Domestic Pre-Health Students
Your state of residency is an important consideration when applying to medical school or other health professional school. Most schools accept more in-state applicants than those from other states and often tuition is lower for in-state students. For these reasons, many students elect to attend schools in their home state.
How different schools and different states determine your state of residency varies. For students that are claimed as a dependent on their parent’s tax return, their state of residency is typically the state in which their parents live. If your parents move during your undergraduate career it is important that you update your driver’s license and voter registration to make sure your state of residency matches your parents’ address so it is clear to admissions officers. The best way to determine residency is to contact a public medical school or health professions school in the state and ask about their residency criteria.
If you are interested in attending a school that is outside of your home state, you should check the school’s admissions policies and record of admitting out-of-state students. Some medical schools admit 25% or more out-of-state students and it may be worthwhile to apply.
Another option is to consider changing your state of residency to a state that has medical schools or professional schools that appeal to you. The requirements for changing your state of residency vary depending on the state and the school(s) to which you plan to apply. Most require you to live in the state (have a permanent address in the state) for some period of time, hold a driver’s license and voter registration in the state, and many require that you work and file state taxes in the state.
Many Kenyon graduates have attended out-of-state medical schools and you should investigate all schools that interest you regardless of where they are while compiling your list of potential schools.
International Pre-Health Students
Many health professional schools and graduate schools admit international students. However, international students face very challenging odds and unique financial burdens when applying to and attending medical school in the U.S.. Most American medical schools do not accept international students. For the schools that consider international applicants, those students make up a small percentage of their student body. For example, of the more than 20,000 students that began medical school in 2014, only 130 were international students. And those 130 students, were culled from an applicant pool of nearly 1,200 international students who applied. Source: AAMC fact table (PDF).
A conspiring factor is the fact that most medial students pay for medical school with U.S. government sponsored loans that are only available to citizens. Thus international students face the challenge of funding their medical education with private loans or personal resources. If you are an international student, it is wise to consider your options carefully before deciding on medical training the in the U.S.
For more information on the hurdles international students face with respect to medical school ask the Preprofessional Advisor or download this PDF article. The position of other health professional schools vary in how internationals students are considered as applicants. Take a close look at the opportunities that are likely to be available to you before dedicating yourself to a particular undergraduate pre-health curriculum.