MCAT & Medical School Admissions

How Many Medical Schools Should I Apply To?

Posted by InGenius Prep on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

medical school applications

So, you have decided to go to medical school. You rocked your premed program, strengthened your CV, and passed the MCAT with flying colors. You now reach the moment to decide where to submit your applications and how many medical schools should you apply to.

Deciding which medical school to apply to is an extremely important part of the application process. Moreover, it can really be challenging, expensive, and time consuming. Not only do you need to identify which schools will be able to provide you with your academic needs and educational expectations, but you will also have to match your qualifications with the school’s standards. 

Considerations when Applying to Medical School

  1. Applying to med school costs a lot of money. The AMCAS costs $160 for the first application, and $33 for succeeding applications. Thus, applying to ten schools will cost you $457 for the AMCAS application alone. In addition, you will also have to submit secondary applications that often times cost money, too. Expect to pay at least $150 for secondary applications. 
  2. Applying to med school can be time consuming. After submitting your AMCAS application, it can take several weeks for your application to be verified and released to the schools you have applied to. The hard work continues when you are expected to complete your secondary applications, which require new essays, forms, and documents to be submitted. Finally, the interview process will also take a lot of your time and energy.
  3. You can never be too sure about your applications to med school, as acceptance rates are extremely low. With this in mind, make sure that you submit your applications to a good number of medical schools to guarantee that you will get into one, including reach schools, safety schools, and fit schools. While you want to attend a top-tier medical school, as everyone else does, it is smart to have a fall back option in case you will not make it.

So, How Many Medical Schools Should You Apply to?

As a general rule, it is safe to apply to 10 to 15 medical schools composed of fit schools where your qualifications are most appropriate for their program, safety schools where your scores and GPA are above the average of students admitted and reach schools where getting in would be a stretch. This combination can give you a good chance of getting into one or several medical schools in the US. Lower number of applications may not guarantee success, while more than 20 applications may imply that you have no application strategy or you have not done your research about the schools and universities you applied to.

If you are not sure which medical schools to apply to or if you need help perfecting your med school application, consult with an InGenius Prep medical school admissions expert.

This article was written by an admissions expert at InGenius Prep.


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