Sudden WL acceptance- scared

Bear with me, I apologize. I do not mean any disrespect or arrogance with this post. I don’t believe that I’m better than my acceptance - I’m just scared.

I’m a nontrad - nine years undergrad, ORM. I did not apply as well as I could have this past cycle and did not realize that COVID-19 would make things even more competitive this cycle.

I put it off till after I did well on my MCAT (517) to make up for my GPA (cGPA 3.4, including 4.0 DIY post-bac). I did a lot of wrong things.

First, I submitted ~10 primaries in late September invited to secondaries for all, but only completed about 7 of them, submitting them all at the last minute. Not because I didn’t like the other schools - I missed the deadline.

I was extremely stressed working to get data for a grant submission (I’m an RA with >10,000 research hours because I’m full-time) and severely misjudged how long things would take.

Not expecting anything, I was ultimately invited to interview in Feb/March to two schools: the med school where I work and an OOS school in the South, near where I am originally from. Waitlisted at both. Both tout themselves as ‘holistic’ app reviewers, though I was in the last interview of the year for the OOS place.

I know there is no chance with my IS school since the class size was cut and the waitlist is transparent. Unexpectedly, I found out that I was accepted off the waitlist at the OOS school. I was thoroughly planning to rewrite and finetune my essays, apply early this upcoming cycle or next, bolster my clinical experiences, and apply more broadly, including more strategically to my IS school. The IS school offers individual feedback appointments and likes reapplicants with growth.

In line with my marvelous application prep this cycle, I did not realize that the CoA for the OOS school is 100,000 a year.

I’m both hesitant to withdraw or accept as it’s my only A. But I also wasn’t expecting to get an IIs, let alone As, with how poorly I planned this cycle.

I have a friend who went to USoCal at a more traditional age and has been telling me to not accept. Do better, apply more broadly, especially at MD/PhD schools, since I am starting school in my 30s and I’ll never pay off the $400,000 in loans that I’ll need for this OOS school.

On the other hand, I am turning 32 this year, I should be grateful for any chance to attend an MD school - whatever the cost?

Alternatively, I have several interviews and job offers lined up - people who would give me more research experience, flexibility to volunteer/shadow when those opportunities become more available, and money to work on my reapplication, particularly to my IS school.

Finally, my SO of almost two years is here and won’t come with me. He said we’re going to try to make it work long-distance, but chances are slim. Nothing from my end - I don’t care about dating or finding someone in medical school, but he “doesn’t want to hold [me] back in any way” - whether that’s finding someone else or going to medical school across the country.

Again, I apologize if this post gives any hint of disrespect. I would just like some advice.


To be honest, I’m still very early on in my pre-med journey so this is purely my opinion. First off, I don’t take any disrespect from your post. We all want to feel that we are making the best decisions possible within life, and so I understand your anxiety.

Beyond that, I am also in my early 30s and have had worries about money. However, I’m not sure that money is the most important thing to focus on in this decision. My wife is a veterinarian who graduated with $300,000 of student loan debt. Currently, she is on a 20-year Income Based Repayment plan (IBR). Her IBR stipulates that as long as we make at least the minimum payments every month, then the remaining loan balance will be forgiven at the end of the 20-year term. The catch is that it is counted as taxable income. We worked with a finance company (Doctors Without Quarters) to do the initial set up and calculate repayments. In the end we chose the minimum monthly payment. Condensing all of the math, our total loan repayment amount (monthly payments over 20 years and the taxes we will pay on the loan when it is “forgiven”) will be about $250,000. Yes, that is $50,000 LESS than we borrowed. As such, we’ve set up an investment account to prepare for the expected “tax payment” and should easily be able to cover it. I understand that this is a poor sample size (n=1) and that politics and government stuff can change. Still, my main point here is that even at 32 there are ways to make the money component work out.

All of this means (in my opinion) that the real question is “Do you actually want to attend this med school?” I’m kind of assuming the answer is at least somewhat a “yes,” otherwise ‘why waste money applying?’ Nevertheless, I also realize that there are other factors you will want to consider in your decision. For instance, how important is your relationship with you SO versus your desire to be a doctor? Do you anticipate getting into another school (that you’d prefer more) next application cycle? In the end, the choice is yours, and yours alone. I just feel that there are more important factors than money to consider.

Congratulations on your acceptance and best wishes no matter what you decide!

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Will it be 100k every year, or only the first year since you would be a resident of the state after 6months-1year right?

Another thing to consider would be possible future loan repayment programs that are out there for working with specific under-served populations.