Sorry I had to start a new thread because that one was so long and wordy. I have read a lot of stuff you guys have posted and I thought I would chime in as someone who's been through this whole process. Most of this applies to Eugina98 I am someone who is VERY familiar with the Rice/Baylor program because I graduated from Rice and knew many people were who were in it. First to address Rice as an undergrad: I grew up in the New York area and Rice does NOT have the same rep as Princeton or even some of the lower-tier Ivy's up here. BUT WHO CARES. Every med school and residency interview I've been on they all knew Rice. At Rice I was able to distinguish myself due to the small environment. I excelled there. I can't say how I would have done elsewhere but I know I took advantage of opportunities that my friends at Stanford, etc had access to only after the grad students! Moreover, Rice is a FUN school. We have probably the most liberal alcohol policy which makes it a bit more fun to be in college. The social structure is not stifling like the fraternity scene. All the parties are open to anyone. And people are genuinely down to earth. You can do well from Rice. And you can pay a fraction of the cost. but I don't view money as a reason to pick a school since I think education is a good investment. Rice Baylor is the best 8 year program as far as rep for udnergrand and med schooll. The opportunityis great. You can seriously pursue whatever you want as an undergrad major and even blow off the pre-med stuff. I wouldn't do that because you are going to get killed when you get to Baylor but you can. You can do research at Baylor and you will be assisted in finding a mentor. And even being part of Rice Baylor will allow you to make connections for future jobs and fellowships. Now to address Baylor as a med school. I didn't go to Baylor but about 1/4 of Baylor is from Rice so again I am very familiar with it. Baylor is an extremely well known medical school/center. Ben Taub General Hospital has some of the best clinical training in the world. You see and do a lot there. Residents pretty much run that hospital. Plus, the Texas med center affords certain opportunities such that it doesn't matter where you go to school. You can work at MD Anderson, etc. I think that opportunity is priceless. Again, I agree, Baylor is not as well known up North as harvard, penn, etc. to your mom and dad. But your opportunities will be equivalent! This whole merger thing won't effect any of the students. You are so peripheral to the operation of a med center. Let the adminstration fight the fight. Baylor will make it through this just fine. Finally to address Houston as a city.. Trust me, I thought Houston sucked when I got down from NYC. But then I went back to NYC and I realized: I like having a car, I like having a loft apartment and paying $1000, and the nightlife in Houston is pretentious enough for me. I love to see all these med students who want to go to school in NYC and don't leave the library for 4 years. But that's me. Certainly NYC is a great place to live and party, but it requires a lot of money and patience. Something we all won't have for many many years. Houston has a great mix of professionals and it is up and coming. Weather, yeah the weather is hot and muggy from end of May to middle of September. But how does that affect you college kids? You are in 60 degree weather while your friends up North are freezing. Trust me I was freezing a lot! I know few (i.e. more than one) who went to Rice and decided to try to apply out and were accepted to other med schools in the top 10 (Yale, Columbia). Though that is not encouraged the program director is a great guy and lets you follow your heart. He knows that if you go through all the trouble to take the MCAT and do well you are a motivated person. Anyways sorry for all the typos and grammer mistakes. I just took USMLE step 2 today and I am tired. I'd be happy to answer anymore questions and Eugina you can PM me and i can give you some more advice via e-mail.