Melomare17

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Wanted to know how schools look at applicants in SMPs (for those who are finishing their first out of 2 semesters)--do they look at the transcript first and THEN the LORs? Or LORs first then transcripts? Or BOTH before deciding on whether to extend invitation to interview?

If you have not a high GPA in SMP, will they read the transcript and LORs for sure??
 

robflanker

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Wanted to know how schools look at applicants in SMPs (for those who are finishing their first out of 2 semesters)--do they look at the transcript first and THEN the LORs? Or LORs first then transcripts? Or BOTH before deciding on whether to extend invitation to interview?
MCAT and GPA filter

Then LOR.
If you have not a high GPA in SMP, will they read the transcript and LORs for sure??
No. If you do badly in an SMP, and you have a poor GPA - then they prob won't look at your LOR
 

DrMidlife

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Here's pretty much how this goes:

Summer & fall in the admissions office:
1. Receive truckloads of apps, wade through them. Think mass movement. The only special snowflakes have high GPAs and high MCATs. Think 5000 apps per school.
2. Those who aren't above the bar for interviews get routed to the NO pile. Think 500 interview slots, 4500 in the NO pile.
3. Sometimes there's a policy to put borderline apps from current SMP enrollees in a HOLD pile pending SMP grades, if the rest of the app is strong. This is typically only going to happen at the applicant's home state public schools, or at schools where the applicant was previously waitlisted. This will typically not happen in California.

Intra-holidays in the admissions office:
1. New applications are still being reviewed from people with 3.8/35's.
2. Truckloads of new information comes in from those rejected/waitlisted/pre-interview such as letters of intent, new transcripts, new letters, and wade through them. Still mass movement.
3. Adcoms meet very few times to review new information (because holidays) and are not going to get to everything. The HOLD pile may or may not get looked at.
4. On very very rare occasions, new information changes minds and results in an interview invite.

Post-holidays in the admissions office:
1. All the interviews have already been scheduled, with room for maybe a few more to squeeze in at the end.
2. The HOLD pile gets reviewed if new info came in. On very very rare occasion, a new transcript/letter results in a HOLD pile app getting an interview.
3. By the end of January, more than enough acceptances to fill the class have been offered. After this, math models are used to predict how many acceptances need to be offered to result in filled tuition-paid seats in July/Aug. Each school anticipates that only 3/4 or 1/2 or 1/3 of the acceptances are going to stick. After May 15, as acceptances are turned down by students who get better acceptances, once a week or so people are pulled from the waitlist.

For the sake of planning:
1. If your GPA/MCAT were not good enough to get you interviews before you started your SMP, your best hope is the HOLD pile.
2. If your SMP transcript/letter is not strong in Dec/Jan, you are not getting an interview. You're going from HOLD to NO.
3. If your SMP transcript/letter is strong in Dec/Jan, you might get an interview very late in the season, and your best hope is the waitlist.
4. You very much need to be thinking about what you will do after graduating your SMP, as in jobs and student loan payments and rental leases, because your fate will not be known in May, and it may not be known in August.

More to the point, don't underestimate the GPA/MCAT of your SMP classmates who are getting accepted. People with 3.4+ and 30+ are doing SMPs.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Melomare17

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Thanks!

DrMidLife--What if your SMP transcript is not strong, but the letter is? Will they view both together before deciding?
 

DrMidlife

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Thanks!

DrMidLife--What if your SMP transcript is not strong, but the letter is? Will they view both together before deciding?
Here's how those assets look next to each other:

==>>TRANSCRIPT!!!!! (letter.)

Let go of thinking that a letter will save you somehow. It won't, not even if your SMP director was a fraternity bro with an admissions director.

Look. If you need an SMP, then your undergrad transcript wasn't strong. The whole point of doing an SMP is to address academic shortcomings. If your SMP transcript isn't strong, then your MD app cycle is over. You should politely and proactively withdraw your app from any schools that haven't rejected you yet, so that you look tidy and helpful when you reapply down the road. There's no letter writer on the planet that will get you consideration if you don't have the goods academically. At the very very least your SMP transcript needs to be better than your undergrad transcripts or you're wasting $50k or whatever.

What you do now is get straight A's next semester and get ready to apply again in June. Or you look at other options.

Best of luck to you.
 

robflanker

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Here's how those assets look next to each other:

==>>TRANSCRIPT!!!!! (letter.)

Let go of thinking that a letter will save you somehow. It won't, not even if your SMP director was a fraternity bro with an admissions director.
This.

Its been told to you in one post by me, and 2 posts by Midlife - your transcript is the first hurdle. Your LOR will never be seen if your transcript is bad.
 

DrMidlife

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This is a DO SMP -> DO school story. That makes a HUGE difference. A DO school will probably take the time to read a letter from a DO SMP.

Regardless, low GPA SDNers, take heed that your SMP GPA had better be better than your cumulative undergrad GPA. Also note that SMPs are products being sold to you. Do not assume there's some common agreement between MD/DO schools and SMPs that gets you into med school. There is no such agreement except maybe at Temple and at the URM programs.
 
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