Planning Ahead for Medical School

Last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation was all about planning for what’s coming down the road. From saving for college to thinking about graduate school after college, Beth Heaton was back in the host chair to tackle it all.

How to Choose the Best 529 Plan

To help families better understand their options when considering 529 Plans, Beth welcomed back Stacey MacPhetres, former financial aid officer at Emerson College as well as education finance expert at JP Morgan Chase. After reminding all of us (including me!) what exactly a 529 plan is, Stacey walked us through the important factors to consider when selecting the right plan for you. They discussed everything from state specific options, tax benefits, and underlying fees, to rankings on program sites, rewards programs, and more. Stacey also shared her favorite website to use as a shortcut in your research. While she had her on the line, Beth asked Stacey to clarify what name to put as the owner of the 529 vs the beneficiary, how grandparents can contribute, and whether or not you want to have separate plans for each child.

Planning Ahead for Acceptance to a Top MBA Program

For this segment, Beth was joined by Judith Silverman Hodara, Wharton’s former Acting Director of MBA Admissions, and one of the primary partners in the MBA advising group Fortuna Admissions. Judith and Beth discussed whether or not your undergraduate major or school impact your admissibility, what amount of quantitative course work might you want to have, how your transcript and grades will be evaluated, and what involvement outside the classroom (including summers!) will be considered when applying to an MBA program. Judith also answered when you should take the GMAT or GREs.

How Does Your Undergraduate College Choice Affect Getting Into Medical School?

In the last segment of the show, our newest College Coach educator, Lauren DiProspero, former Director of Admission at the medical schools of both Columbia and Stanford Universities, joined Beth to answer this question. Lauren clarified what “real life” medical experiences you should look for and what pre-med advising you’d want to have available. Lauren weighed in on whether or not they preferred to see applicants from a “better” college, and what the advantages are to being a big fish in a small pond. They ended by talking about any potential advantage to attending the undergraduate institution of the medical school you hope to attend in the future.

Visit Getting In: A College Coach Conversation to download this week’s episode, to explore our archives, or to ask a question.


Written by Tova Tolman
Tova Tolman is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Prior to joining College Coach, Tova worked in admissions at Fordham University, Montclair State University, and Barnard College. To learn more about Tova, be sure to read her bio on