How many schools to apply to?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DZT, May 28, 2002.

  1. DZT

    DZT Senior Member
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    Initially, I planned to apply to 20-25 schools but after a session with my premed advisor today, that could be curbed down to 10-15. She said that medical schools look down on sending excessive applications out (this means anything above 15), and will be more inclined to put you on your rejection list on the basis of your indecision of school. Is this true?
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    The schools will not know to which other schools you applied unless you tell them.
     
  4. DZT

    DZT Senior Member
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    See, that is what I thought as well, but apparently, my premed advisor gave me the notion that they do look at your application list to use against you. So, there is no way this can be used against you?
     
  5. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008
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    Just to supply the official AMCAS response, I found this at <a href="http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/advisors/webcastmarch7.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/advisors/webcastmarch7.pdf</a>

    Q32. How and when will medical schools see the schools that applicants designate?

    A32. When they receive the application from AMCAS. Schools only see their own
    designation, not other medical school designations ? that is ? until the Multiple
    Acceptance List is made available each spring. Then, schools can see where their
    accepted applicants hold acceptances.

    That doesn't mean the schools can't ask you.
    And I wouldn't suggest lying.
     
  6. Femtochemistry

    Femtochemistry Skunk Works
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    You pre-med "adivsor" is blowing steam from her/his
    a$$, like mpp said, theres no way a med school can know how many med schools you applied for unless YOU tell them.

    Good luck!
     
  7. SolidGold

    SolidGold Florida winters are the best!
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    Hmmmmm.....how many med schools are there?
     
  8. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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    i was initially very concerned about applying to a lot of schools as well....when i brought up the issue with my pre-med advisor, he asked how many i was applying to; when i said 27, he waived his hand and said that's not a lot at all - only if you feel the need to apply to 40, then you should start worrying <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
    also from my advisor: applying to less than 15 schools is akin to buying a lottery ticket and not filling in all the numbers (after experiencing this crapshoot application process first-hand, i couldn't agree more)
     
  9. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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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 pocwana:
    <strong> That doesn't mean the schools can't ask you.
    And I wouldn't suggest lying. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">if you're good enough to get into med school, you should be good enough to dodge those questions without lying:

    my typical response: "well... i applied to all the NY schools and some out of state"
    it's entirely accurate and sounds a lot better than 27, doesn't it? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  10. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008
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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 Assassin:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by pocwana:
    <strong> That doesn't mean the schools can't ask you.
    And I wouldn't suggest lying. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">if you're good enough to get into med school, you should be good enough to dodge those questions without lying:

    my typical response: "well... i applied to all the NY schools and some out of state"
    it's entirely accurate and sounds a lot better than 27, doesn't it? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">that's pretty good. i was thinking of something like, "i've COMPLETED so many applications" i.e. applications including interviews, but i like yours better.
    it's all about perspective.
     
  11. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member
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    I would apply to as many schools as you can afford and have time for. Apply to 20 of the top 30 because what the hell? Then apply to your state schools and three safety.

    I know it sounds really overwhelming and all, but trust me, in the long run, it'll pay off.
     
  12. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    this has been said before but i really want to emphasize that it isn't about QUANTITY, people...!

    please, i'm telling you this from experience. i applied to way WAY!!!! too many schools, wasted a bunch of money, and a lot of my time.

    apply to your state schools, pick a few "dream" schools (a FEW not 20 of the top 30! like the above poster suggests), and pick a few "safeties."

    remember the national average is 15. i would say 15 is a good number.
    if you're a CA resident, apply to about 25.
     
  13. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member
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    I'm from CA. My premed advisor told me that a good number is about 20-25 apps. During one of my out of state interviews, my interviewer asked me how many I applied to, I told her the truth. She then proceeded to tell me that she's noticed the high number Cali residents apply to, and in fact, seemed a bit amused. She didn't seem to hold it against me, though, because she realized that it's customary for us to apply to so many.
     
  14. brickmanli

    brickmanli 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 vyc:
    <strong>this has been said before but i really want to emphasize that it isn't about QUANTITY, people...!

    please, i'm telling you this from experience. i applied to way WAY!!!! too many schools, wasted a bunch of money, and a lot of my time.

    apply to your state schools, pick a few "dream" schools (a FEW not 20 of the top 30! like the above poster suggests), and pick a few "safeties."

    remember the national average is 15. i would say 15 is a good number.
    if you're a CA resident, apply to about 25.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's possible to have both quantity AND quality, but you've got to really work on it. Copy and Pasting in application essays CAN work. I was hugely humbled by my experience of applying only to twelve schools, but surprised that higher tiered schools interviewed me. So why not try to spend a few hundred dollars more so you won't regret it later on.
     
  15. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    The process is a complete crapshoot, so the more apps the better your odds. I applied to 23 and my acceptances were at the one top-ten school I applied to, one mid-ranked school and 3 unranked schools. My waitlists (5) were similarly spread out. If I had pared my list down, I likely would have cut out that top-ten school!! Apply to LOTS of schools -- a few reaches, and divide the rest between schools where your stats make you competitive and schools where you'll stand out.
     
  16. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey 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 SolidGold:
    <strong>Hmmmmm.....how many med schools are there?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I believe the number is somewhere around 125.
     
  17. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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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 vyc:
    <strong>
    remember the national average is 15.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Actually, for the last completed application cycle (for the 2001 entering class) the average number of applications per applicant was 11.6 (according to the <a href="http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/famg32001.htm" target="_blank">AAMC</a>).
     
  18. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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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 mpp:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by vyc:
    <strong>
    remember the national average is 15.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Actually, for the last completed application cycle (for the 2001 entering class) the average number of applications per applicant was 11.6 (according to the <a href="http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/famg32001.htm" target="_blank">AAMC</a>).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">an "average" person may not get into his top choice school; an "average" person may not get into ANY school...do not let statistics guide the number of schools you're applying to; time and $$$ should be the only two limiting factors, otherwise you're just severely limiting your own options.

    and rest assured, applying to many more schools than average will have absolutely no negative repercussions.
     
  19. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    med school admissions is NOT a crapshoot. sometimes it is hard to understand and completely explain admissions decisions but it is NOT 100% random.

    don't believe anyone who tries to say it is.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SMW:
    <strong>The process is a complete crapshoot, so the more apps the better your odds</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  20. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    You're right, vyc, it's not 100% random, but it's random enough to cause lots of serious heartache in qualified applicants, of whom there are just too many for the available slots. I really don't believe that all admissions decisions can be objectively justified.
     
  21. skyhawkd

    skyhawkd Member
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  22. vyc

    vyc 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 mpp:
    <strong>
     
  23. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    it sounds like you're disagreeing with me when in fact you're just saying exactly what i said.
    time and money are important limiting factors, as well they SHOULD be.

    statistics shouldn't be taken as hard fast rules but they provide guidelines.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Assassin:
    <strong>
     
  24. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    Yeap, Schools won't know how many others schools you applied to, until you tell them. So apply to as many schools as you can afford.
    GOOD LUCK
     
  25. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    yea, sometimes the process seems random but applying to 40 schools, as opposed to 20 well-selected ones, will NOT increase your chances.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SMW:
    <strong>You're right, vyc, it's not 100% random, but it's random enough to cause lots of serious heartache in qualified applicants, of whom there are just too many for the available slots. I really don't believe that all admissions decisions can be objectively justified.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  26. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Welcome to SDN, skyhawkd! :) I would strongly encourage you to apply to more schools than that, unless your stats and overall application are just so stellar that there's no doubt you'll get in somewhere (and I would suggest that that's hardly ever the case). You have no idea how grueling the process is, and if you really want to be a doctor, why not give it your best shot? I suggest you take a look at a couple of old threads that shed some light on this question: <a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=008425;p=18" target="_blank">Number of applications/accepted/interviewed/rejected</a> and <a href="http://forums.studentdoctor.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=011540" target="_blank">Not-Accepted-Yet SDNers List.</a> Applying to a wide variety and range of schools is not desperate, it's simply smart, given that you have no idea what in your application might be the clincher that gets you into medschool. And I fail to see how being rejected is a sign of something better on the horizon. But that's just the way I think..........Good luck with your application! :)
     
  27. Explosivo

    Explosivo blah!
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    I think 15-20 is a good number of schools to apply to for any candidate. I think out of 125 schools, one could easily come up with 20 that s/he is legitimately interested in. If you apply to less than 10 you better have top notch stats and ECs and even that isn't enough to get in sometimes. Luck does play A role in this whether people want to accept it or not. There are just so many variables that you probably want to hedge your bets within reason-after all you only get one shot per year.

    I know this from experience: I applied to only 7 schools for application year 2000-2001 and here I am again applying for the 2nd time. 7 was not enough the first time around.
     
  28. SMW

    SMW Grand 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 vyc:
    <strong>yea, sometimes the process seems random but applying to 40 schools, as opposed to 20 well-selected ones, will NOT increase your chances. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree, 40's a little excessive, although I do think it would increase the odds a little. Obviously, the perfect number of schools to apply to is 23 (the number I applied to) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> .
     
  29. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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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 vyc:
    <strong>it sounds like you're disagreeing with me when in fact you're just saying exactly what i said.
    time and money are important limiting factors, as well they SHOULD be.

    statistics shouldn't be taken as hard fast rules but they provide guidelines.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">seems to me, you're just against applying to a high number of schools :confused:

    time and money are definitely an important factor, but you gotta realize that applying to 30 nearby (within driving distance) schools will cost less than applying to 5 that are all over the country.

    only interview travel is draining on your resources; application hassle pales in comparison.

    oh, and just to reiterate, application process is a crapshoot all the way (those who want to argue this point and got into a great school after applying to very few of them...give credit where credit is due: LUCK :D )
     

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