Pre med in state vs OOS

Is there any benefit of doing pre med instate vs OOS?
My kid is considering University of Cincinnati vs Michigan/Vanderbilt. Apart from cost is there any advantage of instate. Does it matter to the med school in state vs OOS?

Please advise.

Doesn’t matter. Get good grades and do well on the MCAT.

Save your money for medical school.


Instate/OOS doesn’t matter for UG - but instate for med school is a big +


The only instate quality that matters for your instate medical school is the legal state of your residence at the time you apply. Going OOS to an undergrad school will not affect that status as long as you do what is needed to maintain your instate status, eg , voting residency, drivers license, tax residency etc.

1 Like

In some states. In others, PA for example, it doesn’t matter. Other states have public med schools that are far less expensive for in state students. PA’s schools don’t - or at least didn’t when my guy was applying.

Fair, @Creekland! in some states it’s a big deal, others not so much.

1 Like

Sometime there may be a small advantage for attending an instate undergrad. Typically your instate flagship and other major instate universities are the biggest feeder schools for your state med school(s). This means the adcomm members are familiar with the quality and difficulty of the coursework offered at those school. The adcomm are also familiar with instate recommenders so any strong recommendations may carry slightly more weight than from someone the application readers aren’t familiar with.

PA residents do get an instate boost at PA state med schools. Maybe not as much as some other states, but it is there.

At Pitt, for example, only 11% of the applicants are PA residents, but over 38% of the matriculants are PA residents.
The preference is even stronger at Temple (10.6% instate applicants; 46.3% matriculants) and Penn State-Hershey (9.9% and 42.8%)

And there is about $3000/year tuition discount for in-state student at Penn State, Temple and Pitt.

Agree that $3000/year is small potatoes when considering $50K/year COA, but it’s not nothing…


Besides any difference in undergraduate cost…

Many pre-meds do apply to their in-state medical schools, because they may give in-state admission preference and slightly lower medical school costs. Since medical school applications include interviews, it may be easier to get to them from nearly undergraduate colleges versus those in distant locations.

The total estimated cost of attendance at the private med school my guy attended is currently $78,647 with tuition being $59,100 of it.

Pitt’s total estimated cost of attendance is currently $87,750 for an in state student with $59,126 being tuition. (This is after the $3,000 is considered.)

Compared to other states, as with undergrad, PA is costly even for in state students.

PA residents still get a moderately strong in-state admission preference at PA’s public med schools. Since only 20% of those who gain admission to med school get multiple admission offers, applying in-state for PA residents still makes sense even if the COA is high.

Oh definitely. One should be applying anywhere they might have an advantage and apply broadly. If nothing less expensive comes up, then they’re still good med schools, even if costly.

I just wish our state would assist more with education (undergrad and med school). They say they want/need more doctors in various places, but many (like mine) head OOS to med school, fall in love with other places, and quite possibly, stay there.

1 Like

Then you (collective Pa residents you, not just you personally) need to lobby your legislature to better fund and support medical education. This is how my state got its second med school…people lobbied for it over several years and did significant organizing and fund raising to make it happen.

Lobbying and advocating with politicians also got a brand new scholarship program for instate medical students funded. The scholarship pays for up to 4 years of tuition & fees in return for working as a physician in a state identified area of need upon completion of residency. This is not loan forgiveness program; this program pays tuition & fees up front while the student is in school so they don’t need to take out loans in the first place.


It is reasonably hard to get into Vanderbilt and by no means guaranteed. Some have attended Vanderbilt free of cost with some full scholarships.

I am aware of two students who had large merit scholarships at Vanderbilt who graduated this year and are enrolled in a prestigious medical school with partial scholarships.

Good students should not be dissuaded from trying to get into schools which provide financial aid and/or merit scholarships with awareness that they should save money for med schools and not spend on undergrad.

Ultimately it comes down to how well they do at any school they attend and whether they are doing “all” it takes to create a great med school app.