El Sol

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Will it hurt me, as a medical school candidate, if I graduate from a no tier university (university has a fourth tier master's program, but doesn't say anything about undergrad)? The reason that I decided to attend was because it would be very inexpensive, after scholarships, and I could graduate without any debt.

I'm in a position where I could transfer to a tier 1 university, but I am comfortable at my current university. The only reason I would transfer would be if it would really hurt me when applying to medical school.

I have all my bases covered (high gpa, LOTS of clinical experience, LOTS of leadership, genetic research in the fall, and MCAT next year). If I do well on the MCAT 30+ will I still have a shot at top tier medical schools?

Please be honest with me. I will not be offended.

~El Sol
 

unicorn06

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El Sol said:
Will it hurt me, as a medical school candidate, if I graduate from a no tier university (university has a fourth tier master's program, but doesn't say anything about undergrad)? The reason that I decided to attend was because it would be very inexpensive, after scholarships, and I could graduate without any debt.

I'm in a position where I could transfer to a tier 1 university, but I am comfortable at my current university. The only reason I would transfer would be if it would really hurt me when applying to medical school.

I have all my bases covered (high gpa, LOTS of clinical experience, LOTS of leadership, genetic research in the fall, and MCAT next year). If I do well on the MCAT 30+ will I still have a shot at top tier medical schools?

Please be honest with me. I will not be offended.

~El Sol
I think you have a chance from a lower tier school even at Harvard if your stats and experiences are good enough. However, that said, I definitely think that going to a top school like Stanford, Duke, or an Ivy gives you thiat extra edge. I'm not an expert, but I did go to one of these top ten schools, and at all of my interviews, my interviewers have told me how they could tell from my ambitions at attending a top school and my ability to excel at a top school that I would be able to handle their medical school. When you have a great ugrad school on your resume, you come in with the balance tipped in your favor. You still have to be good, but the name helps you to stand out.

In summary, I think you have a shot from your current school but that transfering would increase your chances (provided you still earned great grades and got the competitive MCAT score at the top school). Any other opinions?
 

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El Sol said:
Will it hurt me, as a medical school candidate, if I graduate from a no tier university (university has a fourth tier master's program, but doesn't say anything about undergrad)? The reason that I decided to attend was because it would be very inexpensive, after scholarships, and I could graduate without any debt.

I'm in a position where I could transfer to a tier 1 university, but I am comfortable at my current university. The only reason I would transfer would be if it would really hurt me when applying to medical school.

I have all my bases covered (high gpa, LOTS of clinical experience, LOTS of leadership, genetic research in the fall, and MCAT next year). If I do well on the MCAT 30+ will I still have a shot at top tier medical schools?

Please be honest with me. I will not be offended.

~El Sol
it does hurt, and if i were you i would transfer to the best school i could attend, money be damned. i made the mistake of attending my state school for scholarship money and i never stop regretting it. top schools do look considerably more favorably upon candidates from top undergrads. well i go to ut austin and ive interviewed at some top schools, but ill see if i get in. maybe im wrong. i do feel like its put me at a disadvantage though, and it would be that much easier if i had gone to a good undergrad i was capable of going to.
 

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El Sol said:
I have all my bases covered (high gpa, LOTS of clinical experience, LOTS of leadership, genetic research in the fall, and MCAT next year). If I do well on the MCAT 30+ will I still have a shot at top tier medical schools?

Please be honest with me. I will not be offended.

~El Sol
I agree that it really depends on your entire application, but it especially depends on how well you do on the MCAT in order to have a shot at top tier schools.
 

Shredder

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rocketman said:
I agree that it really depends on your entire application, but it especially depends on how well you do on the MCAT in order to have a shot at top tier schools.
its true that mcat is an equalizer to some extent, but from what ive seen at my top interviews most of the representation is from highly ranked undergrads. this was very true at columbia, as many others might confirm. then again, correlation does not imply causation--meaning maybe those undergrads were simply the best to begin with and wouldve ended up there anyway. 30+ mcat isnt enough to have a competitive shot at top tier, 35+ is a much better bet
 

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It's also somewhat self-selection. A lot of kids at my state school don't apply to the big name schools even if they do get the high scores, either because they don't want to live in someplace like NYC or because they can't afford to apply to a whole bunch of programs (normally the kids who can afford to pay four years of tuition at Harvard can afford to send out more than a couple apps) or they know they can't afford to go if they do get in or they'd rather stay close to home for med school.... I'm not saying that applies to everyone, but I think there are a good chunk like that. I know of at least one girl with incredible stats who is only applying to one top twenty school and then our state institution and a few backups.
 

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I think this really depends on just how badly you want to go to a top med school, and if you are going to be picky about which one. To gain admittance to one of the very best medical schools, you will need a very good MCAT i.e. 33, 34, 35 or more to affirm the quality of your GPA.

Even with an absolutely stellar application, coming from a no-tier university you will probably not be admitted to all (or even many) of the top med schools. Most of the very best applicants from the very best undergrads don't do so. But some do. In my estimation, the absolutely excellent students at top undergrads have an extremely high likelihood of gaining admitted to at least a few of the top medical schools, whereas the students of equal caliber from lesser undergrads may have difficulty being admitted to even one. And they rarely, if ever, will be admitted to many, so they don't get as much choice in the matter as to where they will spend the next 4 years of their lives.

OK, I know this isn't very coherent, but my gist is:
You can certainly make it to a great med school without transferring, but if you want more options, transfer. People will debate ad nauseum whether the education is actually better at one of these "top-ten" undergrads, but I think it is. The tuition is a factor, but financial aid is often substantive.

In sum, I think you should apply as a transfer to the top-ten undergrads. It will buy you some time, and then see what sort of aid package you get. If it's not going to cost a lot more money, or if your family can easily afford it, I don't see any reason not to transfer (that is, if receiving the best education possible and gaining admittance to a top medical school is more important than staying in your comfort zone).
 

solitude

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mashce said:
It's also somewhat self-selection. A lot of kids at my state school don't apply to the big name schools even if they do get the high scores, either because they don't want to live in someplace like NYC or because they can't afford to apply to a whole bunch of programs (normally the kids who can afford to pay four years of tuition at Harvard can afford to send out more than a couple apps) or they know they can't afford to go if they do get in or they'd rather stay close to home for med school.... I'm not saying that applies to everyone, but I think there are a good chunk like that. I know of at least one girl with incredible stats who is only applying to one top twenty school and then our state institution and a few backups.

I agree with this. It is not always financial either: these students are generally every bit as smart as the ones from other undergrads applying to all of the "top-10" med schools, but often don't have the same connections or resources. E.g. their parents are not on the faculty at one of these medical schools, their pre-med office doesn't hold their hand through the process, etc.
 

Saluki

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I talked with my advisor about this same thing, and he said that it was all BS and to follow the money trail- that noone would look down on you if you can from a "flagship" state university.
There's a question on the Johns Hopkins secondary that asks why you chose your undergrad and I laid out the fact that I couldn't have afforded anywhere else and without the scholarship money I would have been flipping burgers to work my way through community college. If the schools don't respect the fact that some of us are just plain poor, then you don't want to go to that elitist institution anyways...
 

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solitude said:
whether the education is actually better at one of these "top-ten" undergrads, but I think it is
it is, and similarly at the med school level. you get what you pay for. +33 34 35 is about avg at top schools, it takes more to be safe. el sol are you urm? serious question to be taken into consideration
 

solitude

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mashce said:
I talked with my advisor about this same thing, and he said that it was all BS and to follow the money trail- that noone would look down on you if you can from a "flagship" state university.
There's a question on the Johns Hopkins secondary that asks why you chose your undergrad and I laid out the fact that I couldn't have afforded anywhere else and without the scholarship money I would have been flipping burgers to work my way through community college. If the schools don't respect the fact that some of us are just plain poor, then you don't want to go to that elitist institution anyways...

This often isn't true. Most of the top undergrads have endowments so large that financial aid is quite extensive. A lot of my friends here at Duke pay less in tuition than they would have had they gone to their state school. On the other hand, some got crappy financial aid, and their families were willing to do whatever it took to foot the bill for their education. One of my friends' parents sold their house to pay his tuition. I'm not the one to judge whether this was a smart decision, just submitting some anecdotes.
 

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I think a lot of this crap on here is a little bit of BS, alright yeah I went to a top tier school (national liberal arts however) but its not a brand name like people on SDN seem to think the world of. In short don't be fooled, if you are a good student their are top tier schools that unlike the damn ivies, notre dame etc. meet full demonstrated need. If you really feel your chances are gonna be hurt by the name on your diploma I'd encourage you to look at some of the small schools in the midwest like Grinnell, Kenyon, Lawrence, St. Olaf...all are top tier schools that because of what some people would deem undesirable locations (small to mid size midwest towns) offer an parallel education to what you are gonna see out east for half the price...and within the academic world have a reputation even though your everyday dip**** hasn't heard of them...its worth your while to check some of these places out if you want a great education without a ton of debt.
 

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and for all my education i put a "their" in instead of "there" god I hope i didn't do this poor of a job editing my application crap
 

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and one more fact Grinnell per student has the largest endowment by far of any school in the country...they are well over one billion which is insane considering this is a school literally in the middle of nowhere an hour outside des moines... and barely has 1500 students... still its known to be one of the toughest schools around and the MCAT scores coming out of this place are impressive...although sometimes GPAs take a slight hit because the rampant grade inflation at some (cough ivies cough) is nowhere to be seen.
 

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The only "ivy" students I've met have been at med school interviews, so I can't really say much about them or their education besides the fact that they definitely predominate over state-schooled kids. But, as said above, this could be mostly due to selection of the best students from high school, hence a higher proportion of "good" medical school applicants.

In my case, I chose a state school (Michigan State) mostly for financial reasons. I have a UofMich acceptance, and interviews at WashU, UPenn, and Harvard coming up. If nothing else, I think I actually seem like something fresh in an interview room full of Yale and Harvard and Hopkins students...

If you really want to transfer, go ahead and do it. Interviewers may not like your reason, if they ask why you did and you tell the truth. If, instead of troubling with the transfer, you can study hard enough where you are to boost your MCAT a point or two vs. what you'd get otherwise, I think you'd be better off. Good luck on whatever you decide.
 
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El Sol

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Shredder said:
it is, and similarly at the med school level. you get what you pay for. +33 34 35 is about avg at top schools, it takes more to be safe. el sol are you urm? serious question to be taken into consideration
I am an URM (Mexican-American), and most of my leadership positions deal with helping the Hispanic community.

My pre-med advisor tells me that there is a difference, but a top student will do well and have a decent shot no matter what school he or she attends. I believe him because students are consistently being accepted to our two state med schools University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School and Medical College of Wisconsin.

I just like to get second opinions.

~El Sol
 

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El Sol said:
I am an URM (Mexican-American), and most of my leadership positions deal with helping the Hispanic community.

My pre-med advisor tells me that there is a difference, but a top student will do well and have a decent shot no matter what school he or she attends. I believe him because students are consistently being accepted to our two state med schools University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School and Medical College of Wisconsin.

I just like to get second opinions.

~El Sol
Good luck to a fellow citizen of Sconnie Nation!! :luck: :luck:
 

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Being a top Mexican-American I would venture a guess you would get huge financial aid if you were to transfer. At places like Yale and Harvard you do not pay the money back. It might be worth a shot, and could be a great experience. It seems like the big name schools have incredible research going on too. Since you are pre-med I would pick those over the excellent small schools in the midwest for the research opportunities. I agree there are many smart kids at state schools, but usually the opportunities at top-tier schools are greater. It might be worth a shot, you certainly have nothing to lose. I agree you will need stellar (at least 35) MCATs to get noticed unfortunately, otherwise they won't take your GPA seriously. It sounds like you are in great shape, go for a change!! You might like it.
 

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check your pm box
 

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Shredder said:
30+ mcat isnt enough to have a competitive shot at top tier, 35+ is a much better bet

I'm at a top 5 with a 30. (And I went to a state school)
 

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solitude said:
This often isn't true. Most of the top undergrads have endowments so large that financial aid is quite extensive. A lot of my friends here at Duke pay less in tuition than they would have had they gone to their state school. On the other hand, some got crappy financial aid, and their families were willing to do whatever it took to foot the bill for their education. One of my friends' parents sold their house to pay his tuition. I'm not the one to judge whether this was a smart decision, just submitting some anecdotes.
The financial aid still doesn't cover everything. I only applied to a few schools (my stupid academic counselor didn't realize about fee waivers). My expected family contribution was zero, and even after generous grants and loans it wasn't enough. Not that my parents would have cared enough to do so, but I think it's foolish to sell the family home to allow your kid to get a similar education to what would be available at University of North Carolina. What is it that makes a top ten undergrad better? The faculty? Here at my no name public university, we have one of the top two civil war historians in the country, a pioneer in the field of chemistry, who was offered a slot at UPenn but decided to stay here since he already had his lab and grad students in place, and my advisor who has had most of his books published by Oxford press. Now, maybe not every professor is of that caliber, but I doubt it matters that much. Besides if the education at the ivies for pre-med kids was that much better, then why is it that one of the few people on this forum with a 43 is from University of Alabama? Why are kids from those low ranked universities still getting 35+ on the MCAT if the education at those top schools so superior? Look past the hype and if you have the right hardworking spirit and the intelligence, you could get a good education at the local community college. I always get my famous people mixed up, but I think it was Max Planck who was a bookbinder before becoming an assistant in a laboratory and writing all his great stuff.
 

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javert said:
I'm at a top 5 with a 30. (And I went to a state school)
ORM? urochester is a private school and ranked relatively high compared to the hundreds of other schools in the country. 30 at top schools happens but its bad advice to dispense to ppl who havent taken it yet
 

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Shredder said:
ORM? urochester is a private school and ranked relatively high compared to the hundreds of other schools in the country. 30 at top schools happens but its bad advice to dispense to ppl who havent taken it yet

Gotta agree with you here. It does make sense that top medical schools accept students from top undergrads. As some have pointed out, self selection may be a reason, just like elitism may play a factor. I go to a average state school for a variety of reasons. I got a good scholarship (baseball) but I lost it because I could not continue to play ball anymore, but I have a solid financial aid package. I am content going to a state medical school. My uncle is a successful CT surgeon and he attended a state medical school.
 

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El Sol said:
Will it hurt me, as a medical school candidate, if I graduate from a no tier university (university has a fourth tier master's program, but doesn't say anything about undergrad)? The reason that I decided to attend was because it would be very inexpensive, after scholarships, and I could graduate without any debt.

I'm in a position where I could transfer to a tier 1 university, but I am comfortable at my current university. The only reason I would transfer would be if it would really hurt me when applying to medical school.

I have all my bases covered (high gpa, LOTS of clinical experience, LOTS of leadership, genetic research in the fall, and MCAT next year). If I do well on the MCAT 30+ will I still have a shot at top tier medical schools?

Please be honest with me. I will not be offended.

~El Sol
You'll be fine, but you MUST have stellar MCAT scores: if you have a high gpa (I'm guessing 3.8+), and you score say a 28 O, this would reflect poorly on the quality of your school and suggest that it was a cakewalk to earn a 3.8+ gpa because if your classes were more challenging, you would have been better prepared for the MCAT. However, if you score well, it will mean that you were challenged in your classes and had to work hard to achieve your gpa... I'm not sure how to word this in a more lucid way. Basically the MCAT is an equalizer, and it is geared more towards schools adcoms are less familiar with so they can correlate you gpa and the quality of your school to your MCAT scores.
 

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mashce said:
The financial aid still doesn't cover everything. I only applied to a few schools (my stupid academic counselor didn't realize about fee waivers). My expected family contribution was zero, and even after generous grants and loans it wasn't enough. Not that my parents would have cared enough to do so, but I think it's foolish to sell the family home to allow your kid to get a similar education to what would be available at University of North Carolina. What is it that makes a top ten undergrad better? The faculty? Here at my no name public university, we have one of the top two civil war historians in the country, a pioneer in the field of chemistry, who was offered a slot at UPenn but decided to stay here since he already had his lab and grad students in place, and my advisor who has had most of his books published by Oxford press. Now, maybe not every professor is of that caliber, but I doubt it matters that much. Besides if the education at the ivies for pre-med kids was that much better, then why is it that one of the few people on this forum with a 43 is from University of Alabama? Why are kids from those low ranked universities still getting 35+ on the MCAT if the education at those top schools so superior? Look past the hype and if you have the right hardworking spirit and the intelligence, you could get a good education at the local community college. I always get my famous people mixed up, but I think it was Max Planck who was a bookbinder before becoming an assistant in a laboratory and writing all his great stuff.

I'm going to curb all political correctness starting now.

Frankly put, classes at flagship state universities are a joke compared to those at the best undergrads. There is a reason that these undergrad institutions have become well respected over the years, and it is because the education is better! Of course they have better faculty too, and yes this translates into better education (for the most part). But the fact of the matter is that students at these schools are more challenged in their classes and end up learning more. Hence the preference demonstrated by adcoms in the application process.

Of course there are students from state schools scoring 35+ on the MCAT. But proportional to the student body, there aren't very many of these students scoring very high, and thus the university average is much lower. The average at Duke, Harvard, and the like sits in the 33-34 range. The average. This includes the C students. Maybe students at these schools are receiving a better education?

I'm not saying that you can't receive a good education at a state school, or that you can't get into good medical schools. You can. But to say that the education is as good, or your chances of getting into good medical schools are as good, is just false.

As for the financial aspect, I agree that it can sometimes be difficult to make up all of the money, even with extensive financial aid. You can say what you will about how foolish it is to sell the family home to obtain a much better education. It speaks volumes about the marginal value your family places on education.
 

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The education at state schools is as good if nto better than many of the ivies where grad e inflation is rampant. Look at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Stanford where there is so much flexibility and "external" factors that influence grading. True the ivies have students with higher mcat scores, but also realize that most of them are naturally smart to begin with, whereas education from the school may not be as important. To say that an ivy is better is biased because education can ultimately come from teaching oneself. The professor and professors are there to help you understand the material, not to teach you it. The education comes from disciplining yourself to understand the material independently so when you become a physician you don't need to rely on other people as much to solve problems. Proof for this? Look at all the highly qualified Asians from China, Pakistan, India, etc.. that have 3rd world quality education and are scoring the highest on the exams.

Thus, to say that you receive a better education means nothing. It's all about what you do with your resources. And these resources are primarily your textbook and a desk.

Finally, no one gives a damn when you're 40 years old and you graduated from Harvard Med. You might get a momentary "wow" but you're in debt 55 billion dollars, whereas i'll be in debt a lot less. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor.
 

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solitude said:
I'm going to curb all political correctness starting now.

Frankly put, classes at flagship state universities are a joke compared to those at the best undergrads. There is a reason that these undergrad institutions have become well respected over the years, and it is because the education is better! Of course they have better faculty too, and yes this translates into better education (for the most part). But the fact of the matter is that students at these schools are more challenged in their classes and end up learning more. Hence the preference demonstrated by adcoms in the application process.

Of course there are students from state schools scoring 35+ on the MCAT. But proportional to the student body, there aren't very many of these students scoring very high, and thus the university average is much lower. The average at Duke, Harvard, and the like sits in the 33-34 range. The average. This includes the C students. Maybe students at these schools are receiving a better education?

I'm not saying that you can't receive a good education at a state school, or that you can't get into good medical schools. You can. But to say that the education is as good, or your chances of getting into good medical schools are as good, is just false.

As for the financial aspect, I agree that it can sometimes be difficult to make up all of the money, even with extensive financial aid. You can say what you will about how foolish it is to sell the family home to obtain a much better education. It speaks volumes about the marginal value your family places on education.
I completely agree with you; to those of you who are still wondering why ivy and comparable schools send more of their students to top schools its because adcoms believe what has been posted above. Sure there are a few individuals who slip through the cracks, but in general, applicants who attended cc's and ttt's are not taken seriously by adcoms at top 10 schools
 

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yeah, but you're missing his point. he's saying that even flagship state universities (i.e. unc chapel hill, or university of virginia, uc berkeley, etc...) are a joke compared to ivies.
 

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Hermit MMood said:
yeah, but you're missing his point. he's saying that even flagship state universities (i.e. unc chapel hill, or university of virginia, uc berkeley, etc...) are a joke compared to ivies.
But he was not talking about Virginia, or Michigan or similar schools, he was talking specifically about ttt's (third tier toilets, although some aren't technically third tier) such as St Cloud State, Southern Illinois, Umass Amherst, University of Kansas, Iowa State, University of Arizona, et cetera
 

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Hermit MMood said:
yeah, but you're missing his point. he's saying that even flagship state universities (i.e. unc chapel hill, or university of virginia, uc berkeley, etc...) are a joke compared to ivies.

I have taken courses at one of these "flagship state universities" and I can tell you for a fact that they were not even comparable in rigor to those I have taken at Duke. Simply put, we covered much less material by moving much more slowly, had about 1/4 of the take-home assignments, and the exams were laughable. I can't even imagine how easy the classes must be at even less rigorous state universities.
 

masterMood

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nah man this is what he said,

Originally Posted by solitude
I'm going to curb all political correctness starting now.

Frankly put, classes at flagship state universities are a joke compared to those at the best undergrads.
 

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Hermit MMood said:
nah man this is what he said,

Originally Posted by solitude
I'm going to curb all political correctness starting now.

Frankly put, classes at flagship state universities are a joke compared to those at the best undergrads.

Yes, although my comments are even more relevant for ttt's.
 

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solitude said:
I have taken courses at one of these "flagship state universities" and I can tell you for a fact that they were not even comparable in rigor to those I have taken at Duke. Simply put, we covered much less material by moving much more slowly, had about 1/4 of the take-home assignments, and the exams were laughable. I can't even imagine how easy the classes must be at even less rigorous state universities.
Did you take an honors course or a regular section? If the courses are jokes compared to those at the ivies, how come so many kids from state schools score high on the MCAT? If our education is that inferior, you'd think we wouldn't be able to perform as well....
 

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solitude said:
You can say what you will about how foolish it is to sell the family home to obtain a much better education. It speaks volumes about the marginal value your family places on education.
I find this incredibly insulting. How do you know how high a value my family places on education, simply because I wouldn't want my family to sacrifice their financial interests so that I could go to a school with a higher level of prestige? I think that a lot of education is the effort you put into it. Are you just aiming to do what you need to get an A or are you reading on your own, speaking with your professors, doing things outside of the classroom? Sure, there are more "average" students at the university- So what? The pure volume of a state university may mean that we have just as many intelligent kids as a place like Duke, it's just they're more dispersed. Does that really matter? I think that if you take an honors upper level class at a state university, you'll find students of the same caliber, though perhaps not the same socioeconomic class as at Harvard.
 

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Hermit MMood said:
The education at state schools is as good if nto better than many of the ivies where grad e inflation is rampant. Look at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Stanford where there is so much flexibility and "external" factors that influence grading. True the ivies have students with higher mcat scores, but also realize that most of them are naturally smart to begin with, whereas education from the school may not be as important. To say that an ivy is better is biased because education can ultimately come from teaching oneself. The professor and professors are there to help you understand the material, not to teach you it. The education comes from disciplining yourself to understand the material independently so when you become a physician you don't need to rely on other people as much to solve problems. Proof for this? Look at all the highly qualified Asians from China, Pakistan, India, etc.. that have 3rd world quality education and are scoring the highest on the exams.

Thus, to say that you receive a better education means nothing. It's all about what you do with your resources. And these resources are primarily your textbook and a desk.

Finally, no one gives a damn when you're 40 years old and you graduated from Harvard Med. You might get a momentary "wow" but you're in debt 55 billion dollars, whereas i'll be in debt a lot less. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor.
Grade inflation is largely irrelevant for premeds majoring in a biological or physical (even more so) science at these schools. The inflation you mention of really only applies to humanities majors. For instance, if you look at Penn, the grade inflation may look like a problem, but if you analyze the situation closer, here's what you'll find:
1) Engineering and Business majors have an average GPA of 2.7-3.0.
2) The average letter grade in a premed requirement course is a B/B-.
3) The average letter grade for Organic Chemistry and the lab component is a C or C-, depending on your professor.
4) The majority of classes with a high percentage of A's belong to humanities classes (ie. English, Classical Studies, Visual Arts, etc.).

It's true that the really smart and really bright at all universities are generally at the same level, but the average student at the higher-end schools are definitely at an advantage, because adcoms know that these schools have tough curriculums. I don't know how much going to a top tier school will factor in against a lower tier school, but the education you receive at these schools is simply much better, because you have more resources, much more helpful professors, access to technologies that few other schools allow students to even touch, and so on.

To the OP: a word of warning; top tier schools tend to factor in grades from other schools differently when they assign you a GPA on your transcript. Check out what respective GPA numbers you would get from your previous transcript. My friend went through the same thing.
 

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mashce said:
I find this incredibly insulting. How do you know how high a value my family places on education, simply because I wouldn't want my family to sacrifice their financial interests so that I could go to a school with a higher level of prestige? I think that a lot of education is the effort you put into it. Are you just aiming to do what you need to get an A or are you reading on your own, speaking with your professors, doing things outside of the classroom? Sure, there are more "average" students at the university- So what? The pure volume of a state university may mean that we have just as many intelligent kids as a place like Duke, it's just they're more dispersed. Does that really matter? I think that if you take an honors upper level class at a state university, you'll find students of the same caliber, though perhaps not the same socioeconomic class as at Harvard.

Yea that was incredibly insulting. I think Hermit Mmood said it best, when you are 40 practicing medicine, no one will care where you got your MD. Most people do not even know half of the medical schools out there. When I was shadowing my uncle I was wearing scrubs and some patient thought I was a doctor. It would be nice to go to Harvard or a big name school like that but I can learn to practice medicine from a state school also. In the end the harvard grad will be making as much money as the state school grad, assuming they are both practicing the same specialties. Simple as that.
 

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mashce said:
I find this incredibly insulting. How do you know how high a value my family places on education, simply because I wouldn't want my family to sacrifice their financial interests so that I could go to a school with a higher level of prestige? I think that a lot of education is the effort you put into it. Are you just aiming to do what you need to get an A or are you reading on your own, speaking with your professors, doing things outside of the classroom? Sure, there are more "average" students at the university- So what? The pure volume of a state university may mean that we have just as many intelligent kids as a place like Duke, it's just they're more dispersed. Does that really matter? I think that if you take an honors upper level class at a state university, you'll find students of the same caliber, though perhaps not the same socioeconomic class as at Harvard.

Bringing this discussion back to the OP, yes, this fact matters for medical school admissions. If there are really as many intelligent kids at a state university, how come there aren't as many that wind up at top med schools?

The point of this argument is that the school you go to for undergrad matters when applying to medical school. In some state universities of many thousands of students, only a lucky few will end up at a top med school. At some top undergrads, there are a few and even up to 10-15 students going to every single top med school.

Finally, I don't see how you can draw the conclusion that those students who are paying more for their education aren't putting a lot of effort into it. In fact it seems that the exact opposite is true, barring the children of extremely wealthy parents.
 

solitude

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CTSballer11 said:
Yea that was incredibly insulting. I think Hermit Mmood said it best, when you are 40 practicing medicine, no one will care where you got your MD. Most people do not even know half of the medical schools out there. When I was shadowing my uncle I was wearing scrubs and some patient thought I was a doctor. It would be nice to go to Harvard or a big name school like that but I can learn to practice medicine from a state school also. In the end the harvard grad will be making as much money as the state school grad, assuming they are both practicing the same specialties. Simple as that.

Absolutely not true for academic medicine. Sure if the only thing driving your decision to choose a medical school is the amount of money you will make in the end, but some people actually care about the quality of their education and not the worldly possessions that it will help them acquire.
 

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mashce said:
Did you take an honors course or a regular section? If the courses are jokes compared to those at the ivies, how come so many kids from state schools score high on the MCAT? If our education is that inferior, you'd think we wouldn't be able to perform as well....
Let's be honest, the MCAT does not go into depth that much, so you only need to know the absolute basics
 

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Well I know it is every little pre-med's dream to get into Harvard but someone has got to fill those low tier med schools and since pre-meds from top undergrads would never condescend to go to a low tier medical school and get an "inferior" education, I guess all the low tier med schools will recieve the "inferiorly" educated state schoolers... it is beautiful how the system works to save the poorly educated.... :laugh:
 

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solitude said:
Bringing this discussion back to the OP, yes, this fact matters for medical school admissions. If there are really as many intelligent kids at a state university, how come there aren't as many that wind up at top med schools?

The point of this argument is that the school you go to for undergrad matters when applying to medical school. In some state universities of many thousands of students, only a lucky few will end up at a top med school. At some top undergrads, there are a few and even up to 10-15 students going to every single top med school.

Finally, I don't see how you can draw the conclusion that those students who are paying more for their education aren't putting a lot of effort into it. In fact it seems that the exact opposite is true, barring the children of extremely wealthy parents.
I'm not saying that the students who are paying more aren't putting a lot of effort into it. All I'm saying is that you can get an equivalent education to what you could get at Northwestern at the University of Alabama if you put your heart into it.
I think there are several reasons why a lot of kids from state schools don't get in:
1) They can't afford a Kaplan course and do worse on the MCAT
2) Many of the people on the admissions board are people like you who think state universities are crap (whether or not political correctness allows them to say so)
3) A larger than normal portion of students at a school like Columbia are pre-med. My school has 15,000 students and only about 100 kids applying to med school each year
4) I know a couple kids with 35+ who aren't applying out of state because they think it's too expensive to go if they got in
5) They never had anyone tell them that they had the intelligence and capability to get in someplace other than the state school
 

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solitude said:
Absolutely not true for academic medicine. Sure if the only thing driving your decision to choose a medical school is the amount of money you will make in the end, but some people actually care about the quality of their education and not the worldly possessions that it will help them acquire.
Do you think that those of us who go to our state medical school don't care about our education? And you can get into academic medicine from anywhere if you work hard enough- last I heard the head of pediatric infectious disease at one of the top children's hospitals was a graduate of the med schol in Little Rock. I don't think the fact that you value prestige rather than money makes you all that admirable.
 

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MahlerROCKS said:
Let's be honest, the MCAT does not go into depth that much, so you only need to know the absolute basics
If that was true, then every pre-med who had done well in the basics should do well on the exam. I know a girl who graduated from Stanford with a 4.0 but only got a 30 on the MCAT. It does touch on just the basics, but it also requires critical thinking skills- so maybe the public schools do well in giving us that...
 

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mashce said:
Do you think that those of us who go to our state medical school don't care about our education? And you can get into academic medicine from anywhere if you work hard enough- last I heard the head of pediatric infectious disease at one of the top children's hospitals was a graduate of the med schol in Little Rock. I don't think the fact that you value prestige rather than money makes you all that admirable.

Point taken, but I have to again disagree. I value the quality of the education, which is better at top schools.

If you disagree with the statement: "the education one receives is better at some undergrads/med schools than it is at others", then I think this argument is unresolvable and we should stop bickering.
 

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mashce said:
And you can get into academic medicine from anywhere if you work hard enough- last I heard the head of pediatric infectious disease at one of the top children's hospitals was a graduate of the med schol in Little Rock.
You're citing an exception, not the standard; I’m not saying that you have to go to a top school to practice in academic medicine, but rather that top schools are generally aimed towards academic medicine while lower tier schools are not
 

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mashce said:
Do you think that those of us who go to our state medical school don't care about our education? And you can get into academic medicine from anywhere if you work hard enough- last I heard the head of pediatric infectious disease at one of the top children's hospitals was a graduate of the med schol in Little Rock. I don't think the fact that you value prestige rather than money makes you all that admirable.

Again people think that you need a harvard MD or a hopkins MD to practice academic medicine. I wonder who practices medicine at the so called lower tier schools. It has to be the graduates of the lowier tier schools since the Ivies will not come near us uneducated state school students. After my uncle finished his Cardiothoracic surgery fellowship he served as an Assitant Professor of Surgery at an academic institution before going to private practice. As I mentioned before he is a state school grad. I will take money over prestige any day of the week and twice on sunday.
 

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Paying $100,000 for a BA is ridiculous. I went instate for undergrad so I could go to grad school without ending up in a huge hole of debt at the end. Work hard and build a great application, and who cares where you go to school? Good luck either way. :luck:
 

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mashce said:
If that was true, then every pre-med who had done well in the basics should do well on the exam. I know a girl who graduated from Stanford with a 4.0 but only got a 30 on the MCAT. It does touch on just the basics, but it also requires critical thinking skills- so maybe the public schools do well in giving us that...
Realize that you're concentrating a large amount of high work ethic/high intelligence/high work ethic & high intelligence kids in one school whereas a state school is a bit more diluted, but the students in both schools are still the same. Whereas the ivies practically nudge you along the whole process (as Tigress said), a state school makes you more indepedent. How so? You have to do all the homework by yourself. You need to watch your back academically/extracurricularly and realize that your pre-med career can easily be over if you fail classes whereas at ivies rampant grade inflation (albeit a little lower for the sciences as previously mentioned), or even a little "tinkering" with grades and some money can help you. Finally, the arrogance I see from ivy league students in general is just unnecessary especially in the field of medicine where the practice of it is more mechanical and through repetition than innovative thinking. In that case, and even in that rare case, would a school like MIT or Cornell be justifiable. But even in that case, there are many state schools that have pretty damn good programs. I think where as the ivy schools the students are given the resources right from the start, as a state school student you have to work your ass off and earn the right to use the resources of the university by the time you are a junior or senior. Thus, arrogance in any profession prevents progress and only promotes jealousy and resentment among one another.

What this argument ultimately comes down to is

Kid 1: "My dad has a Honda Accord" (reliable, trustworthy, pocket-friendly, and longlasting)
Kid 2: "Oh yeah? My dad owns BMW 3" (unreliable, fun, not pocket-friendly, probably burn your pocket)
 

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This debate will be futile.

There are smart people everywhere but as someone pointed out obviously more selective places will have higher concentrations of smart people and in turn will send more people to medical school.

With that said, Is it the quality of the incoming student or the institution that makes going to an "ivy" a plus for med schools?

Believe it or not there are people who turn down such acceptances that you could have easily called your classmates.

Now if you think that going through your school that uses the same textbooks makes you SMARTER than you were at the start then I would have to disagree.
 

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BrettBatchelor said:
This debate will be futile.
Absolutley futile:

So-and-so MD

not

So-and-so MD (from _____ University)