In reviewing the matriculation data for the 2016-17 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, 830,016 applications were submitted by 53,042 applicants, and 21,030 were accepted. In other words, 39.6% of applicants matriculated. AAMC data provided about applicants and matriculates can inform your strategy in several ways:
1. Percent of applicants who matriculated to in-state schools
Last cycle, 60.6 % of applicants matriculated to in-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 to apply.
2. GPA Averages
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 Sci GPA|
While these numbers can be disheartening, it’s important for you to keep in mind that the medical schools do not share 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
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 Accepted
If you are a person of color, I think it’s a good idea to review the data on ethnicity for matriculates, available at this link. Howard, University of Florida and Xavier accepted the highest percentage of African American students. University of Oklahoma, University of New Mexico, and University of Arizona accepted the highest number of Native American Students. University of Puerto-Rico, University of Florida and Florida International accepted the highest number of Latino students. 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, contact me or my colleagues for a consultation to receive the personalized feedback and guidance you need to become part of the 39.6% 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!
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