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LOW GPA, 41R MCAT....i know weird right?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by laohu, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. laohu

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    Really low cGPA of 2.6 but from a top tier engineering school. I really didn't enjoy engineering, but forced myself through it not realizing that life was longer than I thought and would have done better by switching majors and taking an extra year to graduate.

    Low sGPA 3.1 as well--went to school with tons of AP courses so they never counted toward sGPA.

    41R MCAT, 14, 13, 14 breakdown.

    I also aced my SATs and ACTs and had a 4.0 gpa in highschool, and aced all my SAT II's but dunno if that counts for much except for schools like Wash U St. Louis which do actually ask for these.

    100+ hrs shadowing, 1000+ hrs of community service, lots of relevant leadership -- counselor, tutor, and TA, published in major science publication (worked full-time in a research lab for one year as a research scientist), though not directly clinical related research, more pharm related end goal research.

    My main concern is my GPA, I guess I could "retake" all those physics, biology and chemistry courses I got AP credit for and get A's to boost my GPA a lot but I'm hoping medical school committees will see that I have successfully TA'd and tutored many students in those very courses. I do have a letter of rec demonstrating this. I also have awesome letters of rec from the two doctors I shadowed, and one from another doctor who taught one of the only courses I received an A in undergrad -- a biomedical course.

    Still I am very worried and wonder if I should even try applying to top schools like hopkins, stanford, upenn, etc.?? Basically, do these top schools screen for GPA? Thanks guys!
     
    #1 laohu, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
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  3. Tapepsi

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    You could give it a try and apply but I wouldn't recommend it. 1 applicant out of 10 with your stats got into med school between 2008 and 2010. There's no getting around it though you need to get your GPA up. A 2.6 isn't going to even cut it for a DO school. Retake all of the prereqs you did bad in and also consider a postbac. If you could get it to at least a 3.0 your chances greatly increase (~52%). Don't apply to top schools though. It will just be a waste of time unless you could get your GPA up to a 3.4 or 3.5 (and that's still pushing it).

    Congrats on the MCAT score btw and your EC's are fantastic. You can definitely get into a school just make sure you work on fixing that GPA.
     
  4. Whatyousay

    Whatyousay A few loose screws
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    With a cGPA of <3.0, I would worry about getting into any MD program, period. Obviously, your MCAT will probably do a lot to offset your GPA, but top schools will likely screen your app based on your GPA before they even look at anything else (they get plenty of apps with MCATs around that range, why should they make allowances for GPA).

    It's always hard to predict how things will turn out for applicants with unbalanced numbers like yours, but I agree with Tapepsi - spend at least a year doing some type of GPA repair or an SMP (although, again, I'm not sure how those programs view high MCAT + low GPA). At the earliest, your MCAT won't expire for two years (assuming you took it this year), so you still have time.
     
  5. nicknickp3

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    With your stats you could possibly, this is an extreme reach probably get into one of the newer Osteopathic schools. With that being said still unlikely, if you want M.D. get your GPA high enough to where you can get into an SMP, rock it, and you'll get an acceptance. If you wanted to go D.O. do a year of gpa repair and you'll be golden.
     
  6. Anranius

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    I rarely chime in on these but your situation is extremely similar to my own, so I thought I'd elaborate my own experiences.

    There is almost no chance that you will get in with those stats. I had a higher GPA than you, both cGPA and sGPA (>3.2), and the exact same MCAT when I applied two years ago. Triple degree in science and humanities, lots of clinical experience, volunteering, less leadership stuff, did clinical research and had one second-author publication in a major journal.

    I applied to ~25 (MD only) schools fairly broadly, complete in mid-late August mostly.

    I received one interview, no acceptances.

    You absolutely need to prove that you're capable of doing well in classes right now, and in the future. As in, nobody cares about your HS grades/testtaking. The impression that your application (and mine, for that matter) gives off is that you're a brilliant kid with zero work ethic (totally true for me, no idea about you but probably true as well). You need to do something to inform to the adcoms that this is not true anymore. I personally enrolled in a Master's program because I had too many undergraduate credits to hope to raise my GPAs that way. You might have better luck taking undergrad classes if you don't have too many credits.

    I can't really say how much my Master's program is helping as my LoRs were submitted to AMCAS earlier today. I will say, however, that I've already gotten one interview, which is phenomenally better than my situation two years ago.


    It's a bitter pill to swallow, but you won't get into med school with that GPA. TL;DR - you 100% need to take more classes and get that GPA up. Prove that you're ready for the responsibility.

    Good luck.
     
  7. TriagePreMed

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    I'll have to disagree on this one. That 41 can get him far in Osteopathic admissions. He or she probably won't make it into a top DO program, but I bet you one of the newer schools will be welcoming.
     
  8. kautionwirez

    kautionwirez Hadoken!
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    Woah, you at a disadvantaged position I would say...
    GREAT JOB on your MCAT. :thumbup:

    I would definitely take a SMP to boost up that GPA, and do really well. I think if you do that and keep volunteering or pick up some really good ECs, you will have a much better shot at getting into medical school and probably top tier ones you listed.
     
  9. laohu

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    Wow, thanks for all the replies. I'm glad for the brutal honesty and want to delve a bit deeper into my situation, so bear with me!

    I agree that I had zero work ethic--in undergrad. But since then I have been working full-time, have been financially independent and still did all the pre-med EC's in the mean time as well as taking classes. Basically living hectic 80+ hr weeks for the last two years. And I think anyone who has graduated and been out in the real world can attest that being a student in college is an easier life.

    And the reason I mention my high school is because the only way I got those stats in HS was because I worked my butt off back then. So the value of hard work is not a new concept to me.

    So to be viewed as irresponsibility with little work ethic is definitely a hard pill to swallow.

    Does all that count for anything? Or will my GPA simply not even make it past the secretaries at the admissions offices, even the schools that publicly declare they don't screen?

    Really appreciate any critiques and input you all might have. If you most of you think it still a no-go I might have to look into a SMP asap. Thanks.
     
  10. MedAdComMD

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    Unfortunately, your 41 MCAT will probably expire by the time you have repaired your GPA.
     
  11. nicknickp3

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    Above poster brings up a good point, honestly take a semester of retakes get your gpa to a 3.0 and get into D.O. don't gamble!
     
  12. kautionwirez

    kautionwirez Hadoken!
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    yeah if your MCAT is about to expire, apply to DOs and some MDs. Doesn't hurt to apply.
     
  13. Donald Juan

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    No, being in the real world for a few years doesn't offer up a huge advantage, there are many non-traditional applicants, and whether or not it is an advantage just depends on the individual application. If you had actually worked hard in school then you might realize that being a student isn't easier than being in the real world, I say this as someone who was in the adult world for six years before returning to college, and my college schedule at this point is just as bad as my worst work schedules were.

    I think if you want to apply this year then you should, just realize that your chances are slim. You should probably start trying to repair your GPA immediately whether you are trying to get accepted this cycle or the next cycle (or even later). Others have mentioned applying DO since they do grade replacement, and this seems like your best bet. You probably will hit a cap on how much you can raise your GPA for MD schools because you already have so many hours.

    Also, realize when you are talking about SMP that even these are competitive to get into, and some of them have minimum GPA requirements of a 3.0. So, even if you want to do an SMP you should still plan on retaking classes to boost your GPA.

    Go ahead and apply if you really want to take a chance, but you most likely won't get in (there's always a chance). However, when you are asking about Hopkins and Upenn, I don't think you being realistic about how detrimental your college career is to your application.
     
  14. laohu

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    Yes, I took the MCAT last year so they will expire by the time I have repaired my GPA to a respectable lvl, as I still have to work so can't just take school full-time.

    I did some calculations and if I just take the courses I received AP credit and no grade for however, I can boost my cGPA to 2.95 and my sGPA to a 3.6 (without grade replacement).

    Would my chances at an MD school drastically increase with that?

    In the mean time, I will take a shot this year and avoid applying to the completely unrealistic ones.
     
  15. MedAdComMD

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    You need to get the cGPA over the 3.0 mark. There are applicants who get in with below a 3.0 GPA, but they have at least taken YEARS of coursework to prove that they are capable of academic excellence.
     
  16. TriagePreMed

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    Don't waste your money. Just push that GPA into the 3.0 mark and then apply with the 41.
     
  17. laohu

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    I am going to apply.

    My GPA calculations were off quiet a bit, my AMCAS just verified and I have close to a 2.9 cGPA and a 3.6 sGPA.

    And I took a full year of pre-med courses (ochem, physiology, and biochem) post-bacc with a 3.90 GPA.

    Also, even in undergrad, all my non-engineering courses averaged out to a 3.3 gpa, so it was really only getting straight C's in engineering courses that screwed me over, none of which have anything to do with pre-med. (and I swear, getting straight C's in engineering took more work than my roommate in English who graduated with a 3.9. No offense English major pre-meds., and I'm sure the workload of any major is heavily school dependent.)

    All that, plus my MCAT, if commitees still doubt my academic ability, I doubt another year of taking first year college chem and physics (which I TA and TUTOR in) is gonna prove much.

    Still, thanks guys for warning me away from the schools that will screen my application out without even having a real person look at it to see what my "bad" GPA is really from and what it may mean.

    Oh, and I'll be sure to update this post with any interviews I receive, etc...assuming I get any of course. I'm going to try to make it helpful for others presently or in the future in a similar situation.
     
    #16 laohu, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  18. TriagePreMed

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    A lot of people get confused here. It's not about proving you can make it. It's about having the numbers that make them happy. There are tons of kids out there that can prove themselves AND have the numbers, so why take a risk on you? Having a 3.0 has pretty much become the cut off.
     
  19. asrikrishnan

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    If you just took those courses and got A's in everything (which considering your extensive tutoring and TA'ing you probably will) and got your GPA up to a 3.6 you'll be golden for possibly even the top tier schools. If it's just one year or so of courses I'd definitely do it (especially if going to a top ranked school matters to you).
     
  20. asrikrishnan

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    Oops my bad thought you were going to be able to raise your cGPA to a 3.6.. disregard that post....
     
  21. MedAdComMD

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    WIth a 2.9/3.6 and a 41 - you may get a few acceptances. Many schools screen based on the average between sGPA and cGPA.
     
  22. laohu

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    Just want to let people know that I did not get screened out of the U Michigan secondary, received it and just submitted it!
     
  23. RookTookIt

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    You should make an MDapps. You have an interesting application and I'd be curious to see how it turns out.
     
  24. MedAdComMD

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    You usually get rejected/put on hold after you submit the secondary.
     
  25. TriagePreMed

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    lol that was kind of mean to just throw out. I think a 2.9/3.6 with a 40 has some chance, albeit low. I was under the impression that the GPA was 2.6/3.1, which would be too low.
     
  26. Silverfalcon

    Silverfalcon Do It
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    Apply DO schools and you will have a good application season.

    Focus on MD and especially top schools in terms of NIH research funding, and you will do very bad, possibly with little to no interviews (and let's not even go to acceptance for that matter).
     
  27. laohu

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    Its not harsh, it is a possibility, they might have an additional screening which I might not make it through after submission... but according to their own public website, they do an initial screen upon receipt of verified AMCAS for non-residents which I passed, just noting that is all.

    http://med.umich.edu/medschool/admissions/apply/requirements.html#
     
  28. StudyShy

    StudyShy XOXO
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    I know that residents of Michigan automatically get a secondary from U of M.
     
  29. StudyShy

    StudyShy XOXO
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    :thumbup: Cool. :)
     
  30. r1d1

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    very true
     
  31. jjjordy

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    Well how about if you have a credible reason for having that low GPA? My GPA sucks big time, but during college I was dealing with an undiagnosed illness and caring for a sick parent (who has since passed away). I worked full time while going to school.

    The point is, I have a 2.6 GPA to show for my "performance" in college, but having graduated in 2004 (seven years ago!) I want very much to believe that my grades will not be considered as relevent to my application as they would if I was still 23 years old. I've had steady employment working in a research field for the last six years and I imagine that this, more than what I did ten years ago, will demonstrate my work ethic. Any reason to think I might be on to something??
    Thanks!
     
  32. Silverfalcon

    Silverfalcon Do It
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    You might want to post your question as a separate thread, just FYI.
    And while your situation is certainly credible, it is definitely not a novel one. Given how there are applicants who may have similar difficulty and managed to do better than you, you need to show that you can handle the workload. It's not just about your work ethic - if medical schools don't think you can follow their curriculum, they will not invest their time in training you. It's simple as that.

    P.S. To show it, you need to do some major GPA repair.
     
  33. jjjordy

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