1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Harvard vs. Case (scholarship)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JackofAllTrades, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for reading. I know these can sometimes come off in the wrong way, but I hope that is not the case (pun intended). A little background: I'm 23 and have been in a research project for the past year (and taking a few classes). I went to the University of North Carolina, a fine school but nothing like Harvard. No undergrad debt.

    I was set on going to Case because I like the program and it's fantastic to get a full scholarship. I could be happy at Case, (even though it is in Cleveland).

    Then, I found out that I was accepted to HMS this week. I really liked the HMS curriculum, etc. Location is fine as well. There is obvisously the general opinion that school reputation has a small effect on the residency application, but I can't imagine HMS networking, opportunities, 'ole boys club can't play a significant role. In fact 50% of HMS grads stay at an HMS affiliate for residency.

    I am also very fortunate because my family will pay for tuition, living expenses, etc. at Harvard. I am very thankful for this We aren't filthy rich by any stretch (just live frugally), but my parents are well-set for retirment and comfortable. I would rather go to Harvard and my parents think that this is the best decision.

    That being said, I am actually leaning towards Case because of the cash (difference of $200k now, but what about future value after investments?). I think I would feel less pressure because of the scholarship in that I will be able to pick a specialty because I like it (and not factor in the fact that it cost $250k). It's not like going to Harvard would make me a happier person. Would going a residency at Mass Gen really make me happier than doing one at University Hospital? I didn't "NEED" the prestige to be happy as an undergrad and had a great 4 1/2 :)o ) years there. Plus the small effect on residency applications paraded around SDN has really got me thinking. However that Harvard network and opportunities is hard to turn down. I just don't know.

    Case obviously has some great matches, but an advisor warned me that the very "best" matches go to the MD/PhD students (and thus can seem "inflated" when seen from a regular MD student).

    I would appreciate any responses. Thanks for reading!:)

    Jacqueline
    Go HEELS!
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I would take the scholarship from Case. For me, cheaper=better. If your folks would happily pay for Harvard though...I don't know, go to Harvard if you like it better. I wouldn't worry so much about the prestige factor though; Case is very respectable and if you do well there you will match into a great residency.
     
  4. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Damn dudette, this is one legit hard decision.. Here are a couple thoughts floating through my mind after reading your post:

    Case is free, but you wouldn't need to take out loans for Harvard, and you're not in debt...

    Harvard rep is top notch, but Case is still a good school, and rank does not play a HUGE role anyway when you're comparing good school vs. good school...

    You like Harvard's location better, but how much should this matter if you won't be unhappy at either place?

    Hmmm...

    So it all comes down to: Harvard, the opportunity of a lifetime vs. 200k, a huge sum of cash.

    I would personally choose Harvard. Debt is one thing, being conservative is another.
     
  5. Towelie

    Towelie Resident Towel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will paying for everything have a big impact on your parents' financial situation?

    If not, I would go to Harvard. You won't be taking on any debt either way, so you might as well go to the best school that you can. You are very lucky :D
     
  6. ghip

    ghip Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    How good is your relationship with your parents? Are you OK continuing to feel indebted to them for funding your medical education (on top of bringing you into this world, etc...)

    Also, recognize that your pre-med advisor is not an unbiased source here. S/he will look better if you go to Harvard.

    I'm sure you will do well at either place, but you should know that going to HMS is good insurance. Everyone here will tell you that going to Case or Harvard is not going to impact your ability to match, and that is just plain not true.
     
  7. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    i say case. even though my bro's was for undergrad, he had the same thing. full ride to vandy/emory/washu and then got into harvard. my parents said they'd pay for harvard. he chose harvard for reputation. now he feels that much more pressure to make sure my parents made a good investment and i think he seriously thinks about the 120k he woulda saved the parents for the same world class education. i mean sure harvard has a badass reputation but so does case and i imagine going to case and doing your best without the pressure of am i living up to my parents investment would be a lot more relaxing. in the end, he ended up switching from premed to business to justifying choosing Harvard over all the other schools so it would make sense ie the Harvard connections would be much better than the other schools. just throwing this out there, not the same but just something to think about.
     
  8. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for respoding everyone.

    The above bolded is a big fear of mine. Almost guilty. I have an excellent reputation with my parents and even though I will be shackled to them, it's not a big deal at all. I'm over feeling that need to run away from them.

    Without getting too specific, they could pay for each year (one at a time) solely from interest income. (Although they would lose than much in inflation adjustment).
     
  9. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    My parents are of the "business" world where (from all accounts) it appears school reputation/prestige is much more important. However they ask "don't you think it [the medical world] could turn into that?"

    Hell, Clinton Administration Part II could have us all working for $75k/year.

    I have no feel for academics vs. private practice. If I decide that I want to be a general pediatrician then Case would get me there with no problem.
     
  10. ghip

    ghip Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hahahaha you should definitely go to HMS. I think it will be an interesting experience for both of you.
     
  11. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    :confused: (me & parents?)
     
  12. sheepunite

    sheepunite Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    psst. could i ask when and how you heard about the full scholarship from case?
     
  13. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure. I PM'ed you.
     
  14. gujuDoc

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    13,877
    Likes Received:
    34
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    Although I'd probably go to the full scholarship if I were in your situation, I think you have to think about what will make you happier and where you feel you are a better fit since you have the options to do that. If you think that HMS is a better fit in terms of curricula and other factors and that you'd be happier there and know money isn't as big of an issue then please do go for it by all means and know there are others who have made the same choices as you before.

    That said, you'd probably get a great education from both of them. Case is a top ranked school although it is not HMS. I do know someone who is a student at their CCLCM program. Actually 2 people there and I don't think either person regrets it. I won't say names here or usernames because of privacy but I can tell you that one of them said they would not have chosen HMS if they had been accepted if it was a choice between that and full scholarship.
     
  15. secondtime

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi. I am a Case student. MS3. Let me offer you my (biased, of course) opinion. I couldn't be any happier than I am here. I did the ivy league big name undergrad education thing. I also was accepted in the ivy for medical school, as were several of my friends and many of my classmates, i suspect. But I came to Case. In my opinion, the greatest thing about Case are the people. People are real. They're not here for the name or the repuation or the city or some idea of what they think graduating from "Case" will do for them in the future. They don't have big heads and aren't haughty or self-promoting like some medical students I met at big name schools. In short, they are some of the most interesting, fun, caring people and I respect them very much. And Cleveland, though it is not Boston, is much more interesting than you probably know. But my experience is not really the point. Yours is! So why are you asking other people to make up your mind? I think you probably already know what you want to do. So whether that's Case or Harvard you should just go for it. Either way, you're in a much better financial situation than most of us who aren't on scholarship so consider yourself lucky and do what you want to do.
     
  16. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    A 4th year student (not affiliated with either school) PM'ed me to say that school reputation was a much bigger factor than SDN perceives.
     
  17. TheMightyAngus

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,193
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Most practicing physicians would tell you to take the money and come out debt free. The vast majority of them wouldn't even think twice about it.
     
  18. Stolenspatulas

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    sigh.

    the vultures will come soon to set you straight. didnt you know that all med schools are created equal?

    Hold on tight, its going to be a bumpy ride!
     
  19. Stolenspatulas

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    id personally go to Case with a full-ride.

    Case is an awesome school thats highly respected and reputable. If it were an unknown med school i'd lean Harvard.

    Personally, I would not take any money from my folks to pay for med school (not that they are giving anyway :) ).... its sort of a pride issue, its time to stand on one's own feet. To have a free-ride and to make one's parents pay, well..., eh.
     
  20. beetlerum

    beetlerum Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go to Harvard. You're not even paying, and the cost difference is well worth it for the opportunities you'll get. Going to Harvard will give you a solid boost for residency. Don't let any of the anti-prestige premeds on SDN tell you otherwise. Half the people who say they would choose Case would actually choose Harvard. For whatever reason, there is a strong anti-prestige bias on SDN, especially for the big Ivy names. SDN would give you the impression that most people choose UCSF over Harvard, when in fact, Harvard gets the majority of the common admits, as it does with every other school.
     
  21. Stolenspatulas

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I definitely agree with the anti-presitge sentiment on SDN. However, we're talking Case here... from my understanding, its a pretty prestigous institution. I think when one includes the scholarship in the picture, the scenario leans to Case.
     
  22. pedsdoc2b

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Is your scholarship merit-based? Don't forget that a merit-based scholarship adds to your CV; residencies will know you are a full-tution Case scholar. This reduces somewhat the prestige difference between Case and Harvard.

    I don't know how much prestige matters. I hear different views everywhere I go. However, in terms of career, I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Good luck making your decision (and congratulations)!
     
  23. Boris Badenov

    Boris Badenov Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't think I'd go that far. Yeah, Case is ranked somewhere in the top 30 in US News. Of course not everyone knows that.

    I was telling a family friend, who's a smart guy in academic medicine and who helps with admissions at his program, that I was thinking about going to Case for a residency interview. His response? Though he didn't know much about the particular residency program, his face scrunched up as he described the med school as "average" and in the "top 50%."

    Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to hear that some of the stronger schools are not universally regarded as such.

    Oh, and for the record, I'm the 4th-year med student PMer in question. I just don't think most of you grasp how many doors the HMS pedigree will open for residency and beyond. Nobody's even going to bat an eyelash if you say you're from Case; you'd be about as qualified as a thousand other applicants.
     
  24. corbis11

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I would take case...I'm biased, though, since I'm from cleveland and case is actually my first choice (I'm applying this summer) since I want to stay near home/family. If I were you I would visit both schools again and go with the one that you would feel more happy at/fits best for you. Either way, you'll be going to an excellent medical school! Good luck.
     
  25. sunnyjohn

    sunnyjohn Got Mustard?
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,697
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Take the full ride.
     
  26. madtowngirl

    madtowngirl Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Harvard does have the name factor that Case lacks. So all things being equal, obviously go HMS.

    That being said, all things are typically NOT equal. The most important factor is happiness. Its a long 4 years as it is, and being unhappy will make it unbearable. Pick the place where the people and the location will make you happiest. And if proximity to family is an issue, don't hesitate to take that into account.

    There's also the cost of living difference, and I'm not sure if you'd have to worry about that. It sounds like all your living expenses are paid also?
     
  27. akinf

    akinf Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I barely know much about either school...but looking at the match list at Harvard...I'd say go there. I'm assuming students in the bottom 25% of the class will still be going off to do amazing residencies...is it the same for Case?
     
  28. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    4
    Congratulations on your great options! I personally would go to Harvard. You don't seem to like Case any more than you like Harvard, and you also seem to be worried about your options for residency. You've worked hard to get an acceptance at the top medical school in the country; I feel like you may regret turning it down somewhere down the line. Money is just money, and either way nobody is going to starve. If you pass up the Case full ride, it'll go to another deserving person (one who may not have the financial means you seem to have).

    Have you considered taking "loans" from your parents? Most med students emerge with considerable debt, but it'd be much better to slowly pay back parents at your own pace than to be shackled to banks with huge interest rates for the next 30 years of your career. That might relieve some of the family pressure you describe -- feeling like you "owe them something."
     
  29. peezyweezy

    peezyweezy Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm in the same situation. In at Harvard, full ride scholarship at another school ranked close to case. I don't know for sure what I'm going to do, but right now I'm leaning towards the full ride. You are obviously very bright, and you will no doubt do well at any med school you choose. Furthermore, you will have no problem matching where you want to match. Case is a good school with a good match list. Go to the place you like best and where you will be happy. My situation is such that my parents can't afford to pay anything for my med school, so my full scholarship means that much more to me. However, if your folks can pay for harvard just from interest earned and have no problems with it (and you really like harvard), go for it! Why not? They offered to help you and what better way to invest some money then on a great education and something that will make you happy. Don't feel bad. You'll be able to help them out one day when your making big bucks. I feel like Harvard is where you really want to go.....so just do it.....but please just make sure its not just for the name. Go there because u love the school
     
  30. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    My parents said they would hate it if I picked Case for the money. Parents perspective (verbatim): Why did we work hard to earn the money in the first place? It's just money sitting around that's not doing anything anyway. It's as good as of "use" of the money as any. (I went to a public (i.e. free) high school and I got a scholarship to undergrad that included tuition + living expenses, so I think that plays a role as well.)
     
  31. Towelie

    Towelie Resident Towel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dude, go to HMS.
     
  32. tungtung

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello and congratulations! I am currently a graduating MS4 and like others I have an opinion on this matter.

    First and foremost, you should go where you think you will be happiest for the next four years. You mentioned earlier that that is probably Harvard, so that should be given the most weight in your decision making process.

    Next, the question in my mind is what additional benefit does Harvard provide?

    Case is an excellent school, and there is no question in my mind that you will learn medicine in both places, and I'm sure that you can excell in either place.

    However, after just concluding interviewing in a very competitive field, I can tell you that going to Harvard will make a huge difference. Consider your life four (or 5, 6, 7 etc.) years from now when you are applying for residency. If you apply in pediatrics, it probably makes little difference where you go - if you are a good candidate you can go anywhere. Contrast this with competitive fields. If you are simply talking about going to a good program in a desirable location the mathematics are a bit difficult. In my field there were many cities with 3 positions in the entire city. Then factor in wanting to go to a program in a good city with a top program and it becomes very competitive. It was clear that the people from the top few schools who were the best connected were getting the pick of the litter.

    If you want to apply in a cometitive field, obviously you need good grades and scores and all that, but beyond that the most important thing you need is letters of recommendation from people that are well known within the field. I assume that you don't yet know what to go into, which is all the more reason to go to a place like Harvard where everything is top notch and top people from every field are there.

    Another factor to consider is that people outside of medicine know Harvard, but have no idea what Case is.

    Anyways, hate to ramble, but the most important thing to remember is that you can't go wrong in this decision. In the end you make your own opportunities wherever you go, but being in a top place greases the wheels considerably.
     
  33. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually think I may like Case better. How much and why? I have no idea. I am a little concerned with the aptitudes of the HMS students. This is not to say I think I will be unhappy at HMS by any stretch. Nor am I trying to put down the students at Case. As a Case student said earlier he/she thought his/her classmates were 'chill.' I am in the NP program, but those HST kids seemed GEEKY! (Not to say I'm not, though...):laugh:

    I think I may have just written something that will piss off both Case and HMS students. :oops:
     
  34. tungtung

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Have you thought about revisiting both places to get a better feel?
     
  35. sheepunite

    sheepunite Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    yeah, i assume that you didn't attend case's second look this weekend?
     
  36. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well, I don't know about the environment at Harvard, but I do agree that Case's environment is above average for medical schools for the "chill" and "supportive" factors. However, as others have said, if you think there is a chance you'd want to do a competitive residency, Harvard would help you to acheive that. What's more, if you do opt for a competitive residency, you should get used to a style of learning and teaching that is not as touchy feely as what Case has to offer.
     
  37. JackofAllTrades

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, unfortunately I was not able to. I had planned on it, but some other issues came up such that it just wasn't possible.
     
  38. clusterfunk

    clusterfunk Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not that I got accepted to either school, but I interviewed at both HMS and Case. And in the faculty interviews, I asked each place about the other school because they are quite similar in many regards--while bringing this up may have ultimately killed my applications, I still wanted to hear their opinions and they even agreed that it was a "good" question to ask.

    Case-on-Harvard: HMS student body is a bunch of lifetime overachievers, and this creates a slightly competitive atmosphere within the school. A world-class education, but you really have to be assertive about seeking out opportunities there. Case is more laidback/relaxed and supportive than HMS.

    Harvard-on-Case: A maverick school in every regard and always has been--they actively seek out maverick students, whereas most other schools would be very reluctant to consider such applicants. Cleveland itself isn't that bad, and Case has great affiliations, namely with the Cleveland Clinic.


    Had I been in your situation, I probably would have picked Harvard over Case, but only for the name recognition and networking. Case was a better educational "fit" for me though and their students seemed more relaxed, plus the ability to pursue a second degree for free at Case is amazing. HMS students were friendly too, just a bit hardcore. Both schools definitely love their weird people with interesting life stories but don't dare tell them that.

    If nothing else, Paul is way more of a hunk than Christian, but that soul patch has got to go!
     
  39. y8507

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to go into a competitive field, go to Harvard. If you don't, go to Case. If you want to go into academic medicine, go to Harvard. If you want to go back home and be a hometown regular doctor, go to Case. If you're not sure at all about what you wanna do in life, go to Harvard so that those doors remain open.
     
  40. sheepunite

    sheepunite Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student

    ooh, that harvard-on-case feedback is interesting. thanks for sharing.
     
  41. CJamblooze

    CJamblooze Legend in my own Mind
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I personally never make big decisions like this based on money. It is only money.

    I think that one woul dhave to be insane to turn down an opportunity to go to Harvard Medical School. If money is so freaking important to you after graduating, I'm sure you can find a way to make up the $200K to your folks.

    I can guarantee that for the rest of your life you will always wonder about what would have happened if you went to Harvard Medical School. If you DO go to Harvard, I don't think you'll always wonder what would have happened if you would have had a full ride to med school.

    Good luck with this decision. You are very fortunate to have to make it.
     
  42. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,873
    Likes Received:
    29
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    If you like Case better and it's free to boot, I don't think you should go somewhere else just because of school ranking. Money may not be the best way to choose schools, but it sure beats choosing them based on what USNWR says. I was in a similar position last year (choosing between a program ranked higher by USNWR versus this program). Like you, in my case (pun also intended ;) ), my favorite program also turned out to be the one that gave me the best financial aid. I went to some other second looks and spent some time listing out pros and cons, but I think deep down I knew that CCLCM was where I really wanted to go. Like you, I can't completely explain why. It was just how I felt, even from my interview day. The fact that it was also the best financial deal just kind of made it even more obvious that this was where I belonged.

    Anyway, I don't think you need to worry about making a bad decision here. Whichever school you pick, you are going to get a kick-a** education and have lots of opportunities. And you will meet plenty of people at either school that you like and get along with, so don't think that everyone at Harvard is like the couple of students you met at your interview day. There are some really awesome people at both schools. Good luck!
     
  43. Critical Mass

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,713
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You're rich by my standards if they can pay for your living expenses into your middle 20's IMO.

    Your loan level would be about the same as a person at a typical US school in-state. I'd take HMS. Boston > Cleveland.

    :luck:
     

Share This Page