Alexa Mieses, Medical Student, 10:42PM Oct 28, 2013
The medical school admissions process is not as holistic as many admissions officers and premed advisors lead you to believe. I guess you can say I have a bee in my bonnet when it comes to this issue because I think it's important to be forthcoming with premedical students. I hate when premedical students are misguided by those who are supposed to support and encourage them!
By completing the application process myself, I learned about all the not-so-publicized things that influence medical school admissions. I even wrote a book that in part addressed this issue. While my observations were simply my observations, several physicians and medical school admissions staff members have confirmed that my observations are indeed correct.
Now hear this: George Washingon (GW) University openly admitted to placing poorer students on the waitlist instead of admitting them. This was reported in The Hatchet, an independent GW student publication. The report revealed that George Washington's medical school takes into account an applicant's ability to pay tuition when it comes time to admit or waitlist the student.
This practice is not only unethical but contrary to what is advertised by medical schools. In the case of GW, the sad part is that not only were academically qualified students placed on the waitlist for inability to pay, but less than qualified students were admitted because they could afford to pay. Practices such as these not only discriminate against students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, but give less than qualified students an opportunity to care for other human beings.
Despite the findings published in this recent report, I will remain optimistic. Not all medical schools are like this. Some medical schools truly are "need blind" and do not consider the financial status of a student. Premedical students should simply be aware of this practice and keep it in mind when their medical school acceptances (or rejections) begin to roll in.