yowhatup

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my younger cousin is stuck between choosing undergrads. He plans to be premed while being an economics major Which undergrad should he choose which is a perfect both in econ and premed. Its the debate at the dinner table right now.

Please feel free to leave any comments on any of these schools

Vanderbilt -- Merit Scholarship
University of Virginia
College of William and Mary
University of Maryland- College Park -- Merit Scholarship
University of Michigan -- Merit Scholarship
The College of New Jersey -- Merit Scholarship
Williams College
Duke


and which undergrad is in your opinion a perfect balance of getting a really good gpa while still being prestigious at the same time

i told him University of Michigan was the way to go. But I wanna hear your opinions
 
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health565656

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my younger cousin is stuck between choosing undergrads. He plans to be premed while being an economics major Which undergrad should he choose which is a perfect both in econ and premed. Its the debate at the dinner table right now.

Please feel free to leave any comments on any of these schools

Vanderbilt -- Merit Scholarship
University of Virginia
College of William and Mary
University of Maryland- College Park -- Merit Scholarship
University of Michigan -- Merit Scholarship
The College of New Jersey -- Merit Scholarship
Williams College
Duke

Go to vandy.
 
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shindotp

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Duke of course. Fuqua's just the coolest sounding name ever for a b-school.

But seriously, Duke's a great school and has a great acceptance rate into med school (upper eighties in percent).
 

schismal

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It might be blasphemous to state this on SDN, but academic reputation is only one factor (a small factor, many would argue) of this decision. In the end, he's choosing where to live for the next four years, so make sure the environment is one that excites him and is therefore conducive to success. That means visit campuses and gauge the EC activities, such as athletic events.

My personal preference would be Vandy, but everyone is different. Also, I would automatically toss any school that didn't offer a sizable scholarship--his med school debt will be enough without compounding it with undergrad loans. (Was there a state school that offered full ride?)
 

yowhatup

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It might be blasphemous to state this on SDN, but academic reputation is only one factor (a small factor, many would argue) of this decision. In the end, he's choosing where to live for the next four years, so make sure the environment is one that excites him and is therefore conducive to success. That means visit campuses and gauge the EC activities, such as athletic events.

My personal preference would be Vandy, but everyone is different. Also, I would automatically toss any school that didn't offer a sizable scholarship--his med school debt will be enough without compounding it with undergrad loans. (Was there a state school that offered full ride?)


no he is a virginia resident, and to get a jefferson scholarship (full ride) to virginia is extremely tough. william and mary doesnt give merit scholarships he believes, or he just didnt get it
 

beachblonde

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no he is a virginia resident, and to get a jefferson scholarship (full ride) to virginia is extremely tough. william and mary doesnt give merit scholarships he believes, or he just didnt get it

W&M does give merit scholarships, but they're perhaps more competitive than Jefferson scholarships at UVA.

I would say pick one of the schools that will cost him the least; unless his family can pay out of pocket for Duke, then go to UM or Vandy, or maybe UMD.

He hasn't heard from all of these schools yet, has he? I thought acceptances don't necessarily go out this early (I'm a bit out of the loop at this point, though).
 

Greonis

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He should definitely go where he will be happiest, independent of cost and reputation (although I would personally find a merit scholarship to be tough to pass up). Reason being, a better-fitting location is more likely to foster a successful student, which will make said student a stronger applicant down the line. In this process, your numbers/experiences will almost always trump the name of your school, so matriculating at a well-known place at which he is not happy would likely hurt him in the long run. By the way, I am not trying to insinuate that the better-known school won't be his best fit (it very well could be). Rather, I am trying to convey that a school's reputation does not always make it the best choice; an amalgamation of different factors must be taken into account.

Another thing to consider is the diversity of academic programs. Your cousin may be interested in economics right now, but one course is all it may take to change his mind. Be sure that the university he chooses has a wide variety of other interesting majors available, should economics not work out.

But seriously, Duke's a great school and has a great acceptance rate into med school (upper eighties in percent).
It is important to realize that such statistics can be misleading. For example, the premedical advisors at Duke might only allow those to apply whom they deem likely to be accepted (IE: by meeting certain numerical cutoffs). Therefore, while the acceptance rate out of Duke applicants might be quite high, the acceptance rate out of all Duke premeds could be substantially lower due to "attrition" from the pathway and/or premedical advisor screening.
 

MightyChip26

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Duke. If you want to go to a top medical school, then go with the prestige factor and work your butt off in college. I've been to a few interviews already at top medical schools and all the other interviewees have been from top undergrad schools. It means a lot when you're able to do well at a school that is academically challenging. People obviously aren't going to agree with me, and say you should should go to the school where you feel you'll have the best time. If you tend to live for the future rather than for the present, maybe you'll be having the best time once medical school application time comes around.

Just my two cents.
 

MilkmanAl

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He should definitely go where he will be happiest, independent of cost and reputation
Ew, no way. It'd be nice if "go where you're happiest" was always sound advice, but that just isn't how life works out. For example, I doubt many people will tell you that going to a school that costs $50k a year that will make you happier than any other school is better than accepting a hefty scholarship to a state school where you will still be happy albeit less so. You also have to consider that it's very unlikely that people going into college can actually make informed decisions on which school will make them happiest. Did you know exactly what the upper-level science courses at your school were like (including workload, social atmosphere, etc.) when you were deciding which college you wanted to attend? I sure didn't, and I think that information is virtually impossible to assimilate without experiencing the program first-hand. In other words, "happiness" is a flawed metric at best and certainly should not be the only thing by which you gauge where you want to attend college.

It is important to realize that such statistics can be misleading. For example, the premedical advisors at Duke might only allow those to apply whom they deem likely to be accepted (IE: by meeting certain numerical cutoffs). Therefore, while the acceptance rate out of Duke applicants might be quite high, the acceptance rate out of all Duke premeds could be substantially lower due to "attrition" from the pathway and/or premedical advisor screening.
Definitely consider this advice. You don't want to get screwed out of a committee letter because of your school's policies.
 
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yowhatup

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what about williams college. Isn't it ranked like an ivy school... i maybe
totally wrong about this though

and since everyone is sayin vandy, anyone know anythin about the premed committee and how it screens
 

igotshoe

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my younger cousin is stuck between choosing undergrads. He plans to be premed while being an economics major Which undergrad should he choose which is a perfect both in econ and premed. Its the debate at the dinner table right now.

Please feel free to leave any comments on any of these schools

Vanderbilt -- Merit Scholarship
University of Virginia
College of William and Mary
University of Maryland- College Park -- Merit Scholarship
University of Michigan -- Merit Scholarship
The College of New Jersey -- Merit Scholarship
Williams College
Duke


and which undergrad is in your opinion a perfect balance of getting a really good gpa while still being prestigious at the same time

i told him University of Michigan was the way to go. But I wanna hear your opinions

williams hands down, leaps and bounds better than all others. duke is next.
 

beachblonde

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williams hands down, leaps and bounds better than all others. duke is next.

I imagine people will disagree with this. Duke is a top ranked school. So is Vandy. So is UVA. So in UM. So is W&M.

I wonder what the pre-med experience is like at a small LAC versus a big national university? I would err on the side of a university, because they tend to have more research opportunities.
 

AtheGre

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Duke. If you want to go to a top medical school, then go with the prestige factor and work your butt off in college. I've been to a few interviews already at top medical schools and all the other interviewees have been from top undergrad schools. It means a lot when you're able to do well at a school that is academically challenging. People obviously aren't going to agree with me, and say you should should go to the school where you feel you'll have the best time. If you tend to live for the future rather than for the present, maybe you'll be having the best time once medical school application time comes around.

Just my two cents.


I totally agree with you...


AtG
 

littlealex

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Usually I vote for the best school you got into - Duke. However, given the scholarships, Vandy is probably the better choice.

Don't worry about how hard are the classes are. Accept the challenges as they come and don't like like much of SDN.
"Ooh my GPA suffered because my classes are harderrrrr"

At every school there are people with good grades who have fun outside of class. Go be one of them.
 

dispatchblue

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For starters, I have to admit that I'm strongly biased here toward Vandy. I'm at Vanderbilt right now on a merit scholarship and have absolutely loved it. Moreover, I think Vanderbilt prepared me extremely well for the medical school application process. The real differences between Vanderbilt and Duke are relatively slight and I would go to Vanderbilt again in an instant even if the money was the same. With a cash offer at Vandy I can't see how he could turn it down.

If you're concerned about how it stacks up to Duke as far as reputation goes, don't be. I dislike sharing stats or acceptances in an open forum, but if you're really curious then feel free to message me (or have him message me) and I'd be happy to allay his fears.

Briefly, though, it sounds like he's doing extremely well and he should be fine at almost any of these places. Vanderbilt certainly isn't for everyone and if he feels more comfortable at Duke or Michigan, then he should definitely go that direction. And finally, I think that what he does with his time and how hard he applies himself while at school will have a far greater effect on his future success than the question of whether he goes to Duke or Vandy.
 

helsizzle

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Williams has extremely strong econ and the pre-med classes prepare you well for the MCAT. Research is easy to get into and there are tons of volunteering/public health opportunities in the community. Plus, hopefully there will be a new premed advisor by the time that that's important for your cousin.

The reputation and name aren't as recognizable as an Ivy, but admissions committees certainly know Williams (and US News and World Report does too).

For anyone, the right college is no simple fit--for example, it's a matter of location (rural New England), school size (2000 total), weather (cold and snowy, with amazing fall leaves), diversity (it's really important there and it shows), how much he wants to study (because at Williams, he will STUDY like never before. Williams is hard and Ephs are nerds :oops:). My classmates and I were totally prepared for the pace and challenges of medical school. I was a non-science major too.

He should interview at each school, even if it's optional, and spend the night in a freshman dorm to get the vibe of the campus. And be accepted of course.

Final point in favor of Williams: the mascot is a purple cow, which is awesome.
 

chutzpah

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Williams is a great feeder school because of it's small class sizes so you can form great connections with professors (and potentially better LORs).

However, any undergraduate institution will do, keep in mind that medical school won't be cheap so you might as well take advantage of the merit scholarships.
 

tabletop

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wow, it's only november. How does he know he's been accepted to all those schools?? Don't acceptances come out in april?
 
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