Dr. Geoff

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Hey guys,

My pre-med advisor is telling me to apply to between 10-15 schools... on the other hand, I'm seeing people apply to as many as 30! I came up with a list of 25 schools (21-MD, 4-DO). Is this too many schools to apply to? Should I trim it down? Will the secondary applications be too much? Will I be able to afford it? Are my picks good, which ones should I drop? Thanks guys!

Sincerely,

Jeff
 

TheRealMD

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Hey guys,

My pre-med advisor is telling me to apply to between 10-15 schools... on the other hand, I'm seeing people apply to as many as 30! I came up with a list of 25 schools (21-MD, 4-DO). Is this too many schools to apply to? Should I trim it down? Will the secondary applications be too much? Will I be able to afford it? Are my picks good, which ones should I drop? Thanks guys!

Sincerely,

Jeff
Depends on your stats and state of residency. That's why you see a large variation in # of schools applied to. For example, only in Texas could you really get away with applying to 5 schools like I did and expect moderate success. Just don't throw the kitchen sink (your app) at lots of schools to see whatever bites; that is a horribly inefficient use of your money (secondary fees are a LOT of money).
 

3 little birds

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It totally depends on your particular situation. For instance, I am from California, where in-state reference is far from a guarantee of acceptance. So, I applied to 35 schools to play it safe. It was manageable. You kinda need to construct a logic tree and say to yourself "If I get in early at A then I don't have to interview at B. If I interview at B then I can cancel my app at C" etc.

pros of applying to lots of schools:
-higher chance of getting in somewhere
-you really don't know a school at all until you've visited and interviewed. I interviewed and am now considering going to schools I had barely heard of prior to applying.
-It's badass.

cons
-It'll cost you. A lot. I spent approximately $2000 in secondary fees alone. Plus a grand for the primary, plus travel fees plus letter service fees...I spent in excess of $6000 applying.
-Filling out secondaries is like a part-time job.
-travel takes a lot of time, especially if you are still a student.

Hope that helps!
 

Pedsbro

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It totally depends on your particular situation. For instance, I am from California, where in-state reference is far from a guarantee of acceptance. So, I applied to 35 schools to play it safe. It was manageable. You kinda need to construct a logic tree and say to yourself "If I get in early at A then I don't have to interview at B. If I interview at B then I can cancel my app at C" etc.

pros of applying to lots of schools:
-higher chance of getting in somewhere
-you really don't know a school at all until you've visited and interviewed. I interviewed and am now considering going to schools I had barely heard of prior to applying.
-It's badass.

cons
-It'll cost you. A lot. I spent approximately $2000 in secondary fees alone. Plus a grand for the primary, plus travel fees plus letter service fees...I spent in excess of $6000 applying.
-Filling out secondaries is like a part-time job.
-travel takes a lot of time, especially if you are still a student.

Hope that helps!
Yeah seriously... I'm also from CA and coming from there, it is not inefficient to apply to a lot of schools...in fact it's a necessity unless you have a 4.0 and a 45T (even then some Cali schools would probably still reject you haha). 10-15 is probably around average or slightly below for someone with pretty good GPA/MCAT and with some in-state schools. 25 schools (MD and DO) sounds like a good number. You can always add more later, so be conservative at first.
 
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Dr. Geoff

Dr. Geoff

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pros of applying to lots of schools:
-higher chance of getting in somewhere
-you really don't know a school at all until you've visited and interviewed. I interviewed and am now considering going to schools I had barely heard of prior to applying.
-It's badass.

cons
-It'll cost you. A lot. I spent approximately $2000 in secondary fees alone. Plus a grand for the primary, plus travel fees plus letter service fees...I spent in excess of $6000 applying.
-Filling out secondaries is like a part-time job.
-travel takes a lot of time, especially if you are still a student.

While I do like the idea of being badass, the cost is nuts... Quick question. Do schools send out 2ndaries around the same time? Or could I be interviewing and hopefully being accepted before even getting secondaries from other schools? This way I could withdraw from a bunch of schools I'm not crazy about before even filling out their secondaries?
 

Pedsbro

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While I do like the idea of being badass, the cost is nuts... Quick question. Do schools send out 2ndaries around the same time? Or could I be interviewing and hopefully being accepted before even getting secondaries from other schools? This way I could withdraw from a bunch of schools I'm not crazy about before even filling out their secondaries?
Some schools still screen their primary application before sending out a secondary, that is, you won't automatically get one just for applying. So those schools may send you secondaries much later than schools that automatically send you one (which is the majority of med schools). Most send you the links to their secondary apps almost immediately upon receiving your AMCAS, so yes, most of them will send at the same time, but not all. It's very possible to at least be interviewing before getting the last of your secondaries from schools that screen the primary apps. Less likely to already have an acceptance, but still possible if a school is really dragging their feet with the screening (i.e., some of the Univ of California schools)
 

BigRedPremed

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While I do like the idea of being badass, the cost is nuts... Quick question. Do schools send out 2ndaries around the same time? Or could I be interviewing and hopefully being accepted before even getting secondaries from other schools? This way I could withdraw from a bunch of schools I'm not crazy about before even filling out their secondaries?
I'm a CA resident and applied to around 26 schools.

It's probably unlikely that you will be able to decline secondaries. Generally, most secondaries (if you apply early) will come from early June to mid-August. Most interviews take place from late August onwards and acceptances will not be released until mid-October at the earliest. The strategy is to do every interview until you have the acceptance in-hand and then start declining interviews. I did 10 interviews before I declined my first interview invite.
 

Artimacia

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Does anyone have an ideal about instate in Florida? (i.e. The ability of getting into a state school like how CA schools are strict and CA students have to apply to a lot of schools)
 

dienekes88

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I would apply to as many schools as your credit card can handle.

It's not an "efficient" use of your money, but it'll give you the best shot of actually scoring an acceptance.

What's the average GPA of students accepted to medical school from your college?
 

mdgator

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Does anyone have an ideal about instate in Florida? (i.e. The ability of getting into a state school like how CA schools are strict and CA students have to apply to a lot of schools)
Florida was already a pretty good state to be a resident of for med school purposes, even before the two new schools open in 2009.

UF, USF, Miami, and FSU all accept Fl residents almost exclusively. (Don't quote me on Miami, but I'm pretty sure.) All are very good schools, despite FSU being fairly new. UF and Miami can be pretty competitive to get into, with USF slightly less so, IMO. If you have decent stats, FSU is pretty easy to get into, although they are more concerned with "fit" than stats. Even with just these schools to pick from, it's pretty nice to be a FL resident.

As you probably know, UCF and FIU are opening up for 2009. I don't know much about these schools, but I know that having them in FL only increases an applicants chances. Don't assume that just because they're new, they'll not be very good schools. Also, don't assume they'll be easy to get into. I think each will only have something like 40 slots in the opening class. UCF, according to one report I heard, will be open to applicants from all over the US, not just Florida. (I would suspect, however, that it will give at least some preference to FL residents, since it receives state funding.) Another factor that will likely make UCF very competitive is the fact that their entire first class will receive full-ride scholarships. (Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.) So yeah, I would say that FL is right up there with Texas and probably New York as far as being a great state for pre-meds.
 

Pedsbro

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Does anyone have an ideal about instate in Florida? (i.e. The ability of getting into a state school like how CA schools are strict and CA students have to apply to a lot of schools)
All I can say is that a Florida resident has a better chance of getting into an FL school than a Cali resident has trying to get into a Cali school...that's the truf!

Also, several FL schools take only (or close to) in-state residents (for example, Florida State Univ ONLY takes in-state).
 

Pedsbro

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Florida was already a pretty good state to be a resident of for med school purposes, even before the two new schools open in 2009.

UF, USF, Miami, and FSU all accept Fl residents almost exclusively. (Don't quote me on Miami, but I'm pretty sure.) All are very good schools, despite FSU being fairly new. UF and Miami can be pretty competitive to get into, with USF slightly less so, IMO. If you have decent stats, FSU is pretty easy to get into, although they are more concerned with "fit" than stats. Even with just these schools to pick from, it's pretty nice to be a FL resident.

As you probably know, UCF and FIU are opening up for 2009. I don't know much about these schools, but I know that having them in FL only increases an applicants chances. Don't assume that just because they're new, they'll not be very good schools. Also, don't assume they'll be easy to get into. I think each will only have something like 40 slots in the opening class. UCF, according to one report I heard, will be open to applicants from all over the US, not just Florida. (I would suspect, however, that it will give at least some preference to FL residents, since it receives state funding.) Another factor that will likely make UCF very competitive is the fact that their entire first class will receive full-ride scholarships. (Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.) So yeah, I would say that FL is right up there with Texas and probably New York as far as being a great state for pre-meds.
Miami is a private school and does not preference in-state residents...like most private schools. UCF, for their first year, will take anyone and will not show preference for FL residents from what I understand from a couple articles I've read on it. This is because those scholarships are not state funded, but privately funded. However, since it is a public school, I'm sure this will change.
 

MedGirl08

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I would try to trim it down a little bit -- maybe 20. If you get a bunch of interview invites you can decline some. Make sure you have a nice even spread, a few reaches, etc.
 

mdgator

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OP, if you are a stellar applicant in all regards, (34+ MCAT, 3.9+ GPA, research, great ECs, great letters, great interviewer, etc.), then you may be able to afford to be somewhat selective. Even in this case, I wouldn't be overly so.

However, if you are anything short of stellar, or have any possible red flags at all, then you can't be selective. The process is too cometitive. If this is the case, and there are 25 schools that you could be happy going to, then I would apply to 25 schools. I would prioritize my secondaries. As you get them, finish them ASAP. If you get several at one time, do the ones that are most important to you first. Expenses from secondaries can seem like a lot. If every school has a $100 dollar fee, (and some will probably have less), then that's 2500 bucks on secondaries alone. However, in the big scheme of things, this is not that much. You're likely about to go $200K+ in debt, if you have any doubts about your chances of being accepted, then just look at the $2K or whatever it is as a drop in the hat.

Luckily, you will not have to pay for 25 round-trip plane tickets. Even if you are a flawless applicant, you will not get an interview to every school you apply to. In addition, if you begin to get several interview invitations, you may be able to start being selective about which schools you do interview at. Statistically, you will probably get into close to 1/2 the schools you interview at if your stats are pretty competitive at said schools. So later in the cycle, after you've already secured a number of interviews, and especially after you've had some good interviews and/or acceptances behind you, you may start to weed out some of the schools that are lower on your list if they invite you to interview. Heck, you may even get lucky and be accepted to one of your top choices by October or November.

This is a crazy process, and many very qualified people don't cut it the first time. Do what you can to maximize your chances.
 

mdgator

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Miami is a private school and does not preference in-state residents...like most private schools. UCF, for their first year, will take anyone and will not show preference for FL residents from what I understand from a couple articles I've read on it. This is because those scholarships are not state funded, but privately funded. However, since it is a public school, I'm sure this will change.
I was doubting myself about Miami, so I double-checked. Actually, it does give preference to FL residents, despite being a private school. (http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,2600-1;14190-2;37951-3,00.html)

The reason is, it is subsidized for each FL resident that matriculates.
 

mdgator

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Also, FSU actually did open up to OOS students for the first time this year, although they still give overwhelming preference to FL residents.

Sorry for temporarily turning this into a FL thread, guys. I'm done now.
 

ufgrad00

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Miami is a private school and does not preference in-state residents...like most private schools. UCF, for their first year, will take anyone and will not show preference for FL residents from what I understand from a couple articles I've read on it. This is because those scholarships are not state funded, but privately funded. However, since it is a public school, I'm sure this will change.
Miami does show state preference. In fact, out of state residents pay 39K in tuition as opposed to 30K for in-state tuition. The school is partially state-supported and for this reason shows prefence for in-state applicants. They are now accepting approx a third or so of the class from out of state residents, and because the admission standards are higher for OOS students, many of them also receive merit scholarships. However, because of the new med schools, FIU and UCF, Miami will begin accepting even more OOS applicants, since there will be more in-state seats after a few years.

I also understand the opposite about UCF in that they will take OOS applications, but will show strong in-state preference. The scholarships are 160K for all 4 years, divided into 40 K a year with 20K going to the student as a living expenses stipend. The other 20K is used to pay the tuition, which is pretty close to the other state schools annual tuition. UF and USF are around 22K and FSU is less than 20K (but will rise in the next couple years.)
 

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I was doubting myself about Miami, so I double-checked. Actually, it does give preference to FL residents, despite being a private school. (http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,2600-1;14190-2;37951-3,00.html)

The reason is, it is subsidized for each FL resident that matriculates.
Ah OK, interesting. They take up to 35 non-residents a year...which isn't bad. Another good point was brought up....don't let cost be the reason to limit the number of schools. Seriously...when you're talking about over $100K in debt...what's an extra $1000 or $2000? You, like everyone else, will eventually pay it back. Cast a wide net and get as many interviews as you can.
 

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Secondaries generally come out on the early side (I applied in June and had all of my secondaries by around late August) so the expense is hard to avoid. That's a shame since some schools have secondaries that literally consist of an identifying information section and instructions for fee payment. One went as far as to request additional money (on top of the AMCAS fee) to screen my primary before they considered me for a secondary. I prioritized my secondaries since there were so many, and did not have them all in until October, when I got my first acceptance. So I was able to save some dough and skip out on an few apps from schools I was on the fence about.

It is much more realistic to save on interviews, as chances are if you are a strong and lucky applicant you will have a first acceptance by the time some interview offers start to come in. This is nice though, as you can save large amounts of travel money by declining unnecessary interviews.
 

Artimacia

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Haha sorry to OP i didnt mean this to turn into a bit of a FL thread but thanks for the replies. I wont be applying for 2 years but this helps a lot :)
 
OP
Dr. Geoff

Dr. Geoff

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Hakuna matata bwana!
 

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checking out your stats, they look the same as mine....

knowing about some cali schools, you might want to add UC Davis. having that peace corps experience might make you seem interesting to them bc they like community peeps (rural medicine)...

if i were you, i'd take off georgetown...its crazy expensive and its a far shot. your other schools look good...dont really know about case

in the end, i hear from a lot of successful applicants and doctors that its a random process...

good luck
 

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I think applying to about 15-20 schools is ok. But you should choose wisely, and apply broadly. Good luck.
 

CuyahogaMD2B

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I have chosen 15 or so schools that I definitely want to go to. I have a couple of reach schools in addition. The thing that will keep me from applying to more schools will be those expensive secondary applications. All of my advisors have recommended at least 15 schools with most of my buddies applying to 20.
 

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Isn't it also possible to space out your interviews? So if one does apply to multiple schools, as interviews come in, they can make the interviews to schools higher on their list sooner while others latter, this way also if they do hopefully get in to their school of choice, they can cancel the other interviews.
 

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I plan on basing the # of schools I apply to on how much I can afford to spend on the process.
 

Jolie South

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Isn't it also possible to space out your interviews? So if one does apply to multiple schools, as interviews come in, they can make the interviews to schools higher on their list sooner while others latter, this way also if they do hopefully get in to their school of choice, they can cancel the other interviews.
i suppose it's possible, but seriously it's so exhausting that you'll just want interviews to be over. i would have hated stretching it out over months. i'm glad that i packed all my interviews into a month and a half.