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Articles / Applying to College / The Dean Does NOT Assess "Chances"

The Dean Does NOT Assess "Chances"

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Oct. 8, 2010

Question:What are my chances of getting into CUNY Brooklyn's BA/MD (8 year program) or even the Sophie Davis BA/MD medical program?


-about a 96-97 GPA unweighted (jr year scores arent added yet but most likely to stay close to that area)

-after the end of senior year I will have finished at least 8 AP classes and successful in them

-top 10th in rank

-hold many positions in clubs and student government

-the only this is my SAT scores are just okay---about 1950-2050

"The Dean" no longer does "chances" assessments. I would be at it 24/7, if I were to try to respond to all such questions. My inbox is flooded with 'em, and, in most cases, it's irresponsible to make such assessments based on the minimal information that arrives with an "Ask the Dean" question.

What I will tell you, however is that BA/MD programs are excruciatingly competitive ... far more so than the host institutions themselves. SAT scores, along with grades and other factors, usually play a key role. I remember visiting Drew University several years ago and discussing their combo med program with an admissions official. He told me that the mid-point SAT scores for freshmen at that time were just under 1200 (for Critical Reading and Math only), but the typical student admitted into the direct-entry medical program was more likely to have scores in the neighborhood of 1500(!)

In addition to grade, course rigor, and class rank, other factors that will play a prominent role in your BA/MD verdict include your demonstrated interest in medicine (e.g., through volunteer work, paid work, research projects) and your ability to convince admission committees that you have compelling reasons to pursue this field and are completely committed to it. Leadership positions in school organizations have some positive impact on BA/MD admission outcomes, but medical-related activities are more critical. (If your school leadership jobs are medical- or science-related, that's a plus, but real-world experience is important, too.)

Note also that some colleges offer an early admission medical school option for students who are already in college. So if you continue to stay focused on a medical career but aren't admitted to a BA/MD program straight from high school, you can still receive early assurance of medical school acceptance as a college junior, if you attend a university that offers this option and are successful there.

If you want a free assessment of your admission chances to any college on your list, I suggest that you try the College Confidential “Chances" forum. See: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/Granted, the opinions you receive will be highly unofficial, but CC members do have a good track record when it comes to honing in on both strengths and deficiencies.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a paid, professional assessment of your admission odds, consider a College Karma Stats Evaluation. Once you have paid the fee ($150) and completed the Stats Form questionnaire, you will receive a thorough assessment of your admission chances at every college you named on the form along with suggestions on how to improve those chances. You will also get a list of other colleges to consider that should meet your academic profile and preferences. For more information, go to http://www.collegekarma.com/college_counseling/college_counseling.htm and scroll down to where you see “Stats Eval" near the top of the page.

So, even though “The Dean" has retired from the “Chances" business, I hope that this information has been somewhat helpful nonetheless.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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