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About uncharted1114

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  1. To get your I-20 (the document you show at the US border to legally enter as a student) you have to prove to your school's international office that you have the means to pay your cost of attendance for just your first year. This can be through a combination of financial aid offers, scholarships, bank statements, etc. However, schools can require international students to put as much as the 4 year cost of attendance into an escrow account to matriculate. I've found this to be common for schools that accept internationals but don't give any financial aid. It's also up to the school whether you pay 4 years of tuition upfront or if you're billed every year/semester/quarter/etc.
  2. At my school, SketchyMicro/SketchyPharm is another beloved resource in addition to UFAP.
  3. I would double-check this. I was accepted in the 2014-2015 cycle and I got close to a full-ride based on need, so unless their policy has changed recently, they have a ton of financial aid available for all students (including Canadians).
  4. I went to a top US school for undergrad and decided I wanted to stay in the US because of friends, relationships, less snow and cold, etc. I was also in a weird position with my MCAT/GPA/school reputation where I was very competitive for a lot of top US med schools but not very competitive for Canadian schools. I had planned on applying to at least a couple of Canadian schools but I had a lot of interview offers at US schools by the time I would have submitted my app so I didn't bother.
  5. You have a pretty decent shot with your MCAT if you can keep up your GPA and have a strong personal statement. Research seems strong. Extracurriculars are fine; nobody cares about what you did in high school for medical school admissions, only undergrad. Maybe try to get more shadowing in if you can. When I applied a couple of years ago, I applied to pretty much every top school that offered need- or merit-based aid to Canadians, and this was the list I came up with. I'd recommend you apply to all of them if you're serious about going down the US school route. My list was very northeast-heavy since that's where I wanted to end up geographically, so there could be other schools on this list that I'm missing. Offers need-based aid: - Harvard - Stanford - Hopkins - Columbia - Yale - Duke - Vanderbilt - Mayo - Dartmouth - Northwestern Chance for merit-based aid or will waive escrow requirement for Canadians: - UChicago - UPenn - Cornell - Brown - NYU - Emory - Boston University - WashU I wouldn't even bother with UCSF since they essentially never accept internationals as a state school and they won't give you any financial aid. You might try UCLA though, since they offer a significant number of full-tuition scholarships that internationals are supposedly eligible for. I don't know anything about MD/PhD programs except that Harvard, Dartmouth, and UPenn will fund international students.
  6. Northwestern is pretty friendly towards internationals. I was accepted there when I applied a couple of years ago, along with another Canadian friend of mine (both of us did undergrad in the US like you). Their FAQ page says that there are 7 international students matriculated into the first year class.
  7. I wouldn't be so sure about that. Hopkins undergrad is still well-regarded it not notoriously difficult and admissions committees take that into account. Besides, a 3.83 is at or slightly below the median accepted GPA for most top 20 schools. I applied to about 20 schools, almost all of which ranked in the top 30. Basically, if it was a decent school and if there was a chance I could get financial aid or a merit scholarship, I applied.
  8. Other than your lack of any long-term ECs, I don't see anything that's stopping you stats-wise from being reasonably competitive for top-tier USMD schools. I also graduated from a US undergrad with a slightly lower GPA and similar MCAT and got interviews from several top schools in my cycle (including Hopkins, although they rejected me post-interview...)
  9. No, you would spend your 4 years of the MD program on an F-1 student visa, and if you can find a residency that will sponsor you for an H-1B, then you can extend your F-1 for up to 1 year to cover your internship year through Optional Practical Training (OPT) while you apply for the H-1B. I do not know what the process is for the J-1, but if you want to be able to practice in the US after residency, then you need to get into a program that will sponsor an H-1B visa since the J-1 requires you to return to your home country at the conclusion of your residency training.
  10. That's not how a GPA conversion works. You need to convert each individual course grade to a 4.0 scale and then average out all of those values. For example, if your 80% average is made up of one 65% and one 95%, then those would convert to a 1.0 and 4.0, and the average of those would then be a 2.5 GPA. Look at the bottom of the last page for the conversions: https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fastly.net/production/media/filer_public/10/ab/10ab9407-7134-4477-9fc9-140d8acb35af/amcas_grade_conversion_guide.pdf
  11. I was in your exact shoes a few years ago--I was a Canadian high school senior who wanted to become a doctor and my dream undergrad was one of the Ivies. I also didn't know whether or not I wanted to go to medical school in the US or Canada, but I was also worried that attending an Ivy would put me at a disadvantage in the Canadian admissions process. After I got into my dream school, I actually emailed a few Canadian med schools to ask them if I would be at any disadvantage by attending a US undergrad, and the couple of responses I got said that for the purposes of Canadian admissions, a US degree = a Canadian degree, which was reassuring. There were some other difficulties that I would later learn about, but I'll get to those in a bit. During undergrad I decided that I was going apply to both Canadian and US medical schools to maximize my chances, and while it is true that international students overall have a more difficult time applying to US schools, coming from a school like Yale pretty much puts you on equal academic footing (or above) the rest of your US citizen+US undergrad counterparts in your application. School prestige matters in the US admissions process, and if you can manage to earn at least a 3.8 GPA and do well on the MCAT (at least 97th percentile), then you'll be academically competitive for pretty much any US school that accepts internationals/Canadians. I know for a fact that around 70-90% of international Yale students (which includes Canadians and non-Canadians) who apply for medical school in the US get accepted into at least one school, which is much higher than the national average international student acceptance rate of 11%. The most difficult part of being able to attend a US medical school as a Canadian with a US degree is actually being able to afford it. A small handful of schools do provide need- or merit-based financial aid for international/Canadian students, but most of them are top-tier and difficult to get into for anyone, so you do have to be realistic about your chances when deciding to apply. I don't know what the current economic climate will look like in four years, but you probably wouldn't be able to get enough Canadian bank loans to afford going to a US med school if they didn't give you any financial aid or scholarships. If you do choose to apply back to Canada with your US degree, then the biggest difficulty that you'll probably face is getting and maintaining a GPA that will make you competitive for Canadian schools since their admissions process is much more focused on raw numbers. At a place like Yale, you'd be in classes and taking tests with ridiculously hard working students, and not everyone will get an A at the end of the day. Your Yale 3.8 is great by US medical school standards, but doesn't put you at any advantage over any other Canadian undergrad student who also got the same 3.8 on paper. Additionally, you probably wouldn't be eligible for any weighted GPA scheme that some schools like UofT use for their admissions process, so there's less room for mediocre academic performance and learning to adjust as a freshman, for example. Anyway, the bottom line is that it's definitely doable as a Canadian to go to a top US undergrad and be competitive for both US and Canadian medical schools. I got a 3.8 from a top Ivy and scored in the 99th percentile on my MCAT and got interviews at many top US schools, a few of which gave me need-based aid as a Canadian when I was accepted. I didn't even bother applying to Canadian schools during my cycle since I had a handful of great interviews lined up by the time I would have sent in my OMSAS. I also know of several other Canadian pre-meds at my undergrad and they're all at amazing schools in both the US and Canada, and many of them had the privilege of being able to choose between schools in both countries.
  12. http://www.internationalgme.org/Resources/Pubs/Donnon%20et%20al%20(2007)%20Acad%20Med.pdf Results: Medical school performance measures from 11 studies and medical board licensing examinations from 18 studies, for a total of 23 studies, were selected. A random-effects model meta-analysis of weighted effects sizes ® resulted in the biological sciences subtest as the best predictor of medical school performance in the preclinical years (r 0.32 95% CI, 0.21– 0.42) and on the USMLE Step 1 (r 0.48 95% CI, 0.41– 0.54). PS was the next strongest predictor, VR was the weakest (not including the now defunct writing section).
  13. As a Canadian who did a US undergrad and is now at a US med school, I'd say that if you can rewrite your MCAT, get a more balanced score, and manage to score in the 97th percentile overall (518 new exam, 36 old exam), then you'd be competitive for almost all of the US med schools that accept Canadians. I don't think most US schools place a lot of emphasis on CARS since the old VR section is the least powerful predictor of how you perform once you're in medical school (ie. USMLE scores).
  14. I was a Canadian citizen when I applied, and I applied to 10 schools that gave need-based aid to internationals, 7 schools where international students were eligible for merit scholarships, and 1 school where the 4-year escrow requirement was waived specifically for Canadians. All of those schools are arguably top-tier. Unfortunately, need-based aid is almost non-existent for mid-tier schools, and if it does exist, the amounts given are probably very low. Honestly, I don't think it's always true that it's easier to get into a Canadian school compared to a top-tier American school, especially since most Canadian schools care mostly about numbers whereas the American admissions process is more holistic. Personally, I knew that given my GPA breakdown (mediocre freshman year dragged me down), I would have been out of the running for many Canadian schools right from the start, so I didn't even both applying through OMSAS. But I attended a top US undergrad college and had a great MCAT score and great extracurriculars to back up my application, so I knew that overall, I was competitive for many top-tier American schools. I also know of a few other Canadians now attending top US medical schools (on financial aid) who had a hard time applying through the Canadian system but had great success with American schools. This isn't to say that you should ignore the other advice given in this thread--you haven't really provided any stats where anybody can judge your candidacy, you haven't taken the MCAT yet so you don't know how competitive you'll be for either Canadian or American schools, and no matter what, you have to be very realistic about which schools you apply to. Notice how I didn't apply to any school that didn't have the possibility of at least some kind of need- or merit-based aid, because you don't want to end up in a situation where you have no Canadian acceptances and your only American acceptance is requiring you to put $350K USD in escrow before you matriculate. And even if you do get into a school that does give you some kind of aid, it might not be enough to make attending the school financially smart or feasible. My advice would be to first take your MCAT and then think long and hard about where you might be competitive, and if you think you have a shot at a top US school that gives aid, then you can revisit threads like these for advice.
  15. There are a small handful of top-tier private schools that offer need- or merit-based aid to Canadians, which means that you have to be a competitive applicant to even consider them (generally a 3.8+ GPA, 97th+ percentile MCAT, etc.) If you did get into one of these schools, the amount that you could get for financial aid will vary depending on your own personal financial situation as well as the school's policies and resources. Some schools use the unit loan system, where you are required to take out loans as part of your financial aid package but those loans are essentially capped (the loan is either provided by the school or you have to show that you have an loan at a bank). Other schools don't have a set threshold for their loans so the proportion of grants vs loans in your package can vary. I attend a US school and I posted about this in another thread in case you haven't seen it: http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/91077-financial-aid-at-a-top-20-school-in-america-for-canadians/?p=1009715
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