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Wake Forest vs. Hofstra (asap please, deciding within 36 hours)

amaranthinesky

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  • Nontrad ORM California resident since birth
  • Need to decide by Friday morning
  • Sensitive to pollutants especially secondhand smoke and more prone to seasonal allergies
  • Interested in competitive/lifestyle specialties like derm, PM&R, ophtho
  • Interested in matching back to California
Ask for more $?
I had to ask Wake before they awarded me 8k and told me tuition scholarships were all gone. Hofstra awarded me 22k after I asked them about finances. Should I try to reach out to Hofstra (or both schools) again to ask for more scholarship aid or should I stick with my offers?

Wake Forest
8k scholarship ; COA per year: 80k
Have a very distant relative in Winston-Salem who lives with her college-sweetheart turned husband

Pros
  • Relatively more well-established / higher rank (T50) = possible boost for competitive specialties now that Step 1 will be P/F in 2022
  • Cool weather + more daylight = possibly more time outside for self-care and wellbeing
  • Lecture attendance not mandatory + Recorded
  • Don’t have to drive too much
  • 1.5 yr pre-clinical curriculum + exam style like Step 1
Cons
  • Random, recurrent train noises would bother my habitual light sleep - biased by interview day but noticed that most students live in grad housing, 20 ft from the tracks
  • Bigger class size + seemed less diverse than expected on interview day
  • Not a fan of facilities
  • Surrounding area not culturally diverse + downtown seemed to have bad local air quality (felt nauseating when I tried to explore places near the school)
  • Internal ranking despite P/F preclinical
Hofstra
22k scholarship; COA per year: 66k
Have a friend working law in Manhattan + uncle/aunt in New Jersey (working in Manhattan)

Pros
  • Graduate with less debt (already have 30k student debt from undergrad)
  • Curriculum emulates medical care
  • Better prep - higher Step 1 and 2CK
  • Smaller class size + more faculty support per student
  • Social + academic environment
  • Newer, spacious facilities
  • (Clinical) research at Feinstein Institute or Coldspring Harbor
  • Early clinical experience: EMT cert + Initial Clinic Experience
  • Area more culturally diverse (+ for food, patients, sense of belonging) - NY seems like an amazing place
  • Aid includes North Shore loan (10k/yr) = 5% fixed interest rate
  • Prosections in state-of-the-art cadaver lab
  • Clerkship grades - attending eval supposedly contributes 10%
Cons
  • Less known / low rank since it’s a new school
  • Short answer style exams
  • Not a lot of assessment feedback during preclinical
  • Cold + less daylight = can’t study/exercise/self-care outdoors as much + need a new wardrobe
  • Potentially a lot more driving sometimes in more treacherous climate
  • Mandatory attendance for all case-based small-group learning
  • Hate crime on the rise in NY from coronavirus + area near school not the safest
  • Some living areas near train tracks/train, but I don’t have enough info now to compare the noise pollution to Winston-Salem’s
Other Remarks

Faculty and staff seem to care a lot about students and they show that in different ways.

Wake: At Wake, interviewees could see staff putting a lot of thought and evidence-based planning into the interview process as well as Step 1 prep. Since an MS1 at Wake is an alumnus from the same major at my alma mater, I only got to talk to them during lunch. It’s a little off-putting but when they asked another MS1 what they thought of the school, the answer seemed “meh.” Overall, students seemed to be doing ok and chill. Administration didn't impose or mention anything religious, which I'd be startled by but fine with.

Hofstra: Students are interesting in their own ways but share the same open, positive vibe which I liked. Faculty and non-faculty staff were all amazing and showed that they genuinely tried to get to know their students. Teaching faculty seem very open to students. I’m glad that they occasionally have lectures, even though they don’t call it “lecture.”

I’m certain I’m biased with my initial judgment of Hofstra over Wake. But, I want to make the best informed decision. Hope I can get some clarity to resolve my next steps - my decision, possibly asking for more aid, and maybe something else I’m missing.

If I’m missing any factors, however big or small, in my consideration, let me know so I can add to my pro/cons for each.
 
Last edited:

tessellations

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Just disclosing my biases here before my post: interviewed at both schools, got accepted at Wake (but not attending) and was waitlisted at Hofstra.

I’d go with Hofstra. While lower ranked in terms of US News, it matches well above its rank and it’s really on the up and up for such a new school. The Northwell system is amazing and the school is cheaper. Plus you have access to NYC which is a lot more interesting than Winston-Salem in my opinion, which also makes for a more diverse patient population.
 
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amaranthinesky

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Does Wake seem to have more of a Christian (Baptist) leaning? I'm not sure if that would be any factor with the education or community. That could be a Pro or Con for you.

On Wake's interview day, I didn't sense any strong leaning towards any Christian denomination.

Just disclosing my biases here before my post: interviewed at both schools, got accepted at Wake (but not attending) and was waitlisted at Hofstra.

I’d go with Hofstra. While lower ranked in terms of US News, it matches well above its rank and it’s really on the up and up for such a new school. The Northwell system is amazing and the school is cheaper. Plus you have access to NYC which is a lot more interesting than Winston-Salem in my opinion, which also makes for a more diverse patient population.

I agree with you, and I was leaning Hofstra > Wake after I visited both. However, with Step 1 becoming P/F, I worry about the implications for Match esp. for competitive programs. It would certainly hurt if pedigree became a bigger disadvantage for otherwise strong, prepared residency applicants.
 
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TheDataKing

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I'm biased but just an FYI - Wake doesn't rank internally during pre-clinical years. Junior AOA has historically been chosen based on step 1 score alone and senior AOA was clinical grades + step 1 + other stuff. They also don't rank their students in their dean's letter for residency programs. North Carolina is going to have a rougher allergy season but from a pollution standpoint, being near NYC is worse. I'd go with the cheaper school; it sounds like Hofstra would save you 56k
 
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amaranthinesky

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Thanks, I didn't know Wake's AOA criteria until now. Perhaps I was a bit harsh when judging Wake before and in my comparison. I'm glad that you brought up those facts about Wake so that if anything, I see Wake in an even more positive light. For anyone considering Wake, it seems like you're geared for success! However, I agree that 50k+ aid is huge in consideration of debt + interest. I hope to rationalize my leaning towards Hofstra with my friends and family sooner, so that I can put others on the WL at Wake and elsewhere at ease.
 
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