DIY Postbac or Second Bachelor’s Degree

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Session 161

Our student today is trying to decide if they should do a DIY Postbac at a CC or take loans to get a second bachelor’s degree. How to decide what is right?

The questions here are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum. Also, check out all the other podcasts we have on MedEd Media Network.

[01:02] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

“Hello everyone! I’m having a difficult time making some school-related decisions and wanted to get some additional opinions. Sorry that this is a long post. Thank you all in advance for any insights or advice you might have!

A little background information. I have a BA in psychology from a public university from 2014. I completed general biology 1 & 2, general chemistry 1 & 2, and general physics 1 at a not so great post-bacc from a private university that took a big chunk of my federal aggregate loan limit. I did well in those courses (3.75) but my GPA from my psychology degree was around a 2.75. Giving me a cumulative and science GPA of 3.3.

I have been accepted to a private university to complete a second bachelors in biology with organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, microbiology, and a research requirement with the possibility of summer research. It would be a 2 year program at minimum. The 4-yr university would require private loans of about 20K per year.

The community college would essentially be free due to a tuition scholarship and my family said they would help cover any additional costs such as parking and textbooks. I would be able to take organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and microbiology. I need to decide soon if I should complete the 2nd bachelors at a 4-yr university or go to a community college and do the DIY post-bacc.

Should I do a free 1 year DIY post-bacc at a community college or a loan-heavy 2 year 2nd bachelors at a private university?”

[03:00] Does School Matter?

I almost never focus on the exact thing you do. The ultimate goal is to determine that you can prevail, that you can succeed in taking classes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a community college, private university, or a public university. It doesn’t matter.

'You need to do well in your classes. That's how you do well - community college, private, public - doesn't matter where they are.'Click To Tweet

[03:53] Getting a Pushback from the Admissions Committee

Sure, you could get a pushback from the admissions committee, but it doesn’t really matter. Because if they’re asking that question, you’re at the interview. And when you’re at the interview, they’ve looked at your stuff. They just want to make sure that you have the right answer for why you did your classes at a community college.

And if you can say that when it came down between deciding between community college versus going back to a four-year university to complete more classes, it really came down to a financial decision. Tell them that you were able to go to community college for free and you had the support of your friends and family. And if you went to the four-year university and completed a second Bachelor’s degree, you would have a lot more loans and it just wasn’t worth it.

'They want to make sure that you have a good reason why you're doing what you're doing.'Click To Tweet

They want to make sure you have a good reason for applying to medical school and if you can state that then you’re fine. Free is definitely better than lots of loans. You’re getting the classes.

'Do not take your prereqs online. It will hinder you from potentially getting interviews and being a strong candidate at schools.' Click To Tweet

[05:40] Final Thoughts

Keep pushing forward. Keep getting those A’s and keep improving that GPA.


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