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Does being poor help?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sdnstud, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. sdnstud

    sdnstud 1K Member
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    Should I declare as an "economic disadvantage" on my amcas application? If i do, I'd be considered an URM. at the same time, would schools look down on you because you can't pay the tuition?
     
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  3. lolli

    lolli Member
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    If you really do qualify as being econimically disadvantaged, and your parents do too, then YES, by all means, include this information on your aamc app.
    My understanding is that schools want to hear everything about your journey to becoming a med school applicant - and this will have been crucial to your journey.
    I have never heard of med schools discriminating against poor students because they can't pay - I think that they bridge the fin aid issue once you have been accepted.
     
  4. Admissions is need-blind, and no they will not look down on you... they'll just be getting a better sense of who you are and where you come from. If the Admissions Committee were responsible for financing your education then they might cringe, but they don't have any stake in that... the money will come from banks, the government, and whatever aid the school has (but that you will deal with later). They want a diverse class not just in terms of ethnic/racial background but also socio-economic and geographic background. If you have had to overcome significant financial barriers (or any other barriers) to doing well in school and getting where you are today, then by all means describe the facts of the situation. It doesn't make you a URM though, I'm sure of that... but it will give them more pertinent information about you.
     
  5. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    If you genuinely had a difficult journey to get where you are, I think communicating that could only help you.
     
  6. Disgruntled One

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    what is considered economically disadvantaged?

    my parents are divorced. my dad will not pay a cent for me. my mom is in college working towards a degree, and has a part time job so she makes ~2500 a year or so. my younger sister is in grammar school and my dad gives us about 10k a year for her. plus i have a brother, and we all live with my grandparents. i have summer jobs etc. but i only make a couple of thousand also. so basically i would starve to death if i didnt have a scholarship to college and take out loans for personal expenses.
     
  7. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    You woulndn't be considered black or latino for admissions purposes. Dont know where you got that idea
     
  8. Friday

    Friday TGIF
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    As regards whether or not you are (or who is) 'poor' or 'economically disadvantaged', I think if you are poor, or grew up poor, you would have no doubt about it. If by this age you are not sure if you are economically disadvantaged or not, then you aren't. There's no mistaking it, simple.

    As whether or not to include it in your form, you definitley have to fill in all relevant areas of the form truthfully where they ask for facts and figures. If there's a spot where you can describe circumstances about your background that have influenced/affected your ambitions, then its up to you whether you consider your economic situation one of these.

    I hope this helps.
     
  9. Disgruntled One

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    ummmm... in my junior and senior years of high school, i was definitely poor. but now that im away at college, everything is paid for by scholarships etc. so im not living on the streets (neither are my mom and sister b/c they live with my grandparents, but we have absolutely no extra money, and they cut it damn close when it comes to food). so while college life is like heaven compared to my old life a couple of years before i left, my family is surely considered poor. but still i didnt know if there was some sort of cut off or something....
     
  10. Jamaican MD

    Jamaican MD G.I.T.
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    Being considered a URM is based on ethnicity. URM=black, native american, hispanic
     
  11. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
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    Nobody really has any extra money.

    If your family has a hard time feeding itself (and did when you lived there), that is very poor. However, being poor because your mother was going to college instead of working full-time is a different kind of poor.

    In terms of admissions, so many kids pay for their entire medical school education with loans (whether or not their parents have lots of money). So, admissions (and the board of trustees for that matter) don't give a crap if you can pay--because Uncle Sam says you can.
     
  12. It sounds like you can put your info down, but just be aware that some interviewers/ committees will essentially ignore it, and others will take it VERY seriously and when they do it may really really help you or possibly hurt you, but you'll never really know for sure-- at times it might be the focus of all or most of your interview. Don't put it down if you don't want to talk about it. Also- you don't have to be living on the streets to have economic problems, most people applying to medical school are from middle to upper class families and that's the bottom line here. If you have some good tangible reasons (income below the poverty level, emotional/physical abuse, etc.) and you aren't just whining, go ahead and do it.
     
  13. Heal&Teach

    Heal&Teach cogito ergo sum
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    If this describes you, then you're economically disadvantaged. This puts some things into perspective.
    http://www.nccbuscc.org/cchd/povertyusa/tour2.htm

    Economic disadvantage for the purposes of getting a fee waiver is stringent in terms of requirements, but as far as highlighting economic disadvantage on your application, you're simply required to answer a few additional questions with regard to your designation. As a few folks have mentioned here, any adversity that has contributed to making you the person that you are today, or anything that may have adversely affected your performance (e.g., having a nearly full-time job while in college) should certainly be mentioned. I don't think that it would hurt you to apply under this status, but do understand that some folks will look at this very seriously (as Eraserhead mentioned), so be careful about what you include and know that it may be mentioned in an interview.
     
  14. jtorres

    jtorres Senior Member
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    wow! i guess when certain people post URM threads its completely acceptable. but when others who truly are URM post such threads they get flamed by everyone and their dog.

    but on a serious note, sdnstud i know first hand what it is like to grow up without almost any money. socioeconomically disadvantaged people do have many more obstacles to overcome than those who have the luck of being born into money and education. if you feel that your situation has made you a more resilient person then include this info on you application. there are alot of amateur "adcom members" on this site but they do not know what you have been through nor what you have lived. i read a post here that warned of the horrors of admitting to clinical depression in interviews or on apps. when i spoke to a real adcom member (at TCOM to be exact) he told me to include this info on my app if it truly helped make me the person that i am. my point is, only you know what hand life has dealt you and how life's experiences have molded you. if you feel that those experiences will make you a better doc, then go for it and tell them about it. Good luck to you.
     
  15. liynus

    liynus Junior Member
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    i agree with jtorres on this one. from your writing on the situtation, it sounds like you've had to work hard to just survive getting through college. For some who may flame about his mother with 3 children who is working towards a degree, perhaps think first about a person who sacrifices present income so that she can work for more than miniumum wage w/o benefits. And yes, that is the stark reality of the job market.

    It sounds like your family is barely making enough to get by. I'm sure the situation affected you during your schooling, and even now in college having siblings in the position must be hard. The URM status was given to socioeconomic persons just like you, so that we can begin to have physicians who know how to relate to the poor, because of their first hand experience. I say apply URM, and I say this because of my own experiences. Don't worry about the rest of the app, come interview time if they ask you and you present the facts it should be apparent why you applied URM.

    Best of luck, and keep in mind applying is super expensive, so if you don't have much cash handy, try sticking to your state schools, or places where you don't have to fly.
     
  16. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    The language used in the AMCAS is something like, "Did you deal with any disadvantages which significantly affected your academic opportunities" or something like that. It sounds like your family is barely scraping by, and from your comments like it was worse growing up. If you were going without basic necessities (food, heat, running water, safety, stable shelter, light to study by, etc) definitly apply disadvantaged. Realize, though, it doesn't make you a URM, and different schools treat it differently.

    Anka
     

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