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i'll give you a cookie if you give me advice...

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by dw2158, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. dw2158

    2+ Year Member

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    I guess I'll just dive right in. I graduated from college in May of this year with a 3.85 cumulative and a 3.84 science GPA. I majored in biochem and minored in dance. I had some pretty serious personal stuff going on during my junior year and wound up getting a handful of B+'s (which I know is no biggie) but without that year my GPA would be nearly 4.0. I plan on addressing those goings-on in my PS or elsewhere in my application. MCAT was 13PS 12BS 10VR Q. Not quite what I'd dreamed of, but I'm not going to risk it and take it again!

    For ECs I have LOTS of volunteering: taught conflict resolution to 5th graders in Harlem for a year, then taught health classes to 9th graders in NYC public schools for 3 years. I was also active in my school's environmental group and in lots of random Jewish stuff on campus. I danced with two different troupes and was artistic director of one. I've TAed intro biology and chemistry labs and lectures and I've tutored individual students in these subjects. I did research for a summer at Dana-Farber in Boston in a melanoma lab and ended up getting published, which was exciting :) I also did research on enzyme kinetics in a lab at school for my senior project. I've done some shadowing, both with my PI from Dana-Farber (he is a pediatric oncologist) and with an endocrinologist this past summer.

    The plan is to take a total of two years off (apply for fall 2010). Right now I'm doing a one-year service program so I'm working full time for a non-profit doing Medicaid advocacy for people with mental illness (and I lovelovelove it). I think the major weakness in my app is lack of clinical experience, which I'm working on getting some more of this year. Any other gaping holes you guys see?

    Here's my tentative list of schools:
    Columbia
    Cornell
    Einstein
    NYU
    Mt. Sinai
    Downstate (can you tell I'm desperate to stay in NYC? :oops:)
    NYMC
    UMass
    Tufts
    Harvard
    BU
    Penn
    Yale
    UVM
    and maybe UMD, UCONN, Stony Brook, UMDNJ... I don't know.

    I'm also struggling with whether I should apply as a MA (where I grew up) or a NY (where I went to school and where I live now) resident.

    Sorry for the long post! Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
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  3. flip26

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    You usually don't really have an option of choosing a state for residency. You either meet the test for a state, or you don't. Usually it is the state you last lived in (with your parents) prior to attending college, unless you take proactive steps during college to establish residency in the new state, or unless you remain post graduation and get a job, pay taxes, register to vote, get a DL, buy property, etc...also, are you still claimed as a financial dependent on your parents' income tax? That would tend to establish you as an MA resident until you break that bond...

    The only reason to claim MA residency would be for UMass, right? You don't really think you will have to resort to attending UMass, do you? Seems like you would get much more "bang for the buck" as a NY resident for the state schools there...

    Do NOT address anything negative in your PS, not that you should feel the need to explain a 3.8X GPA anyway. Focus on the positives in your PS - focus on your motivations and what you have done to test your interest in medicine - leave out the "excuses" and if asked directly for that sort of thing in a separate short answer essay on a secondary, use it then...
     
  4. dw2158

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    I am no longer a dependent of my parents. I'm working full time and paying taxes in NY. I'm also registered to vote there, although I originally registered in MA. I've been told I could claim residency in one and "strong ties" in the other... is this true?
     
  5. flip26

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    My guess is that you are a de facto NY resident and will have no problem claiming it, and you might even be able to reclaim the MA residency, but of course you can only claim one or the other on AMCAS, so be careful...I don't think that being able to claim "strong ties" amounts to much of an advantage anywhere, frankly, but you clearly could claim such a thing for MA since you grew up there - however, what is the likelihood you would attend UMass in the first place, especially if you are not granted instate status for tuition?

    You are going to be covered up with acceptances. Unless you have some perverse desire to attend UMass over all the other schools on your list, I would not worry about the residency issue...
     
  6. dw2158

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    Thanks for your input!
     
  7. Mobius1985

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    I completely agree with this. You'll have a very solid application with all the bases covered, and the drop in your GPA is a non-issue, since the cGPA is still well above average. If you're asked about the GPA dip during that one semester, have the explanation ready, but don't volunteer it. I expect you to have a very successful application season.
     
  8. batman1983

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    I think you are golden for med school; just remember to apply early. As for your residency status, if I were you, I would keep MA. NY takes lots of OOS and does take into consideration ties to the state. I was in a similar situation as you, where I lived and worked in NY, but declared CA as my state residency. Yet, I was able to get invites from all the NY state schools I applied to with way lower stats(3.6 GPA and 34 MCAT in my previous profiles). Plus, NY is relatively relax with gaining state residency, and with your situation(where you attended school and currently work in NY), if you do get into a SUNY as OOS, you can always declare NY residency and get in instate tuition for all 4 yrs.

    As for "safety" schools in Northeast, I would recommend Stony Brook, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Temple. Im not so sure about Robert Wood though(unless you have ties to New Jersey).
     
  9. dw2158

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    thanks, batman. that was really helpful :thumbup:
     
  10. Mobius1985

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    So is that cookie coming anytime soon?
     
  11. dw2158

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  12. Mobius1985

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    Nicely done! I get a sugar high just looking at them (and a lot less calories).
     

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