Post Bacc vs. Taking courses "A la Carte"

Just a general question…I know that enrolling in a specific Post Bacc program gives you access to resources (recommendations, pre-med advisor, etc) that may not be available to the student taking courses piecemeal. Generally speaking, by taking all the requirement classes couldn’t one just take the MCAT?

I’ve been skimming the forums here and at SDN, and read that Hunter’s post-bacc in NYC is starting to scale back some. Hunter would have given me the best opportunity in terms of cost and class schedule.

What are my options? If I take classes one at a time (and possibly from different schools) will that negatively affect me?

Thanks in advance!

it all depends. If you are in NY area, call NYCOM and NYU Med and find out. Can’t hurt to find out the story from the horses mouth.

I am the poster child for ala carte education. And I got in to more than one med school (so far). But, there are schools I didn’t get into also. I do not have a prestigious looking academic history and did not get accepted into the most prestigious med school I applied to. “It depends” is a good answer really, since everybody presents with a different background. It depends on what school you really want to get in to, what your academic strengths and weaknesses are, what’s available in your area, and money.
I didn’t need or miss those post-bacc program benefits. But such an option really didn’t exist for me. Money, time and scheduling were factors. I took the classes and the MCAT, developed fantastic rapport with several profs (fantastic LORs). I used resources like this to give me the inside scoop. I took my pre-req sciences at community college (a person can pay cash, the tuition is so cheap) and took biochem at a “real” university. (This one semester class cost more than a whole year’s worth of full-time science classes at CC.) My profs were great, I made sure my grades were top-notch, and nailed the MCAT. No prestige whatsoever, and this type of plan will hurt a person who needs to get into a school that really likes to boast about the credentials of their class. But even so, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible either! In honest retrospect, I could have propped up some areas of my application to make it more attractive to such schools.
Clear as mud?

I didn’t have the option of a formal postbacc program because I live in Rural Iowa. I was able to take all the classes I needed, part time, from a local private college. I took them in the order that seemed to fit my schedule and my goals. I was still able to “get in” with my profs and get good LORs. I think one of the most important issues is to make sure the school you take your prereqs from is accredited and will give you challenging material that will allow you to be well prepared for the MCAT. Like others have mentioned, it may not get you into Harvard, but it should do just fine for most schools, as long as your grades and scores are good.
(Still waiting for my big envelope…)