Is it ok to do few years of undergrad at community college?

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Agent47

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I can't afford university right now so i'm just taking some of my pre req at Oakland Community college. I was curious if this will hunt me down when I apply to Med school. So far it has been only one semester at OCC...In win semster right now. I'm going to appy to Univ. next fall. Needs help to figure out what i should do? Should I just transfer now or wait for next fall.
 

carn311

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I did two years at CC and have two acceptances. It not only can be done but with all the money I saved I wouldn't do it any other way.
 

notdeadyet

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I can't afford university right now so i'm just taking some of my pre req at Oakland Community college. I was curious if this will hunt me down when I apply to Med school. So far it has been only one semester at OCC...In win semster right now. I'm going to appy to Univ. next fall. Needs help to figure out what i should do? Should I just transfer now or wait for next fall.
Transfer whenever you can transfer. Since you're not staying for long, I'd recommend not taking all your prereqs at the JC.

JC prejudice exists mostly amongst premeds. I went to a JC for the equivalent of two years and it's never been mentioned.

That said, as some adcoms may view JCs as less challenging, if you have the option of taking you science courses at the 4 year uni instead, I'd do that.

But don't sweat it.
 
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Agent47

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Thank you guys I appreciate your response...One more thing ...Do they look at my Community college's transcript for how I did? becasue when u transfer your grades dont transfer. I'm just going to take Math and some other pol and govt classes. Take Science at UNIV.

Thanks for your response again
 

notdeadyet

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Do they look at my Community college's transcript for how I did? becasue when u transfer your grades dont transfer.
When you apply, you need to send in transcripts from every college you attended (including community college). So the med schools will see your grades.
 
W

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Go where ever you can learn the material the best. If you impress them on the MCAT, then you will have their attention. If you post bad grades at a cc and then blow the MCAT, you're screwed.
 

Winged Scapula

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Agreed - in the real world (ie, non pre-med world), no one cares if you do your prereqs at a CC. Its Urban Legend that its looked down upon, or rather, just old "conventional wisdom".

Heck, many faculty are putting their own children through college and probably wishing they took the less expensive CC route themselves.

IMHO, don't worry about it (but yes, you will have to send your transcripts from the CC in).
 

OncoCaP

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One issue that you could run into is if the school that you transfer to doesn't recognize some of your classes as 'acceptable' pre-med elective (or core) classes, they may require that you to take those classes over again before you can take courses further along the sequence or before the health professions office will 'recommend' you as having met all their requirements. In other words, you may want to check with the school you are going to transfer to in order to make sure you are not wasting your time taking classes that you will need to repeat anyway or that will otherwise not count toward school requirements. I know that the school I went to was very strict about CC courses and there were very few that they considered 'acceptable' (none of the science courses were -- only history and maybe some lower-division English; I'm unsure of the details).
 

DrewFromVA

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I too did the CC thing. Took Bio and G. Chem there and Orgo and Phys at the university I transfered to. I also went to a small, non-accredited school for a year, and sat out a semester, and ended up at a no name state school. College took me 'bout 6.5 years, but I did well throughout. None of that seemed to matter much to those interviewing me, and I'm currently (mostly) enjoying my first year at EVMS. Do well wherever you are, and you'll be ok.
 
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Instatewaiter

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This is from the VCU FAQ section on their web page:

Q) Are community college classes accepted as prerequisite course credit?

A) They may be; but the Admissions Committee generally expects students to complete all prerequisite courses at a 4-year undergraduate institution.
 

mshheaddoc

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This is from the VCU FAQ section on their web page:

Q) Are community college classes accepted as prerequisite course credit?

A) They may be; but the Admissions Committee generally expects students to complete all prerequisite courses at a 4-year undergraduate institution.
That doesn't say they won't accept them just prefer from a 4-year.

I think most that do their pre-reqs at a CC end up doing upper level work at a 4 year unversity anyway so that reinforces their transcript where the uncertainty of a CC is. I'm really surprised VCU would have that with the amount of CC's in the area too ...
 

Fiddlergirl

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I think it partly depends on how long you stay at the CC and what you major in at the 4-year school. I got an Associate's Degree from my local CC and took Gen Chem and Bio there, but majored in a science at my 4-year. I haven't applied yet, but the admissions people I've talked to say I won't have a problem. Of course, it also depends on the MCAT.
 

notdeadyet

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That doesn't say they won't accept them just prefer from a 4-year.
Exactly. This is why I find the SDN Myth #23 (Many med schools don't accept community college prereqs) so irritating.

Schools prefer prereqs be done at a four year? Correct. Schools also prefer prereqs be done at top ranked schools. But don't sweat it if you do it sub-ivy or even at a junior college.
 

Instatewaiter

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This is from the VCU FAQ section on their web page:
Q) Are community college classes accepted as prerequisite course credit?
A) They may be; but the Admissions Committee generally expects students to complete all prerequisite courses at a 4-year undergraduate institution.

Honestly this is probably the strongest stance VCU could have taken for something posted on their website. I read this as saying that you are sh!t out of luck if you took your pre-recs at a CC.

I'm really surprised VCU would have that with the amount of CC's in the area too ...

It is weird. There are 2 large CCs in Richmond alone (where VCU is), and each has multiple campuses around the city. Honestly there is a pretty big stigma in Va concerning CCs. For example, Va recently instituted a policy that if you maintain a 3.5 from a CC for 2 years you are automatically accepted as a transfer student to UVa or William and Mary. People in Va were really pissed off about this.

In terms of schools accepting CC credits, I feel it really depends on 2 things, the med school's location and the applicant's situation

Some states make little or no distinction between CC's and Universities. I have been told California makes basically no distinction (which is strange since Cali schools are so hard to get into) while schools in other states may make a larger, more negative distinction.

Also, I feel applicant's situation is taken into account. If the applicant begins at a CC and works his/her way up to a 4yr college those CC classes can be a positive thing, especially if the applicant excels in the 4yr college. Now if the applicant goes to a 4yr college and decides to take some prerecs at a CC over the summer for an 'easier' grade, that will prolly not look very good.
 

Guile

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I sat in on a Q & A session at a top 10 school (prior to applying) and someone asked if it mattered if one attended a CC for 2 years and transferred to a four-year school, and the adcom member said that it would not hurt him.
 

instigata

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I sat in on a Q & A session at a top 10 school (prior to applying) and someone asked if it mattered if one attended a CC for 2 years and transferred to a four-year school, and the adcom member said that it would not hurt him.

I personally think it should be fine, but I too sat in on a Q & A session at a top (let's say umm...14) school and they said in a very direct way that it is not recommended. They also said anything >2 years is frowned upon. Take it is you may. Of course people like Notdeadyet have received invites from some pretty highly ranked schools :thumbup:
 

Ladyfingers

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Name one.

I was a little worried about this when I applied last year and I called a few schools. The only one that said anything was Boston and they weren't very nice. They said they would not accept CC coursework as prereqs. I didn't get into detail with them since I figured it wasn't worth it.

I took all G. chem, lower div biology, all English, all social science, and some physics at a community college and I received interviews at nearly every school I applied to and acceptances at 2 (possibly 3, still waiting for the end of this month) of the 4 schools I have interviewed at (after an initial acceptance I cancelled a number of interviews). You will be fine.
 

KELA

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Someone mentioned that it is ok if you had a good gpa from a cc. Well what if you don't have a great gpa but there is a very, very strong upward trend and the grades you get at the university are even better?

I ran into the credits transfering issue when I switched to a university. Everything transfered over just fine but none of my science classes were worth anything towards my major so I still had 4 years to go after transfering. Still make sure your gen eds will transfer or you may still be stuck for 4 more years.
 
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paranoid_eyes

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i think (and im not even sure if this is true) that most premeds think that if you start at a 4 year university and take your prereqs over the summer at a JC, that it looks bad. This kinda makes sense, especially if you're a non-science major. But if you start out at a CC, then by all means take your prereqs if you need to. remember the MCAT is the great equalizer.
 

cgscribe

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I think it really depends where you want to go. I think community college classes will be fine for most schools, but if you're hoping to compete at the "top tier," you're better off saving the prereqs for a 4-year school and completing the other GE's while at community. Also, you had better ace any science classes you take at the CC because (probably unfairly), they're going to assume they're easier than at a university.
 

MedStudentWanna

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I was a little worried about this when I applied last year and I called a few schools. The only one that said anything was Boston and they weren't very nice. They said they would not accept CC coursework as prereqs. I didn't get into detail with them since I figured it wasn't worth it.

Do you remember who you spoke to? I called Boston as well and explained my situation (non-trad who graduated and worked for several years and now wants to go back to get my sciences, but can't afford a 4-year-school because I'm considered out-of-state) and he said it was fine and that the CC warning only applies to students who are enrolled in a 4-year-school and take their sciences at a CC at the same time. He said that looks like they're trying to take the easy way out.
 

PugMD

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That's very true. Now comes the question, how do people who took their pre-reqs at CC perform on the MCAT? Anybody have stats on this?

I'd be interested in these statistics if someone comes across them. I would also argue that regardless of where you take your prereqs, your performance on the MCAT will depend most heavily on your motivation for success. A lazy pre-med at a four year University isn't going to hold a candle to a motivated student with Highschool level pre-reqs and a well developed study regimen.
 

notdeadyet

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...and he said it was fine and that the CC warning only applies to students who are enrolled in a 4-year-school and take their sciences at a CC at the same time. He said that looks like they're trying to take the easy way out.
This is true. I spoke with Boston U about this and received the same answer (Boston U is the one folks on SDN always throw out there as "not accepting" CC credit for prereqs)
 

Guile

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I personally think it should be fine, but I too sat in on a Q & A session at a top (let's say umm...14) school and they said in a very direct way that it is not recommended. They also said anything >2 years is frowned upon. Take it is you may. Of course people like Notdeadyet have received invites from some pretty highly ranked schools :thumbup:
This school was also pretty adamant about being clear that where you go for undergrad didn't matter. It was like nothing mattered to them--just do well wherever you go and whatever you do. Now what happens behind closed doors in the admissions office might be an entirely different story.

Like someone else mentioned, it does look bad if you don't take your pre-reqs at your 4-year university. So don't take orgo at your easy CC at home over the summer to boost the GPA.
 

Fiddlergirl

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University of North Carolina. I emailed their admissions office and the lady wrote back and said CC pre-req's were not accepted.

I guess I'll just have to apply to a school that accepts CC pre-reqs. Like UVa, Bethesda, EVMS...
 

jaboyak

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I REALLY want to believe that it has little or no bearing on your admission, but I have a really hard time. It would save a TON of money, too...grrrr.
 

Lyricist

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I don't have any hard evidence one way or another, but one of my med school classmates did her first two years (including many pre-reqs) at a community college and she didn't have any problems.
 

Funky

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you'll just have to destroy the mcat to shut up all the doubters. show them that CC education is a substitute, not a step down.
 

Ladyfingers

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Do you remember who you spoke to? I called Boston as well and explained my situation (non-trad who graduated and worked for several years and now wants to go back to get my sciences, but can't afford a 4-year-school because I'm considered out-of-state) and he said it was fine and that the CC warning only applies to students who are enrolled in a 4-year-school and take their sciences at a CC at the same time. He said that looks like they're trying to take the easy way out.

Nah, I don't remember. It was like a year ago or so. I am not sure if I specifically said that I transferred or not. However, I really don't see a big difference whether someone transferred, took some courses during the summer, or after they finished their degree. I thought it was rather rude that they flat out said no, but oh well. I got over it super quick and it just meant I wasn't applying there. Eh, it worked out just fine anyways.
 
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