Applying to med school is an overwhelming experience. For starters, there’s choosing which med schools best fit your needs and wants – for example, do you want to stay in-state or go out-of-state? The opportunity to live in a new place and broaden your horizons seems tempting. However, there are definitely benefits to attending an in-state school.
Benefits of Staying In-State for Med School
• The data show that in-state students have higher acceptance rates at many, if not most, public med schools in their home state or in states in which they have a “connection.” “Connection” differs from school to school. Some smaller states, such as Utah and Idaho, have reciprocity agreements. Other states that don’t have medical schools partner with a state that does, for example Montana, Alaska, Idaho, and Wyoming partner with the state of Washington, which has several medical schools.
• In-state tuition can be significantly less than out-of-state tuition at public medical schools.
• Med school is stressful. Being close to family and friends, who provide a support system and occasional TLC, can be helpful.
Here are several examples of how the stats differ:
Where the Med School Acceptance Rate Data Comes From
The acceptance rates shown above are calculated based on data from the 2019 U.S. News medical school rankings released in March 2018.
The descriptive terms used in the In-State Advantage column are based on the ratio of the In-State Acceptance Rate to the Out-of-State Acceptance Rate as follows:
• Ratio of 4 or greater: “Whopping”
• Ratio of 2 to 4: “Significant”
• Ratio of 1.5 to 2: “Modest”
• Ratio of 1.25 to 1.5: “Negligible”
• Ratio under 1.25: “None”
The following three programs were not included: George Washington University (all of the applicants were from outside D.C.) and University of CA at Riverside and East Carolina University (Brody), because neither had any out-of-state applicants.
What Does the In-state vs. Out-of-State Difference Mean for Medical School Applicants?
Here are two key takeaways to consider in your decision-making:
• Clearly, for the overwhelming majority of applicants, it simply makes sense from an admissions perspective to apply to in-state programs unless those programs really don’t align with your interests and goals.
• In choosing to apply to out-of-state schools, apply strategically and mostly to those where the in-state advantage is in the modest, negligible and none ranges. Avoid those where it is significant, and unless you believe in wishing upon a star, forget those where it’s whopping. The application fees alone should discourage those applications!
For more information, visit our complete list of medical school acceptance rates for in-state vs. out-of-state applicants.
Work one-on-one with an expert advisor to help you choose – and then apply successfully! – to the best medical schools for YOU. Learn more about our Medical School Admissions Consulting Services here.
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