Chance Me: Premed Junior for Rice ED + Matches & Reaches

Demographics

  • US domestic US Citizen
  • State/Location of residency: TX
  • Type of high school Competitive Public: (This cycle we had 20+ UT Honors admits, multiple Berkeley, Rice, and other t20 Admits. 3 Ivy Admits.)
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.):None

Intended Major(s)
Molecular Biology/Biology/Biochemistry
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.9/4
  • Weighted HS GPA: 5.1/6.0
  • Class Rank: Top 11-12% ED, Top 10% By RD.
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1540 SAT, 36 ACT, 1480 PSAT

Coursework
17 Total AP Courses, all Math up to AP Calculus BC
(Have the opportunity to take MVB/Calc 3, however I am not passionate in math, and do not want to force myself into a higher rigor math class in place of other courses, unless it is significantly beneficial toward applications.)
All available AP Sciences except Physics 2 ( Took Physics C: E&M Instead )

Awards

  1. NMSQT Semifinalist ( Finalist possible after admissions )
  2. Nationals in a Medical Comp ( Do not want to get doxxed )
  3. HOSA State
  4. Science Olympiad State
  5. AP Scholar

Vying for Regeneron STS Scholar, although if it occurs only goes toward RD updates.

Extracurriculars ( Working on these over the summer )

  1. Summer Research Internship at a T10 University Cancer Lab
  2. Research Assistant at Local University Biomedical lab
  3. Independent Research Project under Independent Study Program on Cardiothoracic Surgery
  4. Harvard STRIPED Policy Translation Team Member
  5. Shadowing under 3-4 different specialities
  6. School Science Olympiad President
  7. Hospital Volunteer
  8. Publications in high school level research journals

Essays/LORs/Other

I am fairly confident in my essay writing, would give them at least an 8/10, however essays are subjective to ao’s, so I cannot guarantee anything.
LORs ~ 7-8/10, decent, school teachers know me well
1 LOR from t10 professor I researched under which will hopefully be quite good. (9/10 ~ )

Cost Constraints / Budget
I am fortunate enough to not have cost as a constraint. Do not qualify for any need based aid.

Schools

  • Safety
    UT Dallas ( NMSQT Full Ride )
    Texas A&M
    Baylor

  • Match
    Case Western University
    UNC - Chapel Hill
    RPI

*I would love more recommendations for matches, as I do not have many. I have too many reaches in mind LOL.

  • Reach
    UT Austin Non auto admit ( In state )
    Rice (Planning to ED)
    Johns Hopkins(Possible ED2)
    Emory University (Possible ED2)
    Brown
    WashU

A couple of BS/MD’s

Notes*
The worst aspect of my admissions is class rank + gpa. Although I maintained a fairly decent UW Gpa, my class rank dropped from 5% to about 12% in the first semester of junior year. This occurred due to extenuating circumstances surrounding the death of a close family member. Although this event did not cause any clinical concerns, I was extremely mentally unstable and depressed, leading to get 4 B’s in 1 semester of high school. I am not sure whether AO’s will consider these circumstances, especially because they were not diagnosed/clinical concerns, although I plan to mention them in Counselor LOR’s and Additional Info. For RD Round, it is quite certain I will have climbed back up to the 10% range, however for my ED/EA Schools, I will most likely be just outside of it. Is it worth ED’ing with a lower class rank, as the boost from ED is significant as well.

Thank you for your time!

Rochester and Pitt would be good matches to consider. Rochester has a similar vibe to Case.

Pitt has rolling admission too so if you apply early and are accepted, it could be a safety.

Not sure UNC is a match for an OOS applicant.

1 Like

There is an appreciable boost by applying ED. But it won’t necessarily offset the GPA issue. So I’m not sure it will help applying ED to a school like Rice or Brown where you are unlikely to be accepted. But it will definitely help in schools like Baylor.

If you are premed, then just go to a school where you can get highest GPA possible. Going to a huge state U will make it difficult to stand out. Plus you can save money for med school. Chasing prestige as a premed is not worth it. Being an ORM, you will need a college GPA 3.8+ and MCAT 515+ to be competitive.

Don’t mention the mental health struggles in your personal statement. Especially nothing about “…extremely mentally unstable and depressed”. This will set off red flags. The admissions readers are not mental health experts and they will assume the worst.

Just ask your counselor to mention the death of a close family member in their own letter, and leave it at that. Disclosing of the mental health issue will make things more difficult for you.

yeah, i wasn’t going to word it like that for sure, and not in my essay, just in counselor letter, and any “Additional information” box depending on the application

I guess. I do think Baylor is a safety comparing my profile to their CDS statistics, as I am well above the 75th percentile in all areas. I wanted to ED somewhere that is a big reach and dream school, however if there is a match that I do like and ED boost could push me into it, I wouldn’t mind using it there.

I would not say you have a weak point. 11%. 8%. You are over critical of yourself. You have more rigor than pretty much anyone. Too much in fact.

Assuming you are 100% ok with your safeties and RPI your list is fine. A safety has to be affordable and you’d be happy.

As long as you have two and you do, anything else is up to you. If you are NMF finalist, look at Alabama…free tuition and four years housing.

Not sure RPI fits…why RPI?

UNC a reach as previously stated. If UNC how about u of Washington which is strong in the major. CWRU may be a slight reach. Florida and Indiana are two more solid publics in the major.

You may look at W&L (Johnson Scholar) but honestly I think your list is fine as is.

Good luck.

Ps you don’t list budget. You just say will be full pay. ED can be a huge boost but ensure you understand your finances, even if full pay…does your family want to pay? Some schools will be $340-360k over four years. So be careful with ED. Make sure your parents are ok when you’ll have other schools, such as Baylor and A&M, that will be much less or if you get NMF you can go really cheap. Many do it but it’s not for everyone. And of course many regret it when they realize they’re family doesn’t support full pay even if they can pay, like yours. etc.

Yes I agree your stats for Baylor makes it look you will likely get accepted. However my point was that you only get one shot for ED. Using it for Brown/Rice will probably not get the desired outcome.

If you are looking for the ED boost, go to your schools Naviance/SCOIR and see where your stats are in the upper outer corner. My guess is that being outside of the top 10% will make things difficult for you. If your stats are under the mean, then the ED boost will not help.

The RD round for ORMs has become brutal over the last few years. So you have to plan the early round strategically. There is also a ED2 option you can look into.

He never said he would use ED for Brown. He actually has a good shot at Rice ED.

I do not have naviance or any sort of application for my school, do you know of any method that I can see stats like those without it being school-based ? Currently I am just relying on CDS Statistics

RPI was just a college recommended to me by multiple friends who are going there for pre-med, although after further inquiring It may have been the RPI BS/MD, which is significantly harder than RPI.

Budget is not really an issue, most colleges are within my family’s income range. Of course paying less is always better, and if ED does not work it my RD decisions may be influenced by scholarships, however my parents also want me to ED to one of my top choices because they can afford it and do not want to waste the boost we can get.

Correct, I was considering Brown ED, however I do prefer Rice over it and I do believe Rice in-state ED would be a little bit more realistic than Brown ED, although regardless, both are reaches.

What are you hoping to do with your degree ?

As you know Trinity is strong in TX. A mini rice if you will in that they may get local Rice turndowns.

Sounds like you are pre med. if that’s the case you need cheap. Where you go is not relevant. Only your GPA, MCAT and other things like shadowing are. That’s $800k+. If u go full pay.

Trinity fine merit.

Your school’s guidance counselor or college counselor should have access to SCOIR or Naviance. It requires a subscription to access, and it provides GPA vs SAT scatterplots. From these scatterplots it can give you a better idea of what your chances are. Some high schools have very good patterns of acceptance to Rice (known as “feeders”). But this can be misleading as some of the students who are accepted have a hook (legacy, athlete, URM, etc). You can tell from looking at the scattergrams if this is the case or not. I imagine that Rice has several feeders from the TX area. Not sure which high schools they are, but ask around.

Here is the scattergram from my son’s graduating class (2018). He attended a well known east coast boarding school, so it may not apply to your situation. But there are a few things that stand out to me. Lowest GPA Rice accepted from his HS was about 3.5, lowest SAT was about 1380. The average GPA/SAT was 3.78 and 1525 respectively. So students who are in the upper outer quadrant had a decent chance of acceptance. But those outside had a much lower chance. Apart from the hooked candidates, its almost a sure rejection.

If you were in my son’s high school class, I’d say that if your GPA is in the first or second decile, and you were unhooked, that you’d have decent chance (>50%) of acceptance. If you were legacy, or had some other special factor, then you might be able to get away with a lower GPA or test score. If you had none of these, and had a GPA below the third decile your chances are tiny.

Find out what the GPA distribution for accepted candidates at Rice from your HS.

I encourage you not to put this in the additional info section either, as long as your counselor does cover it in their LoR.

You can write about your research and medical comp in the additional info section.

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It’s a no-brainer. Take the full ride. Dallas has a ton of opportunities for internships, shadowing, etc if you’re looking at premed. Plus UT-Dallas is an academically focused school in a suburban environment, so you’re not going to have party school distractions like the other schools on the list. Those kinds of distractions could easily be the difference between getting into medical school or not.

Talk with your family about budget; don’t base it on their income. If your family says they’re willing to pay $360k (4 years at $80k), then that means they are willing to pay for most any university in the U.S. Then find out if they’re willing to pay $800k (high-priced college and med school). If they say no to that, see if they’re willing to apply that $360k towards medical school or whatever savings you end up having that is less than the $360k. Medical school is usually paid for in one of two ways: 1) loans, and 2) checks written by your family. I know of doctors who took decades to pay off their med school loans. If you can get an MD degree with no debt, you’re in a stellar spot.

Two colleges that are well-regarded for premed (see here) are Union College (NY) and Centre College (KY), and you’d probably get some nice merit aid from both.

You also seem partial to medium-sized schools in urban locations. This category is dominated by Catholic institutions (and you’d be likely to get nice merit at all of these), but some to consider are:

  • U. of Scranton (PA )
  • Marquette (WI)
  • U. of Portland (OR)
  • U. of San Diego (CA)
  • Duquesne (PA )
  • Saint Louis U. (MO)
  • Creighton (NE)
  • U. of Denver (CO)
  • U. of San Francisco (CA)
  • Seattle U. (WA)
  • Xavier (OH)
  • Belmont (TN)

If you’re willing to go suburban rather than urban, then these are some others to consider, although you might not get quite as much merit aid at all of these.

  • Santa Clara (CA)
  • Lehigh (PA )
  • Villanova (PA )
  • U. of Richmond (VA)
  • Brandeis (MA)
  • Marist (NY)
  • Fairfield (CT)
  • Saint Joseph’s (PA )
  • Southern Methodist (TX)
  • Loyola Marymount (CA)

ETA: A little bit larger than the others, but Loyola Chicago (11k students) and Drexel (14k students) might be worth a look, too.