Help with College Selection for Premed student

I have learnt a great deal from this forum and indebted to everyone for their advice and insights. I have been selected to multiple colleges and decision have come down to two schools.

I will request your guidance on my options:

I am aspiring to be a Biomedical / Bio-engineering major with pre-med concentration. My choices are Rowan (In-state) and regional mid-western university (OOS). Both schools offer similar COA (12K - 15K after merit) with admission to Honors College and access to research opportunities.

Rowan University:
90 minutes from home
Strong civil and chemical engineering department will help with growth in the Biomedical department
Small class sizes for most courses (though gen ed courses like Chem 1 might have ~100 students)
Engineering clinics with practical curriculum geared for graduation in 4 years
Despite the affiliation with 2 medical schools, Rowan graduates are not accorded any preference during the medical admissions cycle.
Biomedical Engineering program is currently not accredited by ABET, accreditation process will start in this fall.

Regional mid-western University:
Admitted into BS / MD program (No MCAT required)
Established engineering program but focus is on polymer engineering and needs of local manufacturing base
Well regarded Co-op program
10 hours away from home with no access to direct flight
Larger classes during freshman and sophomore year
Co-op will add 1 additional year to the graduation timeline, though no tuition will be paid during the co-op semesters

Thanks for the advice.

My thoughts are opinions, some of them based on personal experience.

10 hours from home - need to be added to your expenses. How you get from there to home isn’t free. How you buy, store, transport college/apartment items is not free. People do it :0 but consider that.
If you get homesick and decide to drop out of mid-western U, you lose all the merit money from Rowan - they don’t give that to transfer students. I’m not trying to be unkind - but be true to who you are, if this is likely an issue, take it into account.

90 minutes is a surprisingly good distance - my daughter and foster son are that far away, and so was I back in the day. Far enough you can see family just for an overnight without hassle but not so close they can just swing by all the time and/or completely unannounced.

FYI - Rowan Chem 1 won’t have 100 kids in it. There aren’t classrooms big enough for that. :slight_smile:
(my foster son tutors Chem) Not saying they won’t in the future, I know the new Business building has larger classrooms.

The access to a co-op is great - does MidWestern U find it for you? Would it be in polymer engineering? That isn’t cutting edge, from my perspective (I work in med devices.), but still co-ops are useful.

The BS/MD program is great - but I don’t think that would be my deciding factor. So many kids go in thinking MD and change their mind. There is so much exciting stuff in different areas, and college opens those doors to see more of it!

In terms of research - my foster son has done research since his freshman year. Last year he was working with someone from the medical school because of the type of equipment he needed. He has published and presented as first author (prestigious) and attended summer research programs (with a stipend) at larger universities. This summer he will be spending at an Ivy League school. He works directly with professors, not “just” grad students.

The honors college at Rowan is phenomenal. Lots of different groups, activities and interaction between the kids. My daughter is participating in an honors course that pairs business majors with engineers and they are working on designing a product and a sales pitch. Planning, purchasing, etc. Very cool stuff.

I don’t know the other school so I can’t speak for or against them. Good luck making your choice.
Do make sure you and your parents have the money talk - 12-15K a year is great, but not free :slight_smile: Make sure you al know where that money is coming from and do it early!

@NJRoadie Thank you for the response, much appreciated. I have learnt a lot from your insights on the board.

I had money discussion with my parents and they have confirmed that money should not be the deciding factor. I

Co-op opportunities for the engineering are focused on the major and university has a co-op department that works to match the students with opportunities but students are responsible for timely applications and interviews etc.

@greatfundeals I don’t know for a fact, hence just a question here…
Why did you say that “Rowan graduates are not accorded any preference during the medical admissions cycle.” ?
According to our tour guide when we visited, he said Rowan graduates were given preference for acceptance to its medical school. He even mentioned it was on one of the Rowan website.

I didn’t bother check as my DD is not interested anything related to medical. If what you wrote were true, I wondered what other things the tour guide had misinformed to us.

@annamom I had a discussion on the topic with members of health advising team and professors and their response was : “We encourage our students to go to other universities / medical schools so that they can help spread our brand name. We don’t want them to be confined to Rowan only”.

Rowan has a great health professions advising team and they respond to questions immediately and I will have no qualms in working with them on my application, when time comes :-).

I am leaning towards Rowan and hope to join the class of 2022.

It is pretty tough to ignore the auto-admit to medical school. Which medical school? You should seriously consider this opportunity unless the cost of the undergrad is prohibitive.

@naviance cost of undergrad is similar for both the options 12K vs 15K

@greatfundeals thank you. May be you can ask them the percentage of medical school acceptance ? to get some hard numbers.

I read about good things about Rowan here on CC but sometimes I am frustrated that I cannot see a concrete path, Obviously, your situation is different.

One thing more than one person told me and my daughter was that if you’re smart enough to have been accepted to a BS/MD program, you’ll be smart enough to get into med school when the time comes. My D wasn’t a fan of being locked into a particular med school, and to her the risk of not being auto accepted was acceptable so she could apply to her choice when/if the time comes.

Even for auto-admit program, isn’t it true that the kids can still apply to other medical schools?

@annamom BSMD programs have unique conditions, many programs have restrictions like forfeiture of admittance immediately after application to other medical schools.

^^thank you.

Update : I deposited with Rowan university, today. I was admitted to the Rowan’s BSMD program recently, therefore decision became easier.