Do top schools honestly prefer top undergrad institutions?

PuKcAo

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How overly optimistic is it for me to want to get into a a top school i.e. Stanford coming from a average or below average undergrad (Oklahoma State)? Given that I have everything else far above avg, would my college be frowned upon?

Schools may claim that its not a factor but looking at the schools from which they accepted students the past several years shows nothing but the nation's best undergrads...
 

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PuKcAo said:
How overly optimistic is it for me to want to get into a a top school i.e. Stanford coming from a average or below average undergrad (Oklahoma State)? Given that I have everything else far above avg, would my college be frowned upon?

Schools may claim that its not a factor but looking at the schools from which they accepted students the past several years shows nothing but the nation's best undergrads...
I'll be blunt with you - Ivy, Ivy-rate (MIT, Stanford, CalTech, etc.) or near-Ivy (Northwestern, Duke, etc.) or baby-Ivy (Amherst, Williams, etc.) schools are preferred, in my opinion. Out of almost all the interviews I've been at in which they've had a list of the day's interviewees and their corresponding undergrads, the top-tier schools were littered with such schools, and there would only be a small handful of state schools and the like. Only with some of the lower-ranked schools did I notice prevalence of more state schools for undergrad. I'm definitely not trying to burst your bubble (in fact, if anything, that should make you even more determined to go against the grain and break that pattern. It is definitely not uncommon for people to excel at state schools and still get into top-ranked schools.), but I am being honest and realistic.
 

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PuKcAo said:
How overly optimistic is it for me to want to get into a a top school i.e. Stanford coming from a average or below average undergrad (Oklahoma State)? Given that I have everything else far above avg, would my college be frowned upon?

Schools may claim that its not a factor but looking at the schools from which they accepted students the past several years shows nothing but the nation's best undergrads...

I believe it does, but maybe that is because I don't go to an ivy league or other top notch undergrad either. Regardless, you can still get into a good med school. Plus, if your stats are high, you always are competetive.
 

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Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.

But Columbia is pretty stuck up.
 

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What do you define as being a "top school"?

In my opinion, I would definitely consider UCLA and UCSF to be among the very best medical schools, and believe me when I say they accept many students from "lower-ranked" institutions.
 

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PostalWookie said:
Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.
Wow! :eek:
 

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I do think that undergrad institution matters. I go to the University of Houston, which is considered to be a no-name public school. I got some pretty good interviews. However, people that go to Rice, down the street, got twice the interviews with similar or in some cases lesser credentials than I have. While undergrad institution isn't everything, I'm quite sure that it is one factor that they consider.
 

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getunconcsious said:
I do think that undergrad institution matters. I go to the University of Houston, which is considered to be a no-name public school. I got some pretty good interviews. However, people that go to Rice, down the street, got twice the interviews with similar or in some cases lesser credentials than I have. While undergrad institution isn't everything, I'm quite sure that it is one factor that they consider.
I go to one of the "no-name" University of California schools (i.e., not UCLA or UC Berkeley). I don't think that this has been a hindrance for me, though.

You should make the best of the opportunities available to you whereever you are, be it Harvard or UT-Houston.
 

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PostalWookie said:
Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.

But Columbia is pretty stuck up.

I'll agree that I was sort of blindsided from seeing how many people were from Ivies in the facebook, but to be fair to Columbia, I thought their class size was about 150, if not slightly more?
 

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Tra La La said:
I go to one of the "no-name" University of California schools (i.e., not UCLA or UC Berkeley). I don't think that this has been a hindrance for me, though.

You should make the best of the opportunities available to you whereever you are, be it Harvard or UT-Houston.

Did I say that I was planning to be angry the whole time at UT-Houston? Why don't you stop making random assumptions? The op asked a question, and based on my experience I answered it.

At least my sig doesn't make some weird vague accusation about people grabbing my genitals.
 

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getunconcsious said:
Did I say that I was planning to be angry the whole time at UT-Houston? Why don't you stop making random assumptions? The op asked a question, and based on my experience I answered it.

At least my sig doesn't make some weird vague accusation about people grabbing my genitals.
Ouch!

I don't know how you took offense at my statement, b/c it certianly wasn't directed towards you.

Sensitive, eh? I'll just leave you be.

And my sig? I heard it in a song and it sounded funny--I honestly didn't know what it mean until now. My bad.

Just take a chill pill.
 

Tra La La

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getunconcsious said:
Did I say that I was planning to be angry the whole time at UT-Houston? Why don't you stop making random assumptions? The op asked a question, and based on my experience I answered it.

At least my sig doesn't make some weird vague accusation about people grabbing my genitals.
And what in the world is you avatar? Just curious.
 

getunconcsious

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Tra La La said:
Ouch!

I don't know how you took offense at my statement, b/c it certianly wasn't directed towards you.

Sensitive, eh? I'll just leave you be.

And my sig? I heard it in a song and it sounded funny--I honestly didn't know what it mean until now. My bad.

Just take a chill pill.

How could I not take offense? In one fell swoop you accused me of having a negative attitude while at the same time basically calling out UT-H as a 'lesser' school, which in my opinion it is not. But whatever. Sorry if I'm overreacting.
 

Tra La La

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getunconcsious said:
How could I not take offense? In one fell swoop you accused me of having a negative attitude while at the same time basically calling out UT-H as a 'lesser' school, which in my opinion it is not. But whatever. Sorry if I'm overreacting.
No, my comments were not directed towards you, nor was I trying to imply that you are a negative person.

I was solely addressing the OP and letting him (her?) know that wherever you are, opportunities exist.

And I was not singling out UT-H as a "lesser school." That seemed to be your contention when you were comparing yourself to "lesser credentialed" peers at Rice who have fared equally as you..

I'll drop it here and I apologize if any offense was taken on your part; none was intended.
 

Tra La La

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getunconcsious said:
Rum & Coke, with 2 quaalude pills next to it.
Interesting...what are quaalude pills?
 

Tra La La

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getunconcsious said:
Quaalude is a very powerful hypnotic, and therefore rarely prescribed. Many famous peeps have been addicted to it.
Thanks! Now I know :)
 

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I believe that yes, but the extent to which depends on the school.

Columbia, Yale draw heavily from the Ivies. In contrast, Cornell had a slew from all over looking at their first year class book. So a good school always helps, but most schools consider those who have excelled anywhere. Additionaly, to be fair to Columbia and Yale, those were the kids that came. I'm at an Ivy and honestly, the only non-Ivy school my friends are considering at UCSF, Duke, Stanford, and WashU (besides me). A lot want to stay within New England if they can't go to somewhere warm =)
 

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PostalWookie said:
Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.

But Columbia is pretty stuck up.
that's pretty crazy. i went to Vandy's whitecoat ceremony this past time and i have to admit, there were a ton of kids from ivy schools. but i do have to question their basis. I mean could it come from

1.) better research opportunities?
2.) better overall education and therefore MCAT score
3.) more well-known LOR writers?

I dunno, just some thoughts. i know they look at the schools when applying, I mean, u have to. but just wondering the true basis behind picking a 90% ivy class.
 

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i know for a fact some do. the dean of admissions at a top 10 school that i interviewed at told me during the interview that they did and asked me why i chose my current school.
 

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Well, I don't know much about who goes where, but I do know two students from good ole Auburn University that were accepted at HMS. So, to me I don't think your undergrad will hinder you, as long as you have done well
 

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yeah I have to agree, top schools prefer Ivy students, which is understandable.

but still there are so many other great non ivy medical schools, UMich, UCSF, UCLA, Emory....

but you should still apply to top schools, if you have good grades and MCAT.
 

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Have you guys seen this guys mdapplicants profile?

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1463

I'm skeptical if its true or not, but this guy went to a community college (one that advertises on the radio by the way) and got into alot of great institutions. Perhaps being at the completely opposite end of the spectrum can help too. Being at a CC and doing exceptional work. If you ask me Ivy institutions have a stake in keeping their class roster free of any unsightly uni names.

But ya know what? Who the f--- cares. there are only 200 people who get into HMD a year, i'm not gonna go cry if i'm not a part of that tiny group of people, most of whom i'll probably have no significant contacts with for my entire life.
 

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crazy80 said:
Have you guys seen this guys mdapplicants profile?

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1463

I'm skeptical if its true or not, but this guy went to a community college (one that advertises on the radio by the way) and got into alot of great institutions. Perhaps being at the completely opposite end of the spectrum can help too. Being at a CC and doing exceptional work. If you ask me Ivy institutions have a stake in keeping their class roster free of any unsightly uni names.

But ya know what? Who the f--- cares. there are only 200 people who get into HMD a year, i'm not gonna go cry if i'm not a part of that tiny group of people, most of whom i'll probably have no significant contacts with for my entire life.
My guess is that this person just did their pre-reqs there after completing their degree somewhere else. This is very common as people sometimes just put their last school of attendance down.
 

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didnt read rest of thread but dont be quick to base the fact that they take alot of ivies as bias; the people that go from ivies or other top private/public schools are going b.c they are top students in the nation, not b.c there is just some bias in their favor.

that said, i would recommend for anyone that is concerned and at or not at a top undergrad to take a year off and carve out a niche and work really hard in that year or two off. Comming straight from undergrad is a big disadvantage b.c you arent a person that is defined yet; some are, but on my interview trail I have seen very few if any. Take a year off, not to just take a year off, but to experience a different side of life so that at least you are cognizant of what it takes to succeed in the real world even if you are not succeeding in the year off; just make sure to work hard
 

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PostalWookie said:
Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.

But Columbia is pretty stuck up.
is that because the more highly qualified candidates got into highly competitive undergrads in the first place though? it's a bit of both, IMO.
 

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Haybrant said:
didnt read rest of thread but dont be quick to base the fact that they take alot of ivies as bias; the people that go from ivies or other top private/public schools are going b.c they are top students in the nation, not b.c there is just some bias in their favor.

that said, i would recommend for anyone that is concerned and at or not at a top undergrad to take a year off and carve out a niche and work really hard in that year or two off. Comming straight from undergrad is a big disadvantage b.c you arent a person that is defined yet; some are, but on my interview trail I have seen very few if any. Take a year off, not to just take a year off, but to experience a different side of life so that at least you are cognizant of what it takes to succeed in the real world even if you are not succeeding in the year off; just make sure to work hard
There are a lot of reasons that people choose to go to a school for undergrad. For example, I chose to attend a state school because it's free for me. I wouldn't deny that the kids at Harvard, Stanford, etc., are great students on the whole, but think about the numbers. I would be willing to wager that the top 5-10% of the students at your average State U would compare quite favorably with the students from elite schools in terms of numbers, accomplishments and overall talent. So why don't we see students from the State U's of the world collectively forming a larger portion of the classes at elite med schools? They must be applying because those thousands of applications that schools receive can't all come from elite schools.

I believe that there is quite a bit of inherent bias in the system. In fact, the nature of that bias was the subject of a good chunk of one of my interviews at an Ivy League school.
 

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Coming from the University of Tennessee, I've seen different reactions at top tier schools. They may say that they are open to all, but in all actuallity it's a HUGE factor. My stats are better than all schools averages (4.0, 39Q) and I've still been descriminated against. Sucks, but it's life.
 

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TheProwler said:
is that because the more highly qualified candidates got into highly competitive undergrads in the first place though? it's a bit of both, IMO.
I got into a bunch of "top" undergrad schools and ended up going to Texas A&M because they made me an offer I couldn't refuse - a full academic scholarship. I think really qualified people end up everywhere - which is maybe why a poster said they know two people from Auburn who went to HMS. So it depends more on the person.

If you're really qualified and have good stats - go for the Ivy League if you really want to
 

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I also have above average numbers but did not get any attention from the top tier schools (Not even interviews). Could it be because I went to a state school? I think that has something to do with it.
 

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i'm an ivy undergrad (upenn), i think there're some biases but however, that's why they created standardized tests i.e. MCAT. which normalized every applicants.
 

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HAHAHAHHA believe it or not they still do!, we're known as the social ivy and people always mixed us up with penn state (not that penn state is not a good school, penn state is a great school! =) just to clear things up, here are the ivies (began as a sport league in chronological order):

1. Harvard 1636
2. Yale 1701
3. Penn 1740
4. Princeton 1746
5. Columbia 1754
6. Brown 1764
7. Dartmouth 1769
8. Cornell 1865

i don't think ivy student are better than any other students!!! heck, some of my friends who went to states school are way smarter than me, so please get that straight =) i'm just representing my alma mater, that's all!

oh yea, and we're in the NCAA playoffs! go PENN! (haha watch us lose the first round lol! jk)
 

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PostalWookie said:
Out of 120 kids in Columbia P&S entering class of 2004, 96 were from ivy league schools (including 20 from columbia), and most of ther others were from non-ivies like stanford, hopkins, etc. Like 3 were from state schools.

But Columbia is pretty stuck up.
I thought that Stanford was considered a sort of Ivy outpost on the West Coast?
 

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Anastasis said:
I got into a bunch of "top" undergrad schools and ended up going to Texas A&M because they made me an offer I couldn't refuse - a full academic scholarship. I think really qualified people end up everywhere - which is maybe why a poster said they know two people from Auburn who went to HMS. So it depends more on the person.

If you're really qualified and have good stats - go for the Ivy League if you really want to
I consider myself plenty qualified, but I are broke :p, so I'm staying at a state school in order to commute. I'm just saying that in general, better students are at better schools.
 

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Code Brown said:
My guess is that this person just did their pre-reqs there after completing their degree somewhere else. This is very common as people sometimes just put their last school of attendance down.
Yeah - they probably did, as I understand it you can't get a 4 year degree from a community college.
 

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I'm constantly amazed at how admissions officers will tailor their message to their audience.

We just had a med school fair here with admission officers from around the country coming to mingle with the post baccs here. To the letter, they said they consider a Columbia postbacc different from postbacc done at a state school or community college. I don't know if the deans here asked them to say this to justify the outrageous tuition of this program, or if they actually mean it. But many did say that, for what it's worth. One friend of mine was actually told by an admissions officer that they do, in fact, weigh the GPA based on the school, and that ivy gpas are given a boost, because they are aware of the level of competition and the depth of the education. This seems to run contrary to popular legend which says that "everyone at ivys gets A's because they are full of grade inflation." Evidently medschools know that this is a myth. Another friend of mine was told by a medschool that requires biochemistry that they waive the requirement for Columbia students because the biology courses here already tackle enough biochem. Interestingly, I was struck by how nice all the adcom officials were and how they genuinely seemed to be recruiting people rather than simply representing their school. I once went to a medschool fair at a local state school (a pretty good one) with a friend of mine and the atomosphere was nothing like it was here; the adcom people were bored and looked like they didn't want to be there. They certainly didn't look interested in the students at all, unlike when they were here. My whole impression was sort of "so this is what it feels like to be inside the good ol' boy network."

Now the real question is whether I can pawn my ivy postbacc off as an ivy undergrad. The admissions officers here said that they consider postbaccs Columbians because we all of our premed requirements here, and that is all that they really care about anyway. Whether this was just window dressing or not, remains to be seen. But to anyone considering a postbacc, take this into consideration--medschools flat out told us that they prefer postbaccs from here. Read into that what you will.
 

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virilep said:
that's pretty crazy. i went to Vandy's whitecoat ceremony this past time and i have to admit, there were a ton of kids from ivy schools. but i do have to question their basis. I mean could it come from

1.) better research opportunities?
2.) better overall education and therefore MCAT score
3.) more well-known LOR writers?

I dunno, just some thoughts. i know they look at the schools when applying, I mean, u have to. but just wondering the true basis behind picking a 90% ivy class.
Well maybe it is the students not the schools who are doing a lot of the picking. If you chose to attend a top school chances are you value the prestige factor (and after being there for 4 years probably come to view it as even more important) and so rankings are going to be much more important to you when choosing a med school. For example, I have a friend at NJMS. She is really smart, went to Rutgers undergrad (turned down "better" schools) and is now at NJMS (the only med school she applied to). She figures why waste the $ when I can get a perfectly good education in state. She just doesn't care about it.
 

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crazy80 said:
Have you guys seen this guys mdapplicants profile?

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1463

I'm skeptical if its true or not, but this guy went to a community college (one that advertises on the radio by the way) and got into alot of great institutions. Perhaps being at the completely opposite end of the spectrum can help too. Being at a CC and doing exceptional work. If you ask me Ivy institutions have a stake in keeping their class roster free of any unsightly uni names.

But ya know what? Who the f--- cares. there are only 200 people who get into HMD a year, i'm not gonna go cry if i'm not a part of that tiny group of people, most of whom i'll probably have no significant contacts with for my entire life.

Im not sure about this profile. If he got in, that is awesome, howeveer when I starting taking post-bac pre-med classes I was told by my pre-med academic advisor that medical schools do not accept any pre-reqs from community colleges. I checked it out and found the same thing on the American Medical College Association website. Im not sure, its a good question though.
 

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Tra La La said:
Ouch!

I don't know how you took offense at my statement, b/c it certianly wasn't directed towards you.

Sensitive, eh? I'll just leave you be.

And my sig? I heard it in a song and it sounded funny--I honestly didn't know what it mean until now. My bad.

Just take a chill pill.
I'm with you; i saw nothing offensive in your post. But then again i'm getting used to people misinterpreting my posts and jumping all over me.

Ok fill me in..i have no clue the implied reference to your name...yes i know i'm naive. :oops:
 

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Where can someone find the undergraduate institutions of the entering class? I saw where someone mentioned that they saw on cornell's website that many where not from Ivey. What is that site?
 

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crazy80 said:
Have you guys seen this guys mdapplicants profile?

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1463

I'm skeptical if its true or not, but this guy went to a community college (one that advertises on the radio by the way) and got into alot of great institutions. Perhaps being at the completely opposite end of the spectrum can help too. Being at a CC and doing exceptional work. If you ask me Ivy institutions have a stake in keeping their class roster free of any unsightly uni names.

But ya know what? Who the f--- cares. there are only 200 people who get into HMD a year, i'm not gonna go cry if i'm not a part of that tiny group of people, most of whom i'll probably have no significant contacts with for my entire life.
this doesn't give the total profile so it's hard to judge. On the surface i'll admit it seems surprising; i was expecting the guy to have a 4.0 and a 43 MCAT. Vandy acceptances seem random and rejections often have me totally perplexed. I'm really surprised about the Penn one but that's just me and i obvioudsly don't know what i'm talking about.
 

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indianboy said:
Do they consider penn an ivy these days? How gracious.

Hope that Helps

P 'Chico State forever' ShankOut
huh? of course it's one of the 8 ivies which belong to the ivy league athletic conference much like the ACC.
 

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PuKcAo said:
How overly optimistic is it for me to want to get into a a top school i.e. Stanford coming from a average or below average undergrad (Oklahoma State)? Given that I have everything else far above avg, would my college be frowned upon?
They do favor bigger named undergrads, but that's not insurmountable. See my sig for proof.

PS: They consider Cornell an Ivy these days? How gracious. :laugh:
 

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Psycho Doctor said:
I'm with you; i saw nothing offensive in your post. But then again i'm getting used to people misinterpreting my posts and jumping all over me.

Ok fill me in..i have no clue the implied reference to your name...yes i know i'm naive. :oops:
Thanks for understanding. Some people take everything the wrong way.

About my name...

Remember that movie "Babe"? There was one scene where he was singing a tune ("tra la la, tra la la"). It was so funny.

And, hence, my name. Something ridiculous and esoteric.
 

Rzarecta

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For the OP:

I have not applied to these schools and thus don't have an exact answer to your question. Obviously though, kids from ivies/top 10 on an average get higher MCAT scores than do kids that attend other schools. Scores can help validate GPAs and thus rigor of a program, so ivy leaguers are gonna make ivy league med schools more often than others. All that crap being said, I job shadowed an MD in my home state of North Dakota who went to Yale Med School. He went to North Dakota State University undergrad, which is probably one of the most unknown state schools in the country! If you got the score/ECs/GPA/Drive then of course you got a shot.
 

canttouchthis

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I think there is a pretty heavy bias. My dad works at a really prestigious school while I went to UCLA. During most of my interviews people ask me all about that prestigious unviersity and seem like they could give a crap about UCLA. At one group interview they asked everyone to describe their undergrad to eachother. When it came to be my turn they asked me to describe my dad's university instead of UCLA. Then they hassled me about why i went to UCLA over my dad's university(didn't get in....duh).