Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

How many schools?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Cameron, Nov 4, 1999.

  1. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1999
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Are schools notified as to how many other schools an applicant applied to? Does it look bad if you apply to a LOT of schools? If I apply to 15-18 schools (applying next summer) could it hurt my chances? If I don't get into my state school (Utah) I wan't to maximize my chances that I'll get in somewhere. Is there any sort of consensus as to how many is "overkill"? Any comments would be appreciated.
     
  2. RDO

    RDO Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 1999
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I know, 15-18 schools sounds pretty standard. I originally applied to 22, cut it to 15. I now wish I'd only applied to about 8 or 10. It costs a lot to apply and if you know where you definitely want to go, there's no reason to apply elsewhere if you are a decent candidate. Having visited schools, I know I definitely am more interested in osteopathic schools and I know I want to get out of NYC. Knowing that beforehand would have made me much more efficient by applying to different schools (and less of them) than I already have.

    As far as schools knowing where else you applied, that's a good question. There's probably some way they can find out if they really want to, but, in my experience, they just ask you where you have applied in the interview anyway. I think it's pretty terrible when they do that, especially for me because I applied to more schools that I'm not interested in than those that I am. This always raises more questions and interviews always become a big mess. I don't think they hold it against me, though.

    My point: if you have 15-18 schools you think you like, research them like hell, talk to people, but most importantly, visit if you can. I think that med schools are interested in where else you applied and why, but overkill is common and I don't think they'll hold it against you. 15-18 is not overkill.

    -RDO
     
  3. The Ween

    The Ween Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 1999
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I applied to 34 schools this year. I know, that was probably overkill. I didn't have time to research many of the schools beforehand, and I felt a bit insecure about my chances at some schools.

    I've had two interviewers ask where else I applied. Both laughed at my answer, saying I must have spent a fortune and so much time on secondaries (which I did). I got accepted to both schools, so I guess they didn't hold it against me.

    Bottom line, I agree with the above poster to do as much research as possible before applying to save you money. If you do apply to a bazillion schools like me, I don't think you need to worry about the impression it will make.
     
  4. Beepo

    Beepo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 1999
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that the number of schools to apply to depends on your GPA, MCAT scores, and personal experience. A friend of mine applied to 11 schools. I personally thought that this was a high number. He shelled out quite a bit of money to do this and He has already been accepted to a few of his first choices, so all of the others are just money wasted. However, he did not have a great GPA and only average MCAT, so for him to feel confident to get in, 11 was the number for him.

    I only applied to 6 schools. I will admit that this is a low number, but I did a lot of researching on the different schools, and there were only 6 that I really wanted to apply to. I would really rather wait until next year and apply early to my top choice if I don't get in this year, than get accepted to a school that I don't want to go too. However, I feel very confident in my GPA and experiences, even though mabye not so much in my MCAT [​IMG], so I think that I will get in this year.
     
  5. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1999
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Beepo,
    Good points.. It's hard for me to know how many I need to apply to given the strengths/weaknesses in my application. My science GPA is below the average of most schools, however, my MCAT is well above the average (of those accepted).
    I can see how it would be annoying (and expensive) to apply to a lot of schools only to remove applications from many of them after getting into one of your top choices. On the other hand, I'm afraid I won't be maximizing my chances if I apply to too few.
    What are the AAMC fees for schools? I know that the price per school goes down if you apply to more schools but don't know the details (I haven't applied yet). What's a standard secondary fee? $50-100?
     
  6. gp

    gp Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 1999
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Applying to lots of schools with a scattershot approach will likely cost lots of money and require lots of time (especially as those secondary apps pile up) without giving you a better chance at any one of the schools. It would be better to decide what is important to you and find a few schools of varying difficulty to get into that are a good match with your interests. Think about where you want to live, where you'll have outside support (friends and family), what your interests are and whether a school is strong in those areas, what the student body is like, what kind of patient population you'll have access to, to name a few. The schools do differ widely from one another. It will also help you in interviews to be able to tell x school why you are a good fit with their program.
     
  7. Cameron

    Cameron Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1999
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    What's the best way to get accurate information about a school? I've browsed through the MSAR book that is published yearly by AAMC, however, after a while all the descriptions begin to sound the same.
    I suppose contacting the schools directly and asking for information would be the best approach. ? I don't think it's going to be hard to get detailed information on schools, it's just hard for me to decide which schools I want to look into. "Filtering" through all of the schools can be intimidating.
    How have other people narrowed down their list from the 120+ accredited med. schools in the US?
     
  8. Mayqswet

    Mayqswet Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 1999
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Applying can be an expensive and time consuming task. However, considering all the effort you put in during 4 years of undergraduate, studying for the MCAT, getting letters, etc, applying to only a few schools to save a few hundred extra dollars is short sighted at best.

    I can think of no better way I'd like to invest my money than to help me secure an acceptance to medical school. So what if The Beepo's friend spent more money than needed to get in. At least he/she got accepted and will be going to school next year. If they had only applied to a few schools, and didn't get in, that's one more year of not making $120,000 (avearage MD salary). The money spent on extra applications/interviews will amount to maybe week or two of pay.

    Money spent on getting into medical school is never wasted. The admissions process is too unpredictable. Students that are "gaurenteed" to make it often times don't and then end up getting in somewhere they never expected. Sure, you should research schools and focus on the ones that interest you most. But in the end, your main goal is to go get that degree. Remember, medical school is only 1/2 your education. Your residency/fellowship is where you really develop your skills, attitudes and reputation.

    ------------------
    Phillip
    Class of 2004 (somewhere)
    Happiness isn't having what you want, it is wanting what you have.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

     
  9. gp

    gp Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 1999
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of the most difficult things for me in this process was getting a handle on what the schools were really like. Most resources available are based on information provided by the schools themselves or on numbers that don't really give you a good sense of what it's like to be a student there. There are two books with more descriptive information about the schools, based on student input: Peterson's guide and the Princeton Review guide. Also, look closely at the school's mission statement. Much can be said in that one or two sentences.

    Does your school have a pre-med advising office? Often alumni are available to current students to answer exactly the types of questions you have about the schools.

    Try your best to get to visit at least the schools that are close to you outside of the interview day (I think at least a year prior to applying - some schools are reluctant to arrange this if you are an active applicant). The schools are all trying to put their best foot forward on that day, and you will be under some pressure yourself, so it may be difficult to get all of the information you need then.

    As someone breathing a sigh of relief and looking forward to next year, I know you have a difficult path ahead. Good luck to you.

     

Share This Page