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Swarthmore college in PA

55al00m55al00m Registered User Posts: 432 Member
edited June 2013 in Pre-Med Topics
What is the pre med like at Swarthmore?
Post edited by 55al00m on
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Replies to: Swarthmore college in PA

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,722 Senior Member
    Also, try posting your question in the Swarthmore forum.
  • kal123kal123 Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    I have some familiarity with Swarthmore. We considered Swarthmore as an option for our first kid, because of it's small size and proximity. It is close to where we live - let's say the same way Russia is to Sarah Palin :D

    The things that are attractive about Swarthmore for a pre-med:
    • Nice grade inflation (median graduating GPA of a cool 3.58!)
    • They claim that a 3.4 from Swarthmore is good enough to get you in somewhere. Couple that with the grade inflation (as mentioned above), you are good to go :D
    • Excellent teaching
    • Lots of research opportunities through generous school grants and collaboration with other area schools
    • Proximity to Philly, with a lot of volunteering opportunities
    • Beautiful campus (Sorry, had to throw it in there even though it has nothing to do with pre-med :D )

    Other things (not necessarily negatives) to keep in mind:
    • They only seem to send ~20 kids to med school each year. I would have thought, considering the things mentioned above, there would be more matriculating from there.
    • The class size is small: ~500. It's the same as that of my kid's high school
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    the same way Russia is to Sarah Palin

    ... immediately adjacent to (and former owner) of the state you govern?
  • maramamarama Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    They only seem to send ~20 kids to med school each year.

    I'm wondering where I might find online data showing the number of students from any given school that are accepted to med school each year.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,722 Senior Member
    There are no online sources that track specific undergraduate institutions--except, perhaps, on a school's own website (and where all caveats about manipulated data apply).

    AAMC does some limited tracking of the number of applicants some schools produce by ethnicity.

    https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/86042/table2.html

    But you're going to have to hunt for what you're looking for--and it simply may not be there, particularly if the school only has a small number of applicants each year.

    The tables do not track acceptances--only applications.
  • maramamarama Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    Thanks. At least that's something!
  • mcat2mcat2 Registered User Posts: 5,942 Senior Member
    Thanks to WOWmom to repost this link for the future premeds.
    ( I think this link and the GPA-MCAT grid link were posted by several CCers before.)
    Maybe it is my bias (so I have no way to validate this:

    If you look at the ratio of the number of white applicants from an institute and the total number of applicants from the same institute, some school (e.g., JHU) would have a lower ratio of white applicants. I think you could reach the conclusion out of this fact. My biased conjecture is that many non-white, "I want to become a top surgeon since middle school" type of students are attracted to this kind of school. Look at another example: UC Irvine vs a nearby school USC. There is also some difference there in this ratio. This may imply that there are much more premeds who choose to go a "cheaper" route to the medicine career (after all, it usually costs more to attend USC than a UC, I think.)

    Another point: the total number of applicants from an institute include alumni applicants. Usually, the more prestigious of the college, the higher percentage of alumni applicants. Their families tend to have more resources unless the students were recruited for special reasons and their families are not of the "same caliber" in their resourcefulness.
  • 2girls4me2girls4me Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    Hi, I have a pre-med daughter at Swat and I want to add a few things.

    She has just completed her third year and has been getting an excellent education. She absolutely loves it there. However, I have not heard of Swat being described as a school with grade inflation. My D. has had to work VERY hard for all of her grades, particularly in the sciences. A high median GPA is related to the school's culture of academic excellence and the high number of students who are planning to go on to graduate school. It is because the students work hard, not because the classes are easy.

    This is from Swat's pre-med FAQ page:

    What kinds of grades will I need to be accepted?

    Currently, with a strong B+ (3.5) average, both overall and in the sciences, you can apply to medical school with reasonable confidence in being accepted, assuming you have good MCATs and impressive non-academic experiences. The very top schools are generally only interested in applicants with A- (3.7) averages and above. However, there are many individual factors that come into play in the admissions process, so students should consult with Gigi about their individual situations.

    Do medical schools make allowances for Swarthmore's rigor and lack of grade inflation?

    Yes, many medical schools are aware of Swarthmore, and the excellence of its students and its academic program. They are often willing to consider our applicants with grades that are slightly lower than those of their typical admitted students.
  • kal123kal123 Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    ... immediately adjacent to (and former owner) of the state you govern?
    Wait, she governed? I thought the only thing she did, besides being McCain's running mate, was to look at Russia from her backyard :D Follow politics much?
    Do medical schools make allowances for Swarthmore's rigor and lack of grade inflation?

    Yes, many medical schools are aware of Swarthmore, and the excellence of its students and its academic program. They are often willing to consider our applicants with grades that are slightly lower than those of their typical admitted students.
    This (baseless) claim has been a constant irritant for me with a lot of schools. I am amazed that they call a 3.58 median GPA a sign of lack of grade inflation!
  • mcat2mcat2 Registered User Posts: 5,942 Senior Member
    Although I agree that the college is in general not in the position to make such a claim, it is undeniable that Swat recruits top high school graduates. That is, it may have a higher percentage of students with good test skills and work ethics than thr students st an average school.

    I do not have the proof, but my educated guess is that, for Swat, the quote of 20 students who are applying to med school may include alumni applicants as well. A few years ago, some CCer wonder why there were so few Swats who applied without a gap year. I guess the school has since learned where the market of top students is. Like an CCer from a top 10 school posted: he sometimes wonder that almost all students from his school are eager to attend a professional school, or to land on a lucrative job in I-banking/consulting.

    A million dollar question is that, by going to a rigorous school where the professors work you very hard , it is natural that you will not have much time doing medical related ECs except on breaks. But these ECs are required. So, for a student with a certain academic capability, the "best" school for him may be different, depending on whether he is still capable of allocating some time ECs there while maintaining a good grade. So, should you attend the most rigorous school? If the PhD program is in your future , go for it. It is hard to say the same if your career goal is medicine.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,722 Senior Member
    Folks, please note that the OP is 14 years old (according to the public profile) and thus 3-4 years away from applying to Swat or any college.
  • kal123kal123 Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    he sometimes wonder that almost all students from his school are eager to attend a professional school or to land on a lucrative job in I-banking/consulting.
    I work at one of those I-Banks. We just invited our 2013 class of summer interns - ~350 from a pool of 17000+ applicants. These interns form the core of next year's new analyst class. If these kids think that landing a lucrative job at an I-Bank is easy, they need a serious reality check.
  • kal123kal123 Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    mcat2 wrote:
    almost all students from his school are eager to attend a professional school, or to land on a lucrative job in I-banking/consulting.
    Here is the data from Swat regarding the post-graduation plans of graduating students: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Documents/postgrad%20plans%202010.pdf. Where are the ones landing all those coveted I-Banking positions? :confused:
    mcat2 wrote:
    the quote of 20 students who are applying to med school may include alumni applicants as well
    Just count all the "M.D."s from the document above. That 20 may have been a generous count actually...
  • jalfredjalfred Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    Swat is a highly regarded college and it's really tough to get accepted there. That is the foremost hurdle here.
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