TarHeelEMT

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I submitted my application in mid September and haven't heard a peep. I figure I will have a better chance next cycle. Talking to my advisor, she recommended I delay graduation for a year so I could tack on another minor (business administration) to my degree. However, will it be a red flag that I took 5 years to graduate? Clarifying, I could have graduated this coming May but I am choosing to spend 2 semesters working on an entirely new major. What does SDN think?
I'm not sure that a minor in Business Administration will somehow push your application over the edge, but nobody will care how long it took you to graduate. I went through two undergraduate institutions and half a dozen majors in four and a half years of college. It's way more important to consider the courses you took and how you did in them.
 

chman

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Jun 7, 2009
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I submitted my application in mid September and haven't heard a peep. I figure I will have a better chance next cycle. Talking to my advisor, she recommended I delay graduation for a year so I could tack on another minor (business administration) to my degree. However, will it be a red flag that I took 5 years to graduate? Clarifying, I could have graduated this coming May but I am choosing to spend 2 semesters working on an entirely new major. What does SDN think?

I don't know if it will be a red flag as much as just pointless. Med schools, from what I hear, and to be frank, won't give a fiddler's fart if you have a minor in business administration. You would probably be better off doing research, volunteering, etc.
 

rHinO1

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I submitted my application in mid September and haven't heard a peep. I figure I will have a better chance next cycle. Talking to my advisor, she recommended I delay graduation for a year so I could tack on another minor (business administration) to my degree. However, will it be a red flag that I took 5 years to graduate? Clarifying, I could have graduated this coming May but I am choosing to spend 2 semesters working on an entirely new major. What does SDN think?
If you have a bad cgpa, then doing the business minor could help increase it. If the problem is your sgpa, then it will do absolutely nothing to help you.

Also, if the reason you don't get an acceptance is due to MCAT, ECs, PS, or LOR then the business minor will not help.

Since you were complete late, then you may have some luck with late interviews. The cycle is definitely not over, but it may be time to start planning incase you don't get in.
 

solo75

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Jul 13, 2010
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I think your time would be spent better doing something else other than getting a business minor. It would cost me another 10K to go to school for another year, and for what? How does a business minor help your application? Does it make you unique? I think taking graduate classes would give you more bang for the buck in terms of helping your application. If I were in your shoes though, I would probably try to get a job either teaching or doing research in a lab.

Also, all hope is not lost for this cycle. Have you tried sending update or intent letters? It worked for me...
 

LRAccord624

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Oct 18, 2009
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I submitted my application in mid September and haven't heard a peep. I figure I will have a better chance next cycle. Talking to my advisor, she recommended I delay graduation for a year so I could tack on another minor (business administration) to my degree. However, will it be a red flag that I took 5 years to graduate? Clarifying, I could have graduated this coming May but I am choosing to spend 2 semesters working on an entirely new major. What does SDN think?
In general, the best course of action is to avoid listening to your premed advisor completely. We need some more information about you in order to give you good advice, but generally:

1. Call/email the schools you were rejected by to find out what the major problems with your application were.
2. Structure you activities for the next year around fixing the problems with your application.

For more specific advice, you should give some information about what your issues were (GPA? MCAT? EC's? Where all did you apply? How were your letters of recommendation? How were your personal statement and secondary essays?).
 

solo75

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I have no idea where to even begin with a letter of intent... would you mind elaborating?
Sure, a letter of intent can be anything you want it to be. Mine was more of an update letter that let the school know what I was up to (undergrad thesis, volunteering, working a health campaign on campus, etc). I was going to send the letter to other schools, but I got the interview from that school a week later and got accepted 3 weeks later. It was my top choice.

If you want more ideas on what you should write, do a search on SDN or ask your counselor. There are plenty examples on here, in books, and in other places on the internet. Feel free to PM me and I can tell you anything you'd like to know about how mine went. Good luck.
 

werd

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I submitted my application in mid September and haven't heard a peep. I figure I will have a better chance next cycle. Talking to my advisor, she recommended I delay graduation for a year so I could tack on another minor (business administration) to my degree. However, will it be a red flag that I took 5 years to graduate? Clarifying, I could have graduated this coming May but I am choosing to spend 2 semesters working on an entirely new major. What does SDN think?
your biggest problem is likely that you submitted your app in september. applying that late really really hurts your chances. whatever you decide to do for the next 9 mo., submit in june or july next year.
 

rHinO1

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Perhaps I am still butt-hurt about that fact, but will someone please explain this to me -- what is the point of extending the application deadline to October if the applications do not get the same considerations? Why not end in July?
It is up to you to keep up with everyone else. It isn't a secret that you should apply early.
 

rHinO1

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Still doesn't answer my question
If they made the deadline in July, then everyone would be in by June. It is that competitive, and people really do go out of their way to be first in line for medical school.

What I am saying is that the deadline is arbitrary, and late vs. early is determined by the applicants (not the school).
 

gettheleadout

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Perhaps I am still butt-hurt about that fact, but will someone please explain this to me -- what is the point of extending the application deadline to October if the applications do not get the same considerations? Why not end in July?
Because if they limited the time frame that much then you would have all 20,000 applicants, who all know they only have a month or two, flooding/overloading the schools in a really short time to where it wouldn't be manageable or practical.
 

RogueUnicorn

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a minor is just about the most useless thing ever
 

loveoforganic

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Your biggest weakness, in my eyes, is easily your total clinical experience - particularly your volunteering. Combine that with the late application, and I can see how you're in this position. If you end up needing to take a gap year, I'd definitely beef up the clinical volunteering and round it out with a little shadowing.
 

chman

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dragon529

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Instead of doing a minor, consider doing something that you are weak on. Clinical exposure? Community Service? Research? Leadership?
 

Salient

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A minor is pretty worthless IMO, aside from enjoyment.
I wasn't disagreeing with him, I was just picturing him saying that with his hand on his face.
 

Catalystik

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A large percentage of students spend 5 years getting their degree, so you will not be disadvantaged at all by 5 years in college. If asked, your strategy to keep health insurance/delay loan repayment is a good explanation, showing some strategic thinking. Why not get an MPH instead, which would at least help you when it comes time for the residency application process?

Your stats are fine now. Don't get mediocre grades and screw them up.

Another year's clinical volunteering at 4 hours per week and about 60 more hours of shadowing, split among a few docs (including primarycare), maybe some leadership and/or nonmedical community service will do wonders for your application next year.
 

Wermz

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Let me clarify. I plan on pursuing a minor to keep me enrolled in college so I can delay paying off student loans, receive more loans for living expenses, and to keep me as dependent so I can stay on my parents insurance. I figure it will be easy to find time to beef up my ECs if all I have to worry about are business classes.

The catch is I do not want the fact that I am graduating in 5 years instead of 4 to negatively impact my application.
You talk about delaying student loans, but won't you just have more to pay if you stay in school? That's like delaying debt payment by going farther into debt.
 

badb100d

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Hmm...I can see the practical reasons why you are considering the additional minor. However, that being said, while you will be able to defer paying off loans, you will also be incurring more loans and that doesn't seem like the best solution. And as for insurance, the new reforms mean you should be able to get insurance through your parents up through age 26 even if you're not in school and not a dependent.

With your stats you'd be much better served working on your EC's. You could look into something like Americorps which is 1 year, gives a stipend, may qualify you for loan payback postponement and has lots of great opportunities.
 
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solo75

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Jul 13, 2010
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Let me clarify. I plan on pursuing a minor to keep me enrolled in college so I can delay paying off student loans, receive more loans for living expenses, and to keep me as dependent so I can stay on my parents insurance. I figure it will be easy to find time to beef up my ECs if all I have to worry about are business classes.

The catch is I do not want the fact that I am graduating in 5 years instead of 4 to negatively impact my application.
If anything that helps your application when you are competing against a majority of applicants that have less schooling than you. Business classes don't do anything for your application though. Why don't you take graduate classes in something useful like genetics, biochem, anatomy ect... that would look really good on an application for med school.
 

startswithb

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That is exactly what it is. However, my tuition is not outrageous and what is 15,000 when you are sitting on 250,000 when everything is said and done?
And you can't get a job with health insurance coverage because....? What are all the other college graduates doing? Taking out loans for insurance and living expenses to take bogus classes?? Debt is real and should be avoided.
 

solo75

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And you can't get a job with health insurance coverage because....? What are all the other college graduates doing? Taking out loans for insurance and living expenses to take bogus classes?? Debt is real and should be avoided.
I agree with this. Why wouldn't you want to make ~30K doing an entry level job to start paying off debt instead of adding on to it. Why don't you at least try to find something and if you fail, you can fall back on minor/grad school.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I'm not sure that a minor in Business Administration will somehow push your application over the edge, but nobody will care how long it took you to graduate. I went through two undergraduate institutions and half a dozen majors in four and a half years of college. It's way more important to consider the courses you took and how you did in them.
I disagree. I've had three different interviewers comment on how long it took me to graduate. I graduated in 4 and a half years, had a minor, and traveled abroad.... and my later graduation date was still a red flag for some people. I think you should take the advice of previous posters and find other ways to spend your year off.
 

Salient

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I disagree. I've had three different interviewers comment on how long it took me to graduate. I graduated in 4 and a half years, had a minor, and traveled abroad.... and my later graduation date was still a red flag for some people. I think you should take the advice of previous posters and find other ways to spend your year off.
I can understand it being a red flag if you don't have a good excuse; are you sure it was marked against you even though you had a minor and traveled? I would see a big difference between someone who just took a minimum load every semester for five years and someone who had a schedule filled with so much awesome stuff that they couldn't possibly graduate in four.
 

rHinO1

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Also, just because they asked, doesn't mean it was a red flag or held against you.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I can understand it being a red flag if you don't have a good excuse; are you sure it was marked against you even though you had a minor and traveled? I would see a big difference between someone who just took a minimum load every semester for five years and someone who had a schedule filled with so much awesome stuff that they couldn't possibly graduate in four.
Yeah I was surprised by it too! One interviewer seemed to ask about it more for clarification purposes, but the other two were definitely leaning towards the delay as a negative... "Why did it take you so long to graduate???" I explained it to them honestly. I traveled abroad to Africa and decided to take courses specific to the country rather than taking biochemisty/public health courses (for my major/minor). This put me behind a quarter. I chose to go abroad during summer and fall quarter so I would only miss one quarter of school. My last "year" I was supposed to take one course during the summer and then a full-load fall quarter....but due to budget cuts one of my classes was moved to Winter quarter. So I worked full-time and took that one stupid course in the winter...blah blah. Anyways, I didn't expect my delayed graduation to be an issue, but since it came up multiple times, I think others may have the same problem. I think if you can answer the question truthfully and logically (e.g. it makes sense why you stayed the extra time...for good reason!) then you are fine. I ended up getting accepted to the 3 schools that asked me about it....