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Please help me rank the rigor of these schools!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by walloobi, 10.30.14.

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  1. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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  3. Kochanie

    Kochanie

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    Don't go to Northwestern. I can't speak for the rest of them, but I'm sure one of them is a better option. Also, it's very expensive but they do give good financial aid if you need it, not based on merit at all. If you're premed, they'll make you retake all of the science classes so it's not worth it (cc credit doesn't transfer). My friend is a 5th year senior (which is actually hard to be here) after transferring in from a CC. She had to retake all her As and got Cs.
     
    Last edited: 10.30.14
  4. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    I like Pomona.
     
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  5. unnumzaan

    unnumzaan 5+ Year Member

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    Well, Stanford and WashU are on opposite ends of the perceived grade inflation spectrum, from what I hear.
     
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  6. godawg300

    godawg300

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    First I would recommend getting in and then deciding.
     
  7. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    Stanford inflates and WashU deflates?
     
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  8. raiderette

    raiderette 2+ Year Member

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    With many of these private schools, transfer applications do not get much financial aid. Of course UCLA and UC Berkeley are excellent choices, though you shouldn't ignore the other UC campuses. Most of the privates that you listed have miniscule transfer rates. I recommend you add a few safety schools to your list and look for schools that give aid to transfers.
     
  9. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    Haha I knew this would come up, but I want to rule out some schools before wasting money applying to them. For example, with Kochanie's comment about Northwestern, I would have wasted like $100 applying needlessly. So getting accepted to a school isn't always a prerequisite for posting a question like this.
     
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  10. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    Last edited: 07.25.16
  11. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    The average GPA at the UCs is kept low (~3.1) so they are your worst bet if you want a good GPA for med apps/

    The rigor at top-tier schools will be comparable, but the grade inflation will not - you're better off being average at Stanford than at Wustl by about +0.2.

    See where you get in first.
     
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  12. godawg300

    godawg300

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    Well, it's entirely possible to do well at Stanford but this will depend on what courses you are taking and your major. If you are going to be taking most of your premed courses at any of those schools, it will be tough. Also, you practically have to walk on water to get into Stanford as a transfer and most are not coming from CC, but other top institutions. UCLA will be tough if you have to take some of the major premed courses, otherwise upper division courses are easier. I don't have experience with those other schools, but I hear USC ain't too bad (but expensive).
     
  13. Porkloins

    Porkloins Where am I

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    No matter your stats, these are all very competitive universities to get into by transfer (unless your CC is in CA?), so consider adding at least 1 safety school that has a combination of easy to get into + good academics (e.g. Pitt). Here's my opinion on the rigor/'namebrand' of these schools:

    Stanford
    Duke/UCLA
    Pomona
    WashU/USC/CMC/Rice/NW
    UCD

    Keep in mind that for undergraduate academics the difference between a school like WashU and Duke (or even Stanford) is minimal... you sure know how to pick your feeder schools x)

    edit: Ok didn't realize you wanted to know 'rigor' in terms of how easy it is to get a high GPA. In this case, Stanford, Pomona and Rice are probably easier (not easy) to get higher grades at than UCLA. Not sure about the other schools.
     
    Last edited: 10.30.14
  14. Boolean

    Boolean

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    Even if their CC is in CA, admissions at Stanford and Duke are going to be a crapshoot.
     
  15. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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  16. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    I know, they accept like 20 transfers each year haha I'm not getting my hopes up
     
    Last edited: 10.30.14
  17. Porkloins

    Porkloins Where am I

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    OP, I recommend checking out the pre-health pages for these schools and seeing what percentage of their grads are accepted into MD programs. If it is 85%+, then you can be pretty certain that even if there is grade deflation going on, then adcoms are taking that program's rigor into account when looking applicants' GPA.
     
  18. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    McKenna and Pomona are really not directly comparable to the rest because they are tiny LA colleges while the others are larger, research-heavy universities.

    UCLA certainly does not have a reputation above Northwest/Wustl/Rice; even Berkeley (the public school) is lower in rank/test score/accept rate metrics.

    More like:

    Stanford
    Duke
    NW/WashU/Rice
    USC/UCLA
    UC Dave

    Libral urts are a different beast, I've no idea how acdoms view them compared to the big name universities.
     
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  19. Kochanie

    Kochanie

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    I forgot to add, if you do want to go to Northwestern, you obviously wouldn't have to retake any pre-reqs if you don't major in Biology/Chemistry. But you will be extremely (like totally) limited with what science classes you can take besides the rest of the pre-reqs.
     
  20. Porkloins

    Porkloins Where am I

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    The top liberal arts schools (Williams, Amherst, Pomona etc.) are pretty much near or equal to Ivy in terms of where their students end up after graduation (http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/). Not to mention these school tend to produce well-rounded and well-spoken premeds (all the rage nowadays) AND offer really good research opportunities for the undergrads. I think they are sort of undermentioned simply because of how few people go to these schools.

    You're right though about me ranking UCLA too high. Though is OP talking about WU or WUSTL? New prestige list:

    Stanford
    Pomona
    Duke
    NW/Rice/CMC
    WU/UCLA
    USC

    Though these are all great schools, so it's pretty pointless to pull out hairs worrying over the relative 'prestige' of these places unless you're OP's mom and want to brag about how smart US News says OP is x)
     
    Last edited: 10.30.14
  21. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    WU = Wustl = Washington University, the one with average test scores in the 99th percentile and USNAWR ranked alongside NW, Johns Hopkins, Brown and Cornell. You thinking of University of Washington?

    Yeah there is really no going wrong with these options, but if he cares a lot about manageable rigor and kind grading then going somewhere like USC is >>> Duke or Wustl
     
  22. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    Just to clarify, I did mean Washington University in St. Louis, sorry for the confusion. But yeah, I think it might be a good idea to rule out wustl; there aren't too many things drawing me to it besides rank and a few good things I've heard about it from a couple friends, and those things definitely don't offset the difficulty of getting good grades.
     
  23. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Spot on. They have very high reported student happiness levels (compare to somewhere like JHop where they are miserable) so it's a great choice if you want to be competing against hundreds of other best-and-brightest premeds without hating your life. But if you want to have any confidence in making decent grades, and a campus culture where having an evening to relax, drink a few and watch crappy B movies with some buddies is normal...take it off the list.
     
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  24. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    I've heard Vanderbilt has reallly high student happiness levels, have you heard anything good about it?
     
  25. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness 2+ Year Member

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    Yes. Wash U alum here. Can confirm Wash U deflates, so if you can get a 3.7+ GPA here, you're solid for med school application.
     
  26. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Yes, I toured both Vandy and Wustl when deciding where to attend and have had high school friends go to both. They are both excellent, very beautiful clean campuses in good spots near the happening parts of their cities, happy and friendly students roaming around who were happy to pause and rave about it to me. I've heard nothing but good things about Vandy, it sounds similar to Wustl with less of a premed presence (but still very smart people in all the classes, and rigorous). They are also incredibly generous with their financial aid, offering me $10k more aid than the next best in their initial offer - they have also started receiving a big boost in applicant numbers from this policy (now down near 10% accepted). I'd stick that on the list to replace wustl.
     
  27. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Deflates compared to other top private schools. By no means are we as low as state schools with 3.0-3.1 cGPA averages, but we are deflating compared to the ridiculous 3.6-3.8 averages you see in HYS for example
     
  28. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness 2+ Year Member

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    Sorry, that's what I meant. But yes, med schools know this about Wash U.
     
  29. Fedekz

    Fedekz 7+ Year Member

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    Or their pre-health "advisors" discourage students from applying unless they have a pristine app - that's what my school does. A lot of schools boast their stats on sending their students to grad school, but there is more to it than just a simple percentage.
     
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  30. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    I heard the same thing about the ~10% drop in acceptance rate, but their website said that it dropped from 40% to 32% for transfer students. How in the world is the acceptance rate so high at such a good school?! It's like mind-boggling easy to get into as a transfer! I'm really confused...
     
  31. Porkloins

    Porkloins Where am I

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    Very possible. However, I'd still say if you graduate with a 3.5 at a rigorous institution with deflation but that's enough for cum laude, then you're certainly going to be looked upon favorably in relation to the 3.5 from a lesser institution.
     
  32. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Vandy loves transfers, just one of their many awesome society-friendly policies like their unbeatable financial aid
     
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  33. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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  34. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I was a middle class California resident who was accepted to all the UCs (with Regent scholarship at Davis) and ~5 Top 20s, of which I was most interested in Wustl and Vandy.

    Out of all of them, the UCs offered by far the worst aid, only about $5k in merit scholarship, such that they'd end up costing about $25-30k/yr. Vandy was by far the most generous offer - full tuition scholarship right off the bat, so I'd only be coming up with about $10k/yr for living expenses. Wustl was initially a little less generous but came up to meet Vandy.

    Vandy generally has a "no or very little loans" policy - they give you however much you need so that you graduate debt-free with parental support or well below the natl median if you are on your own. I'd predict Vandy would be the best financial option.
     
    Last edited: 10.31.14
  35. walloobi

    walloobi 2+ Year Member

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    Wow, that's incredible, I had no idea. I definitely need to look more into schools that are generous with financial aid, I just assumed that state schools would be the cheapest. Thank you so much for the information, this is really helpful.
     
  36. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    State schools are cheaper if you are upper class and would actually have to pay full tuition wherever you went. If you are middle class or lower, the aid from private schools usually makes them the same price or cheaper than state since state gives next to no aid. In the UCs you also have yo consider the high chance of needing a fifth year, several UCs have over a third of students unable to graduate in 4 yrs because of overcrowding in necessary core courses.
     

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