In reviewing the matriculation data for the 2017-18 cycle from AMCAS, there are several trends that can be used to inform your application strategy and increase your chances of acceptance. For last cycle, 816,153 applications were submitted by 51,680 applicants, and 21,338 were accepted. In other words, 41.3% of applicants matriculated.
AAMC’s data about applicants and matriculants can inform your strategy in several ways:
1. Percent of medical school applicants who matriculated to in-state schools
Last cycle, 60.7% of applicants matriculated to in-state schools while 76.7% of applications went to out-of-state schools. This data indicates that students should apply to the schools in the state in which they are considered residents. This link provides the percentages of students accepted in-state and out of state for each medical school. Looking at these numbers will help you decide whether it is worth applying to a school.
For example, UC Riverside, Mercer, Southern Illinois, Mississippi, East Carolina-Brody, and CUNY accepted only in-state residents. If you’re an out of state resident, it’s obviously not worth applying to these six schools. Conversely, George Washington, Yale and Georgetown accept an overwhelming majority of their students from out of state—you’re less likely to get accepted as an in-state resident. If a school accepts less than thirty percent of students in-state or out-state, depending on your status, it may not be worth your time to apply, unless you have other compelling reasons.
2. GPA Averages of Medical School Applicants
Looking at the GPA averages will help you decide whether you should apply this cycle or complete postbaccalaureate coursework first to become a more competitive applicant. The average cumulative and science GPA’s are listed in the table below for applicants and matriculates:
Average Cumulative and Science GPA’s for Allopathic MD—AMCAS
|Average Cumulative GPA||Average Science GPA|
While these numbers can be disheartening, it’s important for you to keep in mind that the medical schools do not share in the MSAR the full range of scores that they accept—only self-reported averages. If your MCAT score is higher than average, you can safely apply with a somewhat lower than average GPA—as long as you have exceptional activities and essays. The lower your numbers, the more important it is that these other areas of the application be strong.
3. MCAT Averages of Medical School Applicants
The same strategy applies here. If you have a higher than average GPA, your MCAT score can be somewhat lower than average. In the table below, the average MCAT scores for applicants and matriculates are listed.
Average MCAT scores for Allopathic MD—AMCAS
The MCAT and GPA averages above are for all schools. When you are deciding where to apply, you should compare your stats with the averages for your specific target schools and adjust accordingly.
4. Ethnicity of Medical School Applicants
If you are a person of color, I think it’s a good idea to review the data on ethnicity for students accepted at each medical school. This information is available on the MSAR website. After you click on the medical school program, click on the “Acceptance Data” on the left toolbar and scroll down to “Race and Ethnicity.” Here, you will find a breakdown of the ethnicities for the students accepted for the past two application cycles. Choosing to apply to the schools that have the highest number of acceptances of students from your particular ethnicity is a good strategy for success.
Using data from these four areas can help you create an application strategy that will work best for you. For more assistance, work with me or my colleagues to receive the personalized feedback and guidance you need to become part of the 41.3% of applicants who matriculate!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!