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Undergrad Junior standing and Unique transfer situation: advice needed!

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CABGpatchkid

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Hello all. I'm in the process of making some pretty big decisions for the future and could really use some input.


I'm a US citizen (born and raised in Chicagoland) that chose to go abroad to get an undergraduate degree from a fairly prestigious British university.
Now, no longer naive enough to think it's going to be a piece of cake applying with a BSc and more than half of the med school class prereqs missing, my goal is to move back to the states summer 2016 and complete my undergrad there.

I've completed half the degree, but because of the finicky translation and unpredictable way international credits transfer, I'd be lucky to get 50 credits absolute maximum from my actual time spent in the UK.
All of my classes thus far have been lab-based biological and biomedical sciences, with a semester of biological chemistry, a semester of ecology, and something that could qualify as biophysics with lab.

Luckily enough, I scored 4/5 in 10+ AP tests back in high school: biology, english lit, stats, psych, environmental sci, and a tonne of history subjects. When I plug this into the average state school credit acceptance, I get 30-38 credits.

My hopes is that this will provide a sort of balance, and that if I transfer to an uncompetitive public or private (preferably public, trying to keep the costs low here) school, either for the Fall 2016 semester, or possibly Spring 2016 if there's a distance learning option (can't leave the UK until the start of next summer), I'll be able to spend a year taking the all of the gen chem/orgo/physics/math/humanities I have left, and graduate on time in 2017. The question is which of the many undergrad schools....

The kneejerk reaction is to just go back to Chicago, but I want to put myself in the best position possible for MD acceptance, and this is where my planning starts getting convoluted, to say the least.

I have plans to apply for the 2017-2018 cycle. I don't have any predispositions (not anymore, that is ;) ) towards prestige. If I could matriculate to the lowest-tier MD school in the US come Fall 2018, I'd do most anything. My defining factor at this point is tuition fees. The less debt I can graduate with, the better. My aspirations lie in global medicine, so while it's the goal to do my residency in the US, I see myself spending the most of my practising years in the third world rather than private practice or an academic setting. The less debt I've accrued, the easier I imagine this will be...

Because of the nature of coursework in the UK vs the USA, my gpa isn't all that high as it currently stands. (3.45 cumulative, 3.50 bcpm)
Speaking to friends I've made with visiting study-abroad students here, and old friends from high school, I've been reassured that it's easier (by no means easy, of course!) to get a higher gpa stateside, so I'm confident I can get my cumulative to the 3.75 range by the time I apply.

While I've yet to take the MCAT, I've started some prelim prep, just to become familiar with the test. I've covered all the material already, either in hs or in university courses; a practice test suggests I can confidently get a 32, and with a rigorous schedule likely much higher. I'll take it around Christmas time next year, if all goes well.

With my stats in mind, I've started to generate a list of schools that are attainable, that I'll be applying to come 2017. My current Illinois residency makes UIC and SIU Springfield natural choices, but those aren't the cheapest of the bunch by far... the Texas schools are looking really appealing, as is New Mexico, Joan C Edwards, U Mississippi, Arizona, Nevada, etc.

I would be more than happy to establish residency in any one of these states by finishing my undergrad at a college there while being gainfully employed, and then have become a resident in time to be considered with the IS pool for 2017-2018, if it would help my chances. I'm thankfully already financially independent outwith tuition fees, and am open-minded to any kind of living environment... I've been happy everywhere from major metropolises to the dusty middle-of-nowhere, so long as I'm on my way towards practising the art of medicine.

So, with the goal of getting into the less expensive MDs, and on the first try (as we all wish) and hopefully maximizing this chance by relocating to the correct state, what are thoughts? Should I just stick with the Illinois residency, or go elsewhere?

Are there other options I should be considering? Or am I making a glaring oversight leaving my entire notion defunct?

Sorry for the long-windedness. Would be really appreciative of any useful response that can be made!

Let me just close by saying how incredibly useful and wonderful I find sdn, excited I'm finally done with lurking in the shadows and making my first post :)
 

Glazedonutlove

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I would choose the undergrad that allows max credit transfer from your international school
 

Lannister

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If you are from the Chicagoland area, forget about Southern Illinois, they don't take anyone from the city or the suburbs.
Illinois is not a good state to be a resident of when it comes to medical school. You really only get in-state preference at one school (UIC), and it's EXTREMELY expensive even with IS tuition.
Conclusions: move to Texas.
 

Glazedonutlove

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tuition at uic medical school is around 35000 for instate--wouldn't describe that as extremely expensive for med school at all
If you are from the Chicagoland area, forget about Southern Illinois, they don't take anyone from the city or the suburbs.
Illinois is not a good state to be a resident of when it comes to medical school. You really only get in-state preference at one school (UIC), and it's EXTREMELY expensive even with IS tuition.
Conclusions: move to Texas.
 

Lannister

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tuition at uic is around 35000 for instate--wouldn't describe that as extremely expensive for med school at all

It's extremely expensive for a public school. It's $100,000 more than University of Cincinnati, for example.
 

Glazedonutlove

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It's extremely expensive for a public school. It's $100,000 more than University of Cincinnati, for example.
hm interesting. well it seemed cheap compared to northwestern's 51k :p

I agree that Texas would put op at cheapest cost of living/tuition/chance for med school. It's also easy to establish residency
 

Lannister

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hm interesting. well it seemed cheap compared to northwestern's 51k :p

I agree that Texas would put op at cheapest cost of living/tuition/chance for med school. It's also easy to establish residency

Haha oh it's definitely cheaper compared to private schools, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the most, if not the most, expensive public medical schools in the country. And cost of living is pretty high in Chicago too, so the total COA for UIC is quite high (60k+, according to their website).

EDIT: looked it up. It's the 8th most expensive public for IS students, 2nd most expensive for OOS students
 
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CABGpatchkid

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If you are from the Chicagoland area, forget about Southern Illinois, they don't take anyone from the city or the suburbs.
Illinois is not a good state to be a resident of when it comes to medical school. You really only get in-state preference at one school (UIC), and it's EXTREMELY expensive even with IS tuition.
Conclusions: move to Texas.

hm interesting. well it seemed cheap compared to northwestern's 51k :p

I agree that Texas would put op at cheapest cost of living/tuition/chance for med school. It's also easy to establish residency

Yesterday after a marathon school research sesh, I'd settled on that. Was looking at transferring to UHouston, getting residency (I'd move in July 1, get some 20 hr/wk job by Oct 1, to have it long enough to get successful residency by the next cycle). Proximity of Texas Heart Institute was also a pull, I've got particular interest in ct med, and it's such a hub for it!
could get some worthwhile US shadowing and possible research before applying (have no research experience, and shadowing only in the UK/other international setting, no US).

.... and then I read on sdn that Texas (and SC) are very set on retaining their students for instate practice... wouldn't look so good if my only drive to move to the state was for the tuition, without "deep roots" of any sort...
 

CABGpatchkid

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Haha oh it's definitely cheaper compared to private schools, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the most, if not the most, expensive public medical schools in the country. And cost of living is pretty high in Chicago too, so the total COA for UIC is quite high (60k+, according to their website).

EDIT: looked it up. It's the 8th most expensive public for IS students, 2nd most expensive for OOS students

Oh god, that bad? Thanks Illinois.

Well, I could come from worse. I could be a Californian.
 
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