What are some non-trad friendly schools?

Sooner or later, pretty much everyone who wanders onto this website wants to know, "So, what schools are going to be receptive to my application?"
Based on trading stories with people over the past several years, my answer to this question is, “You won’t know until you try.” I do not believe that ANY school should be ruled out by a non-traditional student, even if they aren’t on a list of “friendly to non-trads” schools.
If I think for a few minutes, I am quite sure that I could name 50 medical schools in the USA that have non-trads in their classes. Considering that I’m just one person, and there are “just” 130-odd medical schools in the USA, my point is that most schools probably are NOT AGAINST admitting non-trads, with very few exceptions.
I think that trying to target schools you know are “non-trad friendly” is an unnecessary way of tailoring your application. Instead, choose the schools that appeal to you for whatever reason - geography, philosophy, curriculum, word of mouth, etc. Chances are that one of those schools will be a good fit - there is a reason why the school appeals to you, and it’s usually a mutual good fit. Make the sale to these schools - this is something everyone has to do. Be determined that you are going to make them want you in their class, even if they’ve generally been risk-averse when it comes to non-trads.
Do NOT rule out a school simply because you hear they’re not receptive. The information you’ll “hear” isn’t usually very reliable anyway.
Also, do NOT go by the numbers. I’ve given this example before, but will repeat it here: my class at GWU matriculated with an average age of <23 years old. Age range, though, was 20-44 and there are many students in their thirties in my class. The thing that skews the average is that GWU has a seven-year BA/MD program and so there were quite a few 20-year-olds when we started.
It would be reasonable to ask for the age range of recent classes. I believe that an “unfriendly” reputation could be a self-fulfilling prophecy especially since everyone now is trading information on the internet - that is, a school where the age range doesn’t seem to go past 29 ends up with a rep for not accepting people in their 30s, and so people in their 30s (or 40s!) don’t apply. Maybe that school would be glad to accept a chronologically-challenged person if someone were to apply.
Also, you’ll get a chance to check out schools during interviews. Look around - ask around - try to get a sense of who is at the school. This is more useful than statistics.
Bottom line, if a school appeals to you, apply!

Hi Mary,
I guess the issue of “nontrad” depends on how you define it. My definition includes students who for any number of reasons, did not perform well as an undergraduate. Based on this definition alone and assuming the student either completed graduate or postbacc work, their are a number of schools that a “nontrad” by this definition has a sertious chance of not being accepted too. I’ve listed the ones I’m familiar with on a previous thread.
For example, for me to apply to Hopkins would be extremely risky and potentially a waste of money and effort given the verbal and written statements I’ve received from them indicating that no matter how old the undergraduate record, those grades are more seriously considered than ANY graduate/postbacc work. Am I saying that I could never be accepted? No, but there is a strong likelihood that I would not be.
Just my thoughts…

Funny that JHU told you what they did about grades. I know two non-trads (Sociology undergrad, Peace Corps volunteer, public health grad, got in at age 31; business undergrad, former banker/investor, got in in his late twenties) who got in Hopkins and are starting year 3 this year. Both did a post-bacc at Goucher. And aren't the only non-trads in the program.
So, if you like what the shcool has to offer, I'd say apply. Everyone I talked to there (profs, docs, and the post-bacc director who used to be dean of admissions) was VERY positive about a non-trad (me) applying. The person(s) you talked to, IMHO, weren't very representative of what I've seen about them.

QUOTE (uzhacnaya @ Sep 30 2002, 05:20 PM)
Both did a post-bacc at Goucher.

Hello all,
Here are the direct quotes from some folks at Hopkins. Keep in mind these statements were made AFTER I'd earned an MS with a 3.7 in the Chemistry department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Also keep in mind that I'm an MD/PhD applicant for the class starting 2004 and that my undergraduate record with the horrible grades was earned from 1984-1986 almost 20 years ago!

"Decisions about admission are based on the application and in your case your past grades (undergraduate) did not convince us that you would be prepared for the academic environment at Hopkins............... However, in your case, we are not convinced that Hopkins is an appropriate environment for you, academically."
"Please understand that the academic environment at Hopkins is difficult!"
Again, I'm talking about nontrad in the sense of grades not age. On the other hand I received a completely diifferent reception form the Phramacology department at Hopkins. As for the Goucher postbac students, I understand that Hopkins has a linkage program with them.
Finally, I stand firmly behind the education I received at Chapel Hill. Hopkins in general was not impressed but Harvard is. Go figure.......

My goodness, how absurd!
But I guess I’m too new to the whole game to have an idea of how absurd it all can be. wink.gif
Don’t get me started on how annoyed I get over how people perceive education at “name” schools as opposed to state schools, community colleges, etc. I’ve seen people go to “top” schools and piss away their education, and seen people at not as recognized schools bust their butts and come away with a fabulous education. It’s ludicrous to think someone knows more than someone else on the basis of where they went. But people do it all the time. sigh
I’m too much of an egalitarian at heart, I fear. This process will probably kick my butt. unsure.gif
Good luck with your journey.

What Kim was told was specific for her situation and I do not think it should be interpreted as “JHU is not non-trad friendly.” I think it would be reasonable to infer that “JHU is unforgiving of past academic sins no matter how long ago they were.” But it is a leap from those quotes to the conclusion that JHU should not be on any non-trad’s list. I know someone who went to JHU at age 39.
Of course anyone who is working on a list of schools to apply to should exercise due diligence in finding out enough about the school to see if they’re a good fit, and I think this is especially true if you’ve got some big questions about your background. But if a school has issues with your application, I would caution you against concluding that they are “age issues” as opposed to whatever other issues might be involved.

QUOTE (spiritdoc2b @ Sep 30 2002, 05:50 PM)

Again, I'm talking about nontrad in the sense of grades not age.

I agree with you Mary 100%!!