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Holy #[email protected]%* How Much???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jbone, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    Holy crap, I just calculated my total expenses thus far for my medical school adventure and I was floored. Application expenses (MD and DO), secondary fees, travel expenses (flight, car, food, and hotel for 10 interviews, with more to come), and other odds and ends have cost me over $6,000 FREAKIN DOLLARS!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: Am I a freak case? I applied to a million schools so I knew it would be somewhat expensive but this is bull*%#$. Am I the only one? Anyone else going to sell whatever body part they can just to GET IN????? :mad: :mad: :thumbdown:
     
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  2. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ
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    My tab is currently $4340. Sick, huh? And that's not including any MCAT prep course or test fees.

    And, I expect ~10 more interviews, each at ~$300-400.

    But it's an investment and it'll pay off eventually I hope.
     
  3. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    Thanks for reminding me...Kaplan was another $1500.00. This really sucks. :thumbdown: But your right...one day it will payoff??? :confused:
     
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  4. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I haven't really been counting since it passed $5k, but if I do my remaining three interviews I'll probably be up to at least 6k. Of course, even if I get in I won't be able to go because of my credit card bills, but hey...
     
  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Any tips on how to reduce the cost of going on interviews?

    One applicant I know of applied only to schools within a 5 hour drive of her home. Fortunately, she was very strategically located and had lots of choices in that regard.

    Is it penny-wise, pound foolish to accept the first offer you get and cancel all subsequent interviews or is it better to collect a fistful of offers and hold out for the best financial aid package knowing you can use some of the "living expenses" money to pay off the credit card?
     
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  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I don't think any of mine are profound or new, but here they are anyway. The biggest interview expenses are paying for transportation and paying for lodging.

    To save money on flights: Go on interview tours instead of doing them one by one. It's cheaper and more time-efficient to fly to two or three cities in a row rather than going out and back to your home city every time. This is especially true for people who live in a "corner" of the country (SE, NW, NE, SW) and have a lot of interviews that are far away. If you fly on Southwest, they will let you book your flights by the leg, and you won't have to do a round trip ticket. Plus, they run internet specials. Sign up for the emails and download DING. :cool: Just make sure that you take good notes on each school so that your interviewing efficiency doesn't go to waste. ;)

    To save money on lodging: obviously, the cheapest thing to do is to stay with a current student or friends/relatives in that city, but these aren't always options. If you must stay in a hotel, pick one that is a little farther from campus rather than right on campus. Many hotels that are a couple of miles away offer free shuttle service to the medical campus. So you won't be able to walk to your interview in the morning, but you can take the shuttle there. If no shuttle is provided, taking a cab will cost you less than $10, which will probably be more than compensated for by having a hotel that costs half of what a campus hotel would cost.

    To save money on transportation to and from the airport: If you're lucky, you can get your host to pick you up or drop you off, but they may be busy or unwilling to do this. The best thing to do if no public transport is available is to take an airport shuttle. They tend to run about $15-$20 each way depending on the city, and you often get a discount if you book the shuttle round trip. This is usually about half the cost of taking a cab.
     
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  7. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    It's ridiculous how expensive this process can be, even if you DO get fee waivers. I'm sure it goes a long way to maintaining the status quo, even if that's a completely inadvertent "side effect".
     
  8. unfrozencaveman

    unfrozencaveman not a dude
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    Somehow, 24 hours in Pittsburgh cost me over $700. In Pittsburgh, that could rent you an apartment for a month, feed a family of four, and become the new owner of the Pirates.
     
  9. medicomel

    medicomel Purveyor of short posts.
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    :laugh: so true...and then there was my unexpected $40 cab ride to the hotel because the 28X flyer bus stopped running that late.
     
  10. jbrice1639

    jbrice1639 Cub Fan, Bud Man
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    hmm...i haven't even really thought about what i'd spent...but i don't think it was as much as what you guys are throwing out there...

    kaplan - $1500
    mcat - $200 (is that what it was?)
    amcas - $500
    secondaries - $1000

    total ~ $3200?

    still expensive though...i guess it adds up pretty quick. not counting kaplan and the mcat itself, applying was still $1500...
     
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  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    three interviews within two hours driving and staying with friends in those cities = gas money only (maybe $60?)

    One was my top choice, and two were my state schools (which are safeties, but safeties that I'd gladly attend nonetheless). AMCAS was $550, and I spent probably $700 on secondaries. Nowhere near you guys though, that's for sure. Wow.
     
  12. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    When I am poor and need to travel, I stay at hostels. There is a website for "hosteling international." Google it. Most medium to large cities in the US have hostels. Some are CHEAP. None were more than $25 a night. All had rentable lockers for computers/valuables/nice clothes. Here are the ones I stayed at in the US, with descriptions of the experience:

    New Orleans: fun people, clean rooms, but flea-ridden outdoor common areas.
    Atlanta: nice hostel in decent (but not great) part of town. Clean building and clean, fun people.
    Denver: somewhat icky part of town, about a mile walk to downtown. lots of homeless people. Free food. dirty, but fun people.
    If traveling is killing your budget. Hostels really can help out a lot. Also, they almost always have kitchens available, so you can buy cheap food at the grocery store and cook it at the hostel. Not glamorous, but if you are complaining about spending 1000s of dollars on med school....

    I had a friend who was going to apply to the usual 10-13 schools, then realized that she really didn't look forward to going to some of them, so she changed her mind about ~5 of them. This saved her tons of money. And it makes sense. If you would rather not go somewhere, don't apply.

    If you find a school that accepts you and you know you will be happy there, you *could* save money by accepting and not interviewing anywhere else. But that only makes sense if the loss of opportunity is worth the money you are saving.

    For those of you who aren't in the current app cycle, consider EDP. If you aren't trying to get into a school where the average scores are higher than yours, it will probably work out for you. EDP saved me a bundle. I only spent ~200 for the MCAT, 160 for AMCAS, 70 for a secondary, and 50 for my acceptance deposit. I could have applied to "nicer" schools, but my local school is ranked ~23rd or 24th, and I didn't want to move. Plus, the EDP schools are supposed to notify you yes/no in time for you to submit apps to other schools for regular admission. I found out in late September. What did I do with the money I saved? Bought a TIVO and some furniture. Woo!

    Just wait. I have a friend who just finished school and got hit with all these county, state, and federal licensing & registration fees, etc. It all ended up costing about 1500 bucks (which he didn't really have at the time) and he couldn't NOT pay it, if he wanted to practice. No one warned his class about such surprises, or informed the graduates that they would need such funds set aside. :mad:

    Good luck to all of you with your interviews, and with saving money!
     
  13. minnie2240

    minnie2240 Senior Member
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    So far I think the grand total is almost $6000 and I've only gotten interviews from half my schools so far!

    Its absolutely crazy. I go to school in Michigan but I'm from NY. So I wanted to return to the east coast for med school. Well that means flying back each and every time I have an interview and flights these days are insane. Its like a 9 hr drive otherwise and no medical schools have been kind of enough to let me schedule things in the same city at the same time.

    I know itll be worth it in the end but I think pre-med advisors & websites need to post huge disclaimers! Will cost thousands just to apply and get in plus the thousands afterwards for tuition.

    I feel for y'all.
     
  14. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    if it makes you feel better it cost me 10k excluding test prep courses
     
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  15. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    Bump...
     
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  16. jesswise

    jesswise Sucker for a pretty girl
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    Hmmm... this year I'm applying to... let me see... one, two.. no, just one... well maybe two. I still have to learn French to apply to the second school, but the app's not due 'til January. I can learn French in two months...

    Total expenses this cycle: $70 app fee, $50 interview fee to come in February. MCAT was 3 years ago, can't really count that. I did have to buy some stamps... call it another $2.

    Of course, there's only one med school for me to apply to, but hey, numerically I've got the best odds in the world! 80 local spots for about 250-300 local applicants. 1 in 3, 1 in 4 maybe. Not too bad, eh? If anyone wants to move to Canada to become a local resident, I'll rent a room in my house. You only have to live here 2 years if you're not in school! lol
     
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  17. Darth Asclepius

    Darth Asclepius Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Just wait until you guys get into med school and have to take out loans for tuition, supplies, and living expenses next year :eek: Not to minimize your current financial pain (I felt it last year), but unless you're one of the lucky ones who gets a nice scholarship, it only gets worse. (Note to lenders- please stop sending me monthly statements telling me how much interest has built up. If I had extra money to pay the interest now, I wouldn't have borrowed so much from you to begin with. Every time I get your statements, I want to throw up.)
     
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  18. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    Yeah, but then you would have to spend a lot more than $700 to get somebody to come haul away the garbage of a team that you just bought.
     
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  19. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    calculate 1 month of income after residency and compare. the costs are more of a nuisance than anything. they should just put together an option for X thousand number of dollars to have everything taken care of--amcas and secondary fees, travel fees, room and board, food. oh also mcat prep course and mcat fee. hmm, it would be convenient to have a prepaid premed ID and card to use for all of those functions.

    thousand of bucks is really nothing in the big picture
     
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  20. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    I just wish I was on the East Coast. That would make interviews so much less expensive.
     
  21. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Considering

    half the applicant pool does not get admitted anywhere

    the opportunity cost of spending that money on travel, etc rather than other desires

    the lost of investment income that the money could generate over 8 years if invested rather than spent on application-related expenses (you, the economist, should be cognizant of that issue)

    the interest on credit card debt

    thousands of bucks is very real, particularly for those who will have nothing to show for it after one or even two or three cycles. :(
     
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  22. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    That's completely true. More transparency would help. There are so many factors that go into admissions, so probably most of those 50% think they're getting in. There should be a better way to pre-screen. Schools shouldn't try to turn a profit on secondaries. I realized that AMCAS was a scam. We have a "primary" and then every school has it's own application anyway, but the addition of the AMCAS primary somehow hides that?! Schools need to communicate their needs to AMCAS, so they can get the info they need in the primary and then not request secondaries.
     
  23. TheMightyAngus

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    Anyone else amassing their debt strictly on credit cards? Seeing how there is no conceivable way I can pay my bills, eat, sleep, and continue to enjoy a sub-optimal-but-still-decent quality of life while making large monthly credit card payments, is it common for MS1's to take out more loans to pay off these expenses? What are you all gonna do?
     
  24. Darth Asclepius

    Darth Asclepius Dark Lord of the Sith
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    This is true if you're considering the thousands of bucks when you're actually making a lot of money, but for students barely scraping by now, it is a lot of money.

    Especially when you have to work a lot of extra hours or borrow money from friends/family because you need to buy a plane ticket to an interview. I think a lot of people assume anyone can get a credit card with a magical limit that will cover all application/interviewing expenses. That doesn't always happen, and even if it does, the interest is awful.


    You can take out loans for additional expenses in med school. Your school gives you an allowed budget. The problem is, if you have credit card payments, want to live alone, make a car payment, have monthly prescriptions to pay for, a family or even just a pet to support, or anything else that falls outside the budget, you can't make it on the allowed amount. The problem is finding loans for above the allowed amount. You can do it (I did this year), but you have to pay higher interest and borrow from private lenders. You can't get government loans for more than your school authorizes. It sucks.
     
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  25. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    There is a good reason why someone I know worked to have $1 million in the bank before applying to med school. The talents were fleeting (athletic) and medicine was the choice -- "when I'm too old to do this anymore."
     
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  26. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I would have to agree with this statement, and frankly, I can't believe that some clever lawyer type hasn't filed a class action lawsuit about this. It just seems like fraud to take money from somebody in the form of a SECONDARY application when you can tell from the PRIMARY application that they stand ZERO chance of acceptance into your school. I mean, if an applicant has a 1.8 GPA and a 15 on the MCAT, how can it be remotely OK for Stanford to ask for more money and more information before they can decide?
     
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  27. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Self-selection for submission of the secondary is a use tax on the overly optimistic/stupid.
     
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  28. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree here - I think that this "use tax" you speak of should be the money spent on the primary. No further information is really needed from the candidate I described, so no further money should be needed either. I went to an extreme just to prove a point. I also feel the same way about schools that invite you to interview without telling you that the class is full and that you are only interviewing for a waitlist slot.
     
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  29. ragda26

    ragda26 Senior Member
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    Hey

    i know a person who spent $15,000 approx total in 2 application years..he didnt get in first time so he reapplied a year later. He took a bank loan.

    overall, he made a profit of $2000 because he worked during the extra year and made it to UMich med.

    Would someone here risk this much?
     
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  30. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    A school says, "decide for yourself whether or not to submit a secondary; btw, our matriculating class average is 3.8 and 36"

    The "use tax" is on the applicant with a 3.15 /25 who decides to send a secondary because they think that they have a chance.

    Frankly, I think that the self-selection supplemental is a crock but some schools think that it beats the alternative (a hard cut point by the numbers). A thorough reading of an AMCAS takes about 20 minutes and some schools just don't want to invest the resources that it takes to do that well, wait for a secondary & then repeat with another review that will take another 20 minutes/applicant. Not to mention avoiding the fielding of pleading phone calls from good but "out of the ordinary" applicants who feel that they are deserving of a supplemental. (some are, and some turn out to be great students).
     
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  31. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I have to agree with this point; I could never be admitted to a school that has a no-exceptions hard GPA cut-off, regardless of how great the rest of my app might be. (My college was completely P/F.) It seems to be quite common to have people with great MCATs and weak GPAs or vice versa; shouldn't they have a chance to be considered? Plus, SDN people are on soapboxes all the time about how med schools shouldn't just automatically admit everyone with a 4.0 and a 40 unless they also have good people skills. Well, then, consider the secondary as your chance to plead your case if your numbers are not up to par but you think you are still med school material. Thankfully for people like me, many schools do give unusual applicants a shot.
     
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  32. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I think you missed my point Q.. even schools that don't have strict cutoffs actually must have SOME point at which no amount of ECs and LORs will make up for it hence my example of an applicant with a 1.2 GPA and a 15 MCAT.
     
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  33. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    As an applicant, it's frustrating to think that my secondary application might be tossed out with tomorrow's garbage because I didn't meet some criteria which they could have easily obtained from the primary application. I suppose from the school's point of view, a long secondary with an additional fee helps weed out those who aren't terribly interested. Yet, I have to say, the amount of money I've spent on secondaries considering I've only received two interviews is terrifying. I can't afford to do this process over again.
    As far as travel suggestions go, I stayed with a friend of my advisor's when I went to one city and I told another prof whose kids I babysit for that I was short on money and he said that I could stay with friends of his if I went to NYC for an interview... Also, when I did a scholarship interview during undergrad, I called one of the churches and asked if they knew anyone who would be willing to take me in for the night. I was expecting a no, but I ended up staying with a very nice physician and his wife...
     
  34. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I do understand your point....but you've gone so far with your extreme that your example is nonsensical. No person would apply to any med school with stats like that, and if s/he did, s/he'd be rightfully rejected due to having extremely poor judgment. ;)

    I think what Lizzy and I are talking about is people who have ONE glaring weakness in their apps, but the rest of the app is good. These people would be filtered out by rigid cutoffs. So if you had a guy with a 22 MCAT but a 3.8, great ECs, etc., should he be automatically rejected? Maybe he learned English at age 15, or he has a learning disability, or he's just not a good test-taker. What about a girl with a 37 MCAT and a 2.9 GPA who flunked out of college at age 18 but went back and earned perfect grades for the past two straight years? There are several people like this hanging out in the non-trad forum. Many have gone back to school and earned near-perfect post-bac or SMP GPAs, but that doesn't erase the previous bad grades they had, and their overall averages are still relatively low. Does a mistake made a decade ago mean that they should never get to go to med school?

    Not everyone can apply to med school having a perfect GPA and a 30+ MCAT score. But some people are exceptional in enough other ways though that it's patently unfair to hold that against them. So if you want to be a stickler about your extreme example, maybe schools could add a warning to their secondaries, like McDonald's does to coffee cups: WARNING! Students with GPAs of 1.2 and MCATs of 15 will almost certainly not be accepted to this medical school. Please use caution and your own common sense when applying.
     
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  35. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Why have a secondary? AMCAS stands for "American Medical College Application Service" and is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Request the changes necessary to make AMCAS a truly centralized application service and not just a prelude to a rip off.

    $100 is ridiculous for a secondary fee. Most schools only interview half or so of their applicants who submit secondaries. Does it really cost $100 for a 20 minute review? If so, you need to pay more reasonable (lower) salaries. Secondaries are just a way to make an obscene amount of money for an incredibly low amount of work.
     
  36. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I agree... Either get rid of the primary application because nobody actually uses it, or consolidate your questions and make the primary meaningful and use it. One school I applied to had as the secondary, "what do your parents do, ages of siblings" as the only questions on the $100 secondary - that is a scam people... and shameful.
     
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  37. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Exactly. Those are the two most reasonable options. Right now AMCAS is false advertising. Some schools even want you to reinput the same grade data you've already entered :rolleyes:
     
  38. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
    Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Let x be the number of schools to which you have submitted secondaries. Let y be the $ amount of the AMCAS application divided by x. Add y to the cost of each secondary. Now imagine that you had to complete all the information contained on the AMCAS plus all the questions on the secondary and you had to complete this, from scratch, x times and pay the cost of the secondary plus "y".

    The AMCAS saves you time but it doesn't save you any money.

    The fees pay salaries and benefits for the admissions office staff (professional and clerical), the communications systems (who runs that website you check obsessively?), computer and paper systems for incoming applications, recruiting materials and visits by recruiters to your undergrad campuses, hospitality for interviewees, postage.

    I think that the far bigger cost is the flights & hotels for interviews.
     
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  39. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Imagine a world where all the schools actually utilized the information on AMCAS for more than simply an email address to which to send a secondary. That would be a great world!

    $100 x 9,500 (a school like GWU) = $950,000 (which is close enough to one million for me). That would pay an admissions office of 5 for a year if they each make $100,000 (which would be a ridiculous amount for anyone except perhaps the director or dean of admissions). What do websites cost these days? Why should applicants pay for your recruiting? You're recruiting so you can run a business that comes along with a profit. Why would potential customers want/need to pay your marketing fees? As for hospitality, are you talking the $10 maximum lunch? The $1 in postage for all the stuff I've gotten from the most mail-intensive school ever? It's a racket! I don't know if you break the numbers down, but I'm sure if you do, the profit is obvious.
     
  40. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Its not just a website, it is the software & hardware that makes it possible for AMCAS to send your info electronically to the school.

    None of the medical schools I know of in America are "for profit". None cover their costs with tuition and fees. Most "beg" for money from philanthropists, foundations and corporations. When you phone (costs money for the office to have a phne) to ask the receptionist (costs money) for a viewbook (costs money) to be mailed (costs money) to you, who should those funds be coming from? Would you like to think that your undergrad institution is recruiting new students with your tuition money?? Likewise, you wouldn't expect it of your med school.

    Where is Shredder when I need him? This is a market economy. Do you think that GWU really wants 9,000 applicants? Even $100 a pop doesn't deter applicants. How many would apply if it were $50? Is the incremental cost of servicing one applicant such that a school would rake in even more $ if it dropped the supplemental fee to $40 but still interviewed the same # of applicants and admitted the same #. (Lower price but higher likelihood of being rejected without an interview.)

    I wish the number who applied was lower and the proportion who are admitted higher while maintaining excellent quality. Would it be better to have only a few interviews if you knew that post-interview your odds of being offered admission were 90%?
     
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  41. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with Lizzy about AMCAS being a huge savings of time, particularly for someone like me who has five transcripts and about a zillion courses that all had to be entered in one by one. :p I would have hated to have had to do that for every school. But I have to agree with Flop and Moose that some secondaries seem pointless, especially when they ask for information that is already given on the AMCAS. If it's money the school needs and not information, then they can just ask for the money as a processing fee. (Some schools do exactly this anyway.)

    Personally, I would like to see some reforms to AMCAS. Because to be honest, I don't understand why I had to enter all of the courses in one by one on my AMCAS; why shouldn't the AAMC just send an electronic copy of my transcripts to each school along with the rest of my app? As it is, I've had to supply the AAMC with copies of all of my transcripts, AND type in every class I've ever taken since 1992, AND still mail separate official copies of my transcripts to various medical schools. And while I do feel somewhat sorry for whatever poor fellow (or lady) at the AAMC got the unenviable job of verifying all of my transcripts ( :smuggrin: ), none of that would be necessary if the AAMC would simply scan in my transcripts (or use the electronic copies; some of my schools supply them) and send them to the schools for me. It would also be nice if you could send your LORs to the schools with your AMCAS; my pre-pharmacy students can do that when they fill out their PHARMCAS.

    There, that's my off-topic contribution to this argument. :p
     
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  42. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Private schools aren't "for profit"? Where's Shredder when I need him? What's the point of running the school? :laugh: Even if it's not technically "for profit" by our laws, a lot of people are making their living from the medical school.

    Does each school have to pay programmers to make their own version of the software, buy a unique server setup, and install it? If so, they need to standardize, because they're all doing the same basic thing.

    What would I like? I don't know. I think the system should be more transparent. I think that students shouldn't be terrified to call or email for fear that it will jinx their application. I don't think I should email Baylor to ask a specific, simple question, after paying the secondary fee, and get no response at all. This is a school I've interviewed at for goodness sake. Or the schools I had to fill in my transcript on the secondary when they had it on AMCAS. Or the schools that make you fill out a pre-req sheet and bring it to the interview when you filled out that info on AMCAS. Use that software and hardware that the secondary fee is paying for. :eek: It's just frustrating and add the expense to it... it's terribly frustrating!
     
  43. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    The frustration I have is the fact that we pretend the primary actually means something. Some schools actually ask that you reenter courses and grades into the secondary - this information is CLEARLY already on the primary. Same with extra curricular activities. Don't tell me that my parents' occupation is somehow so interesting that it is worthy of a separate application.

    My proposal - do away with secondaries entirely. Charge $130 per school for the primary, and send the $100 to the school directly. If you want to know what my parents do for a living, ask me during an interview. Lets all save time and hassle by consolidating and having ONE application.
     
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  44. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    bump... :cool:
     
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  45. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    sounds like a plan. there are some schools, like say drexel, that ask for no information on the secondary that isn't available on the primary aside from a money order and a picture. don't tell me that's not a scam. your personal statement has a fairly long, fairly detailed (well it can be) essay about your motivations and why you're a good applicant. for most schools, i would think that's enough. how many essays to they really need to read to know you're qualified and a good fit? not to mention they already know all your academic, professional, volunteer and leadership work from amcas.

    also, amcas should accept and send out lors. the legal application processing people do that, and i don't think it would be hard -- maybe they'd have to up their fees somewhat, but it saves those of us without a premed office from having to shell out money to interfolio.

    of course, we'd still have to spend a fortune because the costliest part of this whole thing is interviews, and there's no fee waiver for that one. my focus for the next few months will be paying off my credit card debt. :(
     

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