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teh undergrad school for CA premed...NYU,Brandeis,UCI.UCD,Occidental

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by roxor88, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. roxor88

    roxor88 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    hopefully this will get me more response cuz my SIR is due this May 1st... :(

    Would you recommend me which school to go to for med school?

    Occidental College (Liberal Art College)
    UC Irvine
    UC Davis
    New York University

    I'm a high school senior right now who still can't decide where to go. I'm a CA resident so UC schools are definitely cheaper and closer. NYU and Brandeis are on the other hand..very far but I don't mind living away from my parents for four years. Basically it doesn't really matter whether it is close or not. However, NYU is VERY expensive...they only gave me $8500 in scholarship and since I'm OOS student it makes the matter only worse. I have to cough up about $80,000 at the end of my college year. Is it worth it? Brandeis on the other hand..offers $30,000 in scholarship so it is the cheapest of the bunch. However, I have a friend who is a sophomore there right now and he doesn't recommend it for med school because it is literally hard as hell to earn grades. That leaves either UCI,UCD, or Occidental but none of these colleges have the "prestige" factor. Occidental is LAC and I think LACs don't have the college feels too much like a community college. Not to mention no one knowns what Occidental is. Good thing is that they also offer scholarship of $20,000 and it is in CA. I don't know the difficulty of the school but my friend who goes there right now says it isn't TOO competitive.

    Of all things concerned, I'm leaning towards UCI right now due to $$, proximity (20min from home), name(not prestigeous or anything but at least it is known), easiness(relatively speaking) to get good GPA compared to Brandeis.

    The other side of me is telling me that prestige factor is all BS because I currently go to US top 20 high school with 3.69 unweighted GPA 2040 SAT and look where it got me. Not very far...But the other side of me is telling me to take the most well known school of them all..NYU despite its insane cost. My parents are willing to pay but I don't feel comfortable leaving them with so much debt...

    So..what should I do. Please advise me. Thanks you

    PS:Is it true that med schools look favorably upon liberal art college students?
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  3. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    go to whatever school you like the best--don't let this whole prestige business make your decision for you. Between the schools you are selecting, there is no signficant difference in prestige. It might make a difference if you were selecting between Harvard and Brandeis or NYU--but even then, the difference would likely be negligible. Go wherever you feel you will be able to perform the best, and don't neglect the finances of it all. Medicine is an expensive track, so the less you spend on undergrad, the better off you will be in the future (because med school is almost universally expensive). Personally, I'd go to UCD or UCI. NYU would be awesome for med school though :thumbup:
  4. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Think about $$$-- go to a UC.

    What's the average private UG tution now, 40k/yr? So for undergrad 40 x 4 = 160k

    For med school, the private school package I just got was 55k/yr (in my state, public med school costs almost as much as private, so I didn't even bother applying to public). So 55 x 4 = 220k

    160k + 220k = 380k :eek: :eek: :eek: Don't do this to yourself!!!
  5. RokChalkJayhawk

    RokChalkJayhawk Muck Fizzou 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    You forgot about the best school. Chico State.
  6. RokChalkJayhawk

    RokChalkJayhawk Muck Fizzou 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Seriously though... Looking back I don't think I learned anything in my undergraduate education other than how to do things myself better than I could 4 years ago. And that's really all you need from an undergrad education.

    I guess the question is just whether you want to pay 80k or 200k to learn such a skill.
  7. chemist323

    chemist323 bye bye video games 10+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Also consider the size of the school/classes and the relationships you may form w/ professors (great future recommendations). I attended one of the Claremont Colleges and never regretted it! While considering many undergrad schools, I visited big schools (UCLA, UCSD, etc.) and couldn't get over the size of the classes. In addition, although many of the professors at the liberal arts colleges perform research, they are very focused on the students and provide unmatched faculty support. I applied to med school this current cycle, seven years after graduating, and two recommendation letters were from my professors from undergrad. They had no problems remembering me and were very excited about writing letters in my support. In terms of finances, Oxy may give you need-based financial aid which may offset the price difference. My school definitely hooked me up with many scholarships and grants, including money for my books. Socially, a smaller school may not compare to parties at UCLA or other bigger schools. However, you can make it whatever you want. At Oxy, you would be close to Downtown, Hollywood, Sunset, etc. I had no problem having the time of my life in Claremont (of all places) because we hired great DJs to play at our own parties. Finally, in terms of prestige, at many interviews and amongst academic circles, I consistently heard, "That's a great school." One might argue that this may be the case because admission committees don't regularly see a high percentage of applicants from liberal arts colleges as opposed to bigger name schools. However, this may serve to distinguish you amongst the masses. If I had to do it again, I would choose a liberal arts college again. Good luck with your decision and make sure you visit the schools. For what it's worth, I will be heading to a top 5 med school. PM me if you have any further questions, I live near Oxy.
  8. BlackSails

    BlackSails 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    NYU, although extremely expensive, will give you tons of research opportunities. I mean TONS. Every single speech the dean gives to incoming students will mention how they want all of us to do research. The Dean has a special fund that doles out money to undergrads to do research. Most of the professors are very open to having undergrads in their labs.

    On the other hand, the school hates the students, and everyone is miserable here. (Not really, thats just the rep)
  9. modelslashactor

    modelslashactor Safety not guaranteed 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2005
    if its not too expensive (ie you got some financial aid), i would go to oxy. i agree with a lot of the stuff chemist said and i know some other oxy grads who went to the top bay area med schools. plus, its a great campus in a great spot.
  10. dantt

    dantt Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2006
    I would say go to UCDavis. Most high schoolers don't know it but UCDavis has an extensive network of student run clinics that the UNDERGRADUATES pretty much run. The undergraduates don't practice medicine there but they run the whole thing administratively and do get to interact with patients.
  11. roxor88

    roxor88 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Oxy gave me $20,000 /yr in scholarship so it is the second least expensive ones in there.

    Anyone else from Claremont LACs who had good experiences for med track?
  12. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    You will have the best undergraduate experience by far. I went to a comparable small liberal arts college, got about $30,000 in merit aid each year for 4 years, and the toatal cost was less than my state school. Check out your financial aid package before you make a decision because if you are a really good student, the top private liberal arts colleges have great financial aid packages, much better than the state schools and you will get a better education. You can graduate in 4 years (if you don't, the school will think that there is something wrong with you) and you will not have to worry about having to go to college for 5 or more years because you classes are full. That does not happen at the best liberal arts colleges. Bottom line - Occidental, no contest.
  13. Astute


    Apr 22, 2007

    I graduated from NYU some time ago and realized one thing in the end after struggling these past few years to make it into medical school: it does'nt matter what undergrad you go to, all that ultimately matters is how you did gradewise and on the MCAT. I am not arguing either for or against attending NYU, however I am advocating that you keep in mind that the number 1 concern is to succeed no matter what school you attend.

    I personally disliked being premed at NYU due to the level of competition in the classes and how the grading scale is structured (i.e. on a tight curve). As the years flew by, I found many of the premed students to be 'cut-throat' and often heard them attemtping to intimidate each other through verbal abuse for the sake of 'beating the curve'. Often, I'd resort to associating with anyone NOT in science for a breath of fresh air. Overall, I am very thankful for the education that I got at NYU. When comparing my other skill sets to students at the school I am at now, it becomes clearer than ever why the price tag was as large as it was.

    Bottom Line: After graduating I met up with a few friends that I had went to high school with who attended less reputable colleges in the local area. To my amazement, they had gotten research positions at the rockefeller center for research and had already taken the MCAT and gotten into Top Tier med schools, while i was 'light years behind' after having struggled to keep up in my own science courses.
    Ultimately, I ended up doing a grad program and stregthening my application (considering that I was a non-science major in college) and eventually got into a decent medical school. So yea, NYU... good school, very pricey...but in the long run may or may not be a good fit depending on what you can handle interms of competition amongst students.
    Everynow n then i regret not going to what I'd hate to call ..'an easier' school, doing really well there and getting a high GPA. But at the end of the day I am thankful for my college education and the person it has shaped me to become.
    (one last thing...the neighborhood and all that New York has to offer interms of enjoyment can often be a distraction...hehe...which was my problem)
    Good Luck!
    and i wish you the best in your future endeavors

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