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GoSpursGo

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So I made a rash decision and signed up for an SMP even though I’m not in a horrible place application wise. I panicked. I was feeling uncomfortable about my current set of stats, esp given COVID, and thought maybe an SMP would help improve my chances. Imposter syndrome/type A “must throw money at the problem” mindset got to me.

It’s been 3 weeks since class started. Academically, I’m doing great. A’s on all quizzes and assignments. Financially, it’s gonna be a ****show. Long story short my credit is horrible, so I’m only eligible for about $8k in loans per semester (not eligible for PLUS loans or private loans), which doesn’t leave much wiggle room for living expenses after tuition is paid. I’m also terrified after the SMP I’ll be running up against loan limits. I have a previous masters and some other grad classes. I want to make sure I save some wiggle room for med school loans.

Would withdrawing from the SMP after only 3 weeks (this is my first semester) look bad? Obviously no one can verify my reason for withdrawing but I would state that it was financially driven.

(and yes, I realize I have issues with money management. Definitely something I need to work on prior to med school.)
Yeesh.

Yes, it looks bad to withdraw from your SMP, and it would be a pity since you're apparently doing well. But if you don't have the money, you don't have the money. Afraid I don't have much more to add--you seem to have made a mistake, and there will be some pain involved in getting past it either financially or with consequences of needing to withdraw and have that on your app.
 

Goro

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Take a LOA, and work to build up your cash reserves.

A DIY postbac will be a cheaper option once you're back on your feet, financially.

A withdrawal from your program won't hurt for reasons like you have, especially if you can get a LOR from a faculty member or the Program Director explaining your circumstances.

As a caveat, you do need to be aware that the med school app process is expensive, and so you will eventually need to budget for that.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Thanks, Goro. I have already done a DIY postbox with 120+ hours (yep). My cGPA is 3.4 and sGPA is 3.5, which is why I initially panicked and registered for the SMP. There's not much more movement that can happen, unfortunately. My MCAT is 518 so I think it's just time to work, save up for applications, shoot my shot. Does this sound like a solid plan? I have 1000s of hours of clinical and nonclinical volunteering and feel pretty confident in other aspects of my app. There's really no major holes right now except that pesky GPA.
What was your GPA for the DIY post-bac?
 

TheBoneDoctah

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3.85, all science courses

Undergrad GPA was 2.8 hence why I only made it to 3.4 cGPA.

EDIT: Worth noting that I'm a Texas resident who has invoked Academic Fresh Start, so for TMDSAS I have 3.6 cGPA and 3.7 sGPA. (the 10 year limit didn't wipe out all of my poor undergrad, but it did get rid of 3 of the 4 years).
So...you did a year of post-bac with a 3.85, a 518 MCAT, thousands of hours of clinical/non-clinical volunteering...and you chose to do a SMP?
 
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Goro

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I know. Sometimes I'm not the brightest crayon in the box. I just saw "3.4 cGPA" and panicked that that would put me out of the running before I even began.

Post-bac was done over 4 years haha.
It's time to start making better choices.

Dump the SMP and apply this cycle but ONLY if finances allow. For example, if COVID is contained, and schools go back to live interviewing, will you be able to afford traveling costs for interviews???
And how about relocating for med school??
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Definitely cannot afford to apply this cycle. I will be applying 2022 for sure. I am eligible for FAP and have some family support for interviews (they didn't agree with the SMP and thus refused to provide monetary support for that... in hindsight, I understand why). Otherwise, this year is just going to be grinding away at my jobs to save up money.

Thank you everyone for your guidance and tough love!
Good luck. I think you have a good shot. Good job on your post-bac.

No more SMPs or crazy ideas ok?
My withdrawal has been processed. Time to work hard and start prepping my application super early!
 
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