new on board

Hi all, i am considering a new direction in careers after 4 years of working as a nurse(LPN). Personal info; I am a 34 yr old wife and mother of 2 children( 7 and 4). I have a BS in graphic design from UW-Madison (3.19 GPA) and worker for 2 years as a designer. Unable to obtain my official transcript , i temporarily started the LPN program and finished it with a 3.39 GPA. I previously did some undergrad course at another university prior to UW, about 110 credits, went back and i am about 5 class away from finishing another bachelors degree. Finished all RN prerequisites and waiting to enter program fall or spring of this year. As i wait, i have been thinking about med school and have been embarking on Postbac prereqs as well. Wondering if i can forget about the UW transcript and if it won’t hurt me later when discovered. I am mot scared about my performance but not being honest in my application. Can i move on and not mention it because i owe a ton and won’t be able to pay it off any time soon. I need all the input i can get

Hello there and welcome to OPM. You may not be able to get an official transcript but AAMCAS and AACOMAS can. Have the transcript sent directly to them.

Actually, if this person has a hold on their transcript because they owe money, it is unlikely that she will get her transcript released. AMCAS doesn’t request transcripts - the applicant requests them to be sent to AMCAS (and pays for them if necessary). Even if AMCAS did request transcripts, the school could still refuse to send a copy if the person has a hold on their account.

As for the original question: No, you should not pretend that your UW transcript does not exist. If discovered (and it’s extremely likely it will be), you will be accused of academic dishonesty. When you submit applications to medical school, you are certifying that you have submitted all of your academic transcripts. If discovered after med school admission, your admission will likely be revoked and you would likely be dismissed from medical school. The failure to disclose could come back to bite you in the ass anywhere along the line . . . assuming you made it through medical school without being discovered, you could be fired from your residency position, barred from holding a medical license or have your medical license revoked.

Don’t kid yourself that this is unlikely to be discovered . . . academic institutions have a host of resources to identify if a person has submitted all of their information. There are databases out there where medical schools can submit an applicants name and/or social security number and get a list of any academic institution that the person has attended. Even if they can’t get the transcript, they will get an acknowledgment that you likely attended that school and you will be asked why you did not disclose it.

I don’t know why you owe a previous school a ton of money and it’s none of my business, but the fact that you acknowledge that you owe them money and are looking for ways to get around raise a huge question mark for me. In short, if you wish to go to medical school, you need to figure out a way to get your debt paid off and be able to get your transcript. If it’s been some time ago, maybe you could contact them and see if they would offer you a settlement for less than the original amount in order to clear your account.

The worst thing would be to go to an intreview and find out they pulled a credit report and saw that you owe a university money. They will ask you why? If it is a ton they are going to know it isn’t library late fees.

If it’s student loans, you may be able to get deferments now that you’re back in school. If it’s straight up money owed, they’re far more likely to work with you to get any money they can if you call them and make an honest effort to resolve the issue.

Granted, if it’s not federal student loans, you might be able to file bankruptcy, though I suspect you would only be able to file Chapter 13 (debt restructuring) not Chapter 7 (debt elimination) with any sort of significant college debt on the table. That’s something a lawyer would have to tell you either way, however.

How much money are you talking about here, anyway? Thousands or tens of thousands? If it’s the former, and not defaulted federal loans, you could probably use money from current student loans to make it good within a year or two while you are working on your LPN. Hardly ideal, paying off loans with new loans, but it’s better than not being able to go to med school if that’s your dream, and it’s not something that is going to get you into any trouble for doing.

And, as others have said: short answer to your question is no. You’ll need to get the UW situation worked out one way or the other before you even consider putting in a med school app.