Feb 15, 2012
204
72
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all, I'm starting my post-bacc this summer at a state university with the gen chem series(full yr's worth accelerated over the summer), and I'm a bit nervous about paying for all this. Basically, in state options for post bacc are poor and so I decided to attend this school due to its proximity to my family and the fact that its semi-structured (committee letter, advising, etc). That said, the costs are a bit high, but not as bad as some of the private post baccs i've seen. Just for reference, I have roughly $10,000 in prior undergrad debt. Fed loans will cover approximately $12k per year for a post bacc if I'm pursuing a 2nd bachelors. The financial aide office has wised up to this, and basically if you don't show that you are working towards your 2nd bachelors (i.e. classes in addition to your pre-med prereqs), you only receive one years worth of financial aide. So that leaves me with the challenge of covering the costs. That said, 15 credits (3 classes) cost about $7500 per quarter. 10 Credits are around $5000 per qtr. If I were to do just the bare minimum prereqs over the next year my schedule would look something like this:

Summer 12: Gen chem series (15 Credits)
Fall 12: Orgo I, Bio I
Winter 13: Orgo II, Bio II, Physics II (I've already taken Phys I)
Spring 13: Orgo III, Bio III, Physics III
MCAT, APPLY

*This option provides little in the way of time to study for the MCAT or take other classes such as biochem, genetics, etc. I plan to work about 10-20 hrs per wk if possible, and am signed up to participate in 8 hrs clinical research/ wk.

Totaled up, it would be about $28,000-30,000 for the year in tuition. Obviously, I would need to supplement this with other income/private loans. Is this too crazy?


Here's what option 2 w/ a second bachelors route would look like:

Summer 12: Gen Chem Series (15 credits)
Fall 13: Orgo I, Bio I, Elective
Winter 13: Orgo II Bio II, Elective
Spring 13: Orgo III, Bio III
Summer 13: Work, research, etc
Fall 13: Biochem, Physics I
Winter 14: Genetics, Physics II
Spring 14: Elective, Physics III, MCAT Study

Total: ~$48,000

This option provides more time to finish my prereqs, take extra classes, build clinical exp and study for the MCAT. I also have the option to work over Summer 2013 to offset some of the costs. Keep in mind that in order to get fin aid for more than one yr I have to take elective classes for my "SCIENCE" major.

Seems like the cost benefit leans towards the 2 yr route, as I CANNOT afford to do poorly on the MCAT or in my science classes. But, it is alot of money. My prior GPA is a 3.86, so I'd prefer not to wreck that. I'd love some feedback/opinions on what you think might be the best route!
 
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HopesandDreams

7+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2011
102
51
Status
Medical Student
Summer 12: Gen chem series (15 Credits)
Fall 12: Orgo I, Bio I
Winter 13: Orgo II, Bio II, Physics II (I've already taken Phys I)
Spring 13: Orgo III, Bio III, Physics III
MCAT, APPLY


Here's what option 2 w/ a second bachelors route would look like:

Summer 12: Gen Chem Series (15 credits)
Fall 13: Orgo I, Bio I, Elective
Winter 13: Orgo II Bio II, Elective
Spring 13: Orgo III, Bio III
Summer 13: Work, research, etc
Fall 13: Biochem, Physics I
Winter 14: Genetics, Physics II
Spring 14: Elective, Physics III, MCAT Study

Total: ~$48,000
Why would you take the mcat in spring of 2014 if you are doing option 2? Even if you do option 2 you should still take mcat in spring of 2013. That way you could apply for admission in fall of 2014. Theres no need to lose an extra year on top of doing it in 2 years. Also I would recommend flipping that 2nd year schedule to do physics upfront and o chem towards the end, there is much more physics than o chem on mcat, o chem is being phased out. My own personal experience was that I waited to take the mcat because I thought I needed to do o chem first and it ended up being unnecessary, I could have taken it much earlier. I got a 38p, but not because I took O chem, there was almost no organic on the test at all.

I would recommend you to do only the 1 year post bac, because your gpa is already great. The flip side of that is that even if you do only 1 year post bac, the earliest you could get in would be 2014, so you could hypothetically use that extra year to get a second bachelors. However that degree will be meaningless, so I think most would agree its not worth the time or money. The upside would be that you could potentially have a slightly more relaxed class schedule your first year from the looks of it.

edit: Why not do the post bac in one year, and start looking for paid research positions for fall of 2013 to keep you busy while you apply for fall of 2014. There was a poster recently who got into a 1 or 2 year research after their undergrad, getting paid 30k a year while simultaneously building your resume >> pointless 2nd degree.
 
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OP
beethousand
Feb 15, 2012
204
72
Status
Pre-Medical
Why would you take the mcat in spring of 2014 if you are doing option 2? Even if you do option 2 you should still take mcat in spring of 2013. That way you could apply for admission in fall of 2014. Theres no need to lose an extra year on top of doing it in 2 years. Also I would recommend flipping that 2nd year schedule to do physics upfront and o chem towards the end, there is much more physics than o chem on mcat, o chem is being phased out. My own personal experience was that I waited to take the mcat because I thought I needed to do o chem first and it ended up being unnecessary, I could have taken it much earlier. I got a 38p, but not because I took O chem, there was almost no organic on the test at all.

I would recommend you to do only the 1 year post bac, because your gpa is already great. The flip side of that is that even if you do only 1 year post bac, the earliest you could get in would be 2014, so you could hypothetically use that extra year to get a second bachelors. However that degree will be meaningless, so I think most would agree its not worth the time or money. The upside would be that you could potentially have a slightly more relaxed class schedule your first year from the looks of it.

edit: Why not do the post bac in one year, and start looking for paid research positions for fall of 2013 to keep you busy while you apply for fall of 2014. There was a poster recently who got into a 1 or 2 year research after their undergrad, getting paid 30k a year while simultaneously building your resume >> pointless 2nd degree.

Thanks! Good advice. My fear of the one year plan is rushing the MCAT in the Spring while simultaneously taking orgo, bio and physics plus working. I dunno, maybe I can pull it off...It's been awhile since I've taken hard sciences but I did do well in A&P as well as my intro to chemistry (all A's) That said, I would prefer to finish everything in the year due to costs. Regarding your recommendation about 2 yr plans, I was under the impression that you would need to have complete the majority of orgo before you applied? If not, what do you think about a 2 yr plan like this?


Summer 12: Gen Chem Series (15 credits)
Fall 13: Bio I, Elective
Winter 13:phys II Bio II, Elective
Spring 13: Phys III, Bio III, MCAT
Summer 13: Work, research, apply to schools

Fall 13: Biochem, Orgo I
Winter 14: Genetics, Orgo II
Spring 14: Orgo III, Elective?
 

alexrgross

7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2010
613
0
los angeles, california
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks! Good advice. My fear of the one year plan is rushing the MCAT in the Spring while simultaneously taking orgo, bio and physics plus working. I dunno, maybe I can pull it off...It's been awhile since I've taken hard sciences but I did do well in A&P as well as my intro to chemistry (all A's) That said, I would prefer to finish everything in the year due to costs. Regarding your recommendation about 2 yr plans, I was under the impression that you would need to have complete the majority of orgo before you applied? If not, what do you think about a 2 yr plan like this?


Summer 12: Gen Chem Series (15 credits)
Fall 13: Bio I, Elective
Winter 13:phys II Bio II, Elective
Spring 13: Phys III, Bio III, MCAT
Summer 13: Work, research, apply to schools

Fall 13: Biochem, Orgo I
Winter 14: Genetics, Orgo II
Spring 14: Orgo III, Elective?
This looks like a fairly good schedule, and know that genetics and biochem or physiology type courses usually have the bio series as pre-reqs. Orgo needs to be completed before matriculation, not applying.
In terms of U Wash, this is a competitive school and aside from a good GPA and very good MCAT >31, extensive clinical and non-clinical and research is the norm for matriculants. I would caution you to the dangers of taking the MCAT in Spring. Perhaps wait a until mid-June, and study some after finals. That way you might have your secondaries complete before the end of July.
I am not sure your reasons for choosing U wash, other than it is you state school, though I know they are quite selective.
 
OP
beethousand
Feb 15, 2012
204
72
Status
Pre-Medical
This looks like a fairly good schedule, and know that genetics and biochem or physiology type courses usually have the bio series as pre-reqs. Orgo needs to be completed before matriculation, not applying.
In terms of U Wash, this is a competitive school and aside from a good GPA and very good MCAT >31, extensive clinical and non-clinical and research is the norm for matriculants. I would caution you to the dangers of taking the MCAT in Spring. Perhaps wait a until mid-June, and study some after finals. That way you might have your secondaries complete before the end of July.
I am not sure your reasons for choosing U wash, other than it is you state school, though I know they are quite selective.
Good to know, thanks. UWash seems to be a good option because of in state of course, but also because of my interest in primary care. I grew up in a rural area and am entertaining the idea of rural medicine, but I also want to keep my options open. That said, I'm willing to go anywhere.
 

thlaxer

Passable Paperweight
Feb 19, 2011
531
4
NJ
Status
Medical Student
Summer 12: Gen Chem Series (15 credits)
Fall 13: Bio I, Elective
Winter 13:phys II Bio II, Elective
Spring 13: Phys III, Bio III, MCAT
Summer 13: Work, research, apply to schools

Fall 13: Biochem, Orgo I
Winter 14: Genetics, Orgo II
Spring 14: Orgo III, Elective?
I wouldn't follow this schedule. Taking the MCAT without having taken Orgo seems like a really bad idea. If your biological sciences section happens to be orgo-heavy, there's a high chance you'll be lost on the exam.. The orgo concepts tested aren't difficult, but if the first time you're seeing them is during MCAT review, it can be very confusing and hard to follow.

From your original post, I'd go with Option 2 over Option 1. It's just safer (easier to get better grades) and allows for time to get more clinical and research experiences. You can also work part-time during the academic year as well if you find that the courseload is manageable. Just my thoughts. Good luck!
 
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