Med Schools with best chances of receiving a scholarship?

Dr Peper

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    A short story first: I come from a family that has never been financially stable. Dad was always paying off credit cards with other credit cards and complaining we had no money. I want to end that cycle and be the first one to be free of that burden. I have already racked up a great deal of under-grad and grad loans, and it honestly terrifies me to think about.

    Now, I'm not saying that receiving a major scholarship is the only way I'll go to med school, but if a school offers me a scholarship, there's no way in hell I'd turn it down.

    A little more about me:

    MCAT: 38 (12/11/15) (I studied my balls off for this test. Does it show?)

    Undergrad GPA: 3.4
    Major: Biology (with 2 minors)

    Graduate GPA: 3.8
    Major: Biology (MS)

    EC's and stuff:
    -Shadowed a couple physicians
    -Name is on (or will soon be on) a couple research papers
    -Standard charity-type work

    Residency:
    -I'm in a state with 1 med school. But I have no particular attachment to the place, and will go to whichever school offers me the best scholarship (If I'm offered a full-ride, I'd pack my bags tomorrow).
     

    mcloaf

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      I'm not a scholarship expert by any means, but I'd think your undergrad GPA might make merit-based funding a stretch.

      If you are coming from a seriously disadvantaged background then you could have a good shot at need-based aid, but again, I really don't know what I'm talking about.

      if a school offers me a scholarship, there's no way in hell I'd turn it down.

      This separates you from approximately 0% of other applicants to medical school.


      Either way, good luck. :luck:
       
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        sector9

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          It might be tough to find a school that will offer a merit-based scholarship off of a 3.4 undergrad GPA, although I'm sure it's not impossible (I ended up getting a few merit-based scholarships with a slightly lower LizzyM score than you though admittedly more balanced). It sounds like you might be able to get some need-based aid if your depiction of your parent's financial situation is accurate.

          Your best chance will probably be to get accepted to multiple schools, and use your cheapest acceptance as leverage to try to convince a higher-priced but more desirable school to match the price. This would need to be done later on in the application cycle once financial aid packages are out
           

          SOMBound13

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            MCAT: 38 (12/11/15) (I studied my balls off for this test. Does it show?)


            The 38 is impressive. Congrats!

            Maybe LizzieM can comment about what SOMs think when the very high score is mostly because of a 15 V? Does that matter to SOMs? Would the fact that the BS and PS scores are good but similar to many students with balanced MCATs of 34/35? I'm guessing that his state school or some mid ranked SOMs might offer merit money, but I'm not sure about schools like WashU, Vandy or similar.
             

            NickNaylor

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              Schools that I'm familiar with that have a reputation for giving out scholarships: Mayo, Vandy, WashU, U. Chicago, Penn, Michigan, and UTSW. I'm sure there are many others but I know those schools offer many scholarships based on info from them when I was applying. I agree with others saying scholarships might be a stretch though. That's not meant to put you down but to help you set your expectations to a realistic level.

              Good luck.

              (sent from my phone)
               

              notbobtrustme

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                Getting a scholarship is exceedingly difficult for most schools. Some of the top 20 might extend a scholarship to students, but other than that, don't count on much.

                Your best bet is qualifying for Perkins' loans, which are 5% subsidized loans.
                 

                red7

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                  Make sure you also look up external scholarships. e.g. Some state medical associations offer awards to matriculating students from that state or something like that. There are a lot of awards like this and you would probably have a decent chance at something if you apply to a bunch of them. Also, this would give you more freedom in choosing schools since you'd get to take them wherever you go. Good luck!

                  Edit: also, if you're interested in primary care, the National Health Service has loan repayment schemes for doctors who work 2-5 years for them (not sure about the Indian Health Service, but maybe them too). I have heard there are also other ways to get your loans repaid after the fact, through awards, agreements with a group practice that you join, etc.
                   

                  Dr Peper

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                    I see a lot above mentioning my undergrad GPA. This brings me to two questions:

                    1. Yes, my undergrad GPA may be low, but doesn't the fact that I have a (non-SMP) Masters AND scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT make up for that (at least a little?)

                    2. (Please don't yell at me...) If I apply to no-name schools in "fly-over" states (Y'know, he ones that have an average MCAT of ~29), would there be a better chance of receiving a scholarship? Would being so far ahead of the competition at these schools be a good thing?



                    And one smaller point:

                    ...when the very high score is mostly because of a 15 V?

                    The 15 was in BS. 12PS/11VR/15BS
                     

                    LizzyM

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                      Some of those schools don't have a lot of money to throw around so although they might like to have you there, they aren't in a position to give you a discount, never mind a free ride.

                      In a two year period, there were over 1,600 matriculants with MCAT of 39 or higher and GPA of 3.4 or higher. Not exactly as rare as hen's teeth. If you want to drop down to MCAT 36+, you can triple that number or more. Your MCAT/GPA combo is just not that special unless you bring something very unusual to theh table (of those 1600+ only 68 were URM).
                       

                      Lollygag

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                        Not that I have personal experience but I would +1 to UChicago as some other posters said. When you look around MDApps, it seems like so many people get scholarships/full rides there.

                        And also, any medical school that just opened and you'll be the first class to enter, will likely give many scholarships as incentive to attend.
                         

                        LizzyM

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                          Not that I have personal experience but I would +1 to UChicago as some other posters said. When you look around MDApps, it seems like so many people get scholarships/full rides there.

                          And also, any medical school that just opened and you'll be the first class to enter, will likely give many scholarships as incentive to attend.

                          From UChicago's admissions FAQ:

                          Our average MCAT for the accepted class entering Pritzker in 2011 is a 36. Our average GPA for the accepted class entering Pritzker in 2011 is a 3.80. We would also encourage you to consider the range of scores that were accepted. Our entering class has MCAT scores ranging from 27 through a 44, though the majority of students present scores in the 34–38 range. The range of GPAs for our entering class is from 3.0 to 4.0, with the majority of students presenting GPAs in the 3.6–3.9 range.

                          So the OP would be in the average (majority) range for MCAT and below average (majority) for GPA. Maybe UChicago is very generous with everyone but these don't seem to be numbers that are out of the ordinary for that school.

                          Also, OP asked about "no-name" schools in "fly over country" and UChicago is not a no-name school even if it is, geographically, near neither coast.
                           

                          SOMBound13

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                            I see a lot above mentioning my undergrad GPA. This brings me to two questions:

                            1. Yes, my undergrad GPA may be low, but doesn't the fact that I have a (non-SMP) Masters AND scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT make up for that (at least a little?)

                            2. (Please don't yell at me...) If I apply to no-name schools in "fly-over" states (Y'know, he ones that have an average MCAT of ~29), would there be a better chance of receiving a scholarship? Would being so far ahead of the competition at these schools be a good thing?



                            And one smaller point:

                            Quote:
                            ...when the very high score is mostly because of a 15 V?
                            The 15 was in BS. 12PS/11VR/15BS


                            Thanks for the clarification. Often when people only post the breakdown numbers, the last number is the verbal.


                            MCAT: 38 (12/11/15) (I studied my balls off for this test. Does it show?)
                             

                            Textbookversion

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                            1. Medical Student
                              I see a lot above mentioning my undergrad GPA. This brings me to two questions:

                              1. Yes, my undergrad GPA may be low, but doesn't the fact that I have a (non-SMP) Masters AND scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT make up for that (at least a little?)

                              2. (Please don't yell at me...) If I apply to no-name schools in "fly-over" states (Y'know, he ones that have an average MCAT of ~29), would there be a better chance of receiving a scholarship? Would being so far ahead of the competition at these schools be a good thing?



                              And one smaller point:



                              The 15 was in BS. 12PS/11VR/15BS

                              No, not really. 3.4 gpa kind of kills the merit thing. I don't see it happening. Try really hard to get into a school that gives everyone scholarships like cleveland clinic.
                               

                              amad01

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                                I think you should be thrilled to matriculate at any school, regardless of scholarship award. You have a good MCAT score, but everything else is <= average. It's hard enough to be accepted to med school, let alone receive money for merit. Hope for the best, but I wouldn't jump in expecting schools to bow to you.
                                 

                                Narmerguy

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                                  Thanks for the clarification. Often when people only post the breakdown numbers, the last number is the verbal.

                                  I've always seen scores written in the order the sections are given: PS VR BS. :shrug:

                                  Agreed, I think it's almost always PS VR BS.

                                  On the scholarships, I agree with LizzyM. A 3.4 / 38 just isn't unique enough for most schools. Typically you want to be at least at the average/median for both and hopefully far above average in one. Perhaps if you have some really unique background/activities that may help? I think you're unlikely to get much $$ love based on your stats alone though.
                                   

                                  JBOB

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                                    I'm not sure about merit, but WashU has a really impressive need based financial aid program. If I remember correctly from my interview earlier this cycle, they subtract the "expected family contribution" (FAFSA based, I think) from the cost of attendance, and whatever amount of money is left the give you in 50% scholarship and 50% low interest loan. Sounds like a good deal to me. It's based on parental income though, so make sure your family is poor.
                                     
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