Is There Still a Stigma for Community College?

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OPM 315: Is There Still a Stigma for Community College?

Session 315

Will adcoms accept community college and online classes? Or is there a stigma?

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from the Premed Hangout. Go ask your questions there and use #OPMquestion.

Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:23] The MCAT Minute

The MCAT Minute is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT.

As you are preparing your schedule as a nontraditional student – you have work, family, and other responsibilities – create a study plan over at Blueprint MCAT. Use their free study planner tool. Put in when you are planning on taking the MCAT, how much time per week you have, vacations, other days of the week, or just days that you know you won’t be studying for the MCAT. Then Blueprint MCAT will give you a study plan so you can plan the work and work the plan.

[02:08] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

Our question today revolves around online and community college courses. And more specifically, are there any sort of negative biases out there for those courses?


Humans are involved in this process and humans have biases. During the pandemic, basically, every school went online, including medical schools. 

One example is Hopkins Medical School, which is changing its policies around online courses, which is amazing.  Now, that is just their stance in public. Hopefully, behind the scenes, they’re giving equal weight to online courses.

Another example is Northwestern Medical School. They have a policy that the rigor of the courses is looked at in terms of whether or not they like your class. They have to determine whether or not your 3.7 GPA is a 3.7 GPA.

They were specifically pressured into saying that they take community college classes and they would accept them depending on the rigor of the class. But this is another way of saying they’re not really taking community college classes. They are purposefully discriminating against community college students. But on their homepage, they say they’re trying to reduce bias in medical education.

Again, those are two institutions out of 200 plus schools here in the U.S. Therefore, you can’t really paint a picture in broad strokes, and say that every school will accept online courses like Hopkins. On the flip side, you also can’t say that every school is going to discriminate against community college courses as Northwestern does.

[04:57] What to Do

Look at this process in the macro. There are schools that accept online courses. There will be schools that accept community college courses. But not every school accepts either of them.

Ultimately, there is bias out there. And it may affect your ability to get into a medical school. And that depends on the schools you’re applying to.

Therefore, try to reach out to the schools that you’re interested in and look into how they view online courses. Tell them that online classes work best for your schedule since you’re a nontrad, and you have a family and other responsibilities. Ask them if you will be viewed equally compared to students taking them at a four-year university.

'This process is run by humans, humans have bias.'Click To Tweet

We all come to the table with our own judgments and biases. And we hope that a lot of these things are taken out of the equation, but unfortunately, they’re still there. So use that to help guide you on your journey.


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