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Merit Aid for Med School?

trackmbe3trackmbe3 739 replies21 threads Member
Do Medical Schools offer merit aid to top med school applicants as an enticement to enroll? And if so, what is the range of merit money? $5,000 or less? 1/4 tuition? 1/2 tuition? or more? Is it different from undergraduate where merit aid is plentiful for top students who apply to schools where their stats are in the top quarter of applicants? My D is contemplating early decision to med school and the only negative i can think of is losing leverage to gain merit aid if she is already committed to attend a certain medical school.
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Replies to: Merit Aid for Med School?

  • thumper1thumper1 76495 replies3383 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    Please explain why you mean by “early decision to medical school”. If she is applying as a regular student applicant...Med school admissions are rolling. If she gets an interview, she will hear within a couple of weeks if she gets accepted.

    Merit aid at medical schools varies quite a bit. Some schools offer more than others. NYU, for example, gives free tuition to all students who enroll. There are several other medical schools that do the same. Admission rates at those schools is in the very lo single digits.

    There are medical schools that do give merit aid to very top applicants.

    ETA...medical school merit aid is very different than undergrad. Simply put...the vast majority of applicants are very well qualified.

    I’ve never heard of a medical school student having any “leverage” in terms of medical school merit aid. I don’t think medical schools will increase their offers just because you got more money from some other medical school.

    @WayOutWestMom can you add anything?
    edited September 2019
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  • trackmbe3trackmbe3 739 replies21 threads Member
    Thank you for your response @thumper1 By Early Decision to med school, i meant that she would be committing to a specific medical school and would not be applying via the regular applicant regular decision cycle. What i meant by "leverage" was that if she has not applied/committed to a specific med school via Early Decision, then she would have the freedom/ability to consider and choose the best merit aid offer, assuming that med schools offered any merit aid. Another assumption is that we would not qualify for any significant need-based aid.
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  • GoldenRockGoldenRock 1676 replies5 threads Senior Member
    @trackmbe3

    As you rightly pointed out, it is in your best interest not to apply for ED and see if you get better offers and any merit aid.

    There are few schools like NYU, Kaiser, are giving free tuition. Naturally many students are going to apply.

    There are few schools like UCLA gives free tuition for 20-25% of students.

    Another thing you can consider is to identify some OOS public schools and see if they have relatively easier way to become IS at least after a year or so. In that way you can save money.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10449 replies218 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    The OP is taking about an early assurance program--not EDP.

    Early assurance is conditional acceptance given to college sophomores. If the student meets certain benchmarks for GPA/MCAT score (like they have to do for BS/MD programs) then the student has a guaranteed admission to the linked med school.

    Early assurance students give up the ability to apply to other programs in return for a guaranteed admission, often with slightly lower stats than what would normally be required for regular decision admission.

    ~~~~

    For the most part merit aid is rare since med school applicants all have highly competitive CVs and there is no shortage of applicants. Med schools routinely get in excess of 8,000 applications for 150 seats. You will see admission rate in the single digits for almost every MD program in the country. So in that sense med school admissions doesn't work like undergrad admissions. You can just go down a tier and expect a merit award because the school doesn't NEED you. It has plenty of highly qualified applicants to fill its seats. (Plus USNews med schools rankings are much LESS dependent on admitted student stats than undergrad rankings are.)

    ~~~~

    As for the amount of merit offered that is going to depend on:

    1) how desirable the applicants is (a high stat UiM applicant from a "brand name" undergrad, for example)
    2) how many other acceptances the applicant holds and whether those acceptances are at higher ranked programs. (though this can be a double edged sword**)
    3) specific school policies w/r/t merit

    ** not all schools will "bid" on an applicant. Tell your local state U that you've got an acceptance to Harvard and they'll likely tell you -- "Enjoy your time at Harvard." Tell your mid-ranked private U you have an acceptance at Harvard and Stanford and they *may* throw some $$ at you, OR they'll say " Hope you like Palo Alto." It depends on school policies and if there is any recruitment $$ available.

    Merit aid ranges all over the place from a few thousand (not uncommon) to full tuition (very rare). What seems to be fairly common for a high stats (but not nosebleed high like NYU/WashU) applicant is getting in-state tuition rates at an OOS public med school..

    Both my kidlets got merit ranging from $2K- $10K (amount changed every year). Not huge, but when instate tuition is only $17K/year--it was a very nice perk.

    Two things to keep in mind when trying to leverage merit:

    1) less than 30% of med school applicants get more than 1 acceptance. (Admission more than "just" stats--it's about fit. About 18% of applicants w/ GPA>3.8 and MCAT >518 (96th percentile) get ZERO acceptances each year. )

    2) with the elimination of the multiple acceptance report last cycle under the new traffic rules, med schools can no longer see IF a student holds multiple acceptances and at which schools. This means schools are now more reluctant to offer merit as an inducement to enroll and are relying more on their waitlists to fill their seats.

    BTW, except at schools that guarantee free tuition, merit aid is often NOT awarded before the student enrollment deadline. In fact, AMCAS traffic rules specifically do NOT require med schools to give a student their FA package before the enrollment deadline.
    edited October 2019
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  • trackmbe3trackmbe3 739 replies21 threads Member
    @WayOutWestMom Very helpful information! Much appreciated!!
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  • threebeansthreebeans 757 replies36 threads Member
    1) less than 30% of med school applicants get more than 1 acceptance. (Admission more than "just" stats--it's about fit. About 18% of applicants w/ GPA>3.8 and MCAT >518 (96th percentile) get ZERO acceptances each year. )

    @WayOutWestMom what do you think the weakness in the application was for these applicants? DS just signed up to take his MCAT and so I'm curious what else he should be doing while he as time. TIA
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  • thumper1thumper1 76495 replies3383 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @threebeans I’m not @WayOutWestMom who will have better info than I have...but I’ll give you my opinion.

    The 18% who had great stats got to the interview stage based on the strength of what was in their written Med school application. My guess is...these students didn’t interview well. There are lots of students who are very book smart and have completed the required or suggested items to garner medical school interviews...but they don’t have particularly strong interpersonal communication skills. Strong interpersonal communication skills are (in my opinion) an essential part of the acceptance process. That’s my guess.
    edited December 2019
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10449 replies218 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @threebeans
    Those really high stats applicants who didn't get accepted anywhere--they usually have a deficit in one or more of the following areas:

    --Lots of research; not enough clinical exposure
    --Not enough community service
    --Poorly written secondaries or personal statement.
    --Personality defect (self important, lack of humility, sense of entitlement, better than everyone else, braggart, timid, extremely introverted, extremely anxious, etc)
    --Poor interviewing skills
    --Poor interpersonal skills
    --The "wrong" motivation for pursuing medicine (parental expectations, money, god-complex, unrealistic expectations, etc.)
    --Poor situational judgment
    --Poor school application list
    edited December 2019
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  • tdy123tdy123 1037 replies18 threads Senior Member
    @threebeans
    Those really high stats applicants who didn't get accepted anywhere--they usually have a deficit in one or more of the following areas:

    --Lots of research; not enough clinical exposure
    --Not enough community service
    --Poorly written secondaries or personal statement.
    --Personality defect (self important, lack of humility, sense of entitlement, better than everyone else, braggart, timid, extremely introverted, extremely anxious, etc)
    --Poor interviewing skills
    --Poor interpersonal skills
    --The "wrong" motivation for pursuing medicine (parental expectations, money, god-complex, unrealistic expectations, etc.)
    --Poor situational judgment
    --Poor school application list

    I think your fourth "deficit" area is probably the most important.

    Very easy of to toss out the application of a kid who you really wouldn't want to deal with for the next few years...
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