Here’s my situation…BA in French from Baylor University, JD from University of Houston. Practiced law for 6 years, quit to be a mom (not currently working outside the home), now looking at taking prereqs and going to med school. I am pretty much putting all my eggs in one basket, as I cannot as a logistical matter go to med school anywhere except my local school (30 minutes away - Texas A&M Temple) because of my husband’s career and the support system I have here locally. I am okay with that, because as badly as I want to go to medical school, I have to accept that my family situation imposes certain limitations on what is possible (or at least what is prudent).
Anyway, I am planning to apply under Texas Fresh Start statute (which only applies to Texas schools). The statute, for purposes of calculating GPA, removes grades that are more than 10 years old from the equation. Adcoms will still know I have degrees, and they will know I was on the Dean’s List, Law Review, cum laude, etc. (there is some misinformation out there that says you can’t talk about any of this and that your degrees, in effect, disappear – I have confirmed with the director of TMDSAS that this is not true). The negatives are 1) that those courses cannot count toward prereqs (this isn’t a big deal for me because the only prereqs I even have are the two English courses) and 2) the old courses don’t count toward the 90 hours required for matriculation. I am choosing to go under the statute even though my grades are not that bad (3.2 UG, 3.15 law cum laude) because with the number of hours I have, it would take me about 70 hours of straight As just to get my GPA to a 3.5. What I can do is take all my prereqs, apply after 60 hours (allowed at the school I am aiming for), and then take the remaining hours during the glide year.
Anyway, I am trying to make a plan for taking my prereqs. The two choices I have are a local community college and Baylor University. Local CC is $61/hour, Baylor is $986/hour plus student fees of about $1500/semester. I do have 36 hours of tuition remission available to me because my parents work at the university. It counts as taxable income to them because I am not a dependent, though, and the effect of that is to reduce the cost per hour of Baylor to about $333.
My plan has been to take my hard sciences at Baylor and everything else at CC. There are some kinks in the tuition remission policy that may make that impossible (post-bac rules regarding degree-seeking status, etc.). Even if it is possible, I am looking at a HUGE cost difference here.
CC will cost me about $6000 for everything, and the only class I will have to take at Baylor is Biochem (not required but recommended).* If I go the Baylor/CC combo route, I’m looking at roughly $24,000. Baylor alone (no CC) is not an option – that’s closer to $100K.
So, based on what I’ve told you, what would you do? I am pretty confident I can do very well in the classes no matter where I take them. I do plan to take TPR or Kaplan and prepare extensively for MCAT and I hope for a very good score. The school I am targeting has 3.66 median GPA and 30 median MCAT.
Assuming I do well enough to be above the median, do you think the fact that my credits are from CC and not a 4-year university is enough to be the deciding factor in whether I get an interview? Would it make a difference to adcom that my only two local choices for prereqs are CC or a school whose tuition is 13x the CC tuition? Would the fact that I have received degrees from two 4-year universities figure into the equation?
Obviously, I know y’all can’t answer these questions, and I am going to talk to the premed advisor at Baylor and the director of admissions at A&M about this. But I would love to hear what you would do if you were me. I just don’t know that I can justify spending $20K (and that’s best case scenario with the tuition remission stuff) on prereqs at this point in my life. If three years pass and I apply a couple of times and I don’t get in, I can live with having spent $6000. I don’t know if I can live with having spent (let’s say it…wasted!) $20,000 or more.
*When a med school says they want 6 credit hours of “advanced biological sciences”, what does this mean? Do 2000-level classes (like A Phys) count, or are we talking like 4000-level bio electives like Immunology? I could justify taking a couple of bio electives at Baylor, using my remission. That would also be a good avenue to getting my professor recs. That is one thing that concerns me about CC – I don’t know how much weight professor recs would carry.
If you made it this far, you deserve a cookie! I am sorry to be so long winded, but this is such a tough decision....