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Which undergrad? Boston U, Northeastern, or UC Riverside

ocmomwith3ocmomwith3 10 replies2 threads New Member
DD got into Boston U (CGS-London, Biochemistry), Northeastern (Biochemistry), and UC Riverside (Accelerated 5 year Bioengineering) with hopes to as a pre-med but knows she needs a plan B. Being in CA, it would seem most logical to go to UCR and work on GPA, great MCAT, and ECs however she is connecting with the BU and NEU kids and have always wanted to go back East for school - any feedback on these schools in terms of their premed emphasis, medical advising, and matriculation to medical school - any insight would be great so we're not making an emotional decision.... thanks!
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Replies to: Which undergrad? Boston U, Northeastern, or UC Riverside

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10901 replies232 threads Senior Member
    edited March 27
    UCR SOM offer a early assurance programs that is open to UCR students only:

    Thomas Haider Early Assurance Program

    If she is a strong student this might an option she would want to take advantage of.

    BU has a reputation for heavily weeding their pre-meds. There are lots of high achieving students in the pre-req classes at BU which makes earning those As needed for a strong GPA difficult.

    I would also make sure that any courses your D takes while abroad will be accepted by AMCAS. In general, AMCAS does not accept coursework taken at foreign institutions.

    Also I suggest your D contact the pre-med advisors at BU to ask if students in the College of General Studies are given the same consideration/same level of endorsement in the BU committee letter as biochem majors in the College of Arts & Sciences.

    Don't know anything about NEU.

    Is there a significant cost differential among the schools?

    Medical school is extremely expensive. Students with med school in their future plans are strongly advised to minimize their undergrad costs.

    Even applying to med school is expensive. Plan on spending $10K for one application cycle. As a California applicant your D will need to apply more widely than most students. (CA is the WORST state for pre-meds. CA produces more pre-meds every year than any other state in the US. Add in the fact that many of CA's med schools are highly ranked and offer very little in-state preference. 2/3rd of CA successful med school applicants go to OOS schools. Which means they are attending more expensive private med schools or paying the significantly higher OOS tuition at OOS publics.)
    edited March 27
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  • ocmomwith3ocmomwith3 10 replies2 threads New Member
    @WayOutWestMom thank you for the insight - the cost of the boston schools are about the same. it would be much less for her to attend in-state at UCR but with her desire to go back East, I'm not sure if it is worth it. many are asking why UCR (i think it has a image issue) but college counselor and others have said it is a great UC school. i have heard how difficult it is to be premed in CA and getting into a CA med school... i will have to call the schools to get more insight...
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
    It's tough for everybody to get into a CA medical school. Generally, students do better at a school where they want to be, and based on your posts, it appears that "back East" rules. But has your student visited BU and NE? I ask because Boston's great, but the weather can be a shock for a lifelong Californian-and that's not to be discounted.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10901 replies232 threads Senior Member

    A few more things to consider--

    Since less than 40% of med school applicants receive even 1 admission to med school, which college offers your D the best opportunities for her Plan B career?

    Would your daughter be willing to consider attending an in-state college with the understanding that any monies saved would be used to pay for medical school?

    Is your family able to pay for either of the Boston options without taking debt above the federal student loan limits? ($5500/freshman, $6500/sophomore, $7500/junior & senior)

    Both BU and NEU are urban campuses. BU in particular has a long narrow campus bounded by two very busy major streets on each side. Both D2 and her friends I took to visit the campus thought it lacked the the feel of having a distinct campus and felt more like a collection of office buildings spread along a street. NEU has a more compact campus with more separation from the city and more greenspace. But both BU and NEU are smack in the middle of a very busy city. (Which can be good thing or a bad thing, depending of your D's inclinations/interests.)

    BTW, I agree with the poster above about the weather. Winters are constantly overcast, damp and cold. Summers are hot & muggy.

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  • thumper1thumper1 78008 replies3497 threads Senior Member
    edited March 29
    I would choose the least expensive option if medical school is on the possibility list.

    One of my kids is a BU grad. He loved that “campus” because really...the whole city of Boston IS the campus. But he also wanted to be at an urban school. And really...the weather there isn’t going to kill anyone!
    edited March 29
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10901 replies232 threads Senior Member
    ^^Agree it won't kill anyone, but Boston-- like D2 said of her undergrad upstate NY campus--if anyplace is going to give you SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), it's here.
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  • AndorvwAndorvw 367 replies9 threads Member
    In terms of weeding class grading, NEU is much friendlier than BU, but BU got the more well known name. BU is right by the river with gorgeous view while NEU campus is much packed with a somewhat "prison" like feel(personal feel, lol).

    Biochem is a hard science major, which seems to be an extreme major for pre-med. If a student truly loves Biochem and doing great, they will do great in MCAT; but on the opposite end, Biochem has same bad reputation as BME or any engineering - i.e, low GPA.

    If you live in UCR area, the early assurance program is great short-cut to UC med school (assuming your D will make the cut).
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