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Best Pre-Med Schools on QB List?

HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
edited September 2019 in Questbridge Programs
Hello, I'm currently taking a gap year (Should've thought of wearing a Gap brand sweater on college day my senior year but oh well, a good meme opportunity wasted).

All jokes aside, I'm planning to study medicine down the line. I have submitted my Questbridge application but I'm now in the process of ranking universities.

As a side note, if everything fails as nothing comes through Questbridge either through the national match or through the Finalist Regular decision, I will be eligible for the Illinois Promise which is a 4 year room, tuition, and board scholarship for qualifying Urbana Champaign (UIUC) applicants.

So looking at the QB list, I am noticing two things:
A plethora of great liberal arts colleges.
Not as many STEM heavy (Pre-med resource-abundant) universities like WUSTL, Rice, Northwestern, and Amherst, that aren't either the Ivies or Stanford.

For some of you that know what happened last year (yes, I was a DACA last year = international), I was rejected to all my universities...because they were in the Top30 schools and I needed full aid with my EFC of 0 and no FAFSA. I guess I wasn't those school material.

Anyways, with QB coming up, I'm wondering if the great Pre-Med schools (which are also very difficult to get into like Stanford, Columbia, UPenn, and Brown) are worth a shot at ranking with my statistics through Questbridge?

My weighted GPA is only a 4.85/5.33 (Dipped from a 4.9 senior year from a brutal AP Physics C curriculum - though it was my favorite class).

My ACT is a 35 and I have some few nice extracurriculars (mostly research, community service through hospital work, breeding fish and donating profits to 4Ocean, and free tutoring -> although I have more to list).

Where I fall short is that Questbridge requires ALL SCORES, meaning the 1420 SAT I took the morning of without studying because it was a state-mandated test and I had to take it despite it with everyone in school despite it not being right for me (focussed on ACT).

Also I got a 710 on Math II as I definitely wasn't feeling the best that day, and TWO MONTHS later I took it again and scored an 800 - maybe they'll think I was lazy the first time around?

I think my essays are very personal and my financial situation is in the range for QB (Annual untaxed income (my brother sends his income from the military to us) of 15.5K, 0 assets, and I have $200 or so in cash in my wallet). But of course, I don't have an unweighted 4.0 although I've taken the most rigorous courses in my high school, nor do I have a 36 or superb SAT 2 scores (800 math 2, 750 chemistry, 720 biology, 670 USH - and I got a 4 on the APUSH test too...) My AP scores aren't THAT good either for these top schools (Four 5's, three 4's, and two 3's). I was hoping maybe through Questbridge, the colleges would understand the circumstances and financial background that would make me at least competitive/able to rank these great pre-med schools? I guess one can see this as self-assurance post, but I am generally wondering if Questbridge is much more understanding.
edited September 2019
34 replies
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Replies to: Best Pre-Med Schools on QB List?

  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    Also, I'm pretty upset that I'm not able to visit the campuses unlike my peers and pretty much a lot of people on here - not even a fly-in offer, but that's probably because I wasn't the race they were necessarily looking for their "Diversity Program".
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3810 replies69 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Many QB partner schools will be very good for pre-med, I wouldn't discount the LACs for pre-med at all....many on the list have great pre-health advisers, lots of research and clinical opportunites, and a good track record in med school admissions. At some of the LACs being an Asian male applicants will make you a highly desirable applicant.

    What are your preferences for location, size, vibe, etc.? Are you considering engineering as a major (can be risky for pre-med due to tough on the GPA)?

    With that said, for pre-med I would consider striking Cal Tech and MIT from the list. Also Colorado College, unless you really like the idea of a block calendar.

    Your stats are strong, and you have a compelling story. And yes, AOs know that some test days don't go as well as others....generally AOs will consider your highest scores, and in the context of your situation. I also think that because of the change in your status from international to permanent resident that you can apply to/rank thru QB schools that rejected you last year....but let's ask @myos1634!

    Lastly, have you sent in your UIUC app....I can't remember if you have to reapply or not. If so, definitely get that in EA. Where else will you be applying?
    edited September 2019
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    @Mwfan1921 Thank you! Yes I am striking off Caltech and MIT from my list as I will NOT be doing engineering and to be ranking those schools just because it's "MIT" or "Caltech" would be a waste of a spot and pretty pointless. I am interested in environmental/marine bio as well, but not sure how relevant that is to my pre-med studies. Yale offers a great environmental/marine bio lab experience, but again, it's Yale haha. Also I forgot to list Emory as a premed.

    For LAC for Pre-med, I was considering Pomona, Swarthmore (based on what I heard), and UVA.

    I'm fine with any vibe/weather/size really since I'm from Chicago where it's really hot, it's really cold, it's windy, it's calm, it's rainy, and sometimes just sometimes, it's really nice. I'm also a bit wary of Princeton from their lack of a med school, but I'm not really sure.

    For vibe? UChicago is still my top, but slowly that's changing to a place like Columbia (who are the authentic CORE) Even with the early decision sting from last year, it's pretty difficult to turn my back on them since it just seems so fitting for me. Location-wise, probably not something in the south like Vanderbilt, Duke, and such, but that's not really a priority since getting in is the most important.

    I will be submitting a new 2019-2020 UIUC application. I will also be submitting the UIC GPPA application along with Questbridge (and HPME). For the other accelerated pre-med programs that are offered at Brown and WUSTL, I'm not sure how they'd work hand in hand with Questbridge's Early policy.
    edited September 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3810 replies69 threads Senior Member
    I am interested in environmental/marine bio as well, but not sure how relevant that is to my pre-med studies.

    You can easily major in env/marine bio and fulfill all med school requirements. Pick a major that you like because it will likely be easier to maintain a high gpa. Other QB partner schools that may have be of interest re: env/marine bio are Bowdoin, Colby, Tufts, Wesleyan, Stanford, W&L....and I am sure I am missing some.
    For the other accelerated pre-med programs that are offered at Brown and WUSTL, I'm not sure how they'd work hand in hand with Questbridge's Early policy.

    I am not sure either, but call or email the program AO (sometimes it's in ug admissions, sometimes in med school admssions) and ask.

    Good luck and keep us updated!


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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    Ah...Stanford for environmental/marine bio - what a dream. But Stanford only took roughly 10 students (I think?) last year...ouch. Maybe my fish breeding will come in handy to stand out?

    But honestly, as long as I take the required course to study the MCAT and apply to med school, I'm hoping to go hard on Marine Bio/Environmental Science.
    edited September 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3810 replies69 threads Senior Member
    Also, I'm pretty upset that I'm not able to visit the campuses unlike my peers and pretty much a lot of people on here.

    I get that. You have seen a good suburban mid size example (NU) and urban (U Chicago, maybe UIC?). Maybe visit Lake Forest College to see what an LAC campus is like...metra goes right there. Have you visited UIUC? Could that be possible via train or bus?

    Definitely do the virtual tours of each of the QB schools you are thinking of ranking, it's not as good as the real thing, but is better than nothing.

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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    I originally wanted the inside scoop vibes that aren't well portrayed on the school website through these tours, but, I guess virtual tours and anecdotes on Reddit will do the trick. I have visited Northwestern(both Evanston and I actually am a contract researcher at their Chicago campus, though unpaid). So maybe that will help with ranking Northwestern? I've also visited UIC, UIUC, and Lake Forest College, and to be honest, the full-on LAC was depressing for me. Maybe I just didn't get in touch with people that have similar major interests/suggestions or I missed out on something, but there was a big disconnect from the pre-med focus and what I'd call a "quirky" kind of vibe (something like at UChicago, Carleton, and even UVA such - though I could even be wrong about these colleges since I haven't visited them).
    edited September 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80979 replies727 threads Senior Member
    If your parents are not married, be sure to investigate how the colleges in QB will handle FA in that situation. For non-QB applications, many require both parents' finances (exceptions include Chicago and usually Vanderbilt).
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    Hmm really? On the QB application, they said if my father or I didn't have contact with my mother it would be fine(in fact we haven't had contact in over a decade and she pays no child support either. We just don't know anything about what she does now besides that she lives in Korea). I wasn't even asked to provide info for my divorced non-custodial mother on the application.

    edit: Or maybe IF I am chosen as a finalist, I have to provide all these waivers and such despite QB's application not requiring it?
    edited September 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80979 replies727 threads Senior Member
    You should ask QB and the FA offices of the colleges you are interested in applying to through QB about how the non-custodial parent situation for FA is handled if you apply through QB.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3810 replies69 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    I just tried to post a link from the QB FAQs....I am not sure why links to that page are never allowed. Anyway, you do have to fill out NCP waivers for all the schools you rank if you become a finalist

    From QB faqs
    Typically, noncustodial parents are expected to contribute financially to the cost of their child's education. However, you may petition colleges to waive your noncustodial parent's financial contribution. Only students who have a significant history of little or no contact, or other exceptional extenuating circumstances, should fill out this form.

    To request a waiver of your noncustodial parent's financial contribution, you will need to send a Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition to each college that you rank for the Match. The deadline to submit this form to the colleges is November 1. Please do NOT send this form to QuestBridge. Instructions for submitting the form to each college are included in the Match Requirements for Finalists on each school's Application Requirements page. Pay careful attention to all instructions and include all necessary supplementary forms and documentation.
    edited September 2019
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14376 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    For pre-med you can major in anything you want, as long as you take the pre-med courses as well (bio, chem, ochem, physics, calc, etc)

    If you want to go pre-med then think about:

    1) The cheapest reasonable college so you/your parents can use the money for med school
    2) The college needs to prepare you for MCATs but still allow you to get a good GPA
    3) Access to volunteering opportunities (e.g., near a hospital)
    4) Success in graduates getting into med school
    5) Options if you don't go to med school. You think you are going to med school, but less than 20% of pre-med freshman actually do.

    So don't worry which one is the "best" at pre-med...all colleges have Bio and chem and all that.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13230 replies247 threads Senior Member
    STEM heavy (Pre-med resource-abundant)

    Agree with @bopper - all of those colleges have what you need to be pre-med.

    The NCP waiver forms are going to be a pain - in your gap year do you have access to a guidance counselor?
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    @OHMomof2 Yeah I know all colleges have their biology and chemistry, but there is a difference between what WUSTL, Case, and say Rice have to offer (St. louis clinics, ohio clinics, and texas clinics) compared to say Swarthmore, Wellesley, and Vassar.

    The NCP waiver forms weren't that bad last year since I just explained my situation and such. In my gap year, I have the full resources of any senior from the high school I graduated from (really fortunate).
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13230 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I agree proximity to a hospital is ideal, and clinics and doc offices too. Somehow students from schools without proximity to those go to med school all the time, so shadowing and volunteering can be done in summer or breaks, clearly.

    Glad you have the GC help! As I recall the NCP waiver forms mostly needed GC signature/statement.
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice 1224 replies25 threads Forum Champion
    Rice is located right next to the Houston medical center and has many internship opportunities etc. in the medical field. Rice took 55 QB matches last year. It should be on your list.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 533 replies28 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    Here are schools I am certain will be on my list.

    Northwestern (HPME possibility and that I have been researching here)
    WUSTL: Pre-Med bonanza
    Rice: Pre-Med bonanza
    * Columbia: Core, city, vibes, and marine bio
    * UChicago: Vibes, proximity to home, core, fit, and a rigorous premed curriculum.
    * UPenn: Pre-Med bonanza
    * Brown: Preprofessional program for Pre-Med
    Emory: Premed program

    What I want to list, but not sure if I am even competitive for are (along with the * but still):

    Stanford and Yale for Marine Bio/Environemtnal

    Princeton for their relatively new Neuroscience concentration

    Pomona - small school (Claremont) with a fantastic pre-med program.

    Schools I might replace some on my "certain" list:

    Amherst
    Carleton
    Duke
    Vanderbilt
    UVA
    edited September 2019
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42516 replies460 threads Senior Member
    I'd remove WashU (too many would be pre-meds tripping over one another).
    Be careful with your list, have about half universities and half LACs.
    Read up on the vibe - you're close enough to visit UChicago and you'll immediately see/feel how different it s from Northwestern.
    I have trouble thinking you'd be equally happy at Duke and at Brown, their "vibe" is so different.
    Isn't Grinnell on the QB list? Fantastic for science and more collaborative, which is important for pre-meds.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13230 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Is UIUC a sure thing? Is that the safety?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80979 replies727 threads Senior Member
    The NCP waiver forms weren't that bad last year since I just explained my situation and such. In my gap year, I have the full resources of any senior from the high school I graduated from (really fortunate).

    Did you get any indication of which colleges would approve the waiver and which would not? (Probably no indication...)
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