subzero0174

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I am wondering if it is possible to apply to too many med schools. I will be applying next year, and have been reading many posts about the application process on this forum. I have read that some people have actually applied to around 40 schools. I am wondering if this can actually hinder the odds of you getting into any one of the schools. Do they have access to how many and what schools you applied to? Will they be skeptical of your desire to attend THEIR medschool over the other 39 you applied to? Any experiences or suggestions? If so, how many school applications will maximize your odds of getting into any medschool, while actually minimizing the negative effects of "spreading yourself too thin". Thanks again guys
 

ElKapitan

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The schools that you apply to are listed on the AMCAS application. If you apply to 40, not only will they see 40 schools but also to which you applied. I don't think it hurts you application too much if it does at all. I believe you need to apply to 16 schools to get enough interviews, if your stats are not stellar. 80% of this process is about numbers.
 

Bigsheed920

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Listen Bud,

It all dpeends on your particular case. If you are a borderline candidate then u need to maybe look @ 15-20 schools if you are serious about getting in. If you have a decent shot u think.........applying to 40 schools is like using money to wipe your A$$. It's not worth it. Look @ MSAR and see what schools u would have the best shot of gettiung into. Look @ stats of average GPA MCATs.....blah blah..........good luck!!
 

Bigsheed920

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Let me just mention that other medical schools cannot see how many or what schools you apply to.
 

YzIa

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ElKapitan said:
The schools that you apply to are listed on the AMCAS application. If you apply to 40, not only will they see 40 schools but also to which you applied. I don't think it hurts you application too much if it does at all. I believe you need to apply to 16 schools to get enough interviews, if your stats are not stellar. 80% of this process is about numbers.
That is not true. The portion of AMCAS that includes what schools you applied to is not included when transmitted to schools. The schools will not know where else you applied.

I read somewhere that somewhere around 12-14 schools had the peak acceptance rate, but that really doesn't mean you have the best chance applying to that many schools. Just that the best applicants apply to that number.
 

Law2Doc

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The schools do not see what other schools you applied to -- that portion of the AMCAS is not provided to schools as an above poster has indicated.
How many schools you apply to totally depends on what kind of an applicant you are. If you are a 4.0 GPA with a 40 MCAT and glowing LORs and ECs, you can apply to a small handful of schools and be successful. If by contrast you are on the other extreme and have, say, a 3.1 to 3.4 GPA and a 28 to 30 MCAT you would more likely want to apply to more than 20 schools. Most people apply to between 10 and 30 schools. 40 sounds a little excessive, but it again depends on how borderline you are. At the interviews and in some secondaries you will need to have a good answer/reason as to why you applied to that school, but can usually come up with something when you get to that stage. Hope that helps.
 

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I had a miserable undergrad gpa and applied to 29 schools. My best advice is to not apply to so many schools that you can't complete them all in a timely manner.
 
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subzero0174

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Well I luckily have a 3.9 GPA, but have not taken the MCAT as of yet. I imagine I will score in area of 28(I suck at standardized tests). I have around 120 hours of hands on OR volunteer work, and am also involved in many other EC organizations. It all pretty much depends on what I get on the MCAT, I guess. I will probably apply to about 30 schools now that I know they will not have access to that info. THanks guys!
 

saki0005

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subzero0174 said:
Well I luckily have a 3.9 GPA, but have not taken the MCAT as of yet. I imagine I will score in area of 28(I suck at standardized tests). I have around 120 hours of hands on OR volunteer work, and am also involved in many other EC organizations. It all pretty much depends on what I get on the MCAT, I guess. I will probably apply to about 30 schools now that I know they will not have access to that info. THanks guys!
you're on the right track. my advice to you is to not blow off the mcat just because you believe you'll suck at its standardized format. i would try to shoot for something in the 30's range. i got a 28 and believe me my little friend, you don't want to go down that road (but what the hell do i know? i didn't even get an interview so far and it's freakin' almost march).
 

fakin' the funk

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subzero0174 said:
I am wondering if it is possible to apply to too many med schools.
Depends on what else you're doing. If you're taking a semester of hard classes then yes, it'll be hard to finish a lot of secondaries. If you're working part or fulltime or taking easy classes, then 35 secondaries shouldn't be a problem.
I have read that some people have actually applied to around 40 schools. I am wondering if this can actually hinder the odds of you getting into any one of the schools. Do they have access to how many and what schools you applied to? Will they be skeptical of your desire to attend THEIR medschool over the other 39 you applied to? Any experiences or suggestions? If so, how many school applications will maximize your odds of getting into any medschool, while actually minimizing the negative effects of "spreading yourself too thin".
The general consensus is that if your stats aren't competitive and/or you're from a tough state, then you should consider 20-25 schools. Personally, I finished 33 secondaries, all within 3 weeks of getting them (or sooner if there was a quick deadline) and it was not a problem. I have good stats and am from California so I was applying to a lot of out-of-state schools and a lot of top 20 schools. This was never brought up in an interview since the schools don't know and probably don't care; if you get to the interview stage then they might ask you where else you've interviewed (more of a conversational thing than anything else).

In my view the only reason not to apply to a ton of schools is money, which can be an issue but for most people dropping $3000 on this process on maybe 20 schools, the extra $1000 or so for another 10 schools (and the ensuing better chances of getting in somewhere, and maybe even having a choice between schools) is nothing compared to the ~$150K+ you'll be spending on med school in its entirety. Hope this helps.
 

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cromagnon said:
I had a miserable undergrad gpa and applied to 29 schools. My best advice is to not apply to so many schools that you can't complete them all in a timely manner.
This is probably the most important point out of this. Even though you can recycle many parts of your essays, you usually still have to do some tweeking to each one and proof read it again. This takes time and the more you do the more likely you are to have errors or be late with them. I applied to 21 schools and skipped the secondaries on two of them.
 

Blue Scrub

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I read somewhere that they did a study saying in general, after applying to about 15-20 schools, your chances of an acceptance do not increase if you apply to more schools than this......this of course is in general, im sure there are many exceptions.....as far as applying to 40 schools.......if you have the time and money to do it, then why not, but if you want to save yourself the trouble of doing all those secondaries, as well as keeping some money in your pocket, keeping it to about 15-20, 25 at the most, i think is sufficient for most
 

Kazema

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If you're a strangish (unbalanced #'s, non-trad, etc.) applicant, I would recommend applying to a bunch of schools. When I started the process I had no idea what schools would be interested in me so I applied to 30 or so.

After going through the process once I have a better idea about this stuff so if I have to do it again, I'll know which schools to definitely leave on my list, which to take off, and which to add.

Of course, hopefully I just get in this year and don't have to do it again :D.

If you're a more traditional applicant with solid numbers, then you probably only should be applying to 15-20 schools. Apply to your state schools, pick some mid range privates, and a couple reaches. Applying to 40+ when you've got a 3.9/28-ish combo (and good EC's and LORs of course) would just be a waste of money really.
 

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subzero0174 said:
Thanks guys, I really appreciate your input

Just wanted to point out that I applied to 42 schools and havent heard a word from 14. I always thought that 12-15ish was a good number even tho I applied to 42 (cuz I also think that if you can afford to, then its sort of like an investment), but if I had just applied to those 14 who I have not heard back from it would be in late february and no interviews for me. I wanted to point out that this process is somewhat random and you cant always rely on stats or averages or surveys or what people say cuz if i had applied to those 14 schools it would be SOL for me.

Also, my boyfriends cousin and my sisters roommate have absolutely no interviews thus far. Dont know how many schools they applied to tho or their exact stats but they werent completely ******ed.
 

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I applied to 43 schools. I don't think I would've gotten as many interviews as I would have gotten had I only applied to <20 schools. Although I thought my stats were fair (3.9 GPA and 30R (10,10,10 MCAT), I did not know who would like my application and who wouldn't. Nothing is guaranteed with med school apps. Good luck to you!
 

Law2Doc

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Blue Scrub said:
I read somewhere that they did a study saying in general, after applying to about 15-20 schools, your chances of an acceptance do not increase if you apply to more schools than this......
I wonder about the validity of this study, and it probably is based on a non-existant "average" med school candidate rather than any one specific applicant. Meaning, it would certainly depend on how those 15-20 schools were chosen and the caliber of the candidate. A moderately competitive candidate who applied only to the top 15-20 schools in the country might have very little chance of acceptance, but would increase his/her chances dramatically by adding one or more of the less competitive schools. If you are very realistic and have good stats 15-20 are probably adequate, but part of this formula is subjective. Thus you probably want to err on the side of higher numbers the more borderline you are.
 

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subzero0174 said:
I am wondering if it is possible to apply to too many med schools. I will be applying next year, and have been reading many posts about the application process on this forum. I have read that some people have actually applied to around 40 schools. I am wondering if this can actually hinder the odds of you getting into any one of the schools. Do they have access to how many and what schools you applied to? Will they be skeptical of your desire to attend THEIR medschool over the other 39 you applied to? Any experiences or suggestions? If so, how many school applications will maximize your odds of getting into any medschool, while actually minimizing the negative effects of "spreading yourself too thin". Thanks again guys
Med schools don't see your list until May. Even then, I think they can only see the list of schools that you are holding your acceptances to. I applied to 25 schools, which I thought was reasonable given my very avg GPA/MCAT. I don't think anybody will question your applying to many schools if you are a borderline candidate. But if you have really good GPA/MCAT and apply to all top 30 schools, then I think your shotgun method might backfire.

With that said, I think you should apply to a variety of schools. I applied to some of the schools that I didn't think I would even get an interview. To my surprise, I got interviews at schools way out of my league. So you never know what the school might see in you until you apply. Good luck.
 

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I would suggest apply to as many schools as you can afford to (to which you can afford to apply :rolleyes: ) I applied to 40 schools and got invites to interviews at 11 with marginal GPA (3.2 undergrad, 3.85 grad school), decent MCAT numbers (11V, 9 P, 10 B, P), but a lot of life experience (I'm 33 :eek: ) and a great resume. Got accepted to 5/6 interviews I attended (withdrew from the others). This whole process is a crap shoot anyway, so apply to a lot of schools across a broad range. What I mean is, apply to a couple of pocket-protector-geek-squad schools (Harvard, Washington U), a couple of mid-range schools, and a couple of "easy" schools (if there is such a thing!). Don't limit your options, cause you never know who might invite you for an interview. Just my two cents for what it is worth...
 

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I applied to 29 schools. I got 3 interviews and 2 acceptances. The cost was incredible to apply to all these schools and then have them take another $100 each from you before they even really look at your file (pronounced secondary appl.) In total I think I spent a little over $3500 to apply. You should look at what schools you think will realistically interview you with the applicatino you have and don't waste too much time on dream schools (pronounced Harvard). I knew the bad ass schools would probably shred my app and send it back to me with a note to never apply again so I chose not to apply to them.