Admission to medical school is fiercely competitive and applicants with lower undergraduate GPAs face seriously difficulty finding a spot. United States medical schools admit an average of just 8.3 percent of all applicants according to U.S. News and World Report, so even the least competitive schools still get to pick the cream of the crop. Applicants with below-average grades but superb test scores, however, can secure themselves a place at many medical schools. Four medical schools are especially open to accepting students with lower grades but solid MCAT scores.
Meharry Medical College
Located in Nashville, Tenn., Meharry Medical College is more understanding than most when it comes to low undergraduate grades. The average Meharry student enters medical school with a GPA of 3.46, according to American Association of Medical Colleges. The average GPA for science classes at the historically black college was slightly lower at 3.31. Applicants stand a chance of acceptance with GPAs well below that mark with adequate test scores. The average MCAT score for admitted students in 2012 was 24.5, so students with scores in the low 30s are highly competitive.
Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta is also relatively friendly to applicants with lower grades and good test scores. As at Meharry Medical College, Morehouse students earned an average undergraduate GPA of 3.46 in all classes and 3.33 in science classes. Applicants who are confident that they want to attend Morehouse can improve their chances through its early admissions process. Early applicants with borderline grades improve their chances by applying exclusively to Morehouse.
Washington, D.C.'s Howard University College of Medicine is a good target school for applicants with low grades and high MCAT scores. Admitted Howard students earned an average undergraduate GPA of just 3.38. That number falls to 3.24 for science courses. Howard is a historically black university, but it admits students from all races and ethnic groups. The university also conducts around 300 admissions interviews every year, giving applicants with inferior grades an extra opportunity to shine.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
A final institution for applicants with lower grades and higher test scores to consider is Eastern Virginia Medical School. Located in Norfolk, Va., EVMS admits students with average undergraduate GPAs of 3.5 in all coursework and 3.42 in science coursework. Like Morehouse, Eastern Virginia allows early decision applications to students who are confident they want to attend the school. Early decision applicants generally receive preferential evaluations, so it's a great option for students with lower grades.