Help please, 39 MCAT, 4.0 GPA, NO ACCEPTANCES

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Boundless Energy, Apr 1, 2002.

  1. Boundless Energy

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    Hi guys, I am in a bit of a dilemma, which turned into panic today as I got my Yale rejection. I have a 4.0 GPA and a 39 MCAT score, and I go to a top 10 school, I don't want to say which. The thing is, I haven't gotten into a single school to which I applied (about 15, and a good mix). I am kind of puzzled, because I interviewed at all but 3 of them, but I have been getting mostly waitlists and a few rejections. I have been very patient, but am getting nervous. Do you guys have any input as why I haven't gotten in outright??? Oh yeah, I have volunteered (moderate amount), and have done ALOT of research (got a national scholarship for my undergrad research).

    Well, any thoughts are appreciated and I don't think I have any red flags in my app cuz they interviewed me in the first place, and my interview skills are good, but not great.

    Thanks alot.
     
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  3. PelicanMan

    PelicanMan Senior Member

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    Dude I thought I was in a bad situation. I also have a 4.0 and a 31 MCAT.

    I would have to say that it is your interviews because you have gotten so many. The next thing they look at is the interview. Of course I could be wrong. Somebody here says that there is such a thing as being overqualified which makes no sense to me. Maybe we are both in those shoes.
     
  4. brandonite

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    I have a 3.85, 40 MCAT, and I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. But I only applied to five schools, four of which were top 10. And I didn't apply until October, so I only have myself to blame. :)

    Good luck. I wish I knew what went wrong this year with my applications.... So far, I've gotten two pre-interview rejections, one post-interview rejection, one school I interviewed at and haven't heard back from, and I'm still waiting on Stanford.

    I think maybe I might be too boring an applicant - I don't really stand out to adcoms... I mean, I do have a lot of EC's, but all of them are in student government and leadership type stuff. And I don't have any hospital volunteer work. And all my research is in astronomy, which doesn't help, I guess.
     
  5. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

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    I don't think you'll get much sympathy here, but let me give it a try. Great GPA, great MCAT. Did you apply only to top 10 schools? Because if you did you're competing with many people having similar stats as you. I don't mean to sound negative since I don't know you, but maybe it's your personality or how you appeared at the interviews. That could make or break you. Maybe your ECs were insufficient.
     
  6. KelliJelliBeans

    KelliJelliBeans Senior Member

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    Are you serious, or is this an April Fool's joke?
     
  7. duffbaba

    duffbaba Junior Member

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    I'm just offering constructive criticism, since you are asking for help. Your academic credentials are great, but it sounds to me that you need to reassess your interview skills. You have gotten a good deal of them, but to be consistently turned down by the schools that interview you tells you that there is something missing. So brush up and practice with mock interviews, talk to a friend who is good at interviewing.
     
  8. nray

    nray Senior Member

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    I knew a guy that had a 3.8 and a 40 on the MCAT. He had 15 interviews and in the end only one acceptance. Bottom line is if you aren't getting in with those types of stats, its your personality or lack of dedication to the profession. I can tell you the guy I knew was a complete jerk. I am positive when he interviewed he came off as very fake to the interviewers. You can be a great academic student but if you aren't good with people then you don't belong in medicine.
     
  9. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    I can only imagine that your interviews are holding you back. You obviously have scores that very few people can attain, yet you're not receiving much of a response AFTER your interviews. Are you going into your interviews too cocky? Are you coming across as "I am the best so you better let me in"? Do you have any REAL WORLD experience, or have you just been plugging and chugging for that "perfect" pre-med transcript? Practically every medical school in the nation can fill their classes with perfect 4.0ers/35+MCATs with the first hundred applications that come in....but the people that get accepted rarely fit that mold. Why? Because the schools are looking for 1)Personality 2)Experiences OTHER than academic 3) a degree of altruism 4) Maturity 5)ETC!

    I am in NO way saying that these are the reasons you haven't been accepted yet, but they may be something to think about. If you come across as some stuck-up, pompous a$$ in your interviews...or as someone who has done NOTHING but try to have a "cookie-cutter" application, you may have a really hard time gaining acceptance despite your enviable scores. Take a step back and assess what has been happening in your interviews. Are you doing ALL the talking (without being asked)? Are you answering the questions they asked? Are you getting any sort of reaction (good OR bad) from the interviewers? Do you have good reasons/intentions for going into this field...that you can explain succinctly? You would have to explain more of your situation to get more advice from people, but I guess the biggest thing you (and MANY other applicants) need to understand is that your GPA/MCAT are important to get you "in the door"...it's your interview and what makes you a "real" person (hobbies, non-academic interests, etc) that will get you ACCEPTED.

    Good luck! :D
     
  10. UMgrad

    UMgrad Member

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    I was not aware that there was anyone in this predicament. I feel for you guys, but I think that it is obvious that it is not your academic performance. I have a high GPA and a bad MCAT and I got into several schools. I am sure that if you are in waitlists, that you guys will get in.
     
  11. Zulq

    Zulq Senior Member

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    Boundless,
    Sometimes its just the luck of the draw who your interviewer is and how well you were able to relate to them (shared interests, personality, etc), and even if the interview went well after that it depends how much weight that individual has on the committee, etc especially at the really competitive schools. Maybe you got unlucky many times. I do hope you get in somewhere though. :)
     
  12. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    since we can't get an idea of your interview skills from reading about it, tell us about what you did for your ECs. if they sound good enough...then there are two things that could be screwing you over...interviews and essays.
     
  13. Zulq

    Zulq Senior Member

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    Hey oldman, log on to MSN :D
     
  14. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Zulq:
    <strong>Hey oldman, log on to MSN :D </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">sorry dude, i'm at work.
     
  15. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    Z, i PM'd you.
     
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  17. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    This is quite a puzzle. Can every med school really fill its class with 4.0 and 39 MCATs? Wow! I think the problem is that the schools may not think that you are human. Back in the 70s a group of scientists at MIT created a series of andriods that would serve as the physicians of the future. But due to pressure and lobbying from the AMA the project was quietly disbanded. However several of the 'droids mysteriously "escaped" and began to pose as pre-meds. Unfortunately their algorithm was programmed to achieve a 4.0 with a 39 MCAT which often alerted authorities to their presence. Most of the them were subsequently captured and destroyed by OSI agent Steve Austin (who himself oddly enough was part robotic...how ironic!) with the help of OSI Director Oscar Goldman. My suggestion is to not panic. Demonstrate that you are human by tanking a course. If a F is too much then try a gentleman's C. Trust me...this is the only way. But you need to act immediately. Chances are Steve Austin is closing in even as you read this. Good Luck!
     
  18. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Mercer:
    <strong>I knew a guy that had a 3.8 and a 40 on the MCAT. He had 15 interviews and in the end only one acceptance. Bottom line is if you aren't getting in with those types of stats, its your personality or lack of dedication to the profession. I can tell you the guy I knew was a complete jerk. I am positive when he interviewed he came off as very fake to the interviewers. You can be a great academic student but if you aren't good with people then you don't belong in medicine.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Whoa, hold it there Mercer. You're basing your opinion on anecdotal evidence of one person you know! You forget how random this process is and how many 4.0's and 40's are out there. This guy or girl may have good interpersonal skills, but in this process having good stats and a pretty good personality will not guarantee anything. That's the lesson to be learned. And please, Mercer, get off your high horse.

    Where do you get off criticizing a complete stranger's dedication to medicine, anyway?
     
  19. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    if we are using anecdotal evidence, i had a friend who graduated with a 4.0 and had a 40 MCAT. he is now at hopkins, mdphd. he got a call from the admissions director from u pitt telling him that he doesn't need to fill out a secondary. now there's the super applicant. :)
     
  20. nray

    nray Senior Member

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    Lizardking,
    I am not judging anyone nor am I getting on my high horse. This person has much better stats than I do. But the bottom line here is that I know individuals with just as high of stats and every one of them were in by this time, and this was during a time that was even more highly competitive like 5 years ago when there were 46,000 applicants. I actually spoke to a friend's father who was on the admissions committee at USC and he said most individuals with such superior stats have nothing holding them back, the only thing that could possibly hurt them is their interview. There maybe some randomness to this whole process, but in the end especially when you look at the top schools you will see top notch students are generally accepted pretty quickly at least to one school.

    I am not trying to discourage this person. But I do think its worth every individual's time to determine how they could have improved or done better. This person has excelled in everything else they do, so maybe they need to look outside of that.
     
  21. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    Mercer, I definitely see where you're coming from now. I thought your original post was a little too harsh considering you didn't know this person. But yea, I get what you're saying...top ten undergrad, great stats, should have an acceptance by now but there must be something else holding the applicant back. However, I think when you're talking about top ten schools, it's a different ballgame. I don't know what kind of schools this person applied to, but it sounds like he/she may have been gunning only for the top ones. With these schools, since there are so many top top applicants, it's a crapshoot.
     
  22. dragon kid

    dragon kid Junior Member

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    could it be your recommendations?
     
  23. synite

    synite Senior Member

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    this has got to be an april fool's joke.
     
  24. Darwin

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by ramkijai:
    <strong>This is quite a puzzle. Can every med school really fill its class with 4.0 and 39 MCATs? Wow! I think the problem is that the schools may not think that you are human. Back in the 70s a group of scientists at MIT created a series of andriods that would serve as the physicians of the future. But due to pressure and lobbying from the AMA the project was quietly disbanded. However several of the 'droids mysteriously "escaped" and began to pose as pre-meds. Unfortunately their algorithm was programmed to achieve a 4.0 with a 39 MCAT which often alerted authorities to their presence. Most of the them were subsequently captured and destroyed by OSI agent Steve Austin (who himself oddly enough was part robotic...how ironic!) with the help of OSI Director Oscar Goldman. My suggestion is to not panic. Demonstrate that you are human by tanking a course. If a F is too much then try a gentleman's C. Trust me...this is the only way. But you need to act immediately. Chances are Steve Austin is closing in even as you read this. Good Luck!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">ummm...pretty funny stuff.
     
  25. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member

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    this is hysterical...you must be pretty damn lame then, that's the only reason not to get in...instead of hiking up your numbers you should have aquired some life skills like getting out of the house! lame lame lame! april fools is awesome!
     
  26. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    Like Mercer, I knew a guy with a perfect gpa and a high thirties MCAT. This guy didn't get any acceptances to any allopathic schools and he ended up going to an osteopathic school.

    I won't generalize because it can be a number of things that can be holding you back. But regarding the guy I know, I can only guess it was his attitude that couldn't get him past the interviews. He was pretty arrogant and self-righteous. He made comments to me like: "I'm a natural in Organic chemistry and I can't understand why so many people have problems with such a basic-concept class." This is him being modest!

    One important thing during the interviews is to balance confidence with modesty. This is just the case with this one particular guy, but like I said there can be other things that aren't getting you through the hurdle. Maybe you can email one of the deans at the schools you were rejected post interview and ask them if they can offer and advice or explain any weakness in your application.
     
  27. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    I did some detective work and A-Player = Boundless Energy = original poster of this thread. Same member number, at least.

    A-Player went to USC (according to a post), which is not a top ten undergrad.

    Anyway, I think Boundless is yanking our chain. If not, I'm sorry to have exposed you, but it's all from stuff you posted!
     
  28. Boundless Energy

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    Um no, this isn't an April fools joke. Should have waited a day to ask. but anyway I am on 6 waitlists (Post interview: 2 rejects, 2 still waiting), so I should get in eventually. My interviews have gone well, no real snafus (one I was late because of traffic), which is why I am wondering most schools don't accept me outright. About ECs, I've got a pretty good load, tons of scholarships, college was paid for (actually made money), I had good volunteer stuff, presented at two regional research conferences. Thanks guys.
     
  29. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    Alright, sorry to mess with ya, Boundless. I'm nearly in the same boat as you. However, I only applied to top ten schools for reasons I will not go into. I know a lot of people with great stats and great personalities who just couldn't get into any ranked med schools. It's just like that sometimes. But what I'd be most concerned about is your letters of recommendation. If you were really that bad an interviewee, every school would've rejected you. It might be your letters that are holding you back. The thing is, there's no way to really find out so I know it sucks. Good luck to you, you have a good shot still.
     
  30. Boundless Energy

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    Ok, it might be the letters, cuz one interviewer doc said this to me, but I didn't think much of it: "One recommender described you as slighly arrogant, but genuinely a nice person; but after talking to you for an hour I don't see you as arrogant, how can you explain this?"
     
  31. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member

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    Ok so this post is real.

    You have great stats. Go back and reread everything that you have written, ie personal statement, secondary responses, etc. Some schools re-read your statment in the final decision process. Perhaps there was one guy that didn't like what you wrote, gave you a bad rating. Again, just to show that this process is a crapshoot.

    Also, like others have said: probably one of the interviewers thought you were arrogant because of something you might have said. You probably didn't think it came off as condescending but through the interivewer's eyes, it was. And yes, your letters of rec might be screwy some how. But I doubt it since you have great stats, I don't think anyone would write you a bad letter of rec.

    Good luck
     
  32. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Boundless Energy:
    <strong>Ok, it might be the letters, cuz one interviewer doc said this to me, but I didn't think much of it: "One recommender described you as slighly arrogant, but genuinely a nice person; but after talking to you for an hour I don't see you as arrogant, how can you explain this?"</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think you just answered your own question right there. It's gotta be the recs. Sometimes you just never know...
     
  33. gobears

    gobears Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by brandonite:
    <strong>I have a 3.85, 40 MCAT, and I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. But I only applied to five schools, four of which were top 10. And I didn't apply until October, so I only have myself to blame. :)

    Good luck. I wish I knew what went wrong this year with my applications.... So far, I've gotten two pre-interview rejections, one post-interview rejection, one school I interviewed at and haven't heard back from, and I'm still waiting on Stanford.

    I think maybe I might be too boring an applicant - I don't really stand out to adcoms... I mean, I do have a lot of EC's, but all of them are in student government and leadership type stuff. And I don't have any hospital volunteer work. And all my research is in astronomy, which doesn't help, I guess.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Brandonite, didn't you take the MCAT more than once? I remember you saying that before. There's a big difference between getting a 40 on your first try and getting a 40 on your second. You also mentioned that you went to a "no-name" undergrad. I'm sure adcoms take both of those into account.
     
  34. nray

    nray Senior Member

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    I don't think there is that big of a difference getting a 40 the first time around or the second time around. Since the scores are normalized and graded on a curve and the MCAT is a concepts test, a 40 the first time or the second time is quite an accomplishment. If you think that the advantage lies in the fact you gained experience by taking the test, something others don't have, again I disagree. A majority of people have taken tons of tests to prep thus there is not that great of an advantage.

    The only reason brandonite is waiting is because he applied to US schools as a Canadian citizen. That is gonna make things difficult. But he is gonna get in, no doubt about it.
     
  35. squeek

    squeek Senior Member

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    Have you done any clinical work? Do you have any "real medicine" experience? If all you have in your application is a little bit of volunteer work and a lot of research, they may be wondering why you are applying to med school and not MD/PhD or to a straight PhD program. All of my gung-ho research classmates (and, my guess is, the super-high MCAT scorers) are mudphuds.
     
  36. brandonite

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    Well, I got a 32P the first time out. That was taking the test cold. So, it's a decent score. The second time out I go the 40Q.

    And I did go to a no-name undergrad. And I applied late. And I only applied to 4 top ten schools. And I'm Canadian. Take your pick. There are any one of number reasons to blame. :)

    I a prospective MD/PhD student...
     
  37. Hey Brandonite. I took it cold and got a 46. Then I took it again and got a 29. Go figure. How cold were you the first time you took it? I know you had to have studied a little bit. If you don't mind, also what were your subsection scores for each test? Just curious.

    P.S. MD/PhD is extremely competitive. You could apply for MD only and apply for the PhD after getting accepted. Good luck!
     
  38. Cambrian

    Cambrian Colonel/Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by BlameItOnTheNurse:
    <strong>Hey Brandonite. I took it cold and got a 46. Then I took it again and got a 29. Go figure. How cold were you the first time you took it? I know you had to have studied a little bit. If you don't mind, also what were your subsection scores for each test? Just curious.

    P.S. MD/PhD is extremely competitive. You could apply for MD only and apply for the PhD after getting accepted. Good luck!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You must mean a 36 instead of "46"? If that's the case then damn, I don't know how you can go down that much considering the first time was cold turkey. Were you sick the second time?
     
  39. brandonite

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    A 46 is impossible, actually.

    I hadn't studied at all. I wasn't even sure of the format... But I am a Physics major, so that part of the test came naturally. And I had written my Organic II final exam the week before, and my Biology II final exam three days earlier. So, while I knew little about the MCAT, I knew the material pretty well.
     
  40. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member

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    you guys were either wayyyy to cocky and it showed in your apps or you might have a ****ty letter of rec that might be killing you.
     
  41. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member

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    Boundless Energy, PelicanMan, & brandonite...

    I'm sorry that you guys aren't getting in. I'm having similar problems. I got a 39Q (13,13,13) and my GPA is a 3.4 (which is lower than yours but shows a huge upward trend and a 4.0 grad GPA). I applied to three schools - two of them are my state schools. I'm a non-trad.

    I got rejected at one school, waitlisted at one, and haven't heard anything from the other (which I assume means wailist).

    The best thing I can recommend is to call the admissions offices and ask to talk to the dean of admissions about your application. Tell them you are planning to reapply this year and want to improve you application as much as possible. See if you can find out where you got dinged.

    My boss is buddies with the Dean of Admissions at the school that rejected me. He found out that I scored poorly on my interviews there (which surprised the heck out of me - they seemed to go very well). I have an appointment to talk to him in person next month. Hopefully he will help me beef up my app.

    I also called the school where I'm waitlisted. I didn't get to talk to the Dean, but I had a very long conversation with the admissions coordinator. She told me I scored well on interviews and that my stats were excellent. Unfortunately, she wouldn't tell me why the admissions committee ranked me too low to match (this is TX). So, I still have no idea what happened there. However, I did get some great info on how the waitlist works.

    I know my EC's are weak. It's a little hard for me since I have a full-time job and a family. Since I decided to do this, it's been hard even to find the time to take classes and study for the MCAT - much less to do a bunch of volunteer work. I'm shadowing an OB/GYN now, so hopefully that will help. I'm going to focus on doing some good clinical volunteering this summer.

    I hope this helps. Definitely badger the schools, especially the ones who rejected you. They just might give you some useful information. Sorry this got so long.
     
  42. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member

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    ahhahhahaha...lame lame lame! told ya you folks need to get some people skills...i forgot how cocky some of the folks here were...well, I'll go back to enjoying my acceptances now.
     
  43. brandonite

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by fishtolive:
    <strong>ahhahhahaha...lame lame lame! told ya you folks need to get some people skills...i forgot how cocky some of the folks here were...well, I'll go back to enjoying my acceptances now.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hello, kettle? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  44. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?

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    my only thought would be that you might appear so damn impressive... that the school thinks they don't have a chance. Sound funny? It'd be a committment thing.

    Lots of the schools ARE trying to accept people who will actually attend, so while you may be the perfect applicant, you might appear to be someone perfect enough to go to a better school.

    I know I'm not phrasing this quite so well...

    but are you showing your intent to actually attend. What school do you REALLY want to go to? Are you showing it? Are you showing to the others that you don't really want to go?

    that would be my take on it....
     
  45. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member

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    First of all, your application sounds very strong so hang in there! and if you feel you can write a letter of intent to one of the schools you're waitlisted at, you should do so, and make it modest but decisive. If they are at all concerned about arrogance, you can alleviate it by writing something incredibly nice - they may realize that you're just a little shy initially, or whatever caused your recommender to write what he did.
     

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