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Revolver1045

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Hey guys,

Thanks in advance for the help. I'm torn right now. Keck is my dream school and I'm wondering if I should apply early decision to it. I know ED is a gamble, and I'm wondering if it will be worth trying. I feel like if I got an interview I'd have good odds for acceptance because I'm very strong socially. However, I'm just wondering if I have what it takes to even get an interview via ED.
 
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Arbor Vitae

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Hey guys,

Thanks in advance for the help. I'm torn right now. Keck is my dream school and I'm wondering if I should apply early decision to it. I know ED is a gamble, and I'm wondering if it will be worth trying. I feel like if I got an interview I'd have good odds for acceptance because I'm very strong socially. However, I'm just wondering if I have what it takes to even get an interview via ED. Here are my stats...

- Graduated Summa Cum Laude 3.75 GPA
- 32(11bs/11ps/10vr)K (yeah I know I really flopped the writing portion)
- Have done 2 research internships for NIDA at University of California Irvine and Thomas Jefferson College of Medicine in Philadelphia
- 200+ hours of volunteering for 3 different hospitals as well as other miscellaneous volunteer groups
- Have shadowed 7 different physicians for over 100+ hours
- Currently I work for the University of Minnesota's Medical School doing full time research

Things that could potentially hurt me...

- I went to a small private college in northern MN that no one has ever heard of
- I'm 23 now, but when I was 20 I got a "Misrepresentation of Age" ticket for going into a bar with a fake (it's listed as a "petty misdemeanor" which in minnesota is not a criminal act, but will show up on my criminal background check regardless since it has the word "misdemeanor" in it so I have to disclose
- I got a K on the MCAT, and have taken the test twice (24M the first time when I took it 2 years ago) (Does anyone know if they average or take the best score??)

I don't know if it helps, but I also have been acting in various plays and short films in MN the past year since after graduating. I am currently taking a pilot licensing course and my girlfriend and I are signed up for taking swing, salsa and tango dance classes this summer. Also I started in football in high school and participated in club sports all throughout undergrad.

Basically, I'm wondering based off of this if someone from Keck or someone who has applied/interviewed at Keck or anyone else that has an opinion on this matter whether it is wise or unwise for me to apply early decision to USC.

Thank again.

Why is USC your dream school? I would say unwise no matter what your stats are. If you're going to get in you will. Don't statistically lower your chances just because you're impatient.
 

TheKDizzle

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Unless you have a very specific reason for wanting to attend USC, you should not apply early decision. And by very specific, I mean something that you pretty much couldn't get at most other medical schools. You can always call the admissions office to ask what their advice is for students considering applying early decision.
 
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DrHouse579

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Why is USC your dream school? I would say unwise no matter what your stats are. If you're going to get in you will. Don't statistically lower your chances just because you're impatient.

Noob question: Why would applying ED statistically lower your chances?

OK, I actually googled it and did some research on my own. So, if you apply to EDP by August 1st, are you not allowed to apply to any other med schools until you get a decision back? If you don't make the cut, the website says your application gets thrown back in the regular application pile. So, what exactly is the problem besides you HAVING to attend the med school if you get admitted?
 
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drizzt3117

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Noob question: Why would applying ED statistically lower your chances?

OK, I actually googled it and did some research on my own. So, if you apply to EDP by August 1st, are you not allowed to apply to any other med schools until you get a decision back? If you don't make the cut, the website says your application gets thrown back in the regular application pile. So, what exactly is the problem besides you HAVING to attend the med school if you get admitted?

All your other apps will be late; the decision could be made as late as oct 1 which is far too late to apply to other schools. Even if it's earlier than that you'll be at a huge disadvantage.
 

Revolver1045

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Thanks guys. My logic was perhaps my application has a better chance at being thoroughly examined if I apply ED. If only 150 or so people apply ED (something I read on sdn somewhere) I feel like my odds of being offered an interview are a lot better than when they get the tsunami of ~5000 general applications. Also, applying ED shows them that I truly am committed to their school, and if offered a position I WOULD accept it versus possibly declining it and going to a different school and thus wasting their time with interviews etc. Perhaps this is a facile argument?
 

SeminoleVesicle

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Honestly, I would have said go for it had you not had that petty misdemeanor. I know it's minor, but you will still have to report that and you will be put into a separate pile. I think it's a safer bet to apply broadly like others have stated. You have a fantastic looking application.

Good luck!
 

Arbor Vitae

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Noob question: Why would applying ED statistically lower your chances?

OK, I actually googled it and did some research on my own. So, if you apply to EDP by August 1st, are you not allowed to apply to any other med schools until you get a decision back? If you don't make the cut, the website says your application gets thrown back in the regular application pile. So, what exactly is the problem besides you HAVING to attend the med school if you get admitted?

Because you are limiting the numbers of possible chances at being accepted. If you don't get accepted to ED then you will be starting the process late with other schools. With the amount of people applying now, starting late isn't wise because spots will be filled as time goes making it harder to get a spot.
 

Donald Juan

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Thanks guys. My logic was perhaps my application has a better chance at being thoroughly examined if I apply ED. If only 150 or so people apply ED (something I read on sdn somewhere) I feel like my odds of being offered an interview are a lot better than when they get the tsunami of ~5000 general applications. Also, applying ED shows them that I truly am committed to their school, and if offered a position I WOULD accept it versus possibly declining it and going to a different school and thus wasting their time with interviews etc. Perhaps this is a facile argument?

OP, you need to find out how keck views early decision. At my state schools, you have a much better chance of getting if you apply early decision; a representative from Mercer once even told me that a 28 mcat was highly competitive during ED, and mercer takes almost half their class off ED. Still, some other private schools I've seen state on their website that ED will not help your chances, and not to do it just to show interest, and they typically have low ED acceptances. You should find out what kind of school USC is and apply accordingly.
 

TheMightySmiter

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I think it is rare for people to apply ED to a school without a great reason, like it's your state school or alma mater. I applied to Keck this cycle and was waitlisted with similar stats to yours, but I WAS really surprised to get an interview. I do not think Keck takes many ED applicants, so I think it's your best bet to apply regular decision to a broad school list.
 

Jamie561

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Thanks guys. My logic was perhaps my application has a better chance at being thoroughly examined if I apply ED. If only 150 or so people apply ED (something I read on sdn somewhere) I feel like my odds of being offered an interview are a lot better than when they get the tsunami of ~5000 general applications. Also, applying ED shows them that I truly am committed to their school, and if offered a position I WOULD accept it versus possibly declining it and going to a different school and thus wasting their time with interviews etc. Perhaps this is a facile argument?

I think you're giving yourself too much credit here. Although applying early will benefit your application at n = 1 school, you're essentially putting all of your eggs in one basket. Ask any md applicant whether they would bet an entire application cycle on a single school...
 

Revolver1045

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Thanks for all the input guys and girls. I don't think I'm going to apply ED there. Coupled with your comments and what I found out from calling the admissions office I don't think it's such a good idea. For future reference the admissions office told me this...

- Last year (2011) of the EDP applicants, which were few, none were accepted.
- USC doesn't average multiple MCAT's, but also didn't say they look at most recent or highest score. The woman just said "there's no formula or hard and fast rules here"
- They don't discriminate on petty alcohol violations. She said people have gotten into Keck with past violations before. She said each violation is taken case by case.

So make of it what you will. That's all I got out of her. Looks like I'm applying with the rest of them, hopefully I get in. Fingers crossed.
 

TheMightySmiter

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Thanks for all the input guys and girls. I don't think I'm going to apply ED there. Coupled with your comments and what I found out from calling the admissions office I don't think it's such a good idea. For future reference the admissions office told me this...

- Last year (2011) of the EDP applicants, which were few, none were accepted.
- USC doesn't average multiple MCAT's, but also didn't say they look at most recent or highest score. The woman just said "there's no formula or hard and fast rules here"
- They don't discriminate on petty alcohol violations. She said people have gotten into Keck with past violations before. She said each violation is taken case by case.

So make of it what you will. That's all I got out of her. Looks like I'm applying with the rest of them, hopefully I get in. Fingers crossed.

I think you've made a wise choice. Good luck! Keck is an incredible school. :) If I'm lucky enough to be pulled off the waitlist I'm almost certainly attending.
 

MalibuPreMD

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Keck's social mission is an important component of the school (LAC). Have you worked with indigent and/or immigrant populations? It seems your ECs are research heavy / volunteer light. If as a lower stats applicant you want to separate yourself in the eyes of the SC admissions committee, I would recommend spending significant time in free clinics and working with Latin American populations (domestically is better than abroad). I'm not saying that everyone at the school is like that, but I'm just thinking about ways in which a lower numbers applicant can separate himself or herself.

Speaking about myself, I had a low cGPA/sGPA but somehow got a very early interview and acceptance. A couple of the things that I think helped me included 1) I submitted their secondary VERY quickly (the first round of secondaries went out on 7/6 and mine was submitted on 7/11), 2) I spent quite a bit time emphasizing my work with populations that are commonly patients at LAC (indigent/immigrant, as I mentioned above).
 
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Revolver1045

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First off, congradulations on getting into Keck. Well done.

As far as my research internships are concerned they are called the national institute of drug abuse summer internship for underrepresented minorities. Their focus is to combat issues (specifically drug abuse) that are problems in underrepresented populations in this country.

My volunteering has been at a plethora different places. In regards to underrepresented minorities I have spent ~50 hours at an inner city hospital spending time with stable cardiac patients and their families, which are mostly underrepresented. I've also been doing work with feed my starving children, which provides food for the poor in Africa and habitat for humanity building homes for people that can't afford them.

Based on what you said do you think these will help me significantly or do I need something more? Also thanks for the advice. I'm planning on submitting my primary the first day possible.
 
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keck2013

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Absolutely do not apply ED to Keck. I'm not sure why we even offer it. You're just as likely to get in and get scholarships if you apply regular cycle. Plus, you honestly haven't see all the other schools you'll interview at, so you're not making an educated decision.

In addition, when it comes time to playing the scholarship game, you're only invited to the table if you have multiple acceptance offers (to respectable schools).

I look forward to seeing your application.
 
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