Help me choose: bs/md ($30k ug) vs. full-ride+


I need help choosing as to what college to go to, I’d love your insights. I’m an ORM (asian), male, and looking to specialize in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

  1. University of Cincinnati 8-year BS/MD Connections Program
    a. Cost: UG $30k/yr (could potentially graduate within 3 years and then work/MPH for a year), MD costs as we know, are astronomical - however, compared to most medical schools, Cincinnati in-state is rather okay
    b. Pros: GUARANTEED MEDICAL SCHOOL (mcat cutoff: 507, gpa cutoff: 3.5, can apply out), diversity, BS/MD places emphasis on humanistic side of medicine (my interest), special advisors given to BS/MD students, MCAT course from UCCoM at discounted rate to prepare for cutoff.
    c. Cons: money.

  2. University of Louisville - Brown Fellows
    a. Cost: full ride+ (tuition, fees, room & board), there’s tons of perks - 2 $5,000 stipends, trip to France, 2-week leadership training, supportive network (and alumni) for Fellows specifically, dedicated advisor, 8 trips around KY to get to know the commonwealth, bi-weekly meetings, monthly dinners
    b. Pros: diversity, money.
    c. Cons: no guaranteed medical.
    d. Other considerations: premed admittance - there is no advising department for premeds specifically at the university, however, Brown Fellows usually are able to get in to med school (exact stats are not kept track of)

  3. Washington and Lee University - Johnson Scholarship
    a. Cost: full ride+ (tuition, fees, room & board), $7,000 stipend for enrichment
    b. Pros: alumni network (connections), great premed admit rate (with at least 509 mcat & 3.0 gpa - 93%), money, prestige.
    c. Cons: diversity & institutional racism (HUGE problem), no guaranteed medical.

Financially, my family can afford the $30k/yr for undergrad, and possibly support my living expenses in medical school as well. I would really only need to take out loans for medical school tuition (roughly ~$175k).

Thanks in advance!

Since pursuing a career in medicine is definitely what you want to do, you should enroll in the BS/MD program. Huge congratulations for getting into a BS/MD program…those are as hard to get into as getting into Harvard!


For the most robust undergraduate experience, the Louisville option sounds amazing. No cost college? Leadership training? A trip to France? And so much more.

If you choose Louisville, you are betting on yourself to be able to get the grades and experiences and scores to get into medical school. But you seem very capable and you are setting yourself up for success with that program.


I’d go W&L. Most won’t end up in med school although most are not as defined as you in what you want to do. .

The smart money is Cincy though. That’s best to reach your current goals. But the Johnson is prestigious.

Of course you have two large publics near their downtowns vs a tiny school which is small, gorgeous, and in a rural setting but cute town down the hill.

But Cincy would be the smart move. Pay now to save later.

Congrats on your achievements.


If your parents say they can afford the $30k, then I wouldn’t let that enter into your decision. We told our kids what we could afford. If the school came in less than that then they were ok to pick it. Neither of my kids choose the cheapest option and I have no problem with that.

That med school admit rate at Washington&Lee sounds wrong. I’m not sure if they’ve manipulated the number or you misheard it but there is no way that kids with a 3.0 gpa are getting in med school.

If you are 100% sure of med school, I’d go the bs/md route. Otherwise Louisville sounds good.


Average MCAT/GPA for Asians matriculating to US medical schools last year was: 3.79 and 515. This is considerably higher than for non-ORMs. This means that you’ll need stronger test scores and GPA to stand a chance.

If medicine is indeed 100% your choice then I would choose the BA/MD. It also looks like it would save you a year of tuition. Medical school will be expensive, so its important to keep your costs low. Many of your peers will be earning after earning their bachelors. While MDs have to wait another 7-12 years before earning decent money. This puts you back in terms of long-term savings and retirement.

Source: AAMC Applicants and Matriculants Data 2021 Table A18

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For the number, as I said, with AT LEAST a 3.0 GPA & a 509 MCAT. Of course majority of people who matriculate have way higher stats.

I appreciate your insight!!!

Only? That could be a huge sum of money. HUGE.

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I’m confused about $$. Is Cincy $30k a year including med school. So $210-240k total ? Or just the four years ?

Yes lol, I just meant that I’d have support on everything other than the tuition of medical school. Undergrad tuition, undergrad living, and medical school living would be taken care of.

Med school tuition alone would be around $174k loan which is A LOT. But better than me having to foot the entire $350k bill, you know?

As I said, only the undergrad (ug) is $30k/yr. Medical school will be around $258k total.
Total would be around $350k for full education. My loan amount will be the medical school tuition (around $174k).

If your parents have already agreed to the $30,000 a year costs (hopefully not with parent loans), then you choose.

We set up the financial parameters before applications were submitted. And neither of our kids chose the cheapest option….by many thousands of dollars a year. We parents had planned how to pay the college costs, and we supported their matriculation decisions.

Good luck to you…you have great choices.


In that case I’d personally go W&L. It’s elite. Neither Cincy nor Lville are.

If you do well at W&L you’ll get into med school. If you don’t, you likely won’t even from Cincy with the ‘guarantee’. Plus many drop anyway b4 it comes to that. .

I’m just partial to W&L. Louisville’s program sounds amazing but when you mention through life you went to Lville…it’s just got no cred. But the programs seems outstanding. The Nohnson is just too good to pass up…but that’s me. Not you.

What is your feeling on environment as W&L is obviously the anti- others.


Although many kids start off pre-med and change course, I’m not aware of many who go the BS/MD route who change. So I won’t bother questioning your commitment to medicine. I think it comes down to the undergrad experience you want and your risk tolerance. If risk averse, definitely go with Cincy. It sounds like a great fit. If confident in your ability to do well in college and you’d like to aim for a top med school, choose one of the other 2 options. Between W&L and UL, fit should be a huge consideration as these are very different schools. W&L is a great school, but the fit will not be right for many students. UL is a solid option and the fellows program makes it a very good option.

Good luck with the decision.


I completely agree with @itsgettingreal21’s post.

My D is a current freshman at W&L with a premed intention. Let me know if you have any questions about her experience.

Congratulations on your achievements!!

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Bs/md. Med school tough as ORM asian. Look for paid work opportunities as you won’t have to work in labs, etc in the summers for med school.


Most will recommend you take BSMD given what it takes for Asian ORMs to get into good medical school but all comes down your risk tolerance and how well HS prepared you for college. If you attended a competitive HS with lot of ORMs, taken lot of AP or IB courses , didn’t struggle to get good grades and did all the ECs needed for BSMD, you can repeat same in college.

I am not sure if you already read thru BSMD threads for last few years, but there lot of pros and cons discussions in those. I have documented my DS’s journey thru BSMD process and his traditional path outcomes after he declined BSMD for a named scholarship. By securing a good scholarship you already proved that you are a very well rounded student.

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From the below posting I understand you already made up your decision toward BSMD. OR you are still debating? If you aren’t debating, then you may close this thread. Good luck with your decision.


Thanks for posting :slight_smile:

After reading the results post, I agree that OP made correct decision.


Hello everyone,
Thank you very much. I have made the decision to attend the University of Cincinnati Connections (BS/MD) Program. I appreciate all of your insights!