Oct 21, 2013
50
13
Status
Pre-Medical
does the reputation of your undergrad college make a difference in how adcoms view your GPA?
 
Jun 17, 2013
166
10
Status
Medical Student
It might, but only if your institution is very well known. What matters more is if your mcat lines up with your gpa. If you have a 4.0, but a 29 mcat, it's probably gonna raise some red flags
 

Ismet

PGY-almost done!
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
May 15, 2011
9,949
9,798
Status
Resident [Any Field]
extremely minimal effect if any
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2012
2,579
2,146
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Quick answer: a little bit. Someone previously linked a page at Hopkins saying that their average admitted student was .1 below the overall average (~3.5 versus ~3.6). This was used to suggest that a tough school might give the students a .1 "boost".
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,528
76,099
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,908
31,400
Status
Academic Administration
does the reputation of your undergrad college make a difference in how adcoms view your GPA?
Yes. For example, a 3.95 from Yale might be viewed as a stronger record than a 3.95 from Southern Connet-the-dots University just few miles away. Typically, the student from the higher ranked school also presents with the higher MCAT.

A very strong MCAT can shut up the naysayers who would criticize an applicant from a low tier undergrad institution.
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2012
2,579
2,146
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes. For example, a 3.95 from Yale might be viewed as a stronger record than a 3.95 from Southern Connet-the-dots University just few miles away. Typically, the student from the higher ranked school also presents with the higher MCAT.

A very strong MCAT can shut up the naysayers who would criticize an applicant from a low tier undergrad institution.
:rofl:. You're Quinni-ck-to-act based on school name... ... I don't think I did that so well.

Regardless, I think the second bold part is key, and it's up to a committee member to take everything into account and make an informed decision with all factors accounted for. MCAT is important, GPA is important, school is important... but all of them together can say a lot about an applicant. A high GPA should be present with a high MCAT score, and one without the other is clearly a bit of a red flag (and could be partially accounted for with poor teaching/assessment at a "bad" undergrad institution).
 
  • Like
Reactions: LizzyM

sunshine02

7+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2012
708
130
Status
Medical Student
Quick answer: a little bit. Someone previously linked a page at Hopkins saying that their average admitted student was .1 below the overall average (~3.5 versus ~3.6). This was used to suggest that a tough school might give the students a .1 "boost".
That's interesting...will schools like Harvard Yale or Stanford be considered a tough school even though there are outside rumors that they grade inflate?
 

Euxox

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2011
627
458
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Quick answer: a little bit. Someone previously linked a page at Hopkins saying that their average admitted student was .1 below the overall average (~3.5 versus ~3.6). This was used to suggest that a tough school might give the students a .1 "boost".
Here is the text from the Hopkins pre-health website:
Medical schools recognize the rigor of Johns Hopkins. In 2008, Hopkins applicants who were accepted to medical school had an average cumulative GPA of 3.55 and science GPA of 3.48 while the corresponding national figures were 3.66 and 3.60 respectively.
To give a supplementary example to JHU, at Brown, despite overall grade inflation, the average accepted GPA (3.64) is not that far off from the national average. One possibility/interpretation is that Brown is not getting docked for its inflation because of its above-average reputation.
I agree. Grade inflation doesn't seem to hurt applicants much. That's probably because grade inflated schools tend to be highly ranked and come with the prestige factor. They also have more competitive student bodies, so grade inflation might be more of a reflection of the quality of the students than of how easy the school is.

But this question is often irrelevant. As LizzyM said, adcoms will hesitate to give you credit for grade deflation if you bomb the MCAT, and adcoms certainly won't penalize you for grade inflation if you ace the MCAT. My advice: study well for the MCAT. That will matter more than grade inflation or deflation in the end.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: johnamo

ponyo

人魚姫
7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2009
581
82
North of Key West
Status
Medical Student
That's interesting...will schools like Harvard Yale or Stanford be considered a tough school even though there are outside rumors that they grade inflate?
I've taken classes at a prestigious school, a 2nd tier school, and a state school. I think that even with the grade inflation issue, it was far more difficult to get As in the first two groups, because the student pool is just way more intense.

For instance I took OChem I at the prestigious school and OChem II at the state school. The OChem I class had pages upon pages of creative synthesis in the exams and required a relatively deep grasp of the material (which I was able to gauge because I later on became a chemistry major). In contrast I literally got multiple 100's on the exams at the state school, because they mostly tested for memorization and not comprehension. I think the expectations were just not the same.

But the middle-tier school, man, there is no grade inflation AND the class is hard, probably even harder than the top-tier school. My heart goes out to all the students who go to those.
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2012
2,579
2,146
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have also taken classes an an Ivy, a top private, and a top state school. I found the state school to be most difficult (mostly due to huge lectures not being so conducive to my learning/studying habits). Of course, your mileage may vary. :) There are certainly differences in the school populations, but intelligent and competitive people can be found anywhere.
 

ponyo

人魚姫
7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2009
581
82
North of Key West
Status
Medical Student
I have also taken classes an an Ivy, a top private, and a top state school. I found the state school to be most difficult (mostly due to huge lectures not being so conducive to my learning/studying habits). Of course, your mileage may vary. :) There are certainly differences in the school populations, but intelligent and competitive people everywhere.
I can definitely see that--I am not a lecture person in general and prefer to study on my own, so this wasn't an issue for me. I did observe that in very large lectures (the case for intro science everywhere, I think) the professor has to try to make the material accessible for everybody and it can become a lowest-common-denominator problem. So then the lecture material cannot be quite the same even if the top quintile of both populations might be similar.

But I guess that is why we have standardized tests, however flawed they might be.