petit_haricot

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It's been 8-10 weeks since I've completed my apps and I have heard nothing from my schools yet (no rejections, but also no interviews). So far I've been trying to stay patient and positive, but now that it's October I'm really beginning to worry that something might be wrong. Could anyone offer advice/insight as to what might be going on?

Background:
CA applicant, undergrad at a UC, ORM. Currently taking a gap year.
GPA 3.7, MCAT 37 (a retake-- first score was 31)
ECs are standard fare. Plenty of clinical and non clinical volunteering, varied work experience, research (currently full time job in a lab). LORs good, and personal statement strong as well (unique family situation).

Applied to 15 schools, received secondaries from all as well as a LOR request from Mayo. Finished all secondaries within 2 weeks, complete throughout end of July/beginning of August. (dates complete below)

Columbia 7/21
Duke 7/21
Rochester 7/21
USC 7/22
Jefferson 7/24
UCD 7/29
Brown 7/29
UCLA 7/30
Mayo 7/30 (LORs received)
Case Western 7/31
Mt. Sinai 8/1
UCI 8/2
UCSD 8/3
Stanford 8/4
UCSF 8/10

-worrying below, sorry-

Should I have applied to more schools? Is it too late now to add? I thought my list was well-selected, as I didn't think slapping on an extra ten schools with poorer fit would have been beneficial. I'm really trying to stay in CA for personal/family reasons.

Potential red flags: I have an F on my transcript, but I retook the class and received an A. I did not address it anywhere in my app unless it was requested (UC Davis).

My 37 MCAT is a retake of an earlier 31, so maybe my list is too top-heavy? I called the schools individually and almost all of them consider the most recent score most heavily (there are two schools that average the scores-- for me, that comes out to an MCAT of 34, which is still solid; I'd have a LizzyM of 71).

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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LuluLovesMe

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Your list is pretty top heavy. You should have applied to a few more mid-low tier ones to be safe. It is still relatively early in the cycle though
 
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piii

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Too too heavy :/

Targets:
Rochester
USC
Jefferson
UCD
UCLA
Case Western
UCI
UCSD

But even the UC schools are low yield due to California competition

Low yield/reach:
Columbia
Duke
Stanford
UCSF
Mt. Sinai
Mayo
Brown - high % selection for brown undergrads

The problem is you have too few targets and no safeties.
 
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yeah, like the other two posters said, i think you haven't heard back from any schools yet because you applied to a bunch of very competitive programs. You'll probably hear back from schools soon though. I guess it wouldn't hurt to add one or two schools right now where your stats are well above the median for each school to feel more confident? idk

i don't think there's anything wrong with your applications. i think it's still too early to be stressing out, so just keep being patient!!!!!! :)
 

Evolver

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We're pretty similar. CA, ORM, UC undergrad, 3.7 GPA, 37 MCAT, similar ECs. I also was complete at all schools 8-10 weeks ago. I haven't heard anything either save for 3 rejections, but I applied to 33 schools. Although it is early in the cycle and any of those schools are still a possibility, your list is extremely top heavy and really needs some more target schools. It is pretty late, but I may consider adding some more if I were you.
 

LuluLovesMe

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You really needed 5 reaches, 10 targets and 10 safeties. Instead you have 8 targets and 7 reaches.
 
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claduva94

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Also remember your Lizzy score may not be a 74 for all those scores. Some schools average. So while you may be competitive, your list is very top heavy.
 
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petit_haricot

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Thanks guys, I will be adding more realistic safeties and targets. I'll research schools on my own of course, but can anyone suggest some schools that would be good to include? At this point I just don't want to be a reapplicant!
 

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Thanks guys, I will be adding more realistic safeties and targets. I'll research schools on my own of course, but can anyone suggest some schools that would be good to include? At this point I just don't want to be a reapplicant!
Any school I'm not applying to. Make sure to let me know before you apply to any school. Thanks :)
 
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md-2020

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I don't have any additional advice that the fine posters above haven't already offered, but I want to give a shout out to your thread's tags, very clutch.
 
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Goro

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Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.

Give them time to wade through the thousands, if not tens of thousands of apps these schools get.



It's been 8-10 weeks since I've completed my apps and I have heard nothing from my schools yet (no rejections, but also no interviews). So far I've been trying to stay patient and positive, but now that it's October I'm really beginning to worry that something might be wrong. Could anyone offer advice/insight as to what might be going on?

Background:
CA applicant, undergrad at a UC, ORM. Currently taking a gap year.
GPA 3.7, MCAT 37 (a retake-- first score was 31)
ECs are standard fare. Plenty of clinical and non clinical volunteering, varied work experience, research (currently full time job in a lab). LORs good, and personal statement strong as well (unique family situation).

Applied to 15 schools, received secondaries from all as well as a LOR request from Mayo. Finished all secondaries within 2 weeks, complete throughout end of July/beginning of August. (dates complete below)

Columbia 7/21
Duke 7/21
Rochester 7/21
USC 7/22
Jefferson 7/24
UCD 7/29
Brown 7/29
UCLA 7/30
Mayo 7/30 (LORs received)
Case Western 7/31
Mt. Sinai 8/1
UCI 8/2
UCSD 8/3
Stanford 8/4
UCSF 8/10

-worrying below, sorry-

Should I have applied to more schools? Is it too late now to add? I thought my list was well-selected, as I didn't think slapping on an extra ten schools with poorer fit would have been beneficial. I'm really trying to stay in CA for personal/family reasons.

Potential red flags: I have an F on my transcript, but I retook the class and received an A. I did not address it anywhere in my app unless it was requested (UC Davis).

My 37 MCAT is a retake of an earlier 31, so maybe my list is too top-heavy? I called the schools individually and almost all of them consider the most recent score most heavily (there are two schools that average the scores-- for me, that comes out to an MCAT of 34, which is still solid; I'd have a LizzyM of 71).

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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On Eagle's Wings

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How good of a fit are you at these schools? Especially for the CA schools, which are all very competitive, I can say from experience that your whole application needs to be an almost perfect match with the school's mission and what they are looking for. I applied to only Cali schools, and I also started out with rejections before II's mostly because my application did not perfectly fit what the school wanted.

If you add more schools, you need to target your schools carefully and only apply to ones that your experiences and application fits in well with. I knew someone who had a strong application and applied all over the place, but did not get in anywhere. My analysis was that it was mostly because the person had a cookie cutter application and was not a great fit for any school due to their application and experiences being a random list of unfocused activities. So you need to make sure your activities and personal statement heavily match what the school is looking for.

ECs are standard fare. Plenty of clinical and non clinical volunteering, varied work experience, research (currently full time job in a lab). LORs good, and personal statement strong as well (unique family situation).

Applied to 15 schools, received secondaries from all as well as a LOR request from Mayo. Finished all secondaries within 2 weeks, complete throughout end of July/beginning of August. (dates complete below)

Should I have applied to more schools? Is it too late now to add? I thought my list was well-selected, as I didn't think slapping on an extra ten schools with poorer fit would have been beneficial. I'm really trying to stay in CA for personal/family reasons.

Potential red flags: I have an F on my transcript, but I retook the class and received an A. I did not address it anywhere in my app unless it was requested (UC Davis).

My 37 MCAT is a retake of an earlier 31, so maybe my list is too top-heavy? I called the schools individually and almost all of them consider the most recent score most heavily (there are two schools that average the scores-- for me, that comes out to an MCAT of 34, which is still solid; I'd have a LizzyM of 71).

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Thanks guys, I will be adding more realistic safeties and targets. I'll research schools on my own of course, but can anyone suggest some schools that would be good to include? At this point I just don't want to be a reapplicant!

I'd suggest you add Baylor and UTSW. Yes, the both strongly favor Texans, but they'd love your MCAT score and you'd love the tiny tuition and the TexMex food. Plus easy cheap flights back to CA.

And a few more upper-mid tier schools if you're feeling nervous and can spare the cash. With a 37 MCAT, I wouldn't hit the 'obvious safeties' because they'll know it.
 
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petit_haricot

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How good of a fit are you at these schools? Especially for the CA schools, which are all very competitive, I can say from experience that your whole application needs to be an almost perfect match with the school's mission and what they are looking for. I applied to only Cali schools, and I also started out with rejections before II's mostly because my application did not perfectly fit what the school wanted.

If you add more schools, you need to target your schools carefully and only apply to ones that your experiences and application fits in well with. I knew someone who had a strong application and applied all over the place, but did not get in anywhere. My analysis was that it was mostly because the person had a cookie cutter application and was not a great fit for any school due to their application and experiences being a random list of unfocused activities. So you need to make sure your activities and personal statement heavily match what the school is looking for.

Thanks, this is something I tried to pay attention when I chose my schools. For the UCs, I know that my experience working with urban/underserved groups matches very well with schools like UCLA, but not so much for UC Davis for instance. I believe I used my secondaries to tailor my app to each school, but in hindsight I probably could have been even more rigorous.

I'm looking into additional schools now but there aren't any that seem like a great fit-- they are either OOS where I have zero ties, have mission statements that don't match my app well, or have stats significantly below mine. (I don't mean to sound uppity about that last bit; I just have qualms about applying to "obvious safeties" like DokterMom wrote above. Wouldn't too big of a gap between my stats and the school's median stats make it more likely for be to be rejected in favor of more suitable applicants?) What do you guys think? I'm leaning towards waiting instead of sending out a round of panicky last-minute safety apps.
 

gonnif

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Rule 1: Take a Breath

Many schools do not ramp up to full processing until September, perhaps mid August. So while you have submitted them 8-10 weeks ago, the schools have perhaps have had be processing them for 4 to 6 weeks. I have anecdotal reports this year that there was an unusually early flood of applications, with some schools getting 25%-50% of their projected total apps in the first week of transmission. With 4,000 to 10,000 applications to compile, check for completeness, parsed out and read by adcom and evaporators, it will take a good 8-10 weeks. I also suspect that even though there are more medical school seats to handle the every increasing overall applicant pool, it has the effect of increasing total apps at each indivdual school. BTW, the total number of applicants submitted to AMCAS this year will be approaching 55,000 with total applications across schools (applicant x # of schools applied to) approaching 800,000, if not more. I think overall adcoms have gotten thru somewhere around 50% of total apps so far, maybe.
 
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Rule 1: Take a Breath

Many schools do not ramp up to full processing until September, perhaps mid August. So while you have submitted them 8-10 weeks ago, the schools have perhaps have had be processing them for 4 to 6 weeks. I have anecdotal reports this year that there was an unusually early flood of applications, with some schools getting 25%-50% of their projected total apps in the first week of transmission. .

So does this mean those that applied late have a worse chance compared to other years? :(
 

gonnif

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So does this mean those that applied late have a worse chance compared to other years? :(

Yes, most adcoms at about the 5,000th application just start shredding the rest for use at the Faculty New Year's Eve Party. I'm joking of course.

There is certainly some "structural" issues that make the odds slightly worse as there are finite interview slots and finite seats. However, even with rolling admissions, the schools spread their work and acceptance across the cycle. So are the odds of late app over early app against you? Yes. By how much? really hard to say, could be very little or more depending on the school.

The absolute answer is, it doesn't matter, You have submitted, you have no influence at this point to alter time, and things will happen as they happen. Speculating, hoping, worrying will do nothing but stress you out. This is actually the second stage of the recently proposed disorder for DSM-VI : PREMED: Psychotic Reactionary Event Manifestation Exclusionary Disorder. This stage is known as Application Submission Syndrome or ASS. People suffering from this malady have an overriding sense of powerlessness and cognitive dissonance with obsessively reviewing in minute detail of the their application and hypothetically projecting worries, scenarios, and other delusional thoughts based on rumor, innuendo, myth, and whatever other misinformation they may acquire. In short, they can make an ASS of themselves. There is no treatment that has any effectiveness as most suffering it have a temporary loss of rational reasoning. On occasion, these can lead to critical episodes which may require restraints and sedation. For further information on this see

PREMED: Psychotic Reactionary Event Manifestation Exclusionary Disorder

PISS: Post Interview Stress Syndrome
 
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Many of the schools you listed are all top-notch and you are competing with thousands of other top-notch applicants. It might take a while before they can get to your application. I know it's easier said than done, but try to be patient. Apply to more safety/target schools in the meantime
 

petit_haricot

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Do you guys think adding a few more schools at this point is too late? I would need to crank out the secondaries, but I have everything else ready to go. I'm guessing I would be complete at these additional schools mid-late October... but isn't that usually considered bottom of the pile for MD?

I know I'm freaking out @gonnif; sorry for the waves of panic. I just feel so wishy washy about what to do and stressed out that I've made a huge mistake. Couldn't even bring myself to laugh at your response above (even though it was good).

What benefit does waiting have, other than saving money?
Holding onto my money is one thing, but I'm afraid that even applying so late to safety schools will be throwing money/effort down the toilet as well.

Thinking about adding Tulane, Albany, Einstein, and U Vermont as safeties... thoughts?
 
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Holding onto my money is one thing, but I'm afraid that even applying so late to safety schools will be throwing money/effort down the toilet as well.

Thinking about adding Tulane, Albany, Einstein, and U Vermont as safeties... thoughts?

Most private schools see a "second wave" of late season applications from people who applied too narrowly or top heavy, so you certainly won't be alone if you choose to widen your net. I would add on Albany, Chicago Med, Drexel, NYMC, SLU, and Temple first. In addition to Tulane and Vermont, consider Creighton, GWU, MCW, Pitt, and Wake Forest. The latter are more competitive and some a bit regional, but in for a penny...

P.S. I have never seen Einstein and "safety" in the same sentence.
 
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piii

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Do you guys think adding a few more schools at this point is too late? I would need to crank out the secondaries, but I have everything else ready to go. I'm guessing I would be complete at these additional schools mid-late October... but isn't that usually considered bottom of the pile for MD?

I know I'm freaking out @gonnif; sorry for the waves of panic. I just feel so wishy washy about what to do and stressed out that I've made a huge mistake. Couldn't even bring myself to laugh at your response above (even though it was good).


Holding onto my money is one thing, but I'm afraid that even applying so late to safety schools will be throwing money/effort down the toilet as well.

Thinking about adding Tulane, Albany, Einstein, and U Vermont as safeties... thoughts?
Einstein and Tulane as safeties? Lol nah. Tulane rejects like crazy, plenty of 3.8/35 apps. Very very select and high volume of applicants.
 
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petit_haricot

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Ooh, okay. Clearly need to do more research. I don't think I'd be able to apply to more than 4 or 5 at this point (financially) but these suggestions are great-- keep 'em coming.
 

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Rule 1: Take a Breath

Many schools do not ramp up to full processing until September, perhaps mid August. So while you have submitted them 8-10 weeks ago, the schools have perhaps have had be processing them for 4 to 6 weeks. I have anecdotal reports this year that there was an unusually early flood of applications, with some schools getting 25%-50% of their projected total apps in the first week of transmission. With 4,000 to 10,000 applications to compile, check for completeness, parsed out and read by adcom and evaporators, it will take a good 8-10 weeks. I also suspect that even though there are more medical school seats to handle the every increasing overall applicant pool, it has the effect of increasing total apps at each indivdual school. BTW, the total number of applicants submitted to AMCAS this year will be approaching 55,000 with total applications across schools (applicant x # of schools applied to) approaching 800,000, if not more. I think overall adcoms have gotten thru somewhere around 50% of total apps so far, maybe.

Maybe this is why so many of us early applicants have gotten no correspondence from most of the schools we have applied to.
 

KatniP

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Rule 1: Take a Breath

Many schools do not ramp up to full processing until September, perhaps mid August. So while you have submitted them 8-10 weeks ago, the schools have perhaps have had be processing them for 4 to 6 weeks. I have anecdotal reports this year that there was an unusually early flood of applications, with some schools getting 25%-50% of their projected total apps in the first week of transmission. With 4,000 to 10,000 applications to compile, check for completeness, parsed out and read by adcom and evaporators, it will take a good 8-10 weeks. I also suspect that even though there are more medical school seats to handle the every increasing overall applicant pool, it has the effect of increasing total apps at each indivdual school. BTW, the total number of applicants submitted to AMCAS this year will be approaching 55,000 with total applications across schools (applicant x # of schools applied to) approaching 800,000, if not more. I think overall adcoms have gotten thru somewhere around 50% of total apps so far, maybe.

Just curious, do you have a source for this info?
 

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Look at it as the glass half full. You may have no interviews, but you also have no rejections.
 

gonnif

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Maybe this is why so many of us early applicants have gotten no correspondence from most of the schools we have applied to.

Rule 1: Take a Breath

Besides the finite number of interview slots, the finite number of incoming seats, the rolling admissions in filling seats, applying early does get you in on the enormous workflow of whittling down several thousand applications to several hundred for interviews to a hundred or so acceptees. You also do not know how each individual school does their processing or where you may fall into their system. Some schools may have a more in-depth review by adcom staff to identify outstanding candidates, in-state/OOS, undergraduate alumni, children of alumni, recognized/known feeder schools, URM, or other features that warrant first processing. Your application may go to 1 reader or be split up to several readers. Perhaps they work by subcommittee for evaluation and recommendation to a full committee for II. All this review takes weeks.
 
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Gandyy

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Rule 1: Take a Breath

Besides the finite number of interview slots, the finite number of incoming seats, the rolling admissions in filling seats, applying early does get you in on the enormous workflow of whittling down several thousand applications to several hundred for interviews to a hundred or so acceptees. You also do not know how each individual school does their processing or where you may fall into their system. Some schools may have a more in-depth review by adcom staff to identify outstanding candidates, in-state/OOS, undergraduate alumni, children of alumni, recognized/known feeder schools, URM, or other features that warrant first processing. Your application may go to 1 reader or be split up to several readers. Perhaps they work by subcommittee for evaluation and recommendation to a full committee for II. All this review takes weeks.

Well my concern is that I'm just being passed up as I was complete at most schools by the end of July.

But I see what you are saying.
 
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gonnif

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Well my concern is that I'm just being passed up as I was complete at most schools by the end of July.

But I see what you are saying.

Many schools not got up to full speed on processing until September. So it may have sat there for the whole month of August with little review
 
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KatniP

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About 15 years of experience in admissions and premedical advising, primarily on processing and workflow with both at school committee level and application services. It is literally my business to know.
Thanks, I was just wondering if there was an article written up or stats posted online about it that I missed! That's very helpful.
 
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Most private schools see a "second wave" of late season applications from people who applied too narrowly or top heavy, so you certainly won't be alone if you choose to widen your net. I would add on Albany, Chicago Med, Drexel, NYMC, SLU, and Temple first. In addition to Tulane and Vermont, consider Creighton, GWU, MCW, Pitt, and Wake Forest. The latter are more competitive and some a bit regional, but in for a penny...

P.S. I have never seen Einstein and "safety" in the same sentence.
@petit_haricot definitely do more research. As for the suggestions quoted above:
- Do not add Tulane. As someone else stated, their desirable location gives them plenty of applications and they dish out plenty of rejections accordingly. They interview about 5% of OOS applicants.
- Drexel is similar. They receive more than 13,000 OOS applications alone and interview less than 7% of them.
- Chicago Med is even lower yield for OOS. They received almost 10,000 OOS applications last year and interviewed less than 5% of them. If you don't have ties to the area, I wouldn't bother.
- GWU is also low yield! They receive almost 14,000 applications and you will likely be placed on hold for the cycle until rejected at the end.
- Wake Forest interviews less than 6% of OOS applicants as well. Unless you have ties to the area or a great reason for applying, I wouldn't submit there this late.

Instead of just looking into gpa/MCAT of schools, you need to look into how low or high yield the school is. Personally, I wouldn't apply this late to any school who interviews less than 7% of applicants. Also look at fit! Schools generally don't care how great your numbers are if you're not a fit for them.
 
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rachiie01 said:
Instead of just looking into gpa/MCAT of schools, you need to look into how low or high yield the school is. Personally, I wouldn't apply this late to any school who interviews less than 7% of applicants.

All private medical schools in this country are "low yield." By this logic there is no sense in applying to any of them. The relevant question is how they will treat a CA ORM with a 3.7/37 and reasonable ECs. The metrics alone give him a 79.8% overall chance of landing an acceptance, which is significantly higher than the general pool. Local ties matter little or none with private schools, btw, although some value regional diversity (i.e. they pad their class averages with high stat California residents).
 
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All private medical schools in this country are "low yield." By this logic there is no sense in applying to any of them. The relevant question is how they will treat a CA ORM with a 3.7/37 and reasonable ECs. The metrics alone give him a 79.8% chance of landing an acceptance. Local ties matter little or none with private schools, btw, although some value regional diversity (i.e. they pad their class averages with high stat California residents).[/user]
This isn't quite true. Albany interviews 9.6% of OOS applicants and Case Western interviews 15.7% of OOS applicants, for example. Some private schools, especially those in highly desirable location, are so low-yield that it's not wise to recommend them this late in the cycle. If you want an idea of private medical schools who favor in-state, take a look at MSAR and compare interview and matriculation percentage for IS vs OOS applicants.
 
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This isn't quite true. Albany interviews 9.6% of OOS applicants and Case Western interviews 15.7% of OOS applicants, for example. Some private schools, especially those in highly desirable location, are so low-yield that it's not wise to recommend them this late in the cycle. If you want an idea of private medical schools who favor in-state, take a look at MSAR and compare interview and matriculation percentage for IS vs OOS applicants.

That apparent favoritism is strongly influenced by the geographic distribution of the applicant pool. I do not think anyone is suggesting that all schools are equivalent, and the OP will have to do his own research, but boiling it down to a simple % based on IS/OOS numbers is not the most compelling argument.
 

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That apparent favoritism is strongly influenced by the geographic distribution of the applicant pool. I do not think anyone is suggesting that all schools are equivalent, and the OP will have to do his own research, but boiling it down to a simple % based on IS/OOS numbers is not the most compelling argument.
I never said that it all boils down to a simple %, but you seem to think that these percentages are negligible when in fact they're very important. Like I said, you can get a general idea of which private schools have a regional bias by looking at these percentages. These aren't tell-all numbers, but they'll give you an idea. A school that interviews 15% of OOS applicants is a much better investment for an OOS applicant than one who only interviews 4%. Further, some private schools specifically state that priority goes to applicants with ties to the area (and this is reflected in their low OOS interview % as well).
 

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Just renewed my MSAR subscription (how gracious of AMCAS to grant 15% off the $25 fee) and will be getting down to business today after work. Will report back with schools to add. Thanks everyone for their feedback/input so far.
 
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GrapesofRath

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As always there's a middle ground here. I don't think I would set any cut off of if a school offers less than 7% of applicants a II I wouldn't apply; you'll cut out a lot of schools Goro often recommends doing that. But there's always more to it than that; the % of applicants accepted who get a II varies alot from school to school. WVU OOS? You better blow than out of the water to have a shot. NECOM IS? The entire interview is almost a test of whether or not you can go several hours without saying or doing something incredibly stupid; don't completely botch the interview and your probably in. School specific threads in many cases can shed light about this.

My general guideline is use a combination of statistics. % of applicants offered a II is one(note the difference between IS and OOS because this does matter regardless of what a school will give lip service about no IS bias) Total number of applicants is another. % of matriculants IS vs OOS is another. The actual median statistics of schools is another(ie it's stupid for a 3.7/31 applicant to think they have a better chance at getting a II at Case Western despite what the stats say about 15% getting II's. Case also btw I believe only accepts around 25-30% of people they interview). There's no great answer for which schools are biggest bang for buck but some I often find myself recommending when people ask include Creighton, Penn State, Albany, Saint Louis, Medical College Wisconsin, Oakland, Quinnipac and Wake Forest. More importantly, some schools I often find myself avoiding recommending or doing so with less enthusiasm include Western Michigan, Drexel, GW, Georgetown, Va Tech etc. Sometimes these "low" yield schools like Tulane aren't necessarily as low yield as people think; with a median MCAT of 33 you will find alot of people with MCAT's several points below applying. If your one like the OP applying with a higher MCAT score, it's a different situation for you.
 
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Affiche

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As always there's a middle ground here. I don't think I would set any cut off of if a school offers less than 7% of applicants a II I wouldn't apply; you'll cut out a lot of schools Goro often recommends doing that. But there's always more to it than that; the % of applicants accepted who get a II varies alot from school to school. WVU OOS? You better blow than out of the water to have a shot. NECOM IS? The entire interview is almost a test of whether or not you can go several hours without saying or doing something incredibly stupid; don't completely botch the interview and your probably in. School specific threads in many cases can shed light about this.

My general guideline is use a combination of statistics. % of applicants offered a II is one(note the difference between IS and OOS because this does matter regardless of what a school will give lip service about no IS bias) Total number of applicants is another. % of matriculants IS vs OOS is another. The actual median statistics of schools is another(ie it's stupid for a 3.7/31 applicant to think they have a better chance at getting a II at Case Western despite what the stats say about 15% getting II's. Case also btw I believe only accepts around 25-30% of people they interview). There's no great answer for which schools are biggest bang for buck but some I often find myself recommending when people ask include Creighton, Penn State, Albany, Saint Louis, Medical College Wisconsin, Oakland, Quinnipac and Wake Forest. More importantly, some schools I often find myself avoiding recommending or doing so with less enthusiasm include Western Michigan, Drexel, GW, Georgetown, Va Tech etc. Sometimes these "low" yield schools like Tulane aren't necessarily as low yield as people think; with a median MCAT of 33 you will find alot of people with MCAT's several points below applying. If your one like the OP applying with a higher MCAT score, it's a different situation for you.
I agree with all of this...very good advice.
 

petit_haricot

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@GrapesofRath Thanks for such a thoughtful response. Could you clarify what you meant at the end?
Sometimes these "low" yield schools like Tulane aren't necessarily as low yield as people think; with a median MCAT of 33 you will find alot of people with MCAT's several points below applying. If your one like the OP applying with a higher MCAT score, it's a different situation for you.

Since I do have a higher MCAT score (kind of... not sure how to treat it because it was a retake of a 31) would you recommend trying to apply to Tulane for instance as a safety? Could you recommend any schools to me? I've lived in California practically my whole life; I've got some ties to New Jersey but looking at all the IS/OOS stats makes me feel totally shut out from schools in other states.
 

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@GrapesofRath Thanks for such a thoughtful response. Could you clarify what you meant at the end?


Since I do have a higher MCAT score (kind of... not sure how to treat it because it was a retake of a 31) would you recommend trying to apply to Tulane for instance as a safety? Could you recommend any schools to me? I've lived in California practically my whole life; I've got some ties to New Jersey but looking at all the IS/OOS stats makes me feel totally shut out from schools in other states.
Tulane likes high MCAT scores and they show a lot of love to high MCAT/low gpa non-trad students. Tulane is not a safety school. They also favor very, very specific EC's: veterans, TFA, peace corps, studying abroad and fluency in more than one language. I'm not sure how to sugarcoat this, but you need to get out of the mindset of having "safety" schools while applying to medical school. This mindset is exactly why people with high MCATs and high gpa's end up reapplying.
 

GrapesofRath

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@GrapesofRath Thanks for such a thoughtful response. Could you clarify what you meant at the end?


Since I do have a higher MCAT score (kind of... not sure how to treat it because it was a retake of a 31) would you recommend trying to apply to Tulane for instance as a safety? Could you recommend any schools to me? I've lived in California practically my whole life; I've got some ties to New Jersey but looking at all the IS/OOS stats makes me feel totally shut out from schools in other states.

Creighton, Penn State, Medical College Wisconsin, Saint Louis, Wake Forest, Jefferson Oakland, Quinnipac are some I would give consideration to. Check the 90th percentile MCAT's of these schools; if any are more than a point or so higher than 37 you might run the risk of screening you out. It's kind of funny how this works in that many schools will average but a high MCAT Score can still in some cases screen you out at some lower tiers even if it took multiple attempts to get there.
 

Doug Underhill

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Low-yield schools interview about 9% of applicants, yes. This is why you have to apply to about ten of them: 10 * 9% = 90% chance of an interview.

Many of these schools have minimal in-state bias. Tulane interviewed roughly 50 of 400 Louisiana applicants last year, or 12%, and 450 out of 9000 applicants, or 5%. It's better for in-state applicants, yes, but not that much better.

This is the rational answer, yes. The emotional answer is that you would love to go there and you know your stats and it's mind-boggling why they haven't interviewed you yet when you're terrified of being a failure in this process after you spent so much time, money, and effort. I know how you feel.
 

petit_haricot

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Tulane likes high MCAT scores and they show a lot of love to high MCAT/low gpa non-trad students. Tulane is not a safety school. They also favor very, very specific EC's: veterans, TFA, peace corps, studying abroad and fluency in more than one language. I'm not sure how to sugarcoat this, but you need to get out of the mindset of having "safety" schools while applying to medical school. This mindset is exactly why people with high MCATs and high gpa's end up reapplying.

I get it now, I'm just using "safety" as a way to describe schools I overlooked the first time I made my top-heavy schools list. You seem to know a lot about the nuances of schools (what kinds of applicants they prefer/favor)-- could you tell me more about what you know or where I might find this information? The mission statements and what I can find rooting around SDN seem to provide pretty minimal info as to what specific schools are geared towards. I'd love to hear your thoughts about some of the schools suggested above by GrapesofRath. Thanks @rachiie01.

Creighton, Penn State, Medical College Wisconsin, Saint Louis, Wake Forest, Jefferson Oakland, Quinnipac are some I would give consideration to.
 

Affiche

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Low-yield schools interview about 9% of applicants, yes. This is why you have to apply to about ten of them: 10 * 9% = 90% chance of an interview.

Many of these schools have minimal in-state bias. Tulane interviewed roughly 50 of 400 Louisiana applicants last year, or 12%, and 450 out of 9000 applicants, or 5%. It's better for in-state applicants, yes, but not that much better.

This is the rational answer, yes. The emotional answer is that you would love to go there and you know your stats and it's mind-boggling why they haven't interviewed you yet when you're terrified of being a failure in this process after you spent so much time, money, and effort. I know how you feel.
That is not how percentages work, unfortunately lol. Each application is independent, similar to flipping a coin. If you flip a coin twice, you don't have 100% chance of getting heads lol.
 
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I get it now, I'm just using "safety" as a way to describe schools I overlooked the first time I made my top-heavy schools list. You seem to know a lot about the nuances of schools (what kinds of applicants they prefer/favor)-- could you tell me more about what you know or where I might find this information? The mission statements and what I can find rooting around SDN seem to provide pretty minimal info as to what specific schools are geared towards. I'd love to hear your thoughts about some of the schools suggested above by GrapesofRath. Thanks @rachiie01.
I did a LOT of research on my school list and I'm still finding out more. PM me and I'll try to help the best I can!
 
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hypericum

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Low-yield schools interview about 9% of applicants, yes. This is why you have to apply to about ten of them: 10 * 9% = 90% chance of an interview.
.

That's...not how that works. According to your formula, if you applied to 30 schools, you'd have a 270% chance of an interview.

Assuming the process is purely random, which it is not, an applicant's chance of getting at least one interview at 10 schools with a 9% interview rate each is 1 - (0.91)^10, or 61%.

OP, I don't know how things will go for you, but good luck!
 
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Doug Underhill

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That is not how percentages work, unfortunately lol. Each application is independent, similar to flipping a coin. If you flip a coin twice, you don't have 100% chance of getting heads lol.

You have a 75% chance of getting at least one heads: that is, it is more probable that not that you will get one heads, and if you apply to ten low-yield schools, it is more probable than not that you will get one II (assuming you're a competitive applicant with no red flags) The numbers are inexact because we only know them post hoc after the cycle is over, so I approximated, and I'm also a biologist, and we can't do statistics outside of error bars in GraphPad Prism.
 
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