Factors Affecting Medical School Admission Decisions for Minority and Majority Applicants

A Comparative Study of Ten Schools

by Albert P. Williams, Wendy D. Cooper, C. Lee


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Examines and compares admissions processes of ten medical schools from 1973 through 1975 for majority and minority applicants. Logit analysis is used to estimate weights given to GPA, MCAT, state of residence, and so on in deciding which applicants to admit. Science MCAT was the most heavily weighted component of the standardized test for majority applicants, followed by Verbal and Quantitative MCATS. Almost all schools favor majority applicants from their parent university's undergraduate school, and being a home state resident always improves admission chances. Undergraduate science grades and Science MCAT scores were heavily weighted in minority admissions decisions but there was no consistent weighting of Verbal or Quantitative MCAT. There is strong evidence of affirmative action: Minority applicants with better than a 50-50 chance of admission would rarely have had a better than a 1 in 20 chance of admission if evaluated by majority standards.

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