Importance of pre-med school reputation?

What are your thoughts on the importance of pre-med school reputation (not where one received undergr. degree but where one completed pre-med courses)?

I’m currently registered to take my pre-med courses through a reputable school (Gtwn Univ - rated “most difficult” by but having a hard time justifying its tuition rate that is almost twice that of a local university (rated “moderately difficult” by…

Do you think it is worth the financial sacrifice?

My opinion on this matter is that you should try to take your pre-med courses at a “good” 4 year university. I don’t think it’s necessary to worry about some arbitrary ranking. Just make sure that it’s a solid school with a good reputation–state universities should fit this bill.

Agreed with MD2B2010. If you can afford a 4y U, then go with it. Do you have another degree already? Sometimes the tuition rate is way to high and you just can’t pay without digging yourself into a huge financial whole.

I am personally taking most of my classes at a CC (for financial reasons), and will likely take 1 or 2 classes at a 4yU just to show that I can handle the workload (I already have a PhD in Biochem though). So my situation may not be appropriate to compare with.

Generally speaking 4YU is better than CC for Med School. But CC is probably not that big of an issue if you score only As and get a very good MCAT score (35+). Now if you can’t score As in a CC, then I’d say you are pretty much toast. That being said, you always have the arrogant Med Schools that will discard outright CC credits, but these are probably not places where you may want to be anyway (given some of their narrow selection criteria, I wonder about the atmosphere).

Reputation does matter. But how much it will matter for you depends on your situation. Factors that come into play are strength of your undergrad institution, strength of your undergrad performance, attractiveness of your work background to med school adcoms, URM & disadvantaged status, financial situation, timeline, risk tolerance (do you need to fully maximize your chances of gaining acceptance your 1st application cycle), how broadly you will be able to apply, and the ranking of the med schools you would like to go to.

For me, I had a weak undergrad institution(s), poor undergrad performance, wanted to attend a top tier medical school, wanted to complete my postbacc in 1 yr (so could not risk not getting into a class or having a class canceled), wanted to maximize my chances of getting accepted 1st cycle, and was willing to make the extra financial investment. So in my situation I chose to pay the extra $$$ to go to the school with the good reputation. I am glad I did but everyone is in a different situation.

Thank you everyone for your comments! Both schools are 4-year universities (not CC) so my concern was regarding reputation of two different universities of different caliber (at least perception-wise).

AntMan - Thanks for you sharing your experience. I am also shooting for the stars (whether it’s realistic or not) and would like to be in as competitive position as possible. I guess I will have to do some more thinking here.

I generally recommend that you do your pre-med course work “at the most rigorous four year institution that time & money will allow.”

As far as “do med schools look at the academic reputation of the school where you do your undergraduate work?” Many med schools use the Barron’s rankings of colleges when assessing an applicant.