Disadvantaged Status?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by boo_yah, May 20, 2002.

  1. boo_yah

    boo_yah Member

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    What benefits, if any, does an applicant get from applying under disadvantaged status on the AAMC? I need to know because I think I could apply to be economically disadvantaged, but I'm not sure (My family did receive food stamps for many years, lived on $15,000-$19,000 for 7 people, mom's never been able to work because of head injuries received from car accidents, dad has OCD, I've supported myself financially since high school, etc). Should I apply under economically disadvantaged status?
    Do those who apply as disadvantaged have to write extra secondary essays?
    I was poor yes, but I still grew up in a nice area, and I'm non-URM. I think if I apply as disadvantaged they won't take me seriously.
    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member

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    It sounds as if you at least have a case. Yes, you will be required by many schools to write an additional essay. How much applying for disadvantaged status helps or hurts...well, that's definitely not clear at all.
     
  4. zephyr_97

    zephyr_97 Member

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    The decision to apply for disadvantaged status is totally up to you. The ultimate judge for the qualification rests upon ADCOMs. I've decided to apply as disadvantaged, though my high school was in a upper-middle class neighborhood of LA and I went to Duke for undergrad. Also, I am not URM (but Asian). The bottom line is that you will have to justify at the end. PM me if you have any questions. Take care,

    Z.
     
  5. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    booyah, that's great man that you were able to overcome all those hardships. much respect.

    as for applying disadvantaged, I opted against it -- I was never in a situation as dire as yours, but we are also very financially strapped.

    YOu'll have to balance the pros and cons:

    Pros: You'll end up saving about $2000 just on primary and secondary costs.
    You will get preferential treatment and consideration to offset the hardships of your life.

    Cons: You have to write a ton of extra essays explaining your life, which can be a huge pain and I personally didn't want to spend half of my application trying to make them feel sorry for me.
    Once you get in, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you got in on your merits alone, not with any extra help.
    At most interviews, you'll spend a chunk of tiem talking about that.
     
  6. KKay999

    KKay999 Member

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    Boo_yah. If you truly feel that you come from a disadvantaged background, why do you feel that they won't take you seriously? Maybe something you can mention in your essay is how you have overcome those obstacles in your life to get to the point of applying to medical school.

    I don't know if there are any "benefits" per se but I think they will look at how your academics have been affected (if at all) or what you have done in the community as a result of your status.
    If I remember correctly, I think some schools ask you to explain on your secondaries why you feel that you've come from a disadvantaged background.

    Good Luck
     
  7. BOOYAH

    BOOYAH Member

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    original name
     
  8. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by BOOYAH:
    <strong>original name</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">OMG, a name thief!!!!!!
     
  9. BrentwoodBoy

    BrentwoodBoy Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>booyah, that's great man that you were able to overcome all those hardships. much respect.

    as for applying disadvantaged, I opted against it -- I was never in a situation as dire as yours, but we are also very financially strapped.

    YOu'll have to balance the pros and cons:

    Pros: You'll end up saving about $2000 just on primary and secondary costs.
    You will get preferential treatment and consideration to offset the hardships of your life.

    Cons: You have to write a ton of extra essays explaining your life, which can be a huge pain and I personally didn't want to spend half of my application trying to make them feel sorry for me.
    Once you get in, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you got in on your merits alone, not with any extra help.
    At most interviews, you'll spend a chunk of tiem talking about that.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">fyi- just to correct what matthew said, you can qualify for a fee waiver without applying disadvantaged.

    Having a fee waiver has no bearing whatsoever on your admissions chances as far as I know. A fee waiver is simply based on you and your parents' CURRENT financial situation (if you used to be rich but are dirt poor NOW, you would qualify.. if you are now rich but was dirt poor for most of your life, you would NOT qualify). Basically, they want tax info from you and your parents for the previous year (for 2001 for this coming application cycle). You have to fill out the FAP available online and you have to be pretty low income to qualify. I know many people who were denied that had less than decent annual incomes. If you think you qualify, I would DEFINITELY apply for a fee waiver. You will save a TON of money. You get ten primaries free ($30 for each school above 10) and all your secondaries free (saving you THOUSANDS) and some schools even pay for your interviews (Michigan, Stanford) or offer regional interviews because of your situation.

    Anyway, there IS a difference between applying disadvantaged and being approved for a fee waiver. Applying disadvantaged is at YOUR DISCRETION. Basically you determine whether you think you were socially and/or economically disadvantaged and you end up having to write more essays to explain it. It is based more upon your ENTIRE HISTORY growing up. And in the end, it is debated whether it gives you an advantage. It mostly likely does as some schools like Stanford and UCSD even admit to giving more "points" to disadvantaged applicants. Whether or not you want this crutch is your choice. You could FEEL like you were disadvantaged but simply not choose to apply disadvantaged for the sake of whatever reasons you may have (I CHOSE not to)

    However receiving a fee waiver is a decision made by the AAMC and is simply used by administrators to waive your app and secondary fees. It is NOT used for any admissions purposes.

    I qualified for a fee waiver and chose NOT to apply disadvantaged (although I feel I probably "qualify") Ironically, I also know people who did not qualify for a fee waiver who chose to apply disadvantaged.

    Just wanted to clarify
     
  10. sjordan

    sjordan Member

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    booyah,
    if you plan on applying to uc schools this is how they determine it (i think it pretty much follows this may for all schools tho):

    1) did you grow up in a "underserved community"/rural area where the educational system may not be as good as that in other areas

    2)what is the educational background of your parents?--if both of your parents have high school degrees..

    3)what is your financial status, particularly during ages 0-18. They want to see if you suffered financially during your "formative years"

    4) did you have to help support your family financially during high school?

    5)was english your first language?
     
  11. ssh18

    ssh18 Member

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    I am really debating this category. One of my concerns is that what if you do claim to be disadvantaged (present your case to back up your opinion) and then for the personal statement, you don't talk about that. I don't really want to talk about the disadvantaged aspect of my life in my personal statement as there are other things that I think are more important for me to demonstrate in terms of why I want to go into medicine. However, I do want med schools to know a bit about my past and I figured in the disadvantaged section I could let them know that. Does this come across as inconsistent? I'm so confused after reading all the previous posts.
     
  12. Character

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    its only 1 extra short essay on amcas, and i only a few schools will ask you to write an essat about it, like meharry...which is the only school that i can remember
     
  13. nawla18

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    :)
     
    #12 nawla18, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  14. tourniquet1963

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  15. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    You can certainly address "disadvanataged" childhood in the very short AMCAS space provided (as well as answering the brief questions asked in that section) and cover something completely different in the PS. It is not inconsistent at all.
     
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  17. UVAbme2009

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    I opted against it for the simple fact that I never had to support myself or my family through my work (although I allowed my parents to have most of my HS graduation money to pay bills).

    Basically, if you think you were disadvantaged, I'd go for it. But realize that disadvantaged is more than just coming from a low income background. It sounds like you're safe to do so though.
     
  18. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    It depends on your situation from 0-18 years. Family income, receipt of government assistance (subsidized housing, public assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, free school lunch, etc), work before age 18 (Y/N), contributed earning to household expenses (Y/N), grew up in medically underserved area? Then there is a section that asks what proportion of college costs were covered by family, own funds, need-based aid, merit-based aid, loans, etc.
     
  19. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician

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    I was going to apply, but I don't feel comfortable applying disadvantaged. I think its more of a mind thing on behalf of the applicant than anything.
     
  20. DieselD

    DieselD ASA Member

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    Not to be THAT guy, but when you are disadvantaged, there is no HS graduation money.... but I still chose not to apply as disadvantaged...

    So, really it depends on how you feel about it. If I had to apply again, I probably would claim disadvantaged status, so really it depends on the person. I just personally feel that there are people worse off. I've always had an "emotionally" supportive family, even though they made very little income. So I did not feel THAT "disadvantaged."
     
    #18 DieselD, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  21. tourniquet1963

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    Thanks so much! That definitely describes my family situation. Thanks a lot!
     
  22. RapplixGmed

    RapplixGmed Looking for the Ether

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    My family slept on the floor of our empty apartment for 5 years of my life while we were in dire financial straits after my dad got into a bad car accident. I fended for myself while my mom was out working extreme hours in a nursing home.

    However, I'm not going to mention any of this on the app because I feel uncomfortable giving the full story. We've worked up into upper class now too so its not like its holding me back at all. I think this applies to a lot of people. They felt disadvantaged but are comfortable enough with their current position to not feel like they should use it.
     
  23. DieselD

    DieselD ASA Member

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    I agree. Sorry about your childhood. But congrats to you and your family for working hard and bettering your situation. Much respect. :thumbup:
     
  24. decafplease

    decafplease Medical Student

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    That's funny. I feel like I'm the opposite of this statement. I had a difficult, "disadvantaged" childhood, but don't feel disadvantaged. I feel blessed for what I have, but I'm comfortable discussing the context of my triumphs and failures. I've been told the adcom want to see that context, and that is why I'm applying "disadvantaged."
     

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