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# of schools to apply to

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by meowkat444, May 5, 2007.

  1. meowkat444

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    Advice from older, wiser students please..,

    My list of schools to apply to hovers around 25. I feel that this is probably an unmanageable number. Geography is not an issue, as I have already narrowed away places I couldn't live. However, when I try to narrow it more, I run into one of two problems:

    1) This is a place that I have a reasonable shot of getting in, and given that this whole process is so difficult, I hate to cut it.
    2) This is a place I would dream of going, and even though I probably won't get in, I would hate to give up on it before trying.

    Can you give me tips on how many is too many? Any suggestions?
     
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  3. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4

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    I'm not an "older, wiser student", just another 2008er, but I agree with you that 25 is too many. However, how many really depends on your stats, research experiance, volunteering, clinical, etc (the intangibles). Maybe it would be good to give a little more infor about yourself so that others could give you more informed advice.
     
  4. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian
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    OK, I am an older/wiser student. 25 is an OK number to start with, really. It's only a matter of what you can afford. Since the primary application is always the same, there is no incentive to limit your options at this time. When you start getting secondaries is really when you need to start making decisions, because it will be very difficult to submit 25+ original essays, not to mention rediculously expensive. By then you should be able to better guage your competitiveness as a candidate. You will also be able to better assess which programs are better suited for you.
     
  5. bottles999

    bottles999 Senior Member

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    The number isnt high at all. Really, as someone metioned above, the key fact is what one can afford to apply to. Even more so than orginal essays. You will find alot of commonality in questions the various adcom's ask so there is alot ALOT of cut and paste going on. So the work load once you get, say above 5 or 10, isnt rediculously more. Just the cost of each application is close to $75-100/school. With that number you pushing close to $2500 - $3000+ when all said and done for just the application process alone. This includes the primary, secondaries, and stamps for all the LoRs alone and doesnt include the time to write the apps.

    Personally, If your stats are borderline, I would opt for a wider net. A number of schools you think you have a really good chance and then a few of those dream schools. If I would consider cutting anywhere, it would be the dream schools.

    Good luck
     
  6. bottles999

    bottles999 Senior Member

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    The number isnt high at all. Really, as someone metioned above, the key fact is what one can afford to apply to. Even more so than orginal essays. You will find alot of commonality in questions the various adcom's ask so there is alot ALOT of cut and paste going on. So the work load once you get, say above 5 or 10, isnt rediculously more. Just the cost of each application is close to $75-100/school. With that number you pushing close to $2500 - $3000+ when all said and done for just the application process alone. This includes the primary, secondaries, and stamps for all the LoRs alone and doesnt include the time to write the apps.

    Personally, If your stats are borderline, I would opt for a wider net. A number of schools you think you have a really good chance and then a few of those dream schools. If I would consider cutting anywhere, it would be the dream schools.

    Good luck
     
  7. hawkeey

    hawkeey Member

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    that number is not unreasonable at all, but as mentioned, expensive.

    I would do some more research and narrow things down based on what you are looking for and your preferences.

    One way to do this is to establish equivalency classes between different schools (eg. school X is just a good as school Y and Z). And then out of the equivalency classes select the ones that you actually would like to attend (between X, Y, and Z, I would rather attend X).

    I think this also depends upon the strength of your application. If you have perfect grades and great research experience (published papers and stuff) you can probably just cut it down to one 'safety' school. If you are unsure, then you will need to apply to wide range of schools.

    For reference, I applied to about 15 schools on the primary. By the secondary I narrowed it down to about 10 schools (some I no longer liked, some didn't give me a secondary). By the end, I had about 5 schools to choose from with varying characteristics.
     
  8. PBandJ

    PBandJ hot dog back in action!
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    I think 25 is a good number of schools if your stats are somewhere in the middle. If your MCAT and GPA are both significantly higher than the averages at most of those schools, then you could probably reduce the number of schools. But it's generally a good idea to apply broadly.

    At the beginning of last app cycle, I planned to apply to no more than 15 schools. After doing some research and asking for advice, I decided to go with 24 schools total. I think it was a good decision on my part, considering that all of my interviews were at schools that I added after increasing my # of schools.

    Worst case scenario in applying to "too many" schools? You spend a little extra $ on the app process only to find out you're getting interviews all over the place. You withdraw apps at schools you're not as interested in and move on. IMO, it's worth the extra $ not to have to do this whole thing over again. Best of :luck: to you.
     

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