Disadvantage status ....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by 0099900, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. 0099900

    0099900 Senior Member

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    Hello,

    For anyone that is declaring "disadvatage status" or has declared such ... in the past, do you think that this had any negative impacts on the way adcoms viewed your application?

    Thanks,
     
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  3. Seal

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    I was concerned about the same thing last year when I applied. I put down that I was disadvantaged because I thought the term referred to anybody who encoutered significant barriers that may have hindered their education progress. Being an immigrant, I was raised in a working class family and worked full-time throughout college, so I thought it was justified to use the term.

    Not long after I submitted my AMCAS, I heard a director of admissions comment that disadvantaged status should only apply to people who are classified as underrepresented minorities, not just everybody who was socio-economically disadvantaged. I still don't know if this is true, but I can tell you that at the time, I was quite frightened that I had violated some AMCAS rule or something.

    Ultimately, though, I don't think the status affected my application at all. I think people consider your overall application adn not just whether you designate yourself as one thing over the other. The only difference was just an extra question in ome secondaries that called for "why do you think you are disadvantaged?" I did get asked about this question during the interview, but otherwise there was no effect. Some people think that Adcoms evaluate you separately if you check the disadvantaged box and if you don't, but I don't think this designation of your status really affects the rest of the your application.
     
  4. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I completely disagree with this guy's position. I am a supporter of affirmative action/URM programs but I dont think that just because you are caucasian/asian means that you are not disadvantaged.

    In my mind, its still a more level playing field if you are a URM who is very wealthy compared to a non URM who lives below the poverty level. Of course, most URMs are not wealthy so thats not a likely comparison but even though its rare does not mean that it doesnt happen.

    SES should play a role, not just URM status. Both should be used to determine your disadvantaged status.

    Clearly, SES plays at least as much of a role (if not more) on the playing field as does race.

    I'm not sure either if most med schools consider applicants who indicate that they are 'disadvantaged' separately from the non disadvantaged group. I know that most schools do separate groups based on URM status however.
     
  5. C U in MD school

    C U in MD school Senior Member

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    FYI if you do claim it, your application is viewed with a different group.
     
  6. premedmijo

    premedmijo Senior Member

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    What exactly is disadvantaged? Your SES or being a URM?
     
  7. 0099900

    0099900 Senior Member

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    I'm not 100 % sure but I don't think that being a URM automatically categorizes you as being disadvantaged. The two are separate categories
     
  8. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    That's actually not quite true. I don't know how exactly it works at other schools, but I do admissions work at my school, and basically what happens is that if you do claim disadvantaged status, certain things are reviewed about your background (per your application) to see if the school feels that you really do qualify. Here, they take into consideration what your parents do for a living (professional vs skilled labor vs unskilled labor), what their highest level of education is, conditions of where you grew up (urban vs suburban vs rural), your need to work>20 hrs/week to put yourself through school, whether English is your second language, etc.

    I think that the majority of people who claim disadvantaged status are not actually considered disadvantaged applicants by my school. If they are granted disadvantaged status, they go through a slightly different application process -- they interview with a different group of interviewers, and their application is considered in a special committee for disadvantaged student admissions, as well as the admissions committee (along with everyone else's).

    Every school is different, this is just how my school chooses to work.
     
  9. 0099900

    0099900 Senior Member

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    If you have a higher chance of getting an interview ..... why only a 1/3 of getting accepted. I would have thought that your chances for getting admitted would be higher relative to applicants who don't even get an interview. I JUST don't get it?

     
  10. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    I think what Ryu means is that if you are disadvantaged you have a good chance of getting an interview but only 1/3 of interviewees are accepted, whereas non-disadvantaged has a lower interview rate, but 1/2 of interviewees are accepted.

    Thats how I read it at least
     
  11. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    AdComs generally only pay attention to "The Box" when it's checked off by a member of a URM group. This includes blacks, most Latino groups, Mainland Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans. However unfair and unfortunate it may seem, this does not apply to Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc.) or Pacific Islanders -- although I've known more than a few Filipinos with a Latino-sounding surname do that.

    Further, an AdCom may find an application highly suspect when a non-URM candidate checks off the URM box. It's thought of as a really dishonest thing to do or a really bad interpretation of the box's purpose.
     
  12. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    I would guess that's probably the case for most state schools, since they probably have some legal requirements around the URM/disadvantaged status. Many private schools are probably more leniant as far who would be considered "disadvantaged". The procedure I described in my previous post is one private school approach to the disadvantaged applicant admission. And I mentioned that those applicants who request disadvantaged consideration are screened heavily by the school before they are actually granted that status. It's not held against them if they requested that status but wasn't granted it here, because usually those applicants really have had a hard road to this point.

    I disagree with the idea that admissions committees think that it is dishonest for applicants to check the box if they are not a URM (well, a few might). I think they understand that there are many non-URMs that truly are disadvantaged for one reason or another. Besides, if I remember correctly, there's a second question asking an applicant's race/ethnicity anyway. If the box for disadvantaged students was meant to only apply to URM's, why would they include that if the admissions committees already know if the applicant counts as a URM? I think they are two completely different questions.
     
  13. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I agree with ajm. The AMCAS 2002 application has both a URM designation AND a separate section for disadvantaged status.

    So I dont they think they have to be linked together. But its also my impression that if you are URM, then you dont have to go quite as far in proving your disadvantaged status (if you check that box) as you do if you are a non URM.
     

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