to disadvantage or not

NotForTheMoney

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    So I just registered with AMCAS and I got to the part where it ask me if I wanted to let the medical school know if I wanted to be classified as a disadvantage student or not. So the question I wanted to ask is " Will it help me any or at all if I said yes and give them my explanation?" Or should I just suck it up and say no because I don't want any advantage or want to be treated different just because I'm not from a well off family?(don't want to go into details)
     
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    alwaysaangel

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      A couple of things:

      1) You're just applying now? Really really late to apply now - I wouldn't bother at all - you need to wait til' next year.
      If you're filling it out for now to use for next year - don't. It won't save your information and you'll have to fill it out again in May.

      2) Regarding disadvantaged status you need to make a personal decision. I tell people to think about if an interviewer challenged them on their disadvantaged status could they hold their ground and still feel like they were disadvantaged or would they feel guilty about applying that way. Remember the question is did your precollege experiences affect your preparation for college to the point that you were ill-prepared compared to your peers.

      It CAN help in some circumstances. But if it seems like you're blowing smoke it could totally hurt you.

      There is a story on here about someone who's parents were professors at Ivy League colleges who applied disadvantaged because when he was very young his parents were getting their PhDs so they lived in graduate housing and he didn't have access to the 'educational toys' that others had. That kind of thing will hurt you.

      Ultimately its a personal decision, another example is me. I decided against applying because my family was lucky enough to live in an area with nice schools. So even though I had to work in high school and my family was under the poverty line from when I was 10 until I left home I didn't feel like it affected my education to the point that it hurt my ability to succeed in college.

      Good luck!
       

      lisasimpson87

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        although it's hard to comment without knowing specifics, based on my experience if you're questioning whether to apply disadvantaged it's basically just as effective to check "no" but then in essays and things talk about whatever made you unsure about applying, and then comment on why you dont actually feel disadvantaged e.g. "even though im poor im lucky my parents always stressed education" that way you leave the disadvantaged status to ppl who are unquestionably disadvantaged but you talk about the issue - if whoever looks at your app thinks your problem didnt make the cut to qualify you as disadvantaged, you dont lose any points, and if s/he does think you made the cut, you sort of win points for sucking it up rather than whining about it (so to speak, i dont think applying disadvantaged= whining). this was my strategy and a couple of my interviewers were like, wow you prob could have applied disadvantaged and i was like "heres why i didnt" and they were like "wow thats very mature" and i was like "sweet", so i recommend the tactic
         

        NotForTheMoney

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          this was my strategy and a couple of my interviewers were like, wow you prob could have applied disadvantaged and i was like "heres why i didnt" and they were like "wow thats very mature" and i was like "sweet", so i recommend the tactic

          that's pretty smart of you. I think I will do the same. Well to get into details, we were very poor and to be more specific, my parents' combined income was no more than 20k.:( so yea. but I am very lucky that they did stress me on how important education was.

          and about them not saving my information.really? that sucks i guess keep this in mind till next year lol
           

          Tecmo Superbowl

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            that's pretty smart of you. I think I will do the same. Well to get into details, we were very poor and to be more specific, my parents' combined income was no more than 20k.:( so yea. but I am very lucky that they did stress me on how important education was.

            and about them not saving my information.really? that sucks i guess keep this in mind till next year lol

            In an ideal world that would be a good strategy, but unless you put stuff about your disadvantaged status in your personal statement and secondaries, you may never get a chance to explain it in your interview.

            Trust me, schools will not admit you with a 25 mcat and 3.0 gpa just because you are disadvantaged. It's used for two reasons. First, affirmative action. If two applicants have the same stats up and down the board, they will probably take the disadvantaged applicant because they assume he/she had to go through more obstacles to get to where they are. Secondly, they also assume you will be more likely to help families from poor areas because people tend to help people like themselves.
             

            lisasimpson87

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              In an ideal world that would be a good strategy, but unless you put stuff about your disadvantaged status in your personal statement and secondaries, you may never get a chance to explain it in your interview.

              Trust me, schools will not admit you with a 25 mcat and 3.0 gpa just because you are disadvantaged. I

              yea, i guess to qualify what i said, i could only use the tactic for schools that had secondary essays that were like "what is a challenge you had to overcome" or "what is a defining moment in your life" or for schools that asked in interviews what some of my obstacles had been. for some schools it never came up. secondly, my numbers were in the upper average range, so i wasnt counting on my sob story to get interviews, it was just a nice bonus to hopefully help my application
               
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