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Which one should I go for: Bonner of Financial Aid?

Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
I am a high school senior in the process of choosing a college. I am planning on going to med school and trying to choose the best college that suits me. I have been admitted to top-notch Liberal Arts Colleges, but I am leaning towards Earlham because of the Bonner Scholarship I received. I am contemplating on whether I should take the scholarship at my safety school(Earlham), or whether I should go to Hamilton/ Oberlin, to do my undergrad. I do not want to make a decision I will regret for the rest of my life by going to an undergrad school that won't help me matriculate to medical school. I know Earlham has one of the best premedical route, well known in the country,but I found out that they only send 7-8 students to medical school each year. I am kind of skeptical about this statistic. While on the other hand, Hamilton and Oberlin send tons of students to graduate school each year. But what I am scared of is what if I do not get as many opportunities to serve my community as I would get in the Bonner Program. I am not planning on working in campus, so the money I will receive will help me in my college expenses such as personal expenses and money to apply for medical school. What I really love about Earlham is the Bonner Scholarship. I will volunteer in my community and get paid for it while it looks good when I apply to medical school. I love giving service to my community and getting paid for it makes it even more appealing. The fact that I will likely become the top student at Earlham, because of less competition, also attracts me. Having a group of friends in the Bonner Program and bonding with students who have the same interest as me is also one of the best part. I guess I do not want to give up on Hamilton and Oberlin because of the name brand. Please give me any type of information/example if you know a Bonner Scholar and how the program has helped them. Which one would you choose if you were me, and why?
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Replies to: Which one should I go for: Bonner of Financial Aid?

  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    *** I am referring to the Bonner Scholarship when I said I will receive money for giving service to my community.
    I am sorry for the, "all over the place" text. I could not even focus while writing it. Hamilton and Oberlin met nearly 100% of my financial need and I only have to pay $7k a year while Bonner is only 5k.
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,951 Senior Member
    edited March 12
    Okay first of all, please don't write in a wall of text. It's incredibly difficult to read.

    Second, congratulation on your achievements. You have an opportunity to choose great schools, and you dont know which one is the best for you. Well, here is something you need to know about medical schools.

    1) Medical schools DON"T care where you come from. It doesn't matter if you are from Harvard, or some mediocre state university unless it's really bad, which isn't the case at all here. Oberlin, Hamilton and Earlham are all great schools.

    2) Medical schools have little to no financial aid/scholarships. You will have to take the loans out when you matriculate in the future, so you better save money while you are in undergrad.

    3)Medical schools DONT care about your major. GPA-wise, they only look at number. They are not going to be lenient on your just because you are a say, chemical engineer major(one of the most difficult major in college) or be harder on you just because you are an English major. That being said, you are highly recommended to take upper level chemistry/biology classes and get almost straight-As. If there are two candidates with everything else(MCAT score, volunteer, etc), they are going to pick whoever has a higher GPA.

    4) Research experiences, regardless your major, do matter when you apply to medical schools. IIRC, liberal art colleges in general have less focus on science researches (someone please correct me if I am wrong), so if you plan to study science major, you may want to pick which school has wider range of researches.


    These four factors are very important to consider since medical school is a huge commitment.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 27,479 Senior Member
    "I found out that they only send 7-8 students to medical school each year." The absolute number is immaterial. For you, what matters is the relative number of students who still are pre-med by their senior year of college, and who actively apply to med school during their senior year, get in at that time. You also could ask about figures for students who take a year or two off before applying to med school (plenty of folks do that too because they're kind of burned out after four years of college).

    I know a former Bonner Scholar who attended Guilford. She loved that Bonner program. She highly recommends it.

    Hamilton and Oberlin aren't significantly "better" than Earlha, and neither will magically make it easier for you to get into Med School. So don't worry about that. Imagine for a moment that you weren't in the Bonner program, would you choose Earlham over Hamilton/Oberlin for any other reason? If so, then stop worrying about this and go to Earlham. Are you truly excited about Bonner, and can't think of anything that you particularly dislike about Earlham relative to the other two? If so, then stop worrying about this and go to Earlham.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 7,954 Senior Member
    Unless I've missed something, your consideration seems speculative. Hamilton, for example, has stated that RD applicants will be notified on 3/23.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,892 Senior Member
    @Cjesusinme1

    Have you received your official acceptances from Hamilton and Oberlin...and financial aid packages from these two schools?

    Re: Medical school...you can go to ANY college and take the courses required for medical school admission.

    Not sure I understand your question..at all. These schools, if what you are saying is accurate, have $2000 difference in net costs...is that correct? If so...get a job. That would make them all likely affordable.

    IIRC, the Bonner also has a need component. Does it continue for all four years if your financial need changes?
  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    @thumper1 , Yes the Bonner Scholarship continues for all 4 years of my education career and there is no way that my financial aid status will change. It's not just the money that attracted me about the scholarship. I love helping people and my community and Bonner is a program solely based on community service and financial need. And they will pay me around $1k every summer if I complete my volunteer hours. Plus, it is going to open a lot of doors for me to build my network and have a good relationship with the staff at Earlham. I would also become friends with students who have the same interest at me. But Earlham is not that popular and that kind of holds me back. I think I am obsessing about the name brand of Hamilton and Oberlin. Is sacrificing Bonner and going to Hamilton worth it? One thing that also got me worried is the fact that Earlham only sends 7-8 students to medical school each year. I feel like they are trying to artificially inflate their medical school acceptance rate by just encouraging students that they think will get accepted if they apply to medical school.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,741 Senior Member
    You need to take your life one step at a time.

    Don't assume that you will be the top student in college- any college. You are in HS right now.

    Don't assume that Earlham inflates their med school statistics--ALL colleges want kids to apply to med school who have a realistic shot at getting in, and either actively discourage or just don't aggressively support the applications of the kids who have no chance in ^&* of getting in.

    There are opportunities to serve your community everywhere on the planet.

    What exactly is your question?
  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    @blossom , what would you do if you were me?
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,741 Senior Member
    What is your out of pocket (please include travel costs) for each of the schools that have accepted you? Start there.
  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    I haven't received the financial aid package for Hamilton or Oberlin. The Financial Aid Estimator says I have to pay around $7k a year. For Earlham, the maximum amount of loans I will take is $20k over the four years. But, my financial aid package says around $4k/yr, which will be around $16k for four years.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,892 Senior Member
    At this point...you are trying to make a decision with half a deck of cards.

    Wait until you get your actual real financial aid offers from Hamilton and Oberlin...and then go from there.

  • apple23apple23 Registered User Posts: 400 Member
    You also must have acceptances in hand from Hamilton and Oberlin before you contemplate this further. You have been asked a few times but have yet to answer, so I’ll ask again, do you have acceptances from Hamilton and Oberlin? Both schools generally do not release RD admission decisions until late March.

    As for the Bonner at Earlham, it sounds like an excellent opportunity for you.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,741 Senior Member
    If you end up going to med school you will be grateful for every dollar in loans you didn't have to take for undergrad.

    But I agree with Thumper. Until you can compare actual out of pocket costs for all your schools, don't get ahead of yourself.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 27,479 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    "But Earlham is not that popular and that kind of holds me back."

    Who isn't it popular with? Why are you judging your options based on those individual's opinions?

    FWIW in the Quaker college fan group, Earlham would be extremely popular.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I will volunteer in my community and get paid for it while it looks good when I apply to medical school.
    And they will pay me around $1k every summer if I complete my volunteer hours.

    Important point: if you are getting paid to do it, it's not volunteering. It's a job.

    I have been admitted to top-notch Liberal Arts Colleges, but I am leaning towards Earlham because of the Bonner Scholarship I received. I am contemplating on whether I should take the scholarship at my safety school(Earlham), or whether I should go to Hamilton/ Oberlin, to do my undergrad.

    Hamilton RD decisions will be released on March 23rd at 8 pm. You say that you have been admitted to Hamilton, but have not received a Hamilton financial aid package. This makes no sense. Hamilton provides the financial aid information with the admittance. It sounds to me like you're not being honest. Please provide an explanation.
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