Thank you for starting this @srk2017 !!
My DD applied to most BSMD programs, top, mid and low tiers. She was turned down from all top tier programs and most low tier programs, and was offered admission to multiple mid-tier programs.
She visited the undergraduate colleges wherever she was offered BSMD admission, took BSMD options off her list where she felt like a total misfit, read through the conditions of maintaining the standing for remaining programs and decided to go with the NJMS program as it offered her the best fit and least stressful conditions for continuation into MD.
Med school choices: She had a really hard time turning down UH and FAU because of the amazing faculty and management she met in those schools. Texas is known for low fees and FAU offered full ride to UG and also waived in-state tuition and fees for MD - very attractive from financial perspective also for parents and student. It was her call finally to go to NJMS. We joke that she picked the farthest school from home, but her decision was based on the fact that they require reasonable and MCAT, vs stringent GPA and/or MCAT requirements at other schools that seemed to contribute to very stressful UG years. The stress levels were evident in the current BSMD students she interacted with at these schools, and she chose to go where the students seemed most content.
Undergrad: She was lucky to have multiple undergrad options for NJMS between TCNJ, NJIT and Rutgers Newark. After visiting all three, she was drawn to NJIT more than other UGs as she did not want a secluded rural atmosphere, and found NJIT’s urban setting, proximity to NY and easy access to research/ healthcare opportunities most appealing. NJIT and Rutgers Newark are right next to each other but she found NJIT community much more welcoming than Rutgers. It also helped that NJIT offered her a full-ride to UG. We heard concerns about safety around NJIT, but felt quite at home (compared to San Francisco, downtown San Jose) during our visits there.
UG only options: She didn’t try too much for regular BS except for Rice, which she loved and was admitted to. I spied some sadness when she withdrew from Rice, and we talked to her about it. She said her regret was of not getting into Rice/Baylor rather than of turning down Rice for undergrad. Oh well! Of course, she applied to UCs and was admitted to Berkeley, UCSD, UCSB, UCD, UCI and UCR with scholarships.
Parents’ perspective: I was so clueless when DD’s journey started, and still feel somewhat clueless. We went through all the emotions that our child did through every single acceptance, interview invitation, post-interview reactions and roller coaster ride for each BSMD acceptance/ rejection. I stressed out, maybe more than others due to my lack of knowledge, about each school, what they look for, negative experiences, shared concerns etc. I still worry about how DD will adapt to cold weather in NJ. I ‘virtual-met’ many ‘neighbors’ in this journey, including @GoldenRock , @srk2017 , @Empire007 , @WayOutWestMom , @mom2collegekids , @dblazer , @bearchichi , @texaspg , @narkor , @grtd2010 , and many more - all of whom were generous with their time and advice, and helped keep it sane for us and our DD. Ultimately, where you go for college does not matter as much as how you feel when you start there, and I can say that, thanks to these folks and many more, our DD feels successful and confident in starting this journey. For that - thank you all!!
I’ll drop in time to time to report on her journey at NJIT-NJMS.