Jan 4, 2010
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So here I am humming along in my post-bacc. Straight A's so far, will be taking the MCAT next winter.

I am a low-gpa undergrad with a very underwhelming gpa in the high 2's from a highly ranked school 10 years ago.

My plan at first was to do a post-bacc, then apply to med schools, then do a SMP if I didn't get in after the post-bacc.

But I am now realizing that this plan will take two-three years, and there are no guarantees.

With the Texas Fresh Start program I can bang out a bachelor's degree in 2-3 years at U.T. Austin, and then apply to Texas med schools. The upside of this is:

-I won't need a truly amazing MCAT score to make up for crummy grades I got 10 years ago when I was a foolish youth.

-I can spend the two years taking interesting humanities courses and major in something I like, such as history or political science (my previous bachelor's is in philosophy), rather than spending the next two years killing myself with upper division science classes in an extended post-bacc.

Why isn't Fresh Start more popular? Get a high 3 gpa and a decent MCAT and in-you-go to one of Texas' great med schools with low in-state tuition.

Where's the downside?
 

DrMidlife

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1. Establish TX residency
2. Apply for fresh start
3. Get rejected if you have done college coursework in the last 10 years (see recent thread in nontrad)
4. If you get accepted, you lose your entire college record and your degree and start over fresh. As a freshman.
 
Jan 4, 2010
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I did see the other thread, but as far as I can tell from the wording on U.T. Arlington's website, you are eligible for Fresh Start even if you've taken classes in the last 10 years. It's just that all courses prior to the 10 year cut-off date will not count toward your degree:

"The provision does not affect coursework completed between the 10 year prior date and the new enrollment date.The provision does not affect coursework completed between the 10 year prior date and the new enrollment date."

Yes, you start as a freshman. I can see for many people they wouldn't be willing to do that. But the way I see it I'll have my post-bacc done here in cali by the end of the summer. Then I'm planning to move to Texas and take community college classes or enroll at one of the Texas States. Then transfer to a U.T. the following year once I get my residency. Do the bachelor's in 36 months and go to med school.

I'm going to call some Texas admissions offices on Monday to try to clarify the issue you mentioned in #3 of your post. Will report back here with my findings.

I sure wish California had a program like this.

By the way - you were the person who mentioned Fresh Start - I would probably have never found out about it were it not for you posting on one of my threads. So THANK YOU!
 
Mar 11, 2010
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I am assuming you already have a bachelor's degree.

I suspect AMCAS would factor in all the grades you previously earned in college. If I were you, I would also verify how they would treat courses from a second bachelor degree. They have some very technical rules.
 

drizzt3117

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People that are doing fresh start will presumably be only applying using TMDSAS not AMCAS because AMCAS doesn't recognize the fresh start.

What's the downside? Waiting 10 years between getting your undergrad degree and being able to start fresh start. The vast majority of people won't be eligible for it.
 

DrMidlife

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I am assuming you already have a bachelor's degree.

I suspect AMCAS would factor in all the grades you previously earned in college.
Oh right - amending my list for how to go about fresh start:
1. Establish TX residency
2. Apply for fresh start
3. Make sure you don't get rejected if you have done college coursework in the last 10 years (see recent thread in nontrad)
4. If you get accepted, you lose your entire college record and your degree and start over fresh. As a freshman.
5. Only apply to TX schools through TMDSAS, unless you want to try to use the new bachelor's degree to get into AMCAS schools, in which case why bother doing fresh start.
6. Adopt religion and pray that the rules don't change.
If I were you, I would also verify how they would treat courses from a second bachelor degree. They have some very technical rules.
If by "they" you mean AMCAS, and if by "technical" you mean there's math in it and a document that describes it, and if by "second bachelor degree" you mean any postbac coursework, then yes there are rules. All undergrad coursework is averaged together into cumulative overall & science GPAs, and these are the big fat emphasized numbers. Undergrad coursework is further broken down into per-year averages (fresh/soph/jr/sr) and postbac. Grad work is a separate line. I posted pictures of how this looks on a processed AMCAS and TMDSAS app in a recent thread. What degrees are earned is in a completely different section from GPA calcs and doesn't factor in.

And then each med school can do with this info whatever they want, such as weighting.
 

santiajj

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Oh right - amending my list for how to go about fresh start:
1. Establish TX residency
2. Apply for fresh start
3. Make sure you don't get rejected if you have done college coursework in the last 10 years (see recent thread in nontrad)
4. If you get accepted, you lose your entire college record and your degree and start over fresh. As a freshman.
5. Only apply to TX schools through TMDSAS, unless you want to try to use the new bachelor's degree to get into AMCAS schools, in which case why bother doing fresh start.
6. Adopt religion and pray that the rules don't change.

If by "they" you mean AMCAS, and if by "technical" you mean there's math in it and a document that describes it, and if by "second bachelor degree" you mean any postbac coursework, then yes there are rules. All undergrad coursework is averaged together into cumulative overall & science GPAs, and these are the big fat emphasized numbers. Undergrad coursework is further broken down into per-year averages (fresh/soph/jr/sr) and postbac. Grad work is a separate line. I posted pictures of how this looks on a processed AMCAS and TMDSAS app in a recent thread. What degrees are earned is in a completely different section from GPA calcs and doesn't factor in.

And then each med school can do with this info whatever they want, such as weighting.
Incorrect - the "entire" college record is not lost and neither is the degree. Having done college coursework does not automatically exclude you from the program, not if you have not attended the Texas public institution in which you are declaring Fresh Start. The application package will actually show that you have a degree if you do, but the coursework prior to the 10 year mark from the Fresh Start declaration will not show up. This is a TMDSAS thing, it doesn't apply to AMCAS. I encourage people to contact TMDSAS directly to get the right info from the source (ask for Nicole Dubuque). There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding this program out there.
 

digitlnoize

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I considered this program VERY briefly when I made the decision to go back to school. I had a bunch of F's from classes that I "dropped" without withdrawing from (stupid, I know).

The biggest drawback, aside from the technical issues, is the time factor. Remember, that each additional year that you're NOT a doctor, you're losing absurd amounts of money. Not only salary, but also the potential money earned on any investments made
with your salary.

Even if you can only get into a Carribean school, and wind up stuck in FM, at the average FM salary of say, $150k/yr you're looking at $300,000 to $450,000 lost, just in salary by taking those extra 2-3 years.

Seriously. Get into med school as quickly as possible, and get out as quickly as possible. Don't lose your momentum either. I've seen this happen to tons of friends. They take a year off or something, and never come back.
 

gonnif

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There was a long thread on this in the OldPreMeds Forums a few years ago which may provide some thoughts on whether it is useful to do. In the p.ast few months, I had a long conversation with an admissions officer from a Texas medical school concerning non-trads/OldPreMeds in general, which touched on this topic while discussing perceived ageism of older premedical students. My impression from this officer was that adcoms want to know what an older student has done all these years and she wondered if the "blank years" due to fresh start would make them wonder even more so. I've never looked at TMDSAS applicant/matriculant data, nor have any data on fresh start students

OldPreMeds Thread on Texas Fresh Start
 

elprofe

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But the way I see it I'll have my post-bacc done here in cali by the end of the summer. Then I'm planning to move to Texas and take community college classes or enroll at one of the Texas States. Then transfer to a U.T. the following year once I get my residency. Do the bachelor's in 36 months and go to med school.
Actually, if you want to become a Texas resident, you cannot go to school full time for a year before you attempt to get it. You have be employed full time in Texas for a year. I'm talking from personal experience. My 2 cents.