Apr 14, 2010
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Hi everyone!! I'm going to be a premed student this coming fall and wanted some advice on where i should attend my undergrad. I've been accepted to UT Plan II (a liberal arts honors program)/biology, Tulane (with a 40k/year scholarship), and Rice (with an 16k/year scholarship). Money is an issue for my family, and while Rice is my first choice, I will be forced to take out about 5k/year in loans. Would attending Rice and borowing about 20-25k for undergrad be a smart decision? I am really hoping to attend Baylor Med or one of the UT Med Schools. I think that Rice would present the best opportunities for research, shadowing, volunteering, etc. and would help me make some connections @ Baylor. Any advice/help would be appreciated!
 
Sep 4, 2009
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If you currently have Texas residency, you won't lose it by going to college out of state. I would choose Rice as well if I were you. 20k in undergraduate debt is not that bad, especially if you get to go to your first choice school. That is a relative drop in the bucket to what you will most likely be taking out for medical school. I wouldn't hesitate if I were you. Did you get a scholarship for UT? The planII program is VERY successful in putting people into Baylor and Southwestern.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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nope, i didn't apply for any scholarships @ UT, as my family can cover the expenses. Rice, however, costs about twice as much, and my family wouldn't be able to pay for all of it (even with the scholarship). do you think it is worth the 20-25k in debt?
 
Sep 4, 2009
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Do I personally? Yes! I had to take about 40K out in loans just for undergrad. The downside is I have to start paying it back this July as a reasonable monthly payment. The plus side is that I got to go to the school I wanted to go to, I got into the program I wanted to get into, in the area I wanted to be in, and I set myself up to get into medical school successfully.

I could have went the 'other' big school in Texas with a scholarship that would have greatly reduced the amount of loans I would have needed. In the end, I decided the school was not a good fit for me and my goals could better be accomplished at UT. You want to set your self up for success in undergrad. Don't settle if you have options. I know 20K seems like a lot of money, and it is. But as far as an education goes, that is not a great deal of money.

Go to the school that is the best fit for you, the one that you feel will be able to help you get to the next level. And that is hard for me to admit because I think the PlanII program at UT where it is at:D

FYI, UT put 52 kids into UTHSCSA that is 1/5 of the entire class. This is the only school I have stats for because it is the one I am going to this summer. So you would have no problem getting research experience and everything else you need as a Longhorn. Just sayin. Okay, I'm done with my UT pitch.:)
 

addo

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You cant go wrong with Rice, and it sounds like you really want to go there. It just comes down to whether you want to take on some debt to go there-money decision.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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I LOVE UT, so I know I would be very happy at either school. I'm just curious what others would do in my situation...
 

StartingLine3

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As others have said, both UT and Rice students are embraced by both Baylor and UTSW

Things to consider:

Austin>Houston :p

20k is not alot in the grand scheme of things (I know it does not seem that way now), it is worth it if it puts you in a position in which you think you will be most successful

Both Baylor and UTSW have summer research programs for undergraduates to come in and get paid to work in a research lab (SURF and other internal programs)

Other than that it looks like you have some difficult, but good to have decisions to make,

Best of luck, sounds like you are on the right track
 
Apr 14, 2010
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so does anyone think one school would give me an advantage in med school admissions? it seems like my gpa would be higher at UT...

just for more background, i was also accepted to Columbia, Dartmouth, WUSTL, & Northwestern, but am turning them down due to the cost. i think rice seems like a good compromise money-wise, but i'd rather save the money if i can get just as much out of UT. plus, i already have a guaranteed job lined up here (Austin) that i could work at during the school year and the summer (if i want) and i know many doctors who i could shadow nearby UT. i'm just really conflicted, and i realize that it may just be a personal choice i need to make. any advice/help/suggestions would be really appreciated, though.
 

obiwan

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while Rice is an amazing institution, I would say that your educational experience would be pretty comparable especially since you are in plan II program which is very prestigious and it will come at a much cheaper cost... also the research opportunities at UT are endless and UT Southwestern/Scott and White are beginning to establish themselves in the Austin area.... and trust me you won't short change yourself in terms of volunteering, mentoring experience etc etc in Austin which is a pretty cool city. and FYI, the graduating class from my engineering major alone from UT sent multiple students to BCM, Washington Univ, Duke, UTSW, UDub for medical school so the UT name is pretty well known ...
and oh yeah, the football, mens and women's basketball, baseball, swimming, track/field, tennis, and softball teams are pretty good in austin

hook em
 
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obiwan

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can anyone comment on the difficulty of the biology major @ UT and/or Rice?
one thing to consider about the typical pre med majors like bio, chem, biochem at UT is that everyone and their mother is pre med at UT at the beginning so you're up against some pretty smart kids taking those classes
 
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There are also MANY biology concentrations at UT. First you have to decide BS or BA. Then there are more BS options: Cell/Molecular, Ecology and Evolution, Micro, Human Bio, Marine, and a couple other that premeds don't usually do. The requirements for Cell/molecular are 'harder' than for others because you have to take Calculus based physics, and some of what are considered the more difficult Bio and Biochemistry courses.

I was a Human Biology major with a concentration in cellular/molecular/developmental bio as well as an anthropology major. Bio was WAY harder than Anthropology (a liberal arts major), but there were only a couple courses that I thought were really difficult.
 

EBLoneStar

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one thing to consider about the typical pre med majors like bio, chem, biochem at UT is that everyone and their mother is pre med at UT at the beginning so you're up against some pretty smart kids taking those classes
You're also up against a lot of not-so-smart kids too, in my experience at least.

Hooray for all the "pre-meds" who only even made it UT in the first place because of the silly top ten percent law. Definitely good for bringing the class average down (and the curve up!) though.


FWIW, I think it would definitely be easier to have a high GPA at UT.
 

Jrsharp70

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Plan II is a great program. Don't think the Rice name will carry you completely. Yes it makes a difference, but rice v. Plan II won't be a huge advantage when applying to big name med schools.

If you want a real advantage, major in chemistry and minor in bio and physics. Not that difficult to do if you plan it out, and you aren't stuck with a fairly useless bio degree. Whatever school would give you more freedom and support to expand your worldview and life experience is going to be your best benefit. Some great applicants don't make it into medical school because they turn out to be complete social zombies and can't write a good essay to boot.
 
Dec 13, 2009
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Plan II is a great program. Don't think the Rice name will carry you completely. Yes it makes a difference, but rice v. Plan II won't be a huge advantage when applying to big name med schools.

If you want a real advantage, major in chemistry and minor in bio and physics. Not that difficult to do if you plan it out, and you aren't stuck with a fairly useless bio degree. Whatever school would give you more freedom and support to expand your worldview and life experience is going to be your best benefit. Some great applicants don't make it into medical school because they turn out to be complete social zombies and can't write a good essay to boot.
There's ALOT of people in medical school who are complete social zombies.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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thanks everyone for your imput, but i just got back from Rice and fell in love with the school. i am prepared to make sacrifices, but i think i would fit in alot better there than @ UT.
 

Emerica

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Do I personally? Yes! I had to take about 40K out in loans just for undergrad. The downside is I have to start paying it back this July as a reasonable monthly payment. The plus side is that I got to go to the school I wanted to go to, I got into the program I wanted to get into, in the area I wanted to be in, and I set myself up to get into medical school successfully.

I could have went the 'other' big school in Texas with a scholarship that would have greatly reduced the amount of loans I would have needed. In the end, I decided the school was not a good fit for me and my goals could better be accomplished at UT. You want to set your self up for success in undergrad. Don't settle if you have options. I know 20K seems like a lot of money, and it is. But as far as an education goes, that is not a great deal of money.

Go to the school that is the best fit for you, the one that you feel will be able to help you get to the next level. And that is hard for me to admit because I think the PlanII program at UT where it is at:D

FYI, UT put 52 kids into UTHSCSA that is 1/5 of the entire class. This is the only school I have stats for because it is the one I am going to this summer. So you would have no problem getting research experience and everything else you need as a Longhorn. Just sayin. Okay, I'm done with my UT pitch.:)

Thank you for this post, it makes me more sure of my decision even though it is nowhere near texas. However, the logic you presented is flawless and mind-easing.
 

galactus

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Hook 'em Horns.

You can't go wrong with either UT, Rice, and Tulane. I was in the same exact predicament as you 8 years ago. In the end I decided to go to UT and majored in biomedical engineering (1st graduating class!) and went to med school anyway.

Just kick @ss during undergrad and you're set for medicine. The college itself shouldn't matter, but pick the one that will fit with your personality the best and you'll have the best 4 years of your life! Good luck!