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Hi, so I am finishing up my primary, and I am wondering if I should claim myself as disadvantaged. My mentor is suggesting I should claim it, but I do not want to come off disingenuous.

In my childhood, my family had to use government assistance until I was in fouth grade. My father lost his job while I was in second grade, and my mom supported the family as a pharmacy intern until she became a pharmacist when I was in sixth grade. We have been financially stable since then except for periods when my mother lost her job. When my mom lost job while I was in high school, I contributed to payments for the house. I continued doing this even in college.

I am concerned that my high school my affect claiming disadvantaged. We were zoned to a bad school system due to our neighborhood, so my parents enrolled us to a private elementary school nearby. We did use waivers to afford the school until my mom graduated. For high school, we continued with private school, but we used scholarships to pay for it.

Because of my mother's income and parents' education level, I am pretty sure the AAMC will not consider my family disadvantaged. Mismanagement of finances and student loans limited my mother's salary. I know many others go through this too, so I do not think it's enough to be considered disadvantaged.

I don't want to come off as whiny, and I don't want Adcoms to scoff when they look at my mom's income. Do y'all think this enough to claim disadvantaged status?
 

jhamaican

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yes. Female, URM, disadvantaged. I recommend you stack as many of these titles as possible.

it will definitely help your chances of being admitted.

What are they doing to do? audit your moms finances to prove you were not disadvantaged?

It is also 2019 so you can put transgender as well. It certainly wouldn't hurt.
 
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907914

yes. Female, URM, disadvantaged. I recommend you stack as many of these titles as possible.

it will definitely help your chances of being admitted.

What are they doing to do? audit your moms finances to prove you were not disadvantaged?

It is also 2019 so you can put transgender as well. It certainly wouldn't hurt.
Female, URM, Low SES, Trans....Throw it all in there if you feel comfortable with it, OP.
 
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Gilakend

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I don’t think it’s worth the risk. Your education didn’t suffer (private schools) and your mom is a high income earning professional, or at least was for a good portion of 0-18. I think at best it would make no difference and at its worst it makes you look like you lack perspective and entitled.

Not saying either of those are true at all, just saying it’s best and worst case scenario imo.

Also don’t think stacking markers of disadvantage on paper (when they don’t apply) will make you fare better or worse. Adcoms aren’t that dumb.
 
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I don’t think it’s worth the risk. Your education didn’t suffer (private schools) and your mom is a high income earning professional, or at least was for a good portion of 0-18. I think at best it would make no difference and at its worst it makes you look like you lack perspective and entitled.

Not saying either of those are true at all, just saying it’s best and worst case scenario imo.

Also don’t think stacking markers of disadvantage on paper (when they don’t apply) will make you fare better or worse. Adcoms aren’t that dumb.
I don’t know, being poor is not really a condition of your financial circumstances but rather a mindset of your upbringing. I know from birth to age 13 or 14 I lived in a four person household with about $38-$42,000 annual income. So by no means below poverty line but things were tight. And then in high school my family income skyrocketed to six figures but the Poor mindset never really went away. Even when I found myself in a situation where I was making $3000 every two weeks, I would still find it difficult not to be upset if my wife spent a couple hundred dollars here or there on things we didn’t need even though we could afford them. I don’t know, it’s weird to say and think about but that disadvantaged mindset never really goes away.
 

Gilakend

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I don’t know, being poor is not really a condition of your financial circumstances but rather a mindset of your upbringing. I know from birth to age 13 or 14 I lived in a four person household with about $38-$42,000 annual income. So by no means below poverty line but things were tight. And then in high school my family income skyrocketed to six figures but the Poor mindset never really went away. Even when I found myself in a situation where I was making $3000 every two weeks, I would still find it difficult not to be upset if my wife spent a couple hundred dollars here or there on things we didn’t need even though we could afford them. I don’t know, it’s weird to say and think about but that disadvantaged mindset never really goes away.


I completely understand where you’re coming from. I applied disadvantaged and grew up below the poverty line (<15k-20k avg, 4 person household) and definitely think it shaped my mindset about everything and has severe negatives, so I definitely agree with you. (Although also has its positives, which is what I wrote my diversity essays on)

I was just advising OP on their specific circumstance. Med admissions are a crazy game. I was just saying I wouldn’t take the risk personally.

Congrats on your financial success btw! Not many people make it out.
 
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Dec 25, 2018
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I don’t know, being poor is not really a condition of your financial circumstances but rather a mindset of your upbringing. I know from birth to age 13 or 14 I lived in a four person household with about $38-$42,000 annual income. So by no means below poverty line but things were tight. And then in high school my family income skyrocketed to six figures but the Poor mindset never really went away. Even when I found myself in a situation where I was making $3000 every two weeks, I would still find it difficult not to be upset if my wife spent a couple hundred dollars here or there on things we didn’t need even though we could afford them. I don’t know, it’s weird to say and think about but that disadvantaged mindset never really goes away.


Yeah, I have that same mindset too. I grew with such a tense relationship with money (paycheck to paycheck, late payments, and no savings) that I have gotten to the point that I hoard every check I get. Hell, I sometimes had 3 jobs in college just to make sure I never got debt in college because of watching my parents struggle with it. I don't know how to make that mindset go away, but I do know it has greatly shaped my outlook.
 
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I completely understand where you’re coming from. I applied disadvantaged and grew up below the poverty line (<15k-20k avg, 4 person household) and definitely think it shaped my mindset about everything and has severe negatives, so I definitely agree with you. (Although also has its positives, which is what I wrote my diversity essays on)

I was just advising OP on their specific circumstance. Med admissions are a crazy game. I was just saying I wouldn’t take the risk personally.

Congrats on your financial success btw! Not many people make it out.
I get your point. I am not here to dig through my childhood to justify disadvantaged status even though there were periods of financial hardship. I just wanted to see if my mentor's advice was sound. Even though he is an Adcom and said that he has seen applicants get away with less, I was not comfortable with it, and I wanted feedback.
 
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907914

I get your point. I am not here to dig into my childhood to justify disadvantaged status even though there were periods of financial hardship. I just wanted to see if my mentor's advice was sound. Even though he is an Adcom and said that he has seen applicants get away with less, I was not comfortable with it, and I wanted feedback.
I had the situation as described above, however I did not feel comfortable putting disadvantaged being that I was well off in high school and I was (am) white, and I knew that a white person’s ‘poor’ is different and still better off
 
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I had the situation as described above, however I did not feel comfortable putting disadvantaged being that I was well off in high school and I was (am) white, and I knew that a white person’s ‘poor’ is different and still better off

That's what I was thinking as well. The AAMC definition makes it tricky because even though receiving government assistance qualifies, I am just not sure how recent they want to be. Oh well, I think my application is good enough. I don't want to tip the boat and piss people off.
 
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Hi, so I am finishing up my primary, and I am wondering if I should claim myself as disadvantaged. My mentor is suggesting I should claim it, but I do not want to come off disingenuous.

In my childhood, my family had to use government assistance until I was in fouth grade. My father lost his job while I was in second grade, and my mom supported the family as a pharmacy intern until she became a pharmacist when I was in sixth grade. We have been financially stable since then except for periods when my mother lost her job. When my mom lost job while I was in high school, I contributed to payments for the house. I continued doing this even in college.

I am concerned that my high school my affect claiming disadvantaged. We were zoned to a bad school system due to our neighborhood, so my parents enrolled us to a private elementary school nearby. We did use waivers to afford the school until my mom graduated. For high school, we continued with private school, but we used scholarships to pay for it.

Because of my mother's income and parents' education level, I am pretty sure the AAMC will not consider my family disadvantaged. Mismanagement of finances and student loans limited my mother's salary. I know many others go through this too, so I do not think it's enough to be considered disadvantaged.

I don't want to come off as whiny, and I don't want Adcoms to scoff when they look at my mom's income. Do y'all think this enough to claim disadvantaged status?
I'm leaning to no, OP. Play it safe.
 
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I think you should share pieces of your upbringing throughout your application as it relates to who you are and the resiliency you have learned (learning from your parents, contributing to your household income, etc) but I don't think you should check the disadvantaged box. Your mom is a pharmacist now, you went to private school, and you state that your family has mostly been financially stable for the past 10ish years.

The question is not whether you were disadvantaged in comparison to some people - the question is are you disadvantaged by the standard that AAMC defines it as
 
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ciestar

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This might have a place in an adversity essay, but given the details, you might have a hard time selling being disadvantaged and it really isn’t worth the risk IMO.
 
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