SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Undergrad Prestige

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dr. Lawyer, Aug 6, 2000.

  1. Dr. Lawyer

    Dr. Lawyer Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2000
    Does anyone know the extent to which the rigor of one's undergraduate institution affects an adcom's interpretation of one's GPA? I assume that a 3.8 from Harvard and a 3.8 from a 4th tier university are not comparable.

    Is there any formal system for up-weighting grades from more demanding institutions?

    Your replies are appreciated. Thanks.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. MDMPH

    MDMPH Junior Member

    Aug 1, 2000
    I think that each school has their own grading system...Some schools use the GPA points without any modifications and other schools like, Medical College of South Carolina gives an extra 0.5 to most grads of top 50 schools.(I heard this from a friend who had an interview there.
  4. MedIan

    MedIan Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2000
    Plainsboro, NJ, USA
    I don't know anything about formal systems for "up-weighting" grades, but I'm pretty sure that Ivy League GPAs are quite a bit worth more than others. I'm a bit jaded about this, and I mouth off about it all the time, but I ran into this brick wall when I applied. I had a freaking 4.0 (with 37 MCAT) and got dinged from 9 out of the 10 schools to which I applied. As far as I can tell I did everything right except for going to a prestigious undergrad institution! Oh well, at least I've been accepted, so it's all okay.

  5. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Mobile, AL
    I don't know anything about GPA comparisons from school to school, but I kind of thought that was the point of the MCAT. You can argue forever about your "B" being better than my "A" since you went to a more "prestigious" school, but there's no arguing about MCAT's. The higher score beats the lower score no matter where you took it [​IMG]!
  6. Arti

    Arti Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2000

    Name matters but it is never going to be a deciding factor, nor will your grades or MCATs. The deciding factor will be your entire app and you yourself. 4.0 and 40 on mCATs do not guarantee admission.

  7. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    Some prestegious schools inflate grades, while some less known schools do quite the opposite. I think that it is unfair to give preference to the inflaters, and inflate their gpa even more thinking that they worked their butts off for that A, when in fact they might have done B work.

    Besides, how do you think prestegious university get where they are. They recruit all the smart high school students, and that is their excuse for the high grades people get.
  8. K2


    This is rediculous. I do think prest schools give grades harder. However, I have encountered one school in MA which has a very tough grades. Fortunately I did far better than everyone else in all 4 postbac classes taken w. their undergrads. I already have a phd in a related field. I felt bad for doing that well, but you just have to blame it on AMCAS for these stupid premed requirements. Sometimes, it's just luck as far as who your classmates are. Othertimes, it's pure hard work.
  9. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Some "prestigious" schools do have a reputation for grade inflation, and if they are known for grade inflation, you can bet that AdComs know about it so it all evens out in the end. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've heard, schools like Duke and Stanford are known for inflated grades, whereas schools like Cornell are known for just the opposite.
  10. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    Coming from a "prestigious school with a rep. for grade inflation," I can tell you that it just isn't true. Years ago, that was the case at some universities, mostly because students could drop a class the day of the final without it showing on their transcript, and also take a class over and over again without the repeat showing on the transcript. So, obviously that helps to get higher grades -- it's not that the professors themselves graded the students easier b/c of the school they were at. These policies have all been reversed, and most AdComs are aware of that. That being said, I do think AdComs take your undergrad institution into account, but the MCAT score should be a great equilizer. I know, it seems unfair -- I felt the same way when applying to undergrad from a public high school. I have to say that at least at my college, the vast majority of public school kids were ranked 1 or 2 in their H.S. classes, and had >1400 SATs, while the private school kids had generally lower stats. However, I soon had to admit that a lot of these private school kids did just as well, and often outperformed the public school kids, b/c their high schools had provided them with more challenging work. It's not totally fair, but as long as you keep your GPA and MCAT numbers up, no matter where you are, you should be fine. Also, I think you have to realize that the applications process in general is an unfair, arbitrary business. There's really no use in getting bitter about it.

Share This Page