hypnix

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2008
492
4
Status
Medical Student
Hi guys,

I have an average GPA (upper 3.4) and a 29R on the MCAT. Besides state schools, how do you guys pick other schools to apply to? I have a copy of the MSAR from last year and it seems like all state schools favor residents. Thanks!
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
61
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
In rough order of importance, here's how I made my first schools cuts after I got the schools I really wanted to apply to out of the way:

1. average GPA/MCAT
2. percentage of OOS applicants interviewed
3. number of applicants

I wasn't too concerned with location or teaching style, so your process may vary.
 

fireflygirl

The Ultimate Blindian
10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
888
21
Philadelphia
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think Milkman gave you some good tips. I also sat down with my pre-med advisor to get a sense of what strengths my application had that certain schools may favor, specifically since I was a non-trad.
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
4,795
9
Status
Medical Student
Hi guys,

I have an average GPA (upper 3.4) and a 29R on the MCAT. Besides state schools, how do you guys pick other schools to apply to? I have a copy of the MSAR from last year and it seems like all state schools favor residents. Thanks!
Not to nitpick, but your GPA for med school purposes (matriculant median) is well below average; your MCAT is below average, too.

Therefore, don't set an arbitrary limit of 15 schools. Depending on your state of residency, that could be too few...e.g., California.

Do not waste a lot of your time (and money) "dreaming" about Harvard and the rest of the top ranked schools. Your chances are definitely in the state school and regional/national lower tier mix of schools, mostly private and a few publics.
 
OP
H

hypnix

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2008
492
4
Status
Medical Student
Not to nitpick, but your GPA for med school purposes is well below average, as is your MCAT.

Therefore, don't set an arbitrary limit of 15 schools. Depending on your state of residency, that could be too few...e.g., California.

Do not waste a lot of your time (and money) "dreaming" about Harvard and the rest of the top ranked schools. Your chances are definitely in the state school and regional/national lower tier mix of schools, mostly private and a few publics.
Wow, I had no idea I was well below average. Are you suggesting I retake it?
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
4,795
9
Status
Medical Student
Wow, I had no idea I was well below average. Are you suggesting I retake it?
Average matriculant MCAT is around 31+ now, I believe. Definitely above 30. (I should have been more careful in my writing - your GPA is "well" below...your MCAT is "below"...I will go back and edit my post...). But being "below" in both of these is generally not a good place to be as an applicant...

As for a retake: not yet. I think you should go through a cycle with the stats you have, assuming you have everything else in order. Also, in making the decision to retake, it would matter if you had been scoring higher on practice tests than your actual, or if there were extenuating circumstances that resulted in your getting a lower score than you were expecting, such as poor prep, short prep time, etc.
 

Carlin

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2006
424
63
32
Status
Attending Physician
Wow, I had no idea I was well below average. Are you suggesting I retake it?
With a 29, it is certainly possible to get into a medical school, so you don't need to retake it. You just need to focus on the schools you're likely to be accepted into. Check the MSAR to find the schools that have MCATs and GPAs in your range. A few that you might look into are: Rosalind Franklin, Creighton, Temple, and of course any and all of your state schools.

Best of luck!!
 
OP
H

hypnix

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2008
492
4
Status
Medical Student
Stinks that the average score keeps going up. Aren't more spots being created too?
 

xcgirl

Psych
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2006
307
1
mid-atlantic somewhere
Status
Pre-Medical
As someone with a low gpa, some of the best advice I was given is to apply to schools not on the two coasts. Look into schools in the Midwest/South as they tend to get fewer applicants. Schools that get fewer applicants are more likely to really read your application and not just screen based on numbers.

I am ending up at a school where the average gpa is .5 above mine (Vanderbilt), but because they only get 4,000 applications/year, they took the time to see the full picture. Schools with numbers that are closer to mine (BU, Temple, etc) never took the time to interview me because they're in desirable locations and can afford to screen applicants first based on numbers.

Disclaimer: they may have not accepted me for other reasons, but schools that get fewer applications really do give you a better shot.
 
OP
H

hypnix

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2008
492
4
Status
Medical Student
As someone with a low gpa, some of the best advice I was given is to apply to schools not on the two coasts. Look into schools in the Midwest/South as they tend to get fewer applicants. Schools that get fewer applicants are more likely to really read your application and not just screen based on numbers.

I am ending up at a school where the average gpa is .5 above mine (Vanderbilt), but because they only get 4,000 applications/year, they took the time to see the full picture. Schools with numbers that are closer to mine (BU, Temple, etc) never took the time to interview me because they're in desirable locations and can afford to screen applicants first based on numbers.

Disclaimer: they may have not accepted me for other reasons, but schools that get fewer applications really do give you a better shot.
I will look into Vanderbilt. I thought they were one of the top schools so they wouldnt give me a look. Congrats on Vandy! That's a great UG and I'm sure it's a great med school as well.