Do medical schools look at applying to 55 schools as negative? Is there a maximum number to stay below?
No, you apply to what you can afford or are willing to do. Medical schools are NOT going to go and count…but 55 is a lot.
- lapointe Said:
Oh my goodness...how are you going to afford to apply to that many schools? Not only is it going to cost you for the preliminary application through AMCAS and AACOMAS, but secondaries which can be quite exorbitant.
I really think that you should lower that count...figure out how much money and time you can really budget for it. I say time, because many secondaries can be quite extensive and take a lot of time to fill out.
You definitely should consider getting one of the guide books (i.e. the MSAR), so you can see where you will actually be competitive, and not just throwing money out the window.
I think between 15 and 20 good choice schools is a wiser way to go about it.
I’ve heard rumors of some med schools asking where else you applied, how many schools, etc. but they don’t have access to that information. So applying to that many schools doesn’t reflect poorly on you in the eyes of any one school.
What WILL reflect poorly on you is if you can’t give good reasons for why you are interested in x, y or z school. And if you are applying to half the med schools out there, it’s going to be hard for you to make the case that you really want to go to XSOM vs. ZSOM. You need to look at the schools and determine what about them - besides granting an MD or DO degree - appeals to you. Your secondary responses and interview conversations will go better that way.
Also, make sure that the schools you are applying to don’t have a record of only taking in-state students or students of x-y-z qualification.
I distinctly remember being asked what other schools I had applied to and at some of them asked why I wanted to go to that school (i.e. Vanderbilt in Nashville when all the other schools I applied to were in the Maryland/DC area).
Also, think about filling out 55 secondary applications. Most of them are extremely time-consuming.
Where do you find out if they only accept instate applications or not?
LC2Doc - the MSAR has that info
There are four schools that will not accept OOS apps at all.
East Carolina (NC)
U of Mississippi (MS)
U of Puerto Rico (PR)
If you have a different state of residency entered in AMCAS, you can’t even add them to your list of schools. I tried with Mercer, it didn’t even show on the list of Georgia schools so I couldn’t select it.
Additionally, there are some that only accept very few OOS, so it would essentially be a waste of money to apply. For example, OOS interviews at LSU were 0.43% (and 0.0% were accepted).
Well, thankfully none of those are even on my long list.
I did notice AZCOM prefers in state (only accept a few OOS), but they were on my long list since the hubs can transfer to his corporate office there. Right now I’m hoping to stay more local though.
If I am not mistaken, Brown Medical School does not accept applications from students except from its own undergraduate program as well as few schools that it has specific agreements with such as Dartmouth.
Several western states have schools that specifically look for students from the west.
Texas has its own application service and specifics
You really need to look closely at your strategy in applying. Typically people apply from 12 to 20 schools. I believe that number is allopathic only. So if you apply to 15 MD schools and 5 DO schools, that is 20 total. That is alot of money and time.
More is not necessarily better as was noted previously by Mary, secondaries need to be done well and done quickly, something in the neighbor of a few days to a week.
So, what is your strategy? Besides applying to all the schools in your state, do you have geographic preference, setting preference, interest in a particular area or field of medicine, etc?
In sum, it sounds like you are taking the shotgun approach (blast away at everything i hopes of hitting something). It doesn’t work on freshman essay exams and it’s not a good idea when applying to medical school.
Doesn’t Judy usually advise between 20 - 30 for older “exotic” pre meds?
That’s what I’ve been aiming for - paring down my list to that number so the schools are well thought out, and numerically, I’m a good fit for them.
You are probably right with 20-30 schools for non trads.
What scares me is knowing a traditional student at my college put out 42 apps and only receive 1 call back. Luckily she was accepted into that school, but still those odds are nerve wracking knowing she pulled straight A’s in all subjects except calculus.
If you want an easy way to find out the in-state out of state ratios. AAMC has all of that data, you can go to:
- LC2Doc Said:
It is scary, but there are so many different aspects to the application. Her GPA was good, but how was her MCAT? What about the rest of her application? ECs? LORs?
Applying to 42 schools, getting only 1 interview invite and acceptance shows that school choice was not optimum and something in her application didn't stand out in comparison to the many other applicants.
She is also a traditional student so she will be compared more to other traditional students...which can be difficult because there are so many more. While us being nontrads doesn't mean it is easy, but we are offering adcoms some variety in the applicant pool...our numbers though will need to be competitive as the rest of the applicant pool.
So the biggest lesson to me in this is in school choice...I think you have better odds if you apply to a smaller number of med schools if they are smart choices than in applying to every med school without this forethought.
- Krisss17 Said:
I need to just be a teensy bit nit-picky here. In regards to the italicized portion above, EVERY applicant is compared to every other applicant. I know that Kriss knows that, and she is making a bigger point. But I frequently find non-trads who think that the fact that they have life experience (rather than what sort of life experience it's been) will put them in a different category. From an admissions standpoint, every application is unique. Sure, it may be easier to stand out as the 36-year-old former business owner who holds two patents AND works weekends at a free clinic in South L.A., but there could well be a 22-year-old traditional applicant who's an entrepreneur running a successful campus business and also organizing a fraternity/sorority clinic shuttle service to get people to that free clinic. Every person's story is interesting. Every person's story is considered. As a non-trad, you are up against all the other interesting stories.
As for the bolded part, yes. Everybody, please don't forget this! There is nothing special about you if you don't get the grades. You simply MUST put forth very good grades in your recent coursework (and competitive MCAT scores) in order to be competitive. You can be the most amazing applicant in every other way, but if you don't have the numbers, it is going to be very, very difficult for you to be accepted.
Finally, I agree with Kriss's analysis that the person who applied to 42 schools did not put together a *thoughtful* application. It's easy to tell an application that someone has really spent time on, and also easy to tell the ones where the applicant just phoned it in. Guess which one gets a more careful read?
Note to self, call Mary when I start putting my app. packet together.
LOL I leave the actual business of admissions counseling to Judy Colwell. I’m just opinionated…
Jumping in pretty late on this thread - I’ve been out of the office.
I recommend “about 20” schools. I think 30 is too many.
In response to the comment about Brown - they used to take pretty much only their own students and the Dartmouth connection. It’s my understanding that changed a few years ago.