strike two

I hit strike two last night. For those following my story, I applied to 3 formal post-bac programs and 2 informal programs as 2nd-degree bachelor’s student. Both of the informal programs (Old Dominion University and University of North Carolina - Greensboro) accepted me right away – last fall. However, I was really aiming for a post-bac program as I feel very behind the curve with no scientific background at all and was attracted to all the extra “perks” that the post-bacs offered. Johns Hopkins University’s post-bac rejected me a few weeks ago (strike one), and I got the official rejection letter from Goucher College last night (strike two). I’m still waiting to hear from Barry University (strike three?).
I am very discouraged but I’m trying to stay motivated and positive and focus on moving forward. I suppose the smart thing to have done was to call up the post-bac AdComs BEFORE I applied to see what they are looking for and thus save time and effort (and $$) before submitting my applications. But, I guess I had delusions of grandeur when I thought my 3.2 GPA from a non-Ivy league school (but very respectable 4-year university) was going to get me in the door when I’m competing against 3.5+ GPA Ivy Leaguers and those with multiple degrees and much more community service than my-almost 2 years of hospital volunteer work, which by the way I do because I enjoy doing it–not because I think it looks good to AdComs.
I am excited to visit UNCG and ODU. I did the official ODU campus tour last fall but that was on a Sat. when the students were home so I’d like to try again to get a feel for campus life–and check out housing options, sit in on a science class, and meet with a financial aid counselor. I’m planning on doing my UNCG campus tour in early March and my ODU tour at the end of March so that’s something to look forward to, but I still have doubts as to whether I’ll ever make it to medical school.
Thanks for listening. I’ll just chalk up my post-bac rejections to practice for the real thing. When it comes time to apply to med school, I’m going to contact the ones I’m interested in and ask them what their #'s cut-off is. I know they all claim to take the “whole person” into account but I honestly think that’s bullshit. If my #'s aren’t high enough, they won’t even bother to look at me as a real person as I’ve just learned. Oh well.

Stacy, those ARE good lessons to learn now. I’m sorry for your disappointment. It is hard to know, sometimes, just what it is that colleges (at whatever level) want. And they can make it damn hard for you to find out, too.
If you end up with the informal post-bacc course, you will be JUST FINE. You clearly have the motivation to put yourself through this, and we’ll be here to hold you up

Stacy, I’m sorry to hear about those strikes, but keep your chin up! We’re all pulling for you.
Take care - Seth

Sorry to hear this Stacy… I know how disappointing it must feel. Best of luck with Barry… but know that even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, you will do well at ODU or UNCG.
Just a little side note, I actually lived in Greensboro for two years when I was 12 and 13… it’s a great city. I hope you enjoy your visit down there!

I know you are feeling down, and I feel your pain! I got two rejection letters yesterday myself, from UT San Antonio and Texas A & M, so I’m pretty funked also. Just keep your chin up and don’t give up. You will find a way, and so will I!!

You are undoubtedly “bigger” than those strikes. Keep executing your plan. In the grand scheme of things, the “perks” that those post-baccs offer are not necessary for you. And I mean YOU.
Stay strong,

Sorry to hear about your rejections. However, there is nothing to be ashamed of not being in a formal program. Out of the 150 people in my class, we took 150 different routes to med school. Pick the school that you are comfortable at and go down there and do great things!!
I know this doesn’t take away your immediate hurt, but don’t let what looks like a setback (but isn’t in the long run) tarnish your dream.

Should you wind up going with an informal program to take the next steps on the journey you’ve embarked on, you will have plenty of company. Certainly that is the case here on OPM, and it’s almost guaranteed to be the case at any med school that has a significant number of non-trads.
Going with an informal program can also give you some flexibility to explore topics that might be of interest to you, but not necessarily smack in the middle of the path to medical school. A formal post-bac program with a set timeline will be less likely to provide that flexibility.
Keep in mind, that in this game, even three strikes does not mean that you’re “out”.

Take care, and keep us posted.

Hang in there! I know it is tough to get those rejections. But it’s those programs, not you, who will be missing out in the long run. There are even some advantages to taking post-bacc classes through an informal program. You get to meet a wide variety of people, and you get to decide what you want to do when. You can pursue some interests of your own, which could make you stand out when you apply to medical school.
I hope you don’t really feel bad about your grades from college, or about not having gone to an Ivy league school. Something’s wrong with the system when that’s the main way that people are being measured. I totally understand the way you’re feeling at the moment, but keep heart! You’re in journalism right now, aren’t you? It sounds like you’ve done well in that, and you’ll do well as a post-bacc too. I hope Barry works out, but either way, you’re doing all the right things and things will be FINE no matter where you take your classes.
stay positive, and keep us posted!

Thanks everyone! I’m still a little upset but I’m moving on. Kathy, sorry to hear about your two rejections from the Texas schools. I feel your pain!
I have my official campus tour scheduled at UNCG on 3/1 and I’m looking forward to that. I must say that UNCG has been “student friendly” and have sent me a bunch of e-mails and even had a student call me in the fall so I’ve been impressed with them so far.
I don’t know–maybe I will be better off in such a collaborative (I think?) environment than the strict structure of a post-bac program. The post-bacs were attractive to me b/c you can get it done so quickly and they have a lot of resources too, but they were expensive and I always wondered what would happen if, God forbid, some kind of family emergency happened and I had to withdraw. They don’t seem to have a lot of leeway.
Anyways, I have campus visits to look forward to–UNCG from 2/29-3/2 and ODU from 3/28-3/30.

Sorry to hear about those programs rejecting you. But, if you are worrying about the implications r/t applying to medical school, although I am unaware of any published data on this, I do not believe that having come from a formal post-bacc conveys any competitive advantage to you.

Just another day to say to keep going and pushing forward. Don’t know why my name ended up connected to yours in my last post?! Take care,

Hi Guys,
Last year, we had a post from someone who tried five times to get into medical school and finally got into the University of Colorado. I really wish that I could find that post.
I had many colleagues at Howard that tried a second and third time and made it. They are now practicing physicians and none of their patients ask them how many years it took for them to get into medical school.
I don’t know how I was able to get into medical school and God knows, I feel fortunate to get out and get into residency. Yes, I worked hard but medical school and residency are not rewards for hard work. Sometimes the planets have to be aligned and the wind blowing from the southeast and the temperature is 25.6C.
The most important thing is to realize that you can achieve anything that you can envision for yourself. If you run into an obstacle, find a way around it and keep moving forward. Sometimes things just do not happen on the schedule that you set but later you find that this was a good thing because a window always opens when a door closes.
Retool, re-direct but keep moving forward. The untested never grow and getting your nose bloodied in the first round is good experience. Make the most of these experiences and realize that your colleagues sitting in first year medical school are not as tested. When you get there, you will stay there because you have faced adversity and won! These things make you exceptional!

Stacy, A lot of people have been success stories in less formal/structured programs, but for the same reasons as you, I wanted one of the one-year formal/structured programs. I know the $$$ is daunting in these programs, but they really are sooo supportive (they hire tutors for you, they give you MCAT prep., and the professors gear their sciences classes to those who don’t have a science background). You also have to trust your instincts and know what environment/set up is going to work best for you. I thought I only have one chance to do this right and make me a competitive applicant to med school - it would really suck if I quit my job, left a high-paying career, and extend this very long process out longer, bc I wanted to save $10k on my post-bacc. If my decision were based on money I’d stay in my current profession - the only decision that make financial sense. But those aren’t my reasons, I am dedicated to this and I’m following my heart and hope that the money to break even will come later. If not, I’lll die broke, but happy and proud of what I did in my life. In any event, don’t be too discouraged by the rejections. I know you have some great acceptances to other places but I’d think of applying to some other formal post-baccs that you didn’t apply to before. Go on the interview and check it out.
I also had my heart set on Goucher too. I applied to Bryn Mawr a couple of days before the deadline on a whim. I almost didn’t apply to Bryn Mawr bc I didn’t think they would accept me. I know that Goucher and Bryn Mawr have comparable programs in terms of success rates, etc., but, in general, Bryn Mawr college has a stronger name in all academic circles (not just post-baccs)than Goucher, so I thought Goucher was the safer bet. And you know what, I’m glad I applied to Bryn Mawr bc they accepted me and Goucher rejected. The pre-meds often say that admission to medical school is a crap-shot. Sometimes your safety’s reject you and your dream schools accept you, you have try bc otherwise you would not know.
I figure if I pay the money to make sure I do the post-bacc education right and what works best for me - and make up for the pre-med education I never had, then I will have more options in terms of medical school. I can choose to go to a state school or perhaps a school that can offer a scholarship - and I can make up and save morr money there than I would by gambling that I’ll pick up these somewhat foreign science classes, get to know my profs, get great grades, study for the MCAT in a less supportive atmosphere. It was too much for me. Continue to seek out what’s right for you. If you set yourself up for success, you’re more likely to succeed.
Disclaimer: I’m in no way suggesting that those who pay more $$$ are more likely to succeed than those who save the money. However, Stacy’s initial gut feeling was that the structured programs would be best for her personal learning style. I’m only encouraging her to seek out what works best for her and not to be discouraged by the rejections and perhaps she should widen her net.