Dec 20, 2011
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey! I'm gonna keep this as short as possible.

My freshman year, my stepfather left my mom and gambled away all of my college savings. This took a huge toll on my freshman year, as I was headed home all the time to be with her and try to support her. I've also had to work more to afford college than I would have otherwise. As a result, my freshman year grades really weren't that good (3.333, basically B+s in all my classes, including intro Bio and Gen Chem). These issues resolved themselves in the summer after freshman year because I got my mom into therapy and things worked out better. Sophomore year I had around a 3.87 GPA with As in physics and organic chem.

Basic Stats

Gender: Male
Age: 20
Major: Biology
cGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; cGPA (without freshman year): 3.83
sGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; sGPA (without freshman year): 3.89
MCAT: 36S (12 PS, 11 VR, 13 BS).

Experience

I've volunteered at hospitals in the city since my freshman year.
I worked as a research assistant for a clinical study at a major hospital for about 8 months.
I am currently doing research in a Biochemistry lab at my university.
I am on the student executive board's of my school's Honors Program and pre-medical program.
I volunteered for two years as a phone operator at an LGBT Youth Helpline.

Question

There are some other things here and there, but I'm concerned my freshman year is really going to hurt my chances at any schools. Should I wait a year and try to raise my overall GPA to above a 3.7?

Any advice is appreciated! Examples of schools I'm looking at (and would love to go to) are NYU, Mt. Sinai, USC, etc.
 

TimeRippleRumpl

Removed
Jan 24, 2013
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey! I'm gonna keep this as short as possible.

My freshman year, my stepfather left my mom and gambled away all of my college savings. This took a huge toll on my freshman year, as I was headed home all the time to be with her and try to support her. I've also had to work more to afford college than I would have otherwise. As a result, my freshman year grades really weren't that good (3.333, basically B+s in all my classes, including intro Bio and Gen Chem). These issues resolved themselves in the summer after freshman year because I got my mom into therapy and things worked out better. Sophomore year I had around a 3.87 GPA with As in physics and organic chem.

Basic Stats

Gender: Male
Age: 20
Major: Biology
cGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; cGPA (without freshman year): 3.83
sGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; sGPA (without freshman year): 3.89
MCAT: 36S (12 PS, 11 VR, 13 BS).

Experience

I've volunteered at hospitals in the city since my freshman year.
I worked as a research assistant for a clinical study at a major hospital for about 8 months.
I am currently doing research in a Biochemistry lab at my university.
I am on the student executive board's of my school's Honors Program and pre-medical program.
I volunteered for two years as a phone operator at an LGBT Youth Helpline.

Question

There are some other things here and there, but I'm concerned my freshman year is really going to hurt my chances at any schools. Should I wait a year and try to raise my overall GPA to above a 3.7?

Any advice is appreciated! Examples of schools I'm looking at (and would love to go to) are NYU, Mt. Sinai, USC, etc.
Definitely put that story as part of your application essay. It shows them that you care about people and will take care about them. That's your hook already, right there.

And your MCAT is fine. But the GPA is a bit of a problem. It's not that bad though.

What's with the LGBT? Personal beliefs aside, this is a great thing to put on your resume for a liberal college. They've really been pushing the homophilia in schools lately; if you have ever read about behaviorism and social engineering, you should know they're going to be rewarding you for going along with the political policy.

So push it. Mention it as one of your chief accomplishments. Phrase it in political language--"conditioned reflexes"--and that will be an excellent part of your essay.

You honestly have a very impressive resume--particularly because of your story. Your MCAT is good enough to get into an Ivory League. You have some research. If you've shadowed, and if you are a New York resident, your chances are pretty good.

Just make sure that you apply early. You have a great story, just convey passion, make sure you have things to distinguish yourself from everyone else--put first you need to get past the formula screening.

But it is expensive to apply. I think, I hear it is like $1000 or $2000, because they say you are supposed to apply to like 10 places. So, you should only apply when you are comfortable with spending money like that.

If you can move back in with your mother, then you can put off applying if you are uncertain. If you can't, apply--but be aware, it is harder to get in as a re-applicant, so you might just apply to different schools then next year. But if you have another year of school to go, you might want to wait until next year to apply.

Your application isn't that bad, it is quite good. What do you want to do? Do you want to play it safe? Or do you want to start quickly. What are you going to do with that extra year? It should be more than getting good grades. But if money is tight, wait a year.

The average GPA seems to be a bit above, ah, 3.8. So if in that one year, you only go up to 3.7, you will still be slightly under-average--but that is still not enough to keep you out, don't worry.

Worse case scenario: go and enroll in another college, transfer credits (like at a state university), and improve your GPA through that. But don't be neurotic and do all that if it is not necessary. That's a final resort.

And, that's, sort of all that I can think to tell you.
 

tpsreport

5+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2011
170
16
NYC
Status
Medical Student
Hey! I'm gonna keep this as short as possible.

My freshman year, my stepfather left my mom and gambled away all of my college savings. This took a huge toll on my freshman year, as I was headed home all the time to be with her and try to support her. I've also had to work more to afford college than I would have otherwise. As a result, my freshman year grades really weren't that good (3.333, basically B+s in all my classes, including intro Bio and Gen Chem). These issues resolved themselves in the summer after freshman year because I got my mom into therapy and things worked out better. Sophomore year I had around a 3.87 GPA with As in physics and organic chem.

Basic Stats

Gender: Male
Age: 20
Major: Biology
cGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; cGPA (without freshman year): 3.83
sGPA (with freshman year): 3.67; sGPA (without freshman year): 3.89
MCAT: 36S (12 PS, 11 VR, 13 BS).

Experience

I've volunteered at hospitals in the city since my freshman year.
I worked as a research assistant for a clinical study at a major hospital for about 8 months.
I am currently doing research in a Biochemistry lab at my university.
I am on the student executive board's of my school's Honors Program and pre-medical program.
I volunteered for two years as a phone operator at an LGBT Youth Helpline.

Question

There are some other things here and there, but I'm concerned my freshman year is really going to hurt my chances at any schools. Should I wait a year and try to raise my overall GPA to above a 3.7?

Any advice is appreciated! Examples of schools I'm looking at (and would love to go to) are NYU, Mt. Sinai, USC, etc.
You're in good shape with those stats.
There's no need to spend an entire year to raise it to a 3.7. But if you're looking to get into mid-top tier schools, your best bet would be to apply as early as possible. Get the prompts for the secondaries and fill them out before June 1, so that when your secondaries come you can submit them immediately.

Your upward trend is excellent. Highlight that in your app and highlight your difficult family situation that you helped your family through. You've also got your ECs well and broadly covered.

If you think that waiting a year to raise your GPA .03 so you can get into a school like Sinai, NYU, or USC over a mid-tier school is worth it, then that's your choice but I don't think it's worth it, and I don't think the adcoms will think that you've spent your time wisely either. Research, ECs, volunteering, leadership, grades, and MCAT are all covered. There's not much else you can do to improve your app other than raise your GPA that tiny little bit. I don't think it's worth spending 12 months of holding off your medical career. Besides, that's one fewer year you'll have to spend paying off your undergrad loans if you have any, and one year sooner for you to have your white coat :)

Just my 2c
 
Last edited:

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
A 3.7/3.7/36 won't get in anywhere that a 3.67/3.67/36 won't.
 

tpsreport

5+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2011
170
16
NYC
Status
Medical Student
But it is expensive to apply. I think, I hear it is like $1000 or $2000, because they say you are supposed to apply to like 10 places. So, you should only apply when you are comfortable with spending money like that.
Where did you get that information?

The primary application is $160 for the first school, and $34 for each successive school.
Secondary applications range from $75 to $125.

Assume you apply to 20 schools, and get 10 interviews.
That will be $2800 to apply to 20 schools, primaries and secondaries included.

Assume OP attends all 10 interviews, flies to each one, and stays at a hotel for 1 night. Flights are average of $250. Decent hotels will end up as $100. (And I highly suggest rooming with a student host. They will give you loads of valuable information. If they like you they might give you some info about the interview ;). Not to mention give you a first-hand account of their opinion of the school). Flight + food + hotel ~ $375 each school.

If he attends all 10 interviews, that's $375 x 10 + 2800. Averages out to $327 if he applies to 20 schools, and attends 10 interviews.

With his stats and if he applies early, he should get over 10 interviews he can cherry pick from.

Yes it's expensive, but it's not absurd. Also, I personally don't think 10 schools is enough. You never know what'll happen in a cycle. Apply broadly OP, but be confident that you'll get into a school you want to go to.
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Where did you get that information?

The primary application is $160 for the first school, and $34 for each successive school.
Secondary applications range from $75 to $125.

Assume you apply to 20 schools, and get 10 interviews.
That will be $2800 to apply to 20 schools, primaries and secondaries included.

Assume OP attends all 10 interviews, flies to each one, and stays at a hotel for 1 night. Flights are average of $250. Decent hotels will end up as $100. (And I highly suggest rooming with a student host. They will give you loads of valuable information. If they like you they might give you some info about the interview ;). Not to mention give you a first-hand account of their opinion of the school). Flight + food + hotel ~ $375 each school.

If he attends all 10 interviews, that's $375 x 10 + 2800. Averages out to $327 if he applies to 20 schools, and attends 10 interviews.

With his stats and if he applies early, he should get over 10 interviews he can cherry pick from.

Yes it's expensive, but it's not absurd. Also, I personally don't think 10 schools is enough. You never know what'll happen in a cycle. Apply broadly OP, but be confident that you'll get into a school you want to go to.

Indeed, $1k-$2k is an extremely low estimate. Don't forget to calculate the cost of a suit/shirts/ties/shoes if you don't already have those sorts of things.