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Where should a pre-med student be applying to for college?

snowinchicagosnowinchicago Posts: 55Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in College Search & Selection
I'm a high school senior applying to colleges for undergrad. I'm certain that I want to go to medical school afterwards.
Schools on my list:
UChicago (already applied EA)
U Maryland CP (already applied priority deadline)
Duke (RD)
Rice (RD)

Soo... as you can see I don't really have many in mind. A lot of my friends have already applied to as many as 20 schools.

The thing is, I would LOVE to go to UChicago, Duke, or Rice, because they're all outstanding research universities. However, they're among some of the most expensive schools...
My parents together make nearly 200k/year, and they do have a large amount of money saved up in the bank right now... but 1) our house, bought in 2007, was 700k, so they'll be paying a lot of money in mortgage for the rest of their lives, and 2) the money they've saved up in the bank is for their retirement, and I don't want to take too much away.
So really, even though I might be considered financially well off, I don't have much money to pay for 4 years at a school like UChicago, Duke, or Rice, and then another 4 years of medical school.

What are some schools that can prepare me very well for medical school (i.e. strong biomed department, research university) that won't cost too much?

I realize that UMCP is a great state school, but it's my last resort. I really don't want to go there.
Post edited by snowinchicago on
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Replies to: Where should a pre-med student be applying to for college?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 37,402Registered User Senior Member
    If you describe why you do not want to go to UMCP and why you like the others, perhaps people can give better suggestions.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,208Registered User Senior Member
    My parents together make nearly 200k/year, and they do have a large amount of money saved up in the bank right now... but 1) our house, bought in 2007, was 700k, so they'll be paying a lot of money in mortgage for the rest of their lives, and 2) the money they've saved up in the bank is for their retirement, and I don't want to take too much away.


    You're not going to qualify for need-based aid, so you better find out from your parents how much they'll spend each year.

    Since you don't want to go to UM-CP, then you better quickly find some financial safeties that you like because if your parents won't pay for UChi, Rice, etc, then those won't be affordable.

    BTW...many school's scholarship deadlines are approaching.

    What are your test scores and GPA?

    Any good school is fine for pre-med students.
  • 2prepMom2prepMom Posts: 1,024Registered User Senior Member
    @snow

    Wait and see what kind of financial aid/merit aid offers you receive, and consider applying for all possible scholarships. As a potential pre-med, your grades and test scores are already likely very good, and you may get more awards than you think.

    It is wise to plan for a long educational haul with a lot of expenses if you are considering medical school. At about 50K a year, over 8 years = about 400 thousand dollars for private undergrad (room, board, travel books, maybe even a gap or post-bac year added to that) and medical school. Average debt for medical graduates is over 100K.
  • snowinchicagosnowinchicago Posts: 55Registered User Junior Member
    It's not that I don't like UMCP itself.. but it's very close to where my parents live (a little too close) and a lot of the people I know will be going there, and I just want to go somewhere completely new and have a fresh start.

    Do you have any suggestions as to specific schools that I might want to look into?
  • BeanTownGirlBeanTownGirl Posts: 2,726Registered User Senior Member
    GPA and test scores - might help people make suggestions.

    These tables show Kiplinger's ranking of Best Values in Private colleges (LAC and universities are in separate tables). This data might help. You should see if any of the good merit aid schools would be a good fit for you, but to get merit aid you need to be an above average applicant.
    Best Values in Private Colleges, 2012-13
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 37,402Registered User Senior Member
    Have your parents told you what they can contribute? Remember also that medical school is expensive; you may want to ask your parents whether they will contribute the remainder to medical school if you choose a below-budget undergraduate school.

    UMCP lists $23,094 in-state. There are a few schools that are cheaper (even for out-of-state) like Wyoming and South Dakota State.

    Of the schools which attract "good" students but have relatively low list prices, you may want to look at this list:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1294383-less-expensive-list-price-less-obvious-schools-attract-good-students.html

    If you have high stats, take a look at this list:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/1348012-automatic-full-tuition-full-ride-scholarships.html
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,208Registered User Senior Member
    Do you have any suggestions as to specific schools that I might want to look into?


    Right now it's mid November. It's too late just to be "looking into schools" without needed info since NOW is the time to be submitting apps if MERIT scholarships are needed.

    Ask your parents how much they'll spend each year. You NEED this info. If their position is that they'll only pay the equivalent of UM-CP (or even less!), then you need to QUICKLY get a list of schools that will be affordable to you. If your parents cannot pay $55k+ per year, then Duke, Rice, and UChi will NOT work out since those schools will expect your parents to pay full freight.

    If you don't want to go to UM-CP, and since you WILL NOT qualify for any need-based aid, then you need to QUICKLY apply to schools that will give you good-sized merit for your stats.

    Right now, the schools that give good-sized merit have approaching deadlines....many schools' scholarship deadlines are Dec 1.

    If your parents won't pay the $55k per year for OTHER schools, and you don't want to go to UM-CP, then you'd best quickly get some apps in to schools that will give you large scholarships for your stats. Otherwise, it will be UM-CP for you.


    What is your GPA and test scores (include SAT breakdown)?

    How much will your parents pay?
  • CreeklandCreekland Posts: 3,050Registered User Senior Member
    I agree that we need to know your test scores and GPA to offer much in advice - and I agree that you need to be acting quickly.

    Two I can think of to apply to right now would be Pittsburgh and Case Western. This assumes your stats are good enough to qualify for merit aid at these places.

    If your scores are very good you might also qualify for merit aid at U Rochester.

    There are smaller schools where you could get decent merit aid, but they aren't research Us.

    No matter where you choose, try to stay in the top 25% stats-wise since you're going pre-med. Those stats won't ensure you do well as they don't measure work ethic, but, in general, they do mean you've got a decent foundation to be able to do well in pre-med.
  • tk21769tk21769 Posts: 7,632Registered User Senior Member
    My parents together make nearly 200k/year, and they do have a large amount of money saved up in the bank right now... but 1) our house, bought in 2007, was 700k, so they'll be paying a lot of money in mortgage for the rest of their lives, and 2) the money they've saved up in the bank is for their retirement, and I don't want to take too much away.

    Although we may not have the entire story, it sounds like your family is rather house-poor. By conservative lending criteria, you could afford perhaps a $500K house (at 20% down + a loan of 2.5X annual income). Instead you bought a $700K house. The difference represents the cost of the expensive, private school education you think you want. Colleges will not provide need-based aid to cover that difference.

    So unless your family downsizes (which I don't recommend you suggest), then schools like Rice, Duke or Chicago may be completely unaffordable. Pay attention to m2ck's advice. Move out quickly to apply to schools with guaranteed large merit aid for your stats, or to other less expensive schools. UMCP is not your only good public option in MD. Check out UMBC or St. Mary's College of MD (your state's public "honors college").

    Many, many schools can prepare you for med school. You do not need to attend an expensive, highly selective research university to get in. You do need good grades and MCAT scores. You won't be prepared at all if you cannot afford the high costs to complete med school.
  • M's MomM's Mom Posts: 4,562Registered User Senior Member
    Do search here on pre-med or medical school to get lots of advice on picking the right undergrad school. The bottom line is that any reputable school can prepare you sufficiently for the MCAT - so the goal is to emerge with as little debt as possible. There are very few ways to get through medical school without paying the $160-$300k that 4 years of tuition and living expenses cost (and then you have years of low paid residency!)

    I would also suggest that you take a look at some LACs in the 'match category', which tend to have smaller classes and a more cooperative environment. Weeder classes at larger schools can be brutal to pre-meds. And you'll get to know your profs well - which is important for that committee letter from your school to the med schools.

    Your instate med school (in Baltimore) is highly regarded and half the cost of most privates, so that's good news - just make sure you preserve your in-state residency: register to vote in MD, keep you car registered in MD, pay in-state taxes (or at least file a return even if you don't earn much), etc...You don't want to end up 'homeless' from a resident-status point of view (because going to school out of state does not make you a resident of that state.)
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,541Registered User Senior Member
    Why not UM-BC? or, still in-state, not too horrible, and likely to be far enough from home, Salisbury?

    Talk the money situation over with your parents. If you go somewhere less expensive for your undergrad, will they be able to help pay for med school?
  • annasdadannasdad Posts: 4,825Registered User Senior Member
    If your goal is medical school, you should go to the lowest-cost college that offers the required pre-med courses. If you have the financial means and want to go to a more prestigious place, by all means do so, but understand that you will not be enhancing your medical school prospects by doing so.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 37,402Registered User Senior Member
    annasdad wrote:
    If your goal is medical school, you should go to the lowest-cost college that offers the required pre-med courses.

    There are some other considerations:

    a. Should graduate with a bachelor's degree, preferably with at least some BCPM courses taken at a four year school (medical schools supposedly dislike taking all of one's BCPM courses at community colleges, even though the specified pre-med BCPM courses are generally all available at community colleges).

    b. Consider availability of pre-med extracurriculars and related research opportunities.

    c. Consider grade inflation relative to student competitiveness.
  • muckdogs07muckdogs07 Posts: 1,166Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with everyone telling you to reconsider UMCP for pre-med. It is probably the best low cost option available to you. Assuming you have strong grades/SATs, another option may be to apply to other large state schools like Ohio State. OSU in particular will often give good students in-state tuition rates via Buckeye scholarships.
  • Sparkeye7Sparkeye7 Posts: 2,420Registered User Senior Member
    ^^ Indeed, as more and more OOS students taking advantage of "National Buckeye Scholarship," student body as a whole continues to diversity at tOSU.

    Scholarships

    Scholarships

    Geographic diversity (autumn 2012)
    Ohio State enrolls students from every state and territory. States with the highest enrollment:

    500+: Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Michigan
    300 – 499: New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, Virginia
    100 – 299: Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, Missouri, Utah, Arizona
    50 – 99: Colorado, West Virginia, South Carolina

    Out-of-state students up at Ohio State
    11/9/2012

    Out-of-state students up at Ohio State | The Columbus Dispatch

    Go Bucks!! :)
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