applications she had to change that on for financial aid. You should only be eligible for stafford loans for one year. Over that, you have to find private loans to pay for your education as a post bac. I have never heard of anyone getting Grants for post bac work.
 
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