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WWU_Viking

I've seen some mdapplicant profiles and "what are my chances" threads. Why do some people appy to ivy/top 10/really high tier schools when their numeric stats are below the average for those schools. Wouldn't it be more worthwhile and cost effective to apply to low/mid tier schools just to get at least one acceptance?
 

etf

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why buy lottery tickets - wouldn't it be more worthwhile to leave that dollar in a money market fund and watch it turn into $2 in 30 years? like that guy said in hustle and flow (terrible movie): "everybody's gotta have a dream"
 

starflower

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If you have the time and money, why not apply to as many as possible? The numbers are just averages, so they also accept some students whose numbers are below the average. You never know where you might be accepted!
 
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MiesVanDerMom

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i'm one of those shmucks applying to a few top schools. why? I thought the particular ones I chose sounded like a good fit for me. You only live once so why not? If I was the type of person not to dream and not to do things people think are impossible, I'd still be working the counter at burger king. Numbers aren't everything and life is a crapshoot. You gotta play to win... Come on lucky number seven! Mama needs a new pair of JHU!
 

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WWU_Viking said:
I've seen some mdapplicant profiles and "what are my chances" threads. Why do some people appy to ivy/top 10/really high tier schools when their numeric stats are below the average for those schools. Wouldn't it be more worthwhile and cost effective to apply to low/mid tier schools just to get at least one acceptance?
Well for one, people every year get into the top ten with stats lower than their averages. It is just the nature of an average, so that is hope fo some. Also people like to dream, a lot of the time schools like Harvard, Yale etc represent an ideal medical school experience that will offer the best education, great USMLE prep, clinical rotations in amazing hospitals and matches into great residency programs.

So while it isn't likely to be accepted into a top 10 school with a gpa or mcat score lower than their average, people do it every year.
 

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DoctorPardi said:
Well for one, people every year get into the top ten with stats lower than their averages. It is just the nature of an average, so that is hope fo some. Also people like to dream, a lot of the time schools like Harvard, Yale etc represent an ideal medical school experience that will offer the best education, great USMLE prep, clinical rotations in amazing hospitals and matches into great residency programs.

So while it isn't likely to be accepted into a top 10 school with a gpa or mcat score lower than their average, people do it every year.
Pretty much exactly what I was going to say.

Plus, we're all delusional idiots. :D
-Dr. P.
 

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"It's worth a try", "Why not?" and "You never know" come to mind. I'm sure there's more.
 

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DoctorPardi said:
...a lot of the time schools like Harvard, Yale etc represent an ideal medical school experience...
Which is totally irrational, you understand. I'd guess that almost everybody, no matter where they go, has their version of an ideal medical school experience.
 

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DoctorPardi said:
So while it isn't likely to be accepted into a top 10 school with a gpa or mcat score lower than their average, people do it every year.
They have something exceptional in their app if they don't have the stats and get in.
As the OP correctly surmised lots of people with nothin exceptional still put Harvard as their longshot. Pretty silly actually considering the next 20 schools after the top 10 are pretty amazing places too. Lottery ticket is the right analogy. Plus you can go around for the next couple of months telling people you are still waiting to hear from Harvard. :)
 

chitowndr

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a lot of the top schools take the time to look past numbers too. Someone with a decent MCAT and low GPA might have a better chance at a top school than a more middle tier school that screens out based purely on numbers before interviews. Who knows, maybe great LOR, great Essays, or unique extracurriculars. I know, because I applied to about 6 top 10 or 20 schools, even though my grades and MCAT say I should stick to middle to lower tier schools. I mean, whast the difference between an average GPA of 3.6 and an average of 3.5 anyway, when you have a GPA that is lower...
 

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Law2Doc said:
Plus you can go around for the next couple of months telling people you are still waiting to hear from Harvard. :)
I totally did this with Stanford :) And I'm proud to say I'm pulling the average down in my entering class this year. Granted, my MCAT was only like 1 point below average. I suppose one or two top-10 schools is fine if your numbers aren't through the roof, it's the people that refuse to apply to anything but a top-tier school, regardless of their stats thay you should worry about. That's when a reality check is needed.
 

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My uncle, who's an MD, told me not to have any regrets and to shoot for the stars during my application. I only have one dream school (JHU) and it's worth paying the money to find out the "what if?" aspect of my application.

I'm not one of those people that merely settles for what they have, but I'm not unrealistic either. I just want to see what happens with JHU, even though I have like a 0.0001% chance of even getting an interview. Who knows really? Maybe I'll strike a chord with one of the ad-com's who's brother is deaf and he'll want to take a second look at me. Maybe my essay will knock them dead. Who knows? I sure don't want to think to myself, "what if?"
 
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i'm applying to about 4 top 10 schools because i'm interested in academic medicine, for which med school reputation carries some weight. for all of those schools, i also have genuine interest in some aspect of their program. my science gpa is on target but my 33 mcat is roughly 2 points below the average--if they reported standard deviations, i'd have a better idea of where in the accepted score distribution this falls. oh well, i think it's worth a shot.

if i weren't interested in academic medicine then i would choose purely based on location, cost, and how well i think i would like the program (which i'm doing for all my other schools).
 

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Doctor~Detroit said:
i'm applying to about 4 top 10 schools because i'm interested in academic medicine, for which med school reputation carries some weight. for all of those schools, i also have genuine interest in some aspect of their program. my science gpa is on target but my 33 mcat is roughly 2 points below the average--if they reported standard deviations, i'd have a better idea of where in the accepted score distribution this falls. oh well, i think it's worth a shot.

if i weren't interested in academic medicine then i would choose purely based on location, cost, and how well i think i would like the program (which i'm doing for all my other schools).
This thread needs to be closed. Nothing more needs be said other than the above.
 

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This thread needs to be closed. Nothing more needs be said other than the above.
++
it's like a troll trying to discourage others from applying to his/her dream schools

seriously, it's AVERAGE, not CUTOFF or MINIMUM
 

akaz

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Doctor~Detroit said:
i'm applying to about 4 top 10 schools because i'm interested in academic medicine, for which med school reputation carries some weight. for all of those schools, i also have genuine interest in some aspect of their program. my science gpa is on target but my 33 mcat is roughly 2 points below the average--if they reported standard deviations, i'd have a better idea of where in the accepted score distribution this falls. oh well, i think it's worth a shot.

if i weren't interested in academic medicine then i would choose purely based on location, cost, and how well i think i would like the program (which i'm doing for all my other schools).
I applied to all the big name ones. You never know. Apply. I have seen some wild things. You just need to fit.
 

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Law2Doc said:
They have something exceptional in their app if they don't have the stats and get in.
As the OP correctly surmised lots of people with nothin exceptional still put Harvard as their longshot. Pretty silly actually considering the next 20 schools after the top 10 are pretty amazing places too. Lottery ticket is the right analogy. Plus you can go around for the next couple of months telling people you are still waiting to hear from Harvard. :)
I am not denying that it is inefficient and a waste. What I am doing is giving one rationalization for it: people get in with lower stats. Also I am explaing why people do it, because people have this dreamy or idealized view of certain schools in the top ten. I am not saying they are right, I am just explaining why they do it, which was the original question posed by the thread title.

To answer the question in the last sentence of the OP then yes it would be more cost effective to apply to schools with numbers more closely related to your own.
 

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coralfangs said:
++
it's like a troll trying to discourage others from applying to his/her dream schools

seriously, it's AVERAGE, not CUTOFF or MINIMUM

I don't think Panda meant it that way. He's just a very blunt and straight to the point kinda person which I admire about him because his posts generally tell it like it is.

But on the off side, some of the people who get interviews and even acceptances would be people who might have been discouraged and med school acceptance is sooooo crapshoot that you never know where you will get in until you apply. People with good stats and profiles get rejected sometimes from places they would expect to get in and get in places they expected to be rejected from, so its hard to say what would happen if you didn't try.
 

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LauraPaz said:
I totally did this with Stanford :) And I'm proud to say I'm pulling the average down in my entering class this year. Granted, my MCAT was only like 1 point below average. I suppose one or two top-10 schools is fine if your numbers aren't through the roof, it's the people that refuse to apply to anything but a top-tier school, regardless of their stats thay you should worry about. That's when a reality check is needed.
WashU must be crawling with geniuses if a 35 MCAT brings DOWN the average.

Don't worry, you can make it up on the Step 1.

Best of luck in med school,
-Dr. P.

P.S.: I kind of agree with Panda. This issue has been discussed before. In most cases, it's the "eye in the sky" mentality, and for a rare few, it's an interest in academic medicine.
 

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Dr. Pepper said:
WashU must be crawling with geniuses if a 35 MCAT brings DOWN the average.

Don't worry, you can make it up on the Step 1.

Best of luck in med school,
-Dr. P.

P.S.: I kind of agree with Panda. This issue has been discussed before. In most cases, it's the "eye in the sky" mentality, and for a rare few, it's an interest in academic medicine.
This has nothing to do with what you just said, but what application cycle will you be in Dr. Pepper?
 

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LauraPaz said:
I totally did this with Stanford :) And I'm proud to say I'm pulling the average down in my entering class this year. Granted, my MCAT was only like 1 point below average. I suppose one or two top-10 schools is fine if your numbers aren't through the roof, it's the people that refuse to apply to anything but a top-tier school, regardless of their stats thay you should worry about. That's when a reality check is needed.
*does a reality check*
 

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coralfangs said:
++
it's like a troll trying to discourage others from applying to his/her dream schools

I'm gunning for yer' spot!

P. Bear, MD
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My MCAT is ablove every schools average, while my GPA is below most. So for me, if the adcoms favor mcat, i'm good; if not, i'm screwed. By applying to multiple top 10's and tier-1's i increase my chance of finding an adcom that favors mcat scores.

Also, some schools look at a high mcat as a way to make up for a low gpa. Others see low gpa's as an insurmountable barrier. Since I dont know who the former schools are, I have to apply to lots of them.
 

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geno2568 said:
My MCAT is ablove every schools average, while my GPA is below most. So for me, if the adcoms favor mcat, i'm good; if not, i'm screwed. By applying to multiple top 10's and tier-1's i increase my chance of finding an adcom that favors mcat scores.

Also, some schools look at a high mcat as a way to make up for a low gpa. Others see low gpa's as an insurmountable barrier. Since I dont know who the former schools are, I have to apply to lots of them.
Your profile looks much like mine. That's basically my thought process as well. I'm keeping an open mind about where I want to go but basically it's going to depend on what school is willing to look past my GPA.
 

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for ****s and giggles.

if you have a year off time is not a big deal.
and once you realize that you'll have over 100k in debt within 4 years, the cost of application is not a big deal either.
 

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My husband is watching this whole insane process. He applied to science PhD programs, and the process is way less insanifying than MD admissions. He asked me why AMCAS doesn't just limit everyone to applying to 10 schools, that way people would be forced to brutally self-select. I thought about it, and I know it will never happen because med schools enjoy milking the secondary cash cow, and they all want their acceptance rates to remain miniscule. But, if it was even possible, it's not such a bad idea. We might actually get our apps processed in weeks rather than months.
 

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how are these chances?...
UCSF (out of state), harvard, stanford, OHSU(in state)

MCAT above average for all med schools
GPA above average for all med schools
LOR will (should) be fine

but.....

I come from a smaller liberal arts school, not that known
not much clinical/research experience, only this summer I'm finally doing some research at OHSU
My primaries arent done yet, still screwing around with personal statement

damn the personal statements
 

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XildUpNawth said:
My husband is watching this whole insane process. He applied to science PhD programs, and the process is way less insanifying than MD admissions. He asked me why AMCAS doesn't just limit everyone to applying to 10 schools, that way people would be forced to brutally self-select. I thought about it, and I know it will never happen because med schools enjoy milking the secondary cash cow, and they all want their acceptance rates to remain miniscule. But, if it was even possible, it's not such a bad idea. We might actually get our apps processed in weeks rather than months.

i think they make the process insance on purpose to weed people out. seriously. weeding out is a big thing with professions...
 

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I will be applying to schools like MayoMC, UPenn, Yale, JHS, Chicago, and maybe one or two more in addition to my 4 in-state MD schools (FL). My practice AAMCs are right now around 28-29 and easily 5 pts below some of these schools' averages. Why do you care if I apply or not? Maybe there will be that slight chance I get in. If I don't apply, I'll never know and don't want to regret not doing it. Any extra couple hundred dollars saved is nothing when you look at it over 4 years like previously said.
 

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WWU_Viking said:
I've seen some mdapplicant profiles and "what are my chances" threads. Why do some people appy to ivy/top 10/really high tier schools when their numeric stats are below the average for those schools. Wouldn't it be more worthwhile and cost effective to apply to low/mid tier schools just to get at least one acceptance?

I have low stats and I'm eventually applying to Northwestern and Cornell beause

1) PBL
2) Location

outside of that, I have no real reason.
 
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