Yale or State Flagship for pre-med? Please help. :)

<p>I have read the posts that say go where you can get the best grades, least debt, etc. But doctors here are telling us different so many different stories. I hope someone can help!</p>

<p>Assuming cost will be the same (due to receiving need based or merit based aid), would it be more beneficial for a student to attend Yale or a State Flagship for pre-med? And let's say upon graduation from college, the mcat score is the same, but the GPA from Yale is 3.5 and State Flagship is 3.8. How will that impact medical school admission? Thank you!</p>

<p>GPA of 3.5 is not good from any place IMO. Also, it is good to have UG for free (Merit awards) to enable family to pay for Med. School, unless there is no concern for money at all. Third, assumption that state UG will have easier classes is not correct. My D. (currently Med. student) went to state UG in our state (the same as yours) after graduating #1 from private prep. HS. She was challenged very much and she did not even skip some first science classes despite of 5 on AP exams. She still was abloe to get straight A's but it was not a walk in a park by any measure with good number of valedictorians from private HS's falling out of pre-med track because of academic challenges in the very first semster of freshman year. Many of these kids could have gone to Ivy's. Do not assume that 3.5 at Yale would be 3.8 at state UG. I do not know what it takes to get 3.5 at Yale, however I know that it takes enormous effort to get 3.8 at state UG (I am not talking about flagship either, just any UG, since I heard similar stories from very top caliver HS'ers who ended up going to our local college).
BTW, D. had no problem getting accepted to several Med. School including top 20s. However, she did not apply to any very top Med. Schools.</p>

<p>If you don't mind me asking, can you tell me your D's GPA and MCAT? If you don't want to share that info, I understand. Or you can PM me if you'd like. Thank you again for your input.</p>

<p>Also, just to clarify, when I say State Flagship, I am not talking about The Ohio State University. It is a State Flagship in another state (if that matters).</p>

<p>Also, please don't factor cost into our scenario. We are keeping our costs low and both schools would cost about the same (receiving need-based aid at Yale and merit-based aid at State Flagship). Actually making Yale a tad bit less expensive (but not enough lower to sway a decision either way).</p>

<p>Any other opinions?</p>

<p>Thank you again! :)</p>

<p>D1 (now a med student) attended our state flagship (also not OSU...); D2 (senior pre med) attends a Top 30 research U (on merit). I haven't seen any significant difference in preparation or opportunities between the 2 schools for pre meds. In fact, looking at where students from both schools have been accepted into medical school over the past 5 years, I don't see much difference in <em>where</em> students end up either. Most graduates attend their state medical school[s]; some (in about equal numbers) attend prestige (top 20) medical schools.</p>

<p>While an Ivy name on the diploma may convey a slight advantage at some medical schools during the application process, I'm not it's worth picking a school just for the name. It's much better to choose a school that: 1) provides the best fit for the student and 2) incurs the least debt.</p>

<h1>1 is important because approx 2/3 of all freshman pre-meds end up never applying to medical school. (They change their minds for a wide variety of reasons--not all of them academic.) Also because college is 4 years of their life they will never get back. It's s time of growth and exploration and change. If a student is unhappy or all academics all the time, then they are missing out on growth opportunities and important life experiences.</h1>

<h1>2 is important because medical school is expensive and there is almost NO financial aid available except for loans. (And starting this year, federal loans for med students will only be unsubsidized making med school an even more expensive proposition.) Many (all?) private medical schools will expect a family contribution through age 30 or older. If parental fund have been tapped out by undergrad, then there's nothing left to help with medical school expenses.</h1>

<p>Feel free to PM me with questions or for details.</p>

<p>Middle son is also currently a first year med student, as the two other posters children are currently. He too would advise to be very mindful of the finances.</p>

<p>He however, chose differently. He too had the choice of an ivy and his state flagship (UNC). Both same cost. He went with the ivy. He thought possibly pre-med but was not concrete in that decision. Wanted time to think, observe, experience and figure it all out.</p>

<p>After graduating from the ivy with a non-science major but having completed all pre-med requirements and his MCAT, he took a gap year in which he went to the state school and completed 2 science majors and 1 science minor in that year.</p>

<p>HUGE difference and I do mean HUGE. He had between 22-23 semester units at the state school, went to numerous med school interviews, completed research while maintaining a 4.0. Granted he was a D1 athlete at his ivy but the differences in degree of difficulty between the two left no comparison.</p>

<p>His experience at both was taken into consideration when weighing which med school to attend. Again finances did come into play. The ivy's have a unit loan which they build their FA packages off of. Other schools do have some scholie money for med school, Penn, Chicago, and there are outside scholarship sources. This time he opted for the state flagship for med school, financially they had the better package, better than the unit loan.</p>

<p>The student in question needs to evaluate the schools with an eye to "fit". If the student decides medicine isn't right then where will they thrive? Especially if monies are the same.</p>

<p>Good luck!!</p>

<p>Kat</p>

<p>One data point: DS went to an Ivy and in the end, he had no problem in getting into a medical school. Some (but not all) CCers here did think the school's name might give him some boost. He was not a fully committed premed early in his college years, but took premed classes on the side any way, and did have good stats before application though.</p>

<p>Sometimes I think the rank from your graduating class, or more specifically, the rank among all the premeds from your graduating class of your college, is more important than the GPA. At the end of the day, each medical school would more likely only take a certain number of premed students (more specifically, a certain number from each category of a certain "trait") from your college, no matter what college you graduate from. (Granted, the admission rate depends on schools. Some medical school may take up to 10 matriculated students from college A, but only 2 matriculated students from college B, year after year. If you are ranked, say 80th, among your premed graduating class in college A, or are ranked 20th among premed peers from college B, the chance for getting into this medical school is likely lower. So pay attention to where you rank among your peers in the same school in general, rather than just your GPA.)</p>

<p>If our family went back 4/5 years and needed to make the decision again, we probably would make the same decision. (It does not mean the students from a flagship state university would not be equally sucessful -- There are multiple roads to Rome.)</p>

<p>If I were in OP's position, I'd push for Yale without a second thought. I have two S's premed in two of the toughest colleges for good grades -- S1 will be applying this year. When he was weighing between colleges, the only thing he and I considered was how good an environment/quality of his peers/education will be and how much it will cost me. It turned out, both the private (Ivy) and State schools costed roughly the same (a few k lower at State). We would do exactly the same given the same choices. If the cost of attendance is not vastly different between Yale and state flagship, I would send him to Yale without hesitation. Either way, it is a good problem to have. ;-)</p>

<p>D1 was at UMichigan fr year and transferred to Y as a soph. Money was an issue since she was considering med school in the future and she graduated a year before the FA policy changes at the top schools. She was on a full tuition, R&B scholarship at UM, while the privates, including Y, left a large EFC to pay. After the FA changes, her package was substantially better, but was still more expensive than UM. </p>

<p>She had a similar experience to kat's S. While she was able to maintain good grades at Y, her feeling was that she had to work harder due to being in the mid-range of her cohort rather than in the top like she was at UM.</p>

<p>Cost is the same? Yale without a doubt unless you really like the state school more and are only keeping Yale in the picture for its prestige.</p>

<p>Just wanted to chime in that I agree with the majority opinion here too. Pick the best overall fit for sure. If finances are an issue (and they aren't for you), you might consider sacrificing fit for finances.</p>

<p>The thing is, kids who are smart enough and well-rounded enough to get into Yale, are kids who are almost certainly going to do well regardless of where they go. They're the kids that almost certainly care deeply about school, enjoy learning, and have a knack for difficult classes. Can they find those challenges at state schools? Sure (and many people here--myself included--can attest to that). Will they have to work a little harder? Probably. Does the name on their diploma matter? Somewhat, but not enough to make the decision a concrete one (in my opinion). </p>

<p>I think it's important to take a variety of factors into account. You should check out Mike's 10 steps to choosing a premed school--it's stickied at the top. One point where he and I disagree is distance from home. Mike's a big supporter of going far away for undergrad (something about establishing yourself and having a real adventure), whereas I think it can be a good idea to stay near home. </p>

<p>For me, finances were a medium-issue (I'm the eldest of 4!), and I actually ended up picking my school because it made the most financial sense. In the end, it was a fantastic fit for me--a good distance from home, a well-balanced student body, plenty of opportunities to succeed, and a challenging curriculum that I sought out. Since I have every intention of staying in my home state for the rest of my life, it made sense for me to stay here for med school too--it's great to learn about the environment of health care in my state, how people from my state cope with various conditions (and what they're more prone to), what factors into health care policy here, and to begin forming a professional network as a student. I'm also interested in public health and community development, so having continuity in the work I'm doing in those arenas was important to me too (in choosing a medical school). </p>

<p>I don't know if I would have found that had I gone far away for undergrad or chosen a different school for med school. </p>

<p>The point I'm trying to make is: it really depends--mostly on what your kiddo's personality is like and what his career goals are. </p>

<p>Does he see himself as a big research doc in an area far away from you? Does he see himself more as a clinician who lives near enough to his family that he can spend holidays with you and help you and your family as necessary? Somewhere in the middle? At this point, I think it's totally premature to be focusing on what area of medicine he wants to go into (or even if he wants medicine at all), but I think it's totally reasonable to have a general goal for the future.</p>

<p>Please see my post in answer to your similar question in the "General Premed Advice" thread pinned above.</p>

<p>A 3.8 from a state college is not very good for medical school because it is below most of the median GPAs for enrollees in most medical schools, unless such GPA is accompanied with a stellar MCAT (>37). A 3.5 GPA from Yale will get you into somewhere as long as MCAT is decent, but probably not the top medical schools. Most of the spots below median are for URMs or graduates from tough elite schools. State schools are rarely considered unless you have significant connection or extraordinary EC.</p>

<p>
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State schools are rarely considered unless you have significant connection or extraordinary EC.

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</p>

<p>Do you have anything to back that up?</p>

<h1>12's likely based on assumptions and stereotypes, not hard facts. Clearly hasn't been through this process before--because if s/he had, s/he'd know that's flat out false.</h1>

<p>(And for what it's worth, the average GPA of matriculants is slightly >3.6. A 3.8 GPA from any institution is competitive at any school--whether one is accepted to any school is another game entirely. Goes without saying that higher MCAT scores are more competitive. But I can guarantee you, from personal experience, that the quality of your experiences and recommendations is a huge component of your application--and most people here will argue that it's more important than your pedigree.)</p>

<p>wayoutwestmom is spot-on. For the same money, pick the one he likes best. Personally, for the same money, I'd strongly consider private, bcos I fully believe that they offer more perqs, but that's just my $0.02. </p>

<p>And unlike Kristin's pov, I'm big on going away to college. It's just one more part of the life experience that wayoutestmom speaks about in her post. But that is also a personal thing. As a parent, I wanted my kids to go away and meet others from different states and sub-cultures, not to mention internationals.</p>

<p>For the same money go to Yale- no second thought here.</p>

<p>For the same cost, I would strongly lean to the private school, IF is feels like a good fit to him. I think the flexibility and attention one can receive at a private school can make the experience & education much better. At the very least, less of a bureaucratic hassle! Plus the opportunity to connect with profs for LORs is much better as are the EC possibilities.</p>

<p>Another consideration is reputation of your state flagship- are you talking Berkeley, UVA, MI, or a lesser known school. Is your DS planning for med school in your state? If so, the state school is fine if that is a better fit, but if he wants to consider med school OOS, it would be nice if your flagship was well respected across the country.</p>

<p>^^That's an excellent point. Supposedly, UMich Med loves it's own undergrads. (Yes, I see the residency connection, as well.)</p>

<p>I think anyone who confidently states what the effect is of school prestige on medical school admissions overstates what one can know. I have heard and read of specific example of medical school admissions officers stating that they did adjust GPAs based on the quality of the undergrad. On the other hand, I suspect some schools do not. The point is, it likely varies from school to school. Furthermore, as many posters have correctly stated, science classes attract the best at most schools, and you cannot predict with any accuracy the GPA impact of going to a less pretigious school. For some, it may boost GPA, for others, not. </p>

<p>My view, consequently, is that one should not choose an undergrad based on some perceived thought that the GPA earned, or the prestige name, will give a boost in medical school admissions. One should pick the school that matches for fit and finance. Getting into medical school is a long and tough haul, and the most important thing is that you place yourself in an environment where you will thrive, be happy, and reach your maximnum potential.</p>

<p>???</p>

<p>Has your D been accepted to Yale? or is this all speculation (including the FA offer)?</p>

<p>Is Ohio State Univ the flagship that is in contention?</p>

<p>From another thread, it looks like you're still waiting to hear if accepted. </p>

<p>*Cost is the same? Yale without a doubt unless you really like the state school more and are only keeping Yale in the picture for its prestige. *</p>

<p>On one hand, I'd agree with that. </p>

<p>However, on the other hand, if this student's stats aren't high for Yale, I'd be concerned that the student's resulting GPA at Yale might end up being lower than a 3.5....since the classes will be filled with stronger students. </p>

<p>Anyway....if this student hasn't been accepted to Yale, and subsequently isn't, then this may be all moot.</p>