Please help! Withdrawing an acceptance and applying again next cycle?

May 7, 2020
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Please help! I have the potential to be in a tricky position and I would really appreciate any advice.

I am currently on the wait list at two in-state schools with no remaining interviews as of now. When I constructed my school list last year, my long term partner and I were content with the idea of staying in our current state/region. However, we also have a child we are raising and schools for her are a really important consideration for us.

Finances have become tough on us and this will likely be even more so the case if and when I begin medical school, and our current state is notoriously expensive. One of the schools I am on the wait list for is an area with great public schools, but very expensive (even more so than our current areand not super feasible for us.

We are considering the idea of moving out to a new state this summer (Utah) - one that will be more affordable for raising a family and that has good public schools to offer. However, while there is certainly no guarantee that I will be accepted off of either wait list, I am concerned about the idea that if I am and I turn down a spot, reapplying in the future might be very difficult for me. Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about this subject? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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we also have a child we are raising and schools for her are a really important consideration for us. Finances have become tough on us and this will likely be even more so the case if and when I begin medical school, and our current state is notoriously expensive. One of the schools I am on the wait list for is an area with great public schools, but very expensive (even more so than our current area and not super feasible for us).

We are considering the idea of moving out to a new state this summer (Utah) - one that will be more affordable for raising a family and that has good public schools to offer. However, while there is certainly no guarantee that I will be accepted off of either wait list, I am concerned about the idea that if I am and I turn down a spot, reapplying in the future might be very difficult for me. Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about this subject? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I would recommend staying on the waitlists and attending medical school if you are accepted off the waitlist. If you turn down an acceptance, you are losing at least one year of attending salary, which is likely more than whatever money you might be saving by withdrawing now, moving to Utah, and then reapplying the coming cycle. There is also no guarantee that you will be accepted if you were to reapply. After four years of medical school, you can choose to go to a cheaper area with nicer public schools for residency. Just my thoughts.
 
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I would recommend staying on the waitlists and attending medical school if you are accepted off the waitlist. If you turn down an acceptance, you are losing at least one year of attending salary, which is likely more than whatever money you might be saving by withdrawing now, moving to Utah, and then reapplying the coming cycle. There is also no guarantee that you will be accepted if you were to reapply. After four years of medical school, you can choose to go to a cheaper area with nicer public schools for residency. Just my thoughts.
Thank you for your thoughts! Where my daughter can go to school this upcoming year is also important, and one year of attending salary in the future won’t be able to help me with that today unfortunately. Do you believe that these circumstances are one which I could explain on my application while still demonstrating my commitment to medicine if I were to end up reapplying in the future? In other words, I’m trying to determine if this is an automatic red flag. Thank you again!
 
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I cannot say if it is a red flag, but others have indicated in similiar posts not to turn down an acceptance. Re applying after turning down an acceptance can be difficult as you will have to answer the question about prior med school acceptances during your re application. Having children can be tough during med school, but lots of people do it successfully. A very supportive partner is required as the first 2 yrs are difficult, for most, academically. 3rd and 4th year may require out of town rotations for weeks or months. I believe there lots of threads on this topic so use the Search Function to review these posts. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best!
 
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If you are absolutely positive you don’t want to attend med school next year, and I mean ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE, maybe think about withdrawing before an acceptance is sent from either WL school. That way you’ll avoid having to answer the “have you ever been accepted “ question. But remember, you might never get another interview. What do you plan to do in the new gap year? Have you kept up with your ECs this year so there will be significant improvement on your new application? It’s a difficult decision . Good luck in deciding what is best for your family.
 
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May 18, 2020
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Please help! I have the potential to be in a tricky position and I would really appreciate any advice.

I am currently on the wait list at two in-state schools with no remaining interviews as of now. When I constructed my school list last year, my long term partner and I were content with the idea of staying in our current state/region. However, we also have a child we are raising and schools for her are a really important consideration for us.

Finances have become tough on us and this will likely be even more so the case if and when I begin medical school, and our current state is notoriously expensive. One of the schools I am on the wait list for is an area with great public schools, but very expensive (even more so than our current areand not super feasible for us.

We are considering the idea of moving out to a new state this summer (Utah) - one that will be more affordable for raising a family and that has good public schools to offer. However, while there is certainly no guarantee that I will be accepted off of either wait list, I am concerned about the idea that if I am and I turn down a spot, reapplying in the future might be very difficult for me. Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about this subject? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I don't have kids or a partner to consider so I don't know exactly how you feel, but I would VERY strongly suggest you reconsider turning down the acceptances (if you get them). Moving to Utah and reapplying might not help you much. From a quick google search there are only two medical schools (one MD and one DO) in Utah. Getting into medical school as a reapplicant and as a reapplicant that turned down previous acceptances is hard enough, but then you'd have to consider that in order for you to stay in Utah, you'd HAVE to be accepted into those two medical schools in Utah. Also, those two medical schools might not even be anywhere near your house so you might have to move out alone (or again) anyway. With all that in mind, I don't think moving to Utah and reapplying would do you any good. If you'd have to move away for medical school anyway, your partner and child moving to Utah now while you stay in your current state alone for medical school would get you the same end result.

On top of that, you should very much consider the fact that you may never get another interview or acceptance ever again. The application process is a crapshoot, and the odds of acceptance decrease as a reapplicant and even more so for one that turned down acceptances. I would only consider doing what you said if you can see yourself being content with a very likely possibility of you not going to medical school again and changing career paths.
 
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Beggars cannot be choosers. As a former CA resident, my wife and I moved to a state that I had no connections to for med school. I had never even heard of my current city. But, only 40% of applicants get an acceptance to med school and only 20% get multiple acceptances to be able to “choose” where they go. I think it would be unwise to turn down an acceptance, and it definitely will make people question your dedication to medicine.

If you are positive you don’t want to go to X medical school that you are waitlisted at, then withdraw BEFORE the acceptance, but how many schools are on the list of “acceptable” cities for your daughter? Because as someone who interviewed at the University of Utah, their post-interview acceptance rate is extremely low compared to most other schools (~30%), and that’s if you can even manage to get an interview. They are a competitive school and their applicants all look the same: white, married, christian guys with above average stats, so it is difficult to seem “unique” in their applicant pool if you fall into those categories. On top of that, they are very stingy with their “in-state” requirements. I would not have qualified for IS tuition at their school despite having lived there for 4 years for undergrad and paying taxes there (I still had a CA drivers license, which they scanned). And their OOS tuition is abysmal: $77,000/year. So would moving there for a few months before applying even be worth it if you can’t manage to get a new driver’s license by then?

In other words, beggars can’t be choosers, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You want to be a doctor. I don’t think 4 years at a Detroit (or wherever) elementary school will hurt your daughter’s chances of going to Harvard someday haha.
 
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Med Ed

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Please help! I have the potential to be in a tricky position and I would really appreciate any advice.

I am currently on the wait list at two in-state schools with no remaining interviews as of now. When I constructed my school list last year, my long term partner and I were content with the idea of staying in our current state/region. However, we also have a child we are raising and schools for her are a really important consideration for us.

Finances have become tough on us and this will likely be even more so the case if and when I begin medical school, and our current state is notoriously expensive. One of the schools I am on the wait list for is an area with great public schools, but very expensive (even more so than our current areand not super feasible for us.

We are considering the idea of moving out to a new state this summer (Utah) - one that will be more affordable for raising a family and that has good public schools to offer. However, while there is certainly no guarantee that I will be accepted off of either wait list, I am concerned about the idea that if I am and I turn down a spot, reapplying in the future might be very difficult for me. Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about this subject? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
If you go to Utah there is a great chance that in a couple of years you will be sitting in Utah with no acceptance and no path forward. That's not a great outcome for your daughter, either. If you do get in this cycle then take the acceptance and make it work, just like everyone else does.

Utah may have decent public schools, but it's a terrible place to be a premed. One need only look at the volume of well-qualified BYU students who have to leave the state for medical school each year. If you're going to play the strategic move game you'd be better off targeting Fayetteville, Arkansas (very high rate of in-state acceptance) or Columbia, South Carolina (three state medical schools to choose from).
 
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As another person said, I have no such experience, but I also believe that if you get accepted, you should take it. Next year is likely to be more competitive than this year - considering the so-called Fauci effect. Hopefully, you get fin aid for the next 4 years. Perhaps your partner can take your daughter to a cheaper area. It will be tough for 4 years, but then you can bring your daughter up very well after you become an attending.
 
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wysdoc

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Please help! I have the potential to be in a tricky position and I would really appreciate any advice.

I am currently on the wait list at two in-state schools with no remaining interviews as of now. When I constructed my school list last year, my long term partner and I were content with the idea of staying in our current state/region. However, we also have a child we are raising and schools for her are a really important consideration for us.

Finances have become tough on us and this will likely be even more so the case if and when I begin medical school, and our current state is notoriously expensive. One of the schools I am on the wait list for is an area with great public schools, but very expensive (even more so than our current areand not super feasible for us.

We are considering the idea of moving out to a new state this summer (Utah) - one that will be more affordable for raising a family and that has good public schools to offer. However, while there is certainly no guarantee that I will be accepted off of either wait list, I am concerned about the idea that if I am and I turn down a spot, reapplying in the future might be very difficult for me. Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about this subject? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
No matter where you end up going, you will be getting loans for tuition and living expenses. Don't let some rating system for primary schools derail your plans to become a doctor!
 
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harvard_of_the_west

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The amount of financial assistance available to students through government loans and scholarships/grants can be really significant once you're in school. There's students who live and attend schools in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and New York entirely on student financial aid. Ironically, financial aid for this semester actually disburses today so everyone at my school is desperately waiting for their checks.

I'm also pretty sure that turning down an acceptance without a serious and compelling reason will pretty much blacklist you from ever going to that school should you reapply, so I'd caution you to be very careful with your decision.
 

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Like others have said, if you get an med school acceptance, take it. Also, as someone who lived in Utah for many years and knows many teachers there, the idea that Utah public schools are so good is a bit baffling to me. The state is consistently one of the lowest in education funding per pupil, and the high school graduation requirements are weirdly minimal (one of the state legislators even proposed chopping off the last two years of high school a couple of years ago). Your daughter can get good (or bad) elementary school education pretty much anywhere, and there's a significant degree of luck involved in that that you can't control.
 
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lumya

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So I agree with everyone else that withdrawing from an acceptance would be really bad and that OP should stay on the waitlists. But OP said they have two waitlists and I just wanted some clarification on that.

Withdrawing from a waitlist isn't as bad as withdrawing from an acceptance right? Because you haven't been accepted and wouldn't have state on your re-application that you have previously been accepted. Are med schools able to somehow know that you left a waitlist if it wasn't the med school whose waitlist you left?
 
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Just a thought, but have you looked into non-public schooling options, @fd25? Are you in a position where you can consider homeschooling? There are co-ops so your child can have social interactions with good influences, set curriculums to keep them on track if you want to send your child to public school later on, and the curriculum usually only takes about 2-3 hours.

If your wife works, can you configure the budget a bit to look into private school? Religious private schools tend to be the most affordable if you have religious beliefs.

I also echo the idea that there are good and bad public schools everywhere. Live in a good neighborhood or suburb with good public schools and your child will be fine.

Just something to think about.
 
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Thank you everybody for all of your very honest feedback and advice! I totally agree that missing out on a potential opportunity to attend school now could be detrimental to my future potential to become a doctor, and my wife also echoes this sentiment. It can simply be overwhelming making decisions like these with a child involved, as our priority as parents is always to give our daughter the best we can.

As many have recommended, we think that, should I be accepted off a wait list, we can move to a suburb near the school that can offer a good public school option. I’m happy to rely on my loans to support the higher cost of living during those four years, especially with the knowledge that paying those back will eventually be very feasible.

Thanks again to everybody for the advice and support during this anxiety-inducing process! I really appreciate it. Stay well everybody :)
 
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Thank you everybody for all of your very honest feedback and advice! I totally agree that missing out on a potential opportunity to attend school now could be detrimental to my future potential to become a doctor, and my wife also echoes this sentiment. It can simply be overwhelming making decisions like these with a child involved, as our priority as parents is always to give our daughter the best we can.

As many have recommended, we think that, should I be accepted off a wait list, we can move to a suburb near the school that can offer a good public school option. I’m happy to rely on my loans to support the higher cost of living during those four years, especially with the knowledge that paying those back will eventually be very feasible.

Thanks again to everybody for the advice and support during this anxiety-inducing process! I really appreciate it. Stay well everybody :)
Good luck for moving off WL to A.

Re: loans - remember there are loan forgiveness options available as well (like if you work in an underserved area as primary care provider etc). Or there is HPSP but that requires 4-7 years commitment to serve.
 
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So I agree with everyone else that withdrawing from an acceptance would be really bad and that OP should stay on the waitlists. But OP said they have two waitlists and I just wanted some clarification on that.

Withdrawing from a waitlist isn't as bad as withdrawing from an acceptance right? Because you haven't been accepted and wouldn't have state on your re-application that you have previously been accepted. Are med schools able to somehow know that you left a waitlist if it wasn't the med school whose waitlist you left?
You are 1,000% correct. Nobody will know, and it's exactly the same as withdrawing an app even before being on the WL. It's generally not done, however, unless you have an A, because it still sets you up to be a reapplicant, which has its own set of issues. But no, there is no stigma to withdrawing from a WL with no A like there is withdrawing from an A under similar circumstances.
 
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