T20 Undergrad vs Full-Ride for pre-med


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Apr 3, 2023
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Hello SDN! I recently was blessed with plenty of great options in the College apps process and I've pretty much narrowed down my options to Rice and a full-ride at SMU through the President's Scholars Program. The benefits of the President's Scholars program are here.
Pros of Rice:
- prestigious (esp in the South)
- very easy to access research within the school as well with places nearby such as the Texas Medical Center
- great advising
- decent social scene with great diversity on campus
- 90-95% med school acceptance rate (I know you have to take into account survivorship bias, but still impressive)
- easy to double major and manage multiple interests
Cons of Rice
- paying full-price lol ($78,000+)
- going to be pretty difficult to get A's in curved classes where everyone is just as smart as me
- athletics scene is lacking

Pros of SMU:
- v close to home (literally a 30 minute drive)
- Full-Ride (literally top to bottom) + free study abroad + tons of networking opps exclusive to the scholarship program
- decent pre-med advising
- easy to double major and manage multiple interests
- lively athletics scene

Cons of SMU
- extremely white, preppy + greek life
- a bit more difficult to find research but I've heard that being a President's Scholar opens a lot of doors for you on campus
- not that prestigious and won't open many doors if I don't pursue medicine

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Take the full ride. No guarantee you'll get a full-ride for professional school. Keep your debts as low as possible. If your end-goal is to go to a medical school in Texas, I'm sure they know about both schools.
Take the full ride. Also, SMU is so beautiful. I applied to SMU in 2018 and got no aid. Applied to UNT (less prestigious than SMU or Rice) and got a full ride. Will now be going to Baylor med with no research :)
Rice is a good school within TX, but it's not that well known outside of TX and that price is ridiculous. I vote for SMU.
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