OOS question

Curious as to why a med school did accept any students from a particular state. Seems some states typically are not represented in many schools that do accept sos students…any thoughts on this???

Sorry folks-- that should be OOS not sos…

I assume you mean why didn’t the school accept anyone from a particular state.

Some schools have a goal (or requirement) to accept students from its state or neighboring states. The new DO school in Idaho gives preference to applicants from ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD. It would not surprise me if they have few students from states that aren’t in this area. They only have 150 spots, so if they accepted ‘evenly’ they’d have 3 from every state, but they don’t, so they may use up 100 spots for students from its states, and then give the last 50 to students from other states or countries.

Many…many medical and DO schools accept students from their region or state only…or very few from other areas.


IIRC correctly, you have a student graduating from college this year. Reading between the lines, did nobody from your state get into a medical school that your student applied to/is applying to? As the answers above indicate, the specifics of the state can matter, esp the priorities: they may accept OOS, but they may have formal or informal caps for example. It can also be random and reflect the applicant pool (people tend to apply either close-ish to home, or to the coasts; lesser-known names in out of the way places don’t always attract applicants from the coasts).

Yes, i did mean didn’t - sorry for any confusion…i understand the quotas and regionally preferences etc…however what confuses me, to be more specific, is why a med school would not accept students from, all the surrounding states in a region except one…for example…SAID med school accepted student this past year from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts but not New Jersey…

Also, this the case with numerous med schools around the country, not just one…just seems odd

So, one or more med schools in the NE didn’t accept a single student from NJ? that seems beyond odd.

What med school?

No, numerous med schools around the country…accepted students from other NE states but not from NJ…and yes, that seems odd to me as well…

There are a number of them…scattered thru out the US…some private, some public…

@kecoter @thumper1 @collegemom3717

I doubt there’s any kind of sinister conspiracy–just the way it shook out last year.

Med schools get thousands, and some get tens of thousands, of applications every year. They have plenty of students to select from. Once public schools review their in-state applicant pool and fill most/ all of their available slots, only then do they move to the OOS pool where they can cherry pick the applicants they feel best fit both the mission of the school and the needs of the institution (e.g. to balance the incoming class by gender, ethnicity, economic background, rural & inner city urban vs suburban, etc or to improve the school’s academic profile.)

The onus on OOS applicants is to convince the adcomm readers that a individual applicant has very strong, real world reason to accept their school (with its much higher price tag) over their in-state options. There’s always a secondary question that asks “Why this school?” (And saying I live in the next state over is probably the worst possible answer you can give.)

Plus some states have reputations for its residents seldom enrolling at OOS med schools. Interviewing students from those states makes little sense for the adcomm who needs to fill a class. All it does it waste an interview.

That all makes sense, @WayOutWestMom - I was mostly surprised that a NE school would have 0 successful applicants from a highly populated / heavily collegiate immediate neighbor.

I agree, collegemom3717… when evaluating the appropriateness of applying to OOS schools, that is of course, cause to question …
wayoutwestmom, all good points that we understand and don’t question…just seems odd- mind you, although our son’s residency is NJ, he attends college in another state…the whole med school application is stressful enough- no need to add another thing to consider…

@kecoter @collegemom3717

I think you’re cherry picking your data–

according to AAMC data, 455 NJ residents matriculated at OOS med schools last year.


They must be getting in somewhere.

As for choosing which med schools to apply to---

Buy access to MSAR ($30/for an annual subscription at AMCAS). It includes data about in-state vs OOS interview rates.

Remember than ALL public med schools operate under state mandates about how many (if any) OOS students they can matriculate each year. For example, Texas requires by law that 90%+ of their med students be state residents. My home state does not matriculate OOS students period -- unless they are registered members of a Native American/Native Alaskan tribe or have graduated from a state high school or from a small number of OOS high schools adjacent to the state borders. (BTW, that still doesn't mean getting accepted is easy. The SOM acceptance rate last year was 8%.)

Also state residency for admission consideration and tuition purposes are NOT the same thing. My home state (and many other states) use the location of the applicant high school of record as one of the primary metrics for deciding whether or not an applicant is "in-state".  Post college graduation, some states require 1 year of fully self-supporting** residence to be considered in-state; others require as many as 5 years (MA).

So yes, it's absolutely possible for a new college grad to have no instate residency status. 

**Fully self supporting means the applicant will be asked to prove they paid state income taxes and to produce supporting documentation to prove they have enough income to pay rent, utilities and other basic expenses. Remaining on the parents' health insurance policy is enough in some state to disqualify the student from being "fully self-suporting". 

Developing a list of appropriate schools to apply to is a critical step in having a successful application cycle. It’s as important as having strong LORs or good MCAT score.

My recommendations:

  1. all in-state publics

  2. privates where the applicant’s stats fall within the 25-75 percentiles AND the applicant fits the mission of the school

  3. OOS friendly publics where the applicant’s stats are above the in-state average AND the applicant can articulate a cogent reason for “Why this school?” OR the applicant can demonstrate a very strong “affiliation” for the state. (attending high school in the state, immediate family members live there, some states will considering attending an in-state college)

Determining “OOS friendly” is an exercise in risk-tolerance. The applicant has to decide what is OOS friendly. This may be different for different individuals. Is it an an OOS enrollment of 20%? 15%? 10%?

Thank you for the link - I had not seen this particular one - NJ applicants are getting in somewhere…:slight_smile:

We have purchased the MSAR guide and it is very helpful- it is possible that he is cherry-picking but isn’t that how a school is chosen? A number of his choices did not accept NJ students during this past cycle…that said, he does have plenty of options available to him- he simply was curious as to why NJ was excluded at a number of schools …

Have you been thru the med school application cycle before or just going thru it now like us?? Good luck if now- it is a FT job in itself…


BTDT. Twice.

D1 is PGY3 (3rd year medical resident); D2 is a MS4 (4th year medical student) who will graduate in May.

You’re going to find a lot of this process feels completely random. (It isn’t, but the process certainly isn’t transparent either.) Hang on–it’s a very bumpy ride with no guaranteed happy outcome.

BTW, Residency Match–should your son get to that point–is just as bad or worse. (Worse because the student’s fate in the hands of computer algorithm and the student only gets one Match–take it or get out of medicine.)

Ironic you should say that…i was just mentioning to him that i had thought the stressing over admissions will be over when he got in to med school- THEN i realized, RESIDENCY is even more stress!! …It will never end!!!

And don’t forget STEP, OSCE, and NMBE exams. Have a bad day for any one of those and it could abort your medical career.

And that’s just while they’re in medical school!

There are still more during residency and afterwards.

It really never ends.