Who should you trust with your medical school dreams?
By: Ryan Kelly
Our medical school admissions consulting company has a 114% success rate!
Did you just do a double take? Hmm that number seems a bit fishy…
Indeed, it’s hard to know what to look for and what information you can trust when choosing a medical school admissions consultant.
Full disclosure – we offer our own medical school admissions consulting, so we’re admittedly a little biased towards our services at Passport Admissions. We don’t have a 114% success rate, of course, but we have plenty of students and resources to be proud of.
Whichever company you choose, we urge you to consider these important questions when selecting a medical school admissions consultant.
Some consulting companies boast that they only have physician advisors – those are the people who review your application, so they should be the ones helping you prepare your application, right?
Physicians aren’t the only people who review your application, and they only offer one perspective. Sure, physicians might be helpful, but that title does not necessarily lend itself to admissions credibility.
In our opinion, the breadth and diversity of the consulting experience are the most important factors. You want consultants who have seen it all and helped a wide variety of applicants succeed.
Our advisors have decades and decades of experience, with credentials ranging from:
We’ve helped every type of candidate out there – immigrants, parents, military veterans. But even if you think you’re “average,” we’re confident we can help you tell your story.
We take umbrage with any consulting company that brags about having no editors on their staff.
Our editors are an admissions think-tank of creative power. They’re published authors in travel, non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Who better to help you craft the ins and outs of all your application essays? They can help you stand out and be memorable to the admissions committees.
We equip you with a TEAM, an advisor and editor, so that you have the best expert for each task you’ll face.
Most medical school admissions consulting companies will publish their success rate on their websites, but it usually comes with a caveat:
Often, there’s no distinction as to whether the success rates were for MD, DO, or Caribbean schools.
We have nothing against DO schools or international schools, but our success rate makes an important distinction about MD acceptances, which is the more common and competitive goal for most of our applicants.
We think our 89% MD acceptance rate is pretty darn good.
Our only caveat is that our data comes from students who completed our program.
Some consulting companies offer guaranteed acceptance to applicants who purchase their largest, most expensive packages (~$8,000-$9,000).
Others will include an asterisk that their guarantee is “contingent on qualifying criteria.”
Some don’t list any guarantee at all.
If you manage to find a guarantee, it will likely cost you a hefty fee.
We offer a guarantee on EACH of our packages. For Ultimate and Premier, we’ll work with you again next cycle for free if you don’t get in. Even our Custom package guarantees a free hour of follow-up advising to anyone who doesn’t get in and wants to reassess.
Good luck finding a better and cheaper guarantee. We’re able to offer this to students because we’re THAT confident in our ability to help our candidates succeed.
Most companies will offer a free consultation, but they’re not all built the same.
Some only offer you 15 minutes. Some don’t let you choose the date when signing up, so you have to wait to be contacted by them. Others are limited to phone calls.
The websites are usually vague about who you’ll be meeting with: “Discover how our enrollment team can help you transform your application.”
Our free consultation is different in several important ways.
We don’t limit you to 15 minutes, we’re flexible about the date/time, and you choose the advisor you want. You get to meet with the person you’ll actually be working with if you decide to enroll.
We’re clear and transparent about what’s covered at the free consultation:
The agenda is pretty simple. We talk about your goals, decide what you need help with, and answer your questions about the admissions process. It’s a get-to-know-you session, and after the meeting we can decide if we’re a good fit to work together.
Our free consultation is the most useful and user-friendly test drive you’ll find on the medical school admissions consulting market.
Most consulting companies will offer an expensive, comprehensive package alongside other smaller, more flexible ones.
The price point is important, but you should also consider how many hours of help you’ll receive, and whether the package will satisfy ALL of the many requirements for your application.
For example, secondary essays are one of the most time-consuming and challenging components of your application process. Some consulting packages only cover five schools’ worth of secondaries.
Some companies list “unlimited help” under certain categories, such as personal statement edits.
However, from our experience with applicants, a personal statement draft takes about seven hours for the brainstorming, outlining, and editing process. Consulting companies can charge more for packages with “unlimited edits,” knowing full well that most applicants will only use a certain amount of hours of labor.
With our Ultimate Package, we offer a total of 27 hours, with a careful breakdown of how that time will be allocated based on the average hours of past successful candidates.
That way, you know exactly what to expect. You’ll know how much time you’re paying for, and you’ll only pay for the actual time you use with our staff.
We also offer a few bonuses that you don’t typically find in other consulting companies, particularly in their cheaper or middle-tier packages.
Mock Admissions Committee – When your primary materials are finished, they are reviewed by an outside advisor (beyond your normal team) so that you can get a crucial, objective second opinion that simulates a real admissions committee.
Monthly Admissions Classes – We offer webinars that typically cost $25 to outsiders, but you get them ALL for FREE under our Ultimate Package – these events cover everything from personal statements to interviews.
Whether you choose Passport Admissions or not, we hope that this guide was helpful for you in making your consulting decisions!
Have any questions about Passport Admissions or medical school admissions consulting in general?
Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll respond to you personally.