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Help With College List Please :) :) :) :) :) :)

RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
I am currently deciding on my college list and I really need some help limiting my options. The majors that I am really interested in are public health, education, philosophy, history of science, science technology& society, and neuroscience. I will be pre-med but I would really like to double major in public health and history and philosophy of science/ regular philosophy. Financial stuff isn't that much of an issue because I have been working a job and my parents are pretty well off. I have pretty high stats and really good EC's, so I just need help getting rid of colleges. I want to go to a prestigious university because I want to do my phD and all my mentors said that if so I should go to a T30 undergrad and a T30 medical school. I want to apply to less than 22 schools. I have 29 right now. I love modern architecture, don't like it too competitive (I know that the T20 will be competitive but I want to be able to find and trust a group of friends), and love good food (near nice restaurants).

BS/MD Programs I will be applying no matter what (5)

Brown PLME
Northwestern HPME
UPitt GAP
Case Western BS/MD
Rochester REMS

BS/MD I am debating (8)
Note: I don't want a binding program or one that doesn't let me choose my major, so I can keep my options open.

Texas Tech BS/MD (bad undergrad and medical school but in state so cheap)
University of Cincinnati BS/MD (okay medical school and undergrad)
University of Miami BS/MD (okay medical school and undergrad)
University of Missouri Kansas City BS/MD (only 6 years, but I'm out of state and okay medical school + undergrad)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute BS/MD (Hard to pronounce + not good rankings)
St. Bonaventures BS/MD (Not so good rankings)
Caldwell University BS/MD (I think this is binding & school doesn't look that nice lol)
Rutgers University-Newark BS/MD (I think this is binding)

Regular Undergrads that I will be applying to (11)

Harvard
Columbia
Yale
Stanford
UPenn
Emory
Johns Hopkins
MIT
Georgetown
University of Chicago
CalTech

Regular Undergrads I am debating (4)

Rice (not too many major options and way way too close to home)
Princeton (extreme grade deflation & avg. graduating GPA is 3.2)
University of Michigan (I will be out of state and my parents don't really like the school)
Georgia Tech (I will be out of state and my parents don't really like the school)

Safety School (1)
UT Austin (Guaranteed Admission)
19 replies
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Replies to: Help With College List Please :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    bump
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    bumpppppppppppppppppppp
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5805 replies94 threads Senior Member
    If you would be happy to attend UT then you are set for safeties.

    Due to difficulty maintaining a high gpa for med school, consider eliminating Cal Tech, MIT, U Chicago. Probably GT too. I’m not saying students don’t go to med school from those schools, just make sure you understand average graduating GPAs and number of students accepted to med school each year (both absolute and Proportion of applicants).

    You might make a separate post in the bs/md forum for feedback on those programs.

    Are all the schools on your list affordable?
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1754 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited August 5
    Are you applying to one or more of the UT honors programs? If you get into one of those, unless you just want out of Texas or don't want to be a Longhorn, I'd skip a bunch of T2 programs. UT is very affordable for in state and there are a lot of merit aid opportunities.

    Even 20 apps are too much. You will unlikely be able to tailor and write the number of necessary essays/short answers to stand out at competitive programs where essays and LoR's are often the difference between acceptance and rejection because there are just so many applicants superior academic stats.
    edited August 5
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10154 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Financial stuff isn't that much of an issue because I have been working a job and my parents are pretty well off.

    Do they know their EFC? Have they said they'll pay it? Med school will be expensive. If you can save money on your undergrad, I'd do that. A T30 undergrad that ruins your GPA for med school admissions won't be helpful. Choose wisely.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6798 replies2 threads Senior Member
    edited August 5
    "I will be pre-med"
    "the T20 will be competitive"

    In premed classes, the top 100 will be very competitive. The top 200 will be stronger than you might expect. You will be surprised how strong other students are in your premed classes at schools that you might consider "average".

    UT Austin is a very good university and a very good choice. Given that you are in-state it will be a relative bargain. If you are auto-admit, then this takes a lot of the stress off because you have a great safety. Frankly, I think that is the way that it should be for a very strong student.

    "I have been working a job"

    I do not think that you have earned and saved $300,000 for your first four years. It seems even less likely that you have already saved $700,000 for four years of undergrad plus four years of medical school. I think that this means that finances most likely will be an issue.

    When I was at a "top 3" graduate school the other students in the graduate program there mostly had NOT attended top 20 universities. UT Austin might be about average or just a bit above average for the level of schools that they had attended (on average, but there was a range). I know someone very well who attended an affordable undergraduate school that was not in the top 100 in the US. They went to graduate school at an Ivy League university that had (and still has) a very good program in their major. What these students had in common is that they did really well as an undergraduate student, and they could afford to attend graduate school.

    With UT Austin you have a great safety. If you are auto-admit, then you are in great shape and must have very strong academics. This takes a lot of pressure off. The next thing to do is to figure out what you really want in a university, and pare down the rest of your list to a much more manageable size.
    edited August 5
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  • PublisherPublisher 11865 replies161 threads Senior Member
    Without knowing your stats & other qualifications, it is difficult to make recommendations.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10154 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Raraimuno, 5/20/20: I am currently a freshman and really want to get into the Brown PLME or the Northwestern HPME. If you got in, could you please share your stats specifically your ECs.
    I have pretty high stats and really good EC's, so I just need help getting rid of colleges.

    It's great that your freshman year GPA is good, but it's a little early to be building a college list. Until you have a few more semesters of grades, and a test score or two, it's difficult to determine which schools might be good targets for you.


    Working at a doctor's office (have worked for 2 years) getting mammograms and colonoscopies done
    What type of work were you doing in your aunt's medical practice at 13? Shadowing is a great opportunity, but make sure you describe the work you did there.

    The ECs that you listed in your other thread are ambitious, but I don't think you need to fly to Africa to find volunteer activities. There are a lot of low income areas in the US that could use some help. Have you tried looking for opportunities in your community?
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My parents have already said that they will pay for the tuition and have literally been saving from before I was born.
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 Thank you so much for your advice.

    @BKSquared I have grown up in Texas my whole life and really want to leave Texas. My father is really toxic and am dying to leave the area. I get your points and I have been working on my college applications for a very long time now. The majority of BS/MD programs have the same prompt: why do you want to be a doctor? All the teacher I will be asking for LoRs have said I was their best student and overall really great things, but that is a great point.

    @austinmshauri I get your point, but my parents (really my mom) have been saving since before I was born and financial stuff isn't an issue.

    @DadTwoGirls I completely understand your points about competitiveness, but I think I can handle it. Thanks for the advice on UT Austin, but I feel that if i go there then I would have wasted all my EC's and all the work I spent on my testing. The auto admission is based on rank alone so If I went there then I would be wasting all the hard work I put in and the sleepless night I have gone through. My parents have saved for a very long time and my parents are well off so it isn't much of an issue. I completely understand not going to an ivy/ T20 for undergrad, but I feel that since I have put in so much effort already I should try my best to get in. Thanks!

    @austinmshauri While I am a sophomore, I have done some really great EC's and have pretty high SAT scores. I didn't really work at my aunt's medical practice- I worked in one of her friend's but I contacted some patients and promoted preventative care. I will have around 100 hrs of shadowing by the time I apply, 800 hours of direct patient care, and 1000 hours of research experience. I agree, I will not be going to Africa or anywhere really and will focus on my community. Thanks for the great advice!
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10154 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the advice on UT Austin, but I feel that if i go there then I would have wasted all my EC's and all the work I spent on my testing.

    It's difficult to give you advice because your posts contain so much of what you plan to do that it's hard to separate that from your actual record. Have you taken the ACT/SAT yet? If not, maybe sites will open up next year. What ECs have you actually done? Will you still able to work with your aunt's friend this year?
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  • PublisherPublisher 11865 replies161 threads Senior Member
    The OP may be a high school freshman according to an above post.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1754 replies8 threads Senior Member
    For the selective programs, you cannot just clone 1 "why I want to be a doctor, or "why XYZ school" essay. That will not be a winning essay. Yes, the elements about yourself can be recycled, but you have to tailor the parts about how that school can best fulfill your potential and how you can benefit that school's community. There are also numerous other essays/short answers that have school specific prompts. It's a lot of work.
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited August 7
    @austinmshauri Yes, I have taken the SAT and as a freshman scored in the high 1400s, but I have been studying a lot and based on my practice tests I should be in the mid-high 1500s when the next SAT date opens up. In my state the SAT has been canceled (got an email yesterday) so that is a bit sad. I have already been working with my aunt's friend for the whole summer using calling and telemedicine.

    I am the president of 2 clubs, currently conducting COVID-19 research, currently doing spinal cord research at the Baylor College of Medicine (and will be doing so until 2022), I tutor Afghan Refugees in English, history, and math from 2nd grade to 10th grade, I take care of the elderly (will have 600 hours of direct patient care by the time I apply), have been shadowing for a while (will have around 120 hrs), and I since 7th grade I have been the president of a public health nonprofit and we have helped 30,000 people and have 50 chapters on all 6 inhabited continents (major EC)- I did not start this at all for the resume boost , started after my grandparents died and started in middle school when I didn't know college apps existed and that it was common to create a nonprofit.

    @Publisher Yes, I am a sophomore now.

    @BKSquared Yeah of course, I was just saying that my reason to be a doctor for University of Cincinnati and my reason to be a doctor for Texas Tech will be very similar as I had a few key experiences that led me to medicine. That is a great point I have already started on my common app essay for a year now and have started on the 'why us' essays and will finish the commonly recycled supplemental essays before senior year so I don't overwhelm myself.

    Thank you all so much for your help. I would really appreciate if you could tell me which of my schools have a really bad environment and are full of GPA gamers?
    edited August 7
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10154 replies392 threads Senior Member
    currently conducting COVID-19 research, currently doing spinal cord research at the Baylor College of Medicine

    Who are you doing research with? Have you asked them for insight on college programs?
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @austinmshauri I'm doing research with an assistant professor there. To decide on my college list I have asked the MD/PhD student I do research with, the assistant professor I work with, the doctor that I am working for, and my teachers. They have all given my insight on the programs that I should do. The people I will be asking for letters of req from have repeatedly stated that I was their best student ever/ best intern and have all said that they will write amazing letters of req because I have developed a a great relationships with all of them and they know me really well; in terms of research, I have pulled numerous research all-nighters which allowed their research to be completed on time .
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    bump, bump, bumpppppppp
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  • MWolfMWolf 2956 replies14 threads Senior Member
    If you are still a sophomore, it is too early for college lists. At most, you should be figuring out what type of college you want: large/small, urban/suburban/rural, etc.

    Too much can change, in your academics, in your extracurricular activities, and in your preferences for you to try and make a college list now. All that will do is limit the colleges which you would consider, and possible encourage you to create a "dream college" in your mind, rather than figure out what you need from a college.
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  • RaraimunoRaraimuno 41 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all for your replies. I will be holding off on my list and waiting until mid junior year. Thanks!
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