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Non-traditional student with low GPA/high MCAT

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by wanderlily, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    Stats

    26 yr old Female URM

    cGPA 2.97 sGPA 2.82

    MCAT exact score unknown. Took it on March 24th. Was scoring between 40-43 on practice exams. Should know for sure in about a week.

    -Psych Major w/ Pre-Med Concentration

    ECs (these only include my current employment)

    -200 hrs volunteering at a women's health clinic (non-clinical)

    -100 hrs volunteering at a rape crisis center

    -1yr as a 2nd grade tutor for a nonprofit for at risk DC youth

    -Work fulltime as a nanny

    -Also tutor chemistry and APA style writing.

    -Will start a clinical internship at the women's health clinic in May (4-5 mo. 25-30/week)

    -Psych research starts in the fall. (I'm not sure if this will count as clinical exposure. I'll be working with Psychologists and Psychiatrists. My main responsibilities would be conducting intake screenings for the participants.)

    My poor grades were due to a combination of family circumstances and my own now resolved health issues. I was out of school for almost 4 yrs. There's a steep upward trend in my gpa. I've had an average of a 3.85 over the last three semesters. After my summer courses my gpa (assumming all A's) will be a cGPA 3.04 and sGPA 3.05 but those grades won't be available until July 30th which is pretty late.

    I graduate in May 2013 so I would rather apply this cycle to avoid the 1yr+ gap since without my financial aid my nannying isn't enough to live on, especially with having to pay back my student loans. However, assuming all A's, when I graduate my gpa should be about 3.23 cGPA and 3.33 sGPA, which although still low is not as low as the 2.97 I have now. Also I'm unsure as to whether I'd be able to get a committee letter from my school because of my low GPA.

    Assuming I score at least within a 5 pt range of my practice scores, that would give me about a 35-38 MCAT at the lowest. Is it worth it to apply this year and try to see if I get in anywhere? BTW I have FAP which will help defray some of the application expenses.

    I know this is a long post but I wanted to be as thorough as possible.
  2. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    personally, I wouldn't recommend applying until your gpa is over 3.0. Many schools have automatic cutoffs at 3.0 and no human will ever look at your app with a sub 3.0 gpa. If you wait, sure you will be later, but many schools might say, "3.04 gpa and a 40 mcat? what's this about?" You want that. Then they will see your steep upward trend which is a very good thing. But without the 3.0 or higher, you won't get that chance.

    and know that the odds with that gpa aren't fantastic, but if you can get people to physically check into it, you have a decent chance. especially being a URM. if you can get past automatic cutoff, and your mcat is what you say, you should have a good chance at at least one MD school.
  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    Great job on the academic turn-around. I agree with FrkyBgStok's suggested strategy if you want to apply this year. If you get an MCAT score near where you suggest, a later application will still get due consideration, despite it being later in the cycle.

    You might look into adding a major or minor that would legitimately allow you to stay in school an extra year, if necessary, to avoid early loan payback requirements. Continue to build your ECs (with which you've done a nice job) through the application season, in case you'd need to reapply.

    The psych research would count as additional clinical exposure if you are working with current patients, due to their having a given condition that the study is looking at in detail.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  4. alexrgross

    alexrgross

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    You may verify, either online or over the phone with admissions offices, if they pre-screen applications at 3.0. Assuming the school is not a reach, you should definately apply...at the worst, you will get reviewed and feedback on exactly what prevented you from interviews/acceptance. At best....
  5. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    And several hundred dollars, but those grow on trees anyway, right?

    Sent from my SCH-R910 using Tapatalk
  6. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    I want to thank the people who've responded so far. My school had advisor hasn't been overly supportive so I was half expecting a bunch of "Give up now. You'll never get in anywhere, this cycle or the next" posts.

    Catalystik and FrkyBgStok - It sounds like you both think I should apply next cycle or if I am going to apply this cycle I should wait until after my summer classes are over and my gpa is at least a 3.0.

    The main issue then becomes if I did try for this application cycle and waited until after I received summer grades to submit my app, I probably wouldn't be verified until September. And since my school needs my verified AMCAS before compiling a committee letter it seems like any benefit I gained from no longer having a sub 3.0 gpa would be lost due to me then not being complete anywhere until October or later. Or will my MCAT really help to counteract my late application?

    Alexrgross- Have you tried calling admissions offices like this personally? Are they usually willing to freely share whether a gpa cutoff is utilized while making admissions decisions?
  7. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    1) Those would be the two best options. If you do proceed this season, have a well-formaulated backup plan, for "just in case."

    2a) Expect it to take 5+ weeks by that time in the cycle. Days to transcript verification graph: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=896313
    2b) Can you get a realistic idea of how long it would take for this letter to show up? Prehealth advisors know the consequences of a late application. Would they maybe do a rush job?

    3) If you get a 35-40 MCAT score, I do think your application will get a good looking at even if it's October. Yes, you'd be less likely to get interviews by then. And yes, if any translate into acceptances, they are more likely to be at less-selective med schools. I sense you could live with that.
  8. alexrgross

    alexrgross

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    No but I have called to talk to counselors, ask for help on my current applications, and find out deadlines and timelines. Admissions office calls are always very much able to answer questions, the only information I have been refused is "how much longer until you decide on my application?" and that was from a graduate school.
  9. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    I'll see about setting up an appointment with my advisor. He hasn't been too helpful in the past though, so I'm not sure I'll actually get any answers. If it turns out they can't do a rush job could I just submit my LORs individually?
  10. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    If it is known that your school provides committee letters, it won't look good not to have one. But your chances might be better if you try submitting individual letters, than if the committee letter didn't arrive at schools until a few months after verification.

    Schools don't always wait for letters before they begin to consider your file.
  11. LPpostbacc

    LPpostbacc

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    ~40 MCAT, ~3.0 GPA and URM status....hmm....you'd probably get in somewhere, but maybe not your top choice (depending on how picky you are).

    1 yr of classes and a 3+ cGPA....you'll get into a top tier school...for sure. :)
  12. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    I wanted to update this post with more accurate info. So my MCAT went better than expected but my semester grades didn't give me the 4.0 I was hoping for. I ended up with a 41!!! (14 V, 14 B, 13 P) But I got a B+ in my bio class due to a horrendous group project, and an A- in one of my psych classes. :-/ I took 5 classes this semester for 18 credits, and the rest of my classes were all A's. My gpa will still be over a 3.0 this summer if I ace my classes, but now that I have a B in one of my science classes I'm even more hesitant about applying this cycle even though I really hate the though of a gap year.

    Am I overreacting about the bio grade or should I just give up on this cycle and wait until next year?
  13. LPpostbacc

    LPpostbacc

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    3.0+ and you'll be at a top 25 school, no problem. Nice job!!
  14. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    Congrats on delivering the score that your practice tests suggested you could manage.

    I think you can still be on track for applying after your summer grades are reported, if you wish to proceed.

    What did you find out about the possibility of getting the committee letter in a timely manner once your Primary is verified?

    And, I would love to see the look on your advisor's face when you report your MCAT score.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  15. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    Congrats on the MCAT. that is freaking awesome.
  16. MedPR

    MedPR

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    Congrats on the MCAT :)
  17. MedPR

    MedPR

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    Not to be a downer, but a 3.0/41 is not a guarantee to a top 25 school. I would be surprised if that combination didn't get accepted anywhere though.
  18. LPpostbacc

    LPpostbacc

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    With URM status?? I think it is. OP is URM female.
  19. Jamie561

    Jamie561

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    Qft. Very few URMs have stats of this caliber.

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  20. flodhi1

    flodhi1

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    Don't give OP false hope please. OP you should land an acceptance to MD but I don't know about top 25.
  21. LPpostbacc

    LPpostbacc

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    "should?"

    Schools accept URM's with mid 20's on their MCAT's and 2.7 GPAs. A 3.0 and 41??!? She had great EC's as well.

    Top 25 with 3.0.
  22. talltomboi

    talltomboi

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    seriously. you have inspired me.
  23. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    My advisor gave me some canned statement about them trying to get my committee letter out as quickly as their schedule allows once my app is verified. Which is exactly what it says on the pre-med committee website so no additional info there. He couldn't even give me a realistic timeline and mostly just tried to get me to reconsider applying at all because my gpa would never be above the 3.5 minimum he recommends. My score hadn't been released when I spoke to him last so maybe he'll take me more seriously from now on. If not I'm going to see if it would be possible for me to switch to another pre-med advisor.

    But thank you for the congratulations. I'd been doubting myself but that score was the first time a really believed that I may get into med school somewhere.
  24. wanderlily

    wanderlily

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    Thanks!

    In all honesty I'm just hoping to get in anywhere. A top 25 school would be amazing but I'm taking a "prepared for the worst, hoping for the best" approach. Thanks for the vote of confidence though. And thanks for the comment about my ECs. I was worried that they are a little thin but school and work full time doesn't leave me with much free time so I can't do much to change things.

    You just made my day. Thank you.

    I've been working pretty hard to change things around and get my life back so it's nice to have that recognized.
  25. ToldYouSo

    ToldYouSo Student Gold Donor

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    Unbelievable MCAT score; seriously congrats.

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