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How many schools did you apply to?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sammmeyeam, May 6, 2001.

  1. Sammmeyeam

    Sammmeyeam Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I was wondering how many schools you guys are applying to / plan to apply to?

    I think that I am a competitive applicant, with a 3.7 GPA and 31 MCAT.

    Thanks
     
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  3. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    hey sam,
    I'm planning on applying to about 13 schools. I think that's a lot but many people who've posted here have applies to 20+ or even 30+ schools. You have to consider expenses (each school is $30 amcas, 50-100 secondary, who knows how much to get to the interview). If that is not a consideration, there's also time this summer/fall with secondaries. Also if you are a CA resident like me (i think you are, unless you're from a different encino) then you should plan on applying to a fair number of out of state privates since CA schools are all so competitive. Hope this helps, I'd say 10-15 is a reasonable number.
     
  4. Sunlyght

    Sunlyght Senior Member

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    about the apps...is it 150 for the first in amacas and 30 for each additional? Or is it just 30 for each? :confused:
     
  5. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member

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    AMCAS fees are $150 for the first one, then $30 for each additional school. I'm applying to 12 I think: 6 in Ohio and 6 others. It may go down to 10, but that's assuming I'm able to apply with the web app that's always unavailable.
     
  6. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I'm only applying to five schools, two in-state, two private, one out-of-state.
     
  7. Peregrin

    Peregrin Senior Member

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    I have seen two generally different approaches to the application process:

    1) The sawed-off shotgun method: Go for maximum spread baby. Write a super-general essay(s) and send it to everybody that you can afford to do so. Maybe you'll say something that will resignate (Bush-ism) with some adcom somewhere (after all a med school is a med school and they all look for about the same things right?)

    Pros:
    -Maximum exposure for the effort

    Cons:
    -Necessitates generalization in the essays.
    -TONS of essays to complete when secondaries come around.
    -The potential to get snowed under with applications, deadlines, interviews (granted, some argue that this is what the process is all about).
    -THE COST!!

    2) The laser beamer method: Apply to only a few schools with whom you have had multiple contacts in person, by phone, or email. You have spoken at length with admissions officers there, you know what the school is about, you know exactly what their emphasis is in education, you know what qualifications they consider important, you have determined that you have what they are looking for and know exactly what to emphasize in you application. You have asked the question: "what do I need to do in the next year (six months, two weeks...) to make myself the most competitive candidate I can be," and LISTEN to the answer and TAKE their advice. You have determined that you are in the demographic that they actively seek (in-state resident, primary care focus, URM, "Believe" in the Osteopathic Philosophy, whatever...)

    Pros:
    -Dramatically reduced cost for applying.
    -You know all of the "buttons" that need pushing during essays, interviews etc...
    -You know the school very well and can spend your time explaining why you are a perfect fit for them and they are for you.
    -Fewer applications to fill out, your emphasis can continue to be quality and focus, rather than quantity and generalization.

    Cons:
    -The paranoid feeling that applying to more schools is always better (SOMEONE must want me!!!)
    -The possibility that you were correct thinking the aformentioned thoughts.


    You can choose one or the other, or some combination based on your values and the sort of experience you expect.

    I chose option 2. I applied to 3 schools, all public and in-state, I knew what they were about, spoke to people, etc... I had no trouble meeting deadlines because I wasn't filling out dozens of apps. I told my first choice school that they indeed were my first choice right away. They interviewed me soon in the process (9/26) and I was gleefully awarded an acceptance (dated 10/7). As a result, I didn't even bother with the secondaries from the other two schools. Process over, and over early (yahoo!).

    Just thought I'd relay that to all of you about to start this whole process for yourself. There were times I swore I could digest a box of nails with all the excess stomach acid I was producing, so I'm glad it is over, and I wish those who are still waiting all the best. Hang in there!
     
  8. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie

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    I applied to 5 schools, all in-state. It reduced possible costs a LOT (I live in Tx, so no secondary app fees) and since Im a resident, I already had a "leg up" so to speak (they have to accept 90% residents). I agree with the above poster, though, choose your method wisely. the "laser" approach doesnt work for everyone.

    Star
     
  9. ringo643

    ringo643 Senior Member

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    I too am a TX resident (star and I will be going to the same school in fall). I applied to, I think, 15 schools - 6 in-state and 9 out. I ended up regretting that, though, because I decided for $$ purposes that I would go in-state, and I didn't even go to interviews anywhere out of state. So I ended up wasting a lot of dough on secondaries, etc. I wised up, eventually, cancelling three out of state interviews and blowing off several secondaries. These were all good schools, but I decided that the money in-state was just too good to pass up. So it depends on what you want. If you're a strong applicant and from TX, you could easily get away with only applying in-state. Good luck.
     
  10. jofrbr76

    jofrbr76 Senior Member

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    How do you know if a university is a private instition or not? Obviously it's easy to identify and rule out state schools. Is there some easy way to identify private schools?

    Also, is it just the lack of funding from the state which gives a private school the freedom to select applicants from wherever and whatever background?

    I'm from Michigan, we have 3 med schools, two are state schools, and i don't know if University of Michigan is private or not. Does anyone know?

    Thanks
     
  11. VAD

    VAD Member

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    I applied to 24 schools and completed approx. 20 secondaries. I know it's a large number, but I have no regrets in doing so. The reason I have no regrets is that for me, I wasn't bound by any particular location, so I chose schools that I thought would be a good fit for me and my husband who's completing graduate school and starting his own career. I also applied to several schools b/c I took the August MCAT and I knew that would take me out of the running at some schools. All in all, I have no regrets with making the initial financial investment. There were some interviews I chose not to attend. But applying to several schools of interest gave me peace of mind and diversified chances of gaining acceptance. My selectiion of schools was not haphazard; you would do well to apply to schools within every range (top ten and twenty, top 50, and beyond top 50) regardless of your competitiveness as an applicant b/c you never what school may or may not find your application appealing. The most invaluable source of information was a meeting with a Dean of Admissions who looked over my AMCAS app and rough draft of my personal statement (do this BEFORE you submit your AMCAS application) and gave me a list of schools that I should apply to, based on MY FILE. I found this to be more worthwhile than speaking with my premed advisor who tended to be more negative and not particularly knowledgeable. Other helpful sources were the MSAR initially, and then the schools' websites once I had an initial short-list.

    I think the laser approach works well especially when you've had direct contact with faculty/staff at the medical schools you're directing your "laser" at, but otherwise, this approach can leave you high and dry. I know anecdotal evidence doesn't count for much these days, but I have a number of premed friends who regret either not applying to more schools or not applying to schools that were somewhat of a "reach" for them.

    Hope this is helpful.

    VAD :)
     
  12. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    jofrbr,
    U Mich is a public school so they give preference to residents (thought I know mich does take a larger number of out-of-staters than most public schools). Its a funding issue, public schools recieve much funding from the state which recieves its funding for the taxpayers so the state says, use the money to educate the taxpayers.

    Usually you can tell by the name of the school if it's called University of [Name of State] like Michigan, then it's probably a public school (UPenn is the notable exception). If it has the word "state" in the name, such as Wayne State, then it's a public school. If there's no mention of a state in the name, like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke then chances are it's a private school. If you pick up the MSAR it'll tell you for sure on all schools. Good luck.
     
  13. Peregrin

    Peregrin Senior Member

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    Not to split hairs, but Michigan actually has 4 med schools: MSU College of Human Medicine (MD), MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Wayne State U (MD), and UMich (MD). All are state schools, all are "required" to favor MI residents, all but UMich have around 80% or more of their classes comprised of MI residents.
     
  14. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Some time ago, did you say you were applying to UNMC? If so, I'd love to get a chance to meet you on an interview day. I start there this Fall, and you tickle my funnybone!

    --kris
     
  15. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Why, yes, I am applying to UNMC. I am always happy to entertain. Assuming I get an interview (I actually have a connection at that school :)), I will probably post about it, so just let me know if you see it later.

    If I get an interview there, I would like to get any advice you have on where to stay, what to do to get a real feel for the school, etc.

    If you want to meet some great people out there, go to the pediatric liver transplant unit, and talk to Dr. Alan Langnas if you get a chance. What a great doctor!

    I would like to know what you think of the school so far, and if I can remember, I'd love to hear what you think of it once you start. :) Good luck there this fall.
     
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  17. djipopo

    djipopo SDN Angel

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    This is mostly in reply to VAD, but I'd appreciate hearing from anyone, really. How did you approach the dean of admissions to get feedback on your application and personal statement? Also, exactly what kind of information can you garner from the adcoms? How do get in contact with them and what kind of questions do you ask? Someone help, Please!!!
     
  18. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I was a CA resident and I applied to about18-20 schools initially (I think) and completed secondaries for 15 of them. My best advice to you is think long and hard about the schools you are applying to -- it is an expensive and time-consuming process so don't apply somewhere for the hell of it, if you don't think you would actually go there. After I had considered things like cost and location, I found interviewfeedback.com to be really helpful to get some more impressions of the schools -- in general if the student body is friendly, the neighborhood of the school, financial aid info. (how generous the school typically is), etc.
     
  19. Colorado_2

    Colorado_2 Member

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    I agree. I originally applied to 13 schools, and if I had to do it over I would:
    (a) apply to all of the top 15 schools
    (b) apply to at least 5 backups
    This would be expensive, but knowing now what a dart-throwing process this is, I think it would help. You'll notice some people get into Johns Hopkins and don't even get interviewed at Duke. And you need plenty of back-ups just in case.
     
  20. yigit

    yigit Senior Member

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    I applied to a bunch and thank God I did because half of my interviews were at schools that I probably wouldn't have applied to had I been more selective with my applications. In the end I got some interviews at schools I didn't think I had a chance at and rejections from schools I thought I was overly qualified for.
     
  21. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Jamie,
    So much to say, no time to type.
    1) If you do get an interview and post about it here, I'm betting I won't see it because I'll be knee-deep in anatomy. Ewww.
    2) I'll be able to give you some info about where to stay once I move back to NE myself. I've been gone for about 8 years.
    3) There was a three, but I can't recall.
    4) Definitely get in touch with me before you come out. I'd love to help.

    Oh yeah, my mom, you'll hate this, used to work with transplant insurance stuff. Terribly hard work, and heartbreaking. I've yet to see the new family facilities, but I'll be sure to have a good look 'round in late June. And I'll look for that doc you mentioned.

    Looking forward to talking to you in the Fall!
    kris
    ugh, gotta book (how's that for showing my age?)
     
  22. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I noticed you have a yahoo email, so if I can't get a rise out of you on these forums, I'll try emailing you.

    Have a nice first year, and good luck in gross. :)
     
  23. VAD

    VAD Member

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    Serendipity475,

    You can call the office of admissions directly and ask to set up an appt. w/ the dean of admissions (let them know you're a prospective applicant). You'd be surprised how willing people are to help you or give you an honest assessment of your profile. If you have friends who are currently in medical school, they can also put you in contact with someone or pave the way for you. If you're in undergrad, your premed advising office may offer workshops with reps from your state school (at least mine did) and that's a great way to make a connection and discuss the possibility of following up with the school rep. in the immediate future. If you do any research or summer program geared towards premeds, these are an invaluable way to connect with people in the admissions office at the medical school.

    If you want more detailed information, send me an email and I'll get back to you!
     
  24. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    VAD is correct. All the deans of admissions I have spoken to have suggested a meeting if we wanted to get detailed information about our application, what to do to improve, etc.

    In fact, everyone I have met thus far in the process has been exceedingly helpful to each applicant. Most of these people really want to see us succeed, and are delighted when we seek out their advice.
     

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