Need help coming up with school list

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radioactive15

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I want to start researching schools to apply to this cycle, and wanted to see if the SDN community can help me come up with a school list (a foundation which I will add/remove schools from when I research them)

First off, when researching schools, do you search up schools in which your MCAT and GPA fall within the 20-80 percentile of stats, and decide to apply there, or do you search for schools with averages similar to your own MCAT/GPA? (obviously location is also another factor)
What else do you look for when deciding where to apply? How do you utilize MSAR to its full potential? (I use some of its filters, but which ones specifically do you recommend?)

For those willing to help me come up with a school list, here is a bit about me:
I want to apply to MD schools only (no DO)

Traditional applicant
Born in NY, but have legal residence in NJ
White/Asian background
3.92 overall GPA (3.94 science GPA)
514 MCAT (91st percentile) but got 126 (67th percentile) in the Bio section
Anthropology major
2 years of research (no pubs, 1 presentation)
Good LoRs
200 clinical volunteer hours
200 non clinical volunteer hours
75 shadowing hours with multiple docs
1 leadership experience (not too significant, but at least it's something)
I prefer something in the Tri-State area and/or medical schools in Florida, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina if I have a chance at those OOS.
I am open to West Coast (California) schools if I have a reasonable chance as OOS.

Thank you in advance to anyone willing to help.

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This will get moved to WAMC pretty soon but

1) Start with all the programs in your state of residence.
2) Go through MSAR and look at schools MCAT median. Target those where the score is within the 30-35 region as a rough guide
3) Look at IS% vs OOS%. Target those that take at least 20-25% OOS.

You should be able to find at least 30 schools doing this. From there you can narrow it down accordingly to your interests and you can post that list if you want input on editing it.
 
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Here is how I approached picking my medical school list.

1. Wrote down my stats, calculated my LizzyM score

2. Went through a list of med schools (sources include the current school-specific discussion forum which lists them alphabetically, USNWR list, or MSAR - you'll get more or less the same result either way) and wrote down any schools I was possibly interested in attending. I came up with a list of around 40 schools.

3. Looked for all schools in my state or which gave preference to applicants from my state. Made sure they were on my list and/or added them to my list.

4. Went through my list and tabulated median GPA (two decimal places) and MCAT for each school based on MSAR data and then sorted them in excel by MCAT score.

5. Separated them generally into reach/target/"safety" categories

6. Pruned my list down to a reasonable number of schools by removing those I wasn't really interested in for whatever reason. I ended up going against the golden rule of SDN and removed half of my state schools as well. I was arrogant and decided that I would rather reapply than go to these schools. Most applicants should not do this. I ended up with 24 schools which was, I felt, a reasonable number.

7. Make sure I had an adequate balance of reach/target/"safety" (balance doesn't have to be 1:1:1 - it depends on your applicant profile. Mine was around 4:1:1).

NOW

If I were to do this again, or advise someone else, I would add these steps (indicated by number where they should fall into this list):

5.5. Look at the 10th and 90th percentile sGPA, cGPA, and MCAT of all the schools on the list. If my numbers fell outside the list, I would put them in a "probationary" category.

6.1. Don't remove half my state schools.

6.5. Go through the probationary list and remove any schools that were not from my state and that I didn't feel really really strongly about wanting to possibly attend.

8. Make sure I have at least 20 schools. If I didn't have 20, I would go back to my original list and add some schools back in, preferably in the target range.

FINALLY

What is your MCAT?

Also moving to WAMC
 
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Here is how I approached picking my medical school list.

3. Looked for all schools in my state or which gave preference to applicants from my state. Made sure they were on my list and/or added them to my list.

Where do you find this data about which schools give preference from specific states? MSAR?

And my MCAT is 514 (91st percentile) but with a 126 (67th percentile) in the Bio section
 
Where do you find this data about which schools give preference from specific states? MSAR?

And my MCAT is 514 (91st percentile) but with a 126 (67th percentile) in the Bio section
[/QUOTE]

MSAR or school websites. In most cases, it'll just be your state schools, but in certain instances, some schools also give some sort of preference to neighboring states. I forget exactly which, but I don't think there are any schools outside NJ that favor NJ applicants. Most of the schools I'm thinking of are in the midwest.

514 is a 33 equivalent. 126 is a 9-10 (forget which) in Bio which is low, but I don't think fatal.
 
Can any admissions members help me come up with a preliminary school list based on your experiences with candidates similar to me?

Why should we do your work for you? @WedgeDawg did a good job of describing the steps you need to take. Your score is approximately 72.2 which is fine for all but the stratosphere schools. Unless you feel drawn to Loma Linda, I'd leave the California schools off of your list.
 
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Why should we do your work for you? @WedgeDawg did a good job of describing the steps you need to take. Your score is approximately 72.2 which is fine for all but the stratosphere schools. Unless you feel drawn to Loma Linda, I'd leave the California schools off of your list.
Wasn't necessarily asking you to do all the work, just needed somewhere to start.

Is USC off the list too?

And finally, should I apply:
-low tier heavy
-middle tier heavy or
-equal mid and low tier?

Thank you
 
I would do like 65/35 low/mid with 22-27 schools, but that can vary if you want. You could apply to USC, but your MCAT is 2 points below their median.
 
See the wise LizzyM's post above. But start list with the NJ schools.


I want to start researching schools to apply to this cycle, and wanted to see if the SDN community can help me come up with a school list (a foundation which I will add/remove schools from when I research them)

First off, when researching schools, do you search up schools in which your MCAT and GPA fall within the 20-80 percentile of stats, and decide to apply there, or do you search for schools with averages similar to your own MCAT/GPA? (obviously location is also another factor)
What else do you look for when deciding where to apply? How do you utilize MSAR to its full potential? (I use some of its filters, but which ones specifically do you recommend?)

For those willing to help me come up with a school list, here is a bit about me:
I want to apply to MD schools only (no DO)

Traditional applicant
Born in NY, but have legal residence in NJ
White/Asian background
3.92 overall GPA (3.94 science GPA)
514 MCAT (91st percentile) but got 126 (67th percentile) in the Bio section
Anthropology major
2 years of research (no pubs, 1 presentation)
Good LoRs
200 clinical volunteer hours
200 non clinical volunteer hours
75 shadowing hours with multiple docs
1 leadership experience (not too significant, but at least it's something)
I prefer something in the Tri-State area and/or medical schools in Florida, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina if I have a chance at those OOS.
I am open to West Coast (California) schools if I have a reasonable chance as OOS.

Thank you in advance to anyone willing to help.
 
See the wise LizzyM's post above. But start list with the NJ schools.

I don't really like any of the NJ schools except RWJMS.

Would you consider RWJ a middle tier or lower tier school? It has a good reputation around my college but when I check the average stats, it doesn't look eye-popping
 
I would do like 65/35 low/mid with 22-27 schools, but that can vary if you want. You could apply to USC, but your MCAT is 2 points below their median.

What is the lowest amount of points below the median MCAT score which are safe to apply to? Is 2 points below a stretch? If so, I'd do not want to waste money and time applying to places which I am not competitive enough
 
I don't really think about this. What's its LizzyM score. Then compare it to other MD schools. Drexel is ~67-68, Harvard is ~ 75.

Would you consider RWJ a middle tier or lower tier school? It has a good reputation around my college but when I check the average stats, it doesn't look eye-popping[/QUOTE]


My rule of thumb is if you're above the 10th %ile, you're in striking distance. But the higher you go, the closer to median you should be. So for Harvard, I would recommend having a 35 (ie, 2 points lower)

For Duke or Keck, a 33-34 (~3 points lower)

What is the lowest amount of points below the median MCAT score which are safe to apply to? Is 2 points below a stretch? If so, I'd do not want to waste money and time applying to places which I am not competitive enough
 
What is the lowest amount of points below the median MCAT score which are safe to apply to? Is 2 points below a stretch? If so, I'd do not want to waste money and time applying to places which I am not competitive enough

I would say that your "match" schools shouldn't have more than a 34 MCAT median.
 
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