Here's my post on another thread about the costs of the medical school admissions process, and my perspective as an SES disadvantaged nontrad, who made more money as a new-ish grad than my parents ever have. I'd just feel silly copying and pasting it hereFrankly, the mere cost of applying to medical school via AMCAS, and then again for secondary's, is steep enough to amaze me that so many students can afford it. And then consider the interviews! The cost of traveling, staying in hotels, food., etc.
I would assume that adcoms take the applicant's background into consideration when reviewing their app. Mine may have helped me - my stats are solid, I applied early and broadly - but maybe it was that extra something, who knows? What worries me are the costs of the application process itself, as those are taken into account nowhere and there is no FAP/financial aid to help you.
The other thing I would address to OP is that I *never* thought of myself as "disadvantaged" until AMCAS said I was. Growing up, I was never hungry, never went without medical care or a roof over my head, I had nice Christmas presents and family vacations. Yes, I was aware of not having as much money as others, but I never felt harmed by my family's economic status. So if someone like me who grew up solidly lower-middle class is the lowest rung of disadvantaged, who is *not* disadvantaged, and are the truly disadvantaged so absent from this process that there's no real category for them?