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2.5 GPA-which post-bacs would take me?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by cloverpie, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member
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    Alright, folks. I'm going to spare you the tale of woe that is behind my grievous GPA. By the time I finish undergrad, I will have a 2.52 GPA. I took the GRE and made a 1500. My EC's are quite good (consulting work, research, volunteering). I am not competitive for the top post-bacs, so what do you suggest? I have to re-take some pre-requisites and then take orgo II. Also, if anyone has advice on how to obtain a second bachelors and opinions on whether one should receive one at a continuing ed school or just take classes a la carte, it would be much appreciated as well.
     
  2. spicedmanna

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    IMHO, there is very little advantage to a formal post-baccalaureate program, unless you thrive off of a highly-structured education. Such a program offers lots of support for you in terms of which classes to take and in what order. These types of programs can be good if you've never taken a science class. I don't think you are missing anything, necessarily, by not being able to attend one of them.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd delay graduation for another year, if you can and load up on undergraduate science classes in full semesters. Get all A's. You need to demonstrate your academic prowess and trending A's for many semesters is one way to do this. Staying a fulltime undergraduate student at your university allows you to remain eligible for financial aid and other benefits. It's a good situation. You can choose to do a second degree if you'd like; there isn't any real benefit to having a second degree, except towards your GPA and perhaps financially (you could be eligible for further financial aid). Getting a second degree may allow you to stay an undergraduate student for a little longer. Seek the advice of an academic advisor at your school. I don't think I can accurately advise you on this, since I don't know much about it all.

    Once you graduate, you can take further undergraduate classes informally at your university, or at another 4-year institution, as a non-degree seeking student. I don't think there's a problem here. Just make sure your semesters are fulltime and you are getting those A's.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to "erase" your academic history in the allopathic process. It sticks with you, since you have to include all your post-secondary work on the AMCAS. With your GPA, it might be difficult to raise it to 3.0+ within a reasonable time frame. Your best bet is to demonstrate as many fulltime semesters of straight A's as possible within the time frame you are giving yourself. Keep in mind that the average UGPA for a matriculant is around 3.6, or so. You are considerably below average for an allopathic matriculant, and you could be automatically screened out by some schools based on your undergraduate GPA. Also, know this: in the allopathic admissions process your undergraduate GPA and your MCAT score are of primary importance in the initial stages of application. They both need to be as good as possible. Contrary to popular belief, I don't think one can make up for another. The average MCAT for an allopathic matriculant is around 30, so you'll want to score that, or above.

    You might wish to consider DO schools, who tend to be more friendly to those who had a bad academic start, given that their overall averages are somewhat lower and their primary application service allows you to replace grades of classes in which you retake (the most recent retake is the grade that is used in calculating GPA). Also, Osteopathic schools tend to favor your experiences strongly, in addition to your numbers. Do some research and see if you jive with the tenets and principles of Osteopathy. It's a good route, and I'm on it myself.

    Good luck! :luck:
     
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  3. OP
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    cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member
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    Thank you so much! I had some mental health issues and other personal troubles during my first two years of college which were not addressed in time. I wanted to do a second bachelor's for the structure and so that I wouldn't be shut out of higher level classes and be further delayed. I also like the idea of being able to mix in some easy classes with killers like orgo and biochem.

    My current institution (top 20 school) has not meshed well with me at all. Granted, I have worked on changing my study habits because they drastically needed some overhaul. Are continuing education schools adequate in terms of preparing one for the MCAT?
     
  4. spicedmanna

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    You may wish to transfer to another 4-year institution, if you don't feel like you can perform well in the one in which you are currently attending. This could be a headache, though, and if you are basically done with your undergraduate work (I don't know how far along you are), it probably wouldn't be worth the effort. I'm not sure, though, since I've never transferred before; it may be easier and make more sense to just finish up where you are currently and then attend another 4-year institution that you like for a second degree. There are lots of 4-year institutions to choose from in which to get your second degree. Anyway, do whatever makes sense and definitely consult with your advisor.

    Talk to your advisor about obtaining a second degree and how to do it. It'll allow you to remain an undergraduate longer so that you can up your undergraduate GPA. Definitely take advantage of that opportunity and structure. And yes, you do need to change your study habits. Significantly.

    I don't know what a "continuing education" school denotes. Is that like a community college? If you must do that, for financial reasons, then I think it would be okay in most cases. People have succeeded doing that. However, if I were you, I'd stick with known 4-year institutions, if possible. Your state university is a good choice, if it "meshes" with you, since it's economical and readily available. If by continuing education school, you mean formal post-baccalaureate programs, the level of the classes should be on par with any 4-year institution; some offer formal MCAT preparation in addition to coursework.

    The MCAT is a test of your basic science knowledge and your test-taking abilities. Most 4-year institutions will be fine in terms of class content. If you are concerned, go to the AAMC website and pick up the MCAT guidelines and see if your syllabus matches with what you need to know. Studying for the MCAT, though, is highly dependent on you. You are responsible for all the content and for adequate preparation. This means filling in all the gaps in your knowledge and doing as many practice tests under real conditions as possible. I'd say on average, budget about 3-4 months of concentrated study time to review your basic science material and to take practice tests. Learn from your mistakes; study intelligently, not just hard.
     
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  5. TypeA

    TypeA Hola peeps.
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    Second Bachelor's are not hard to find. What state are you in?
     
  6. JYG

    JYG

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    HI!
    I'm in more or less your same situation. Except, I think worse.
    I graduated with a BA in Psychology with a GPA of 2.2. I know!:eek:
    I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, so I didn't do well. I took a year off, got married, and now I'm doing my pre-requisites for Med School.
    My intentions are of getting a second degree, just because it will include all the classes that I need to take for Medicine, and my GPA will start from scratch at the new school. The only thing I'm having problems with is getting into the BIOlogy programs at the different universities for my second degree because my GPA is so low. So, so far what I've been doing is taking classes as a non-degree seeking student, to demonstrate academic ability, getting straight A's in all the courses I've taken, and waiting on my GPA to increase so I can be formally accepted into the program. It's terrible though because you get NO financial aid, and the only schools that actually re-start your GPA are suuuper expensive private schools, so, I'm paying for my stupidity now, that's for sure!
    It really sucks not having had a BRAIN throughout my undergrad! But, you gotta do, what you gotta do....so...all power to you! I truly believe it's never too late! :D
     
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Moving to Post Bacc Forum.
     
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  8. nanaschool2000

    nanaschool2000 Junior Member
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    I believe there are some post-bacc programs that has open enrollment. Harvard Extension (no sponsor) is one of them. I think UC Berkeley has one too. I donno much about UC Berkeley, but HES is a very respectable program.

    I'm not sure how much it would help to bring gpa up from 2.5, but even a little can be very helpful. You can show an increasing trend in your GPA. I believe many competitive postbacc programs take highly of it. After you bring up your gpa, you can do a formal postbacc or SMP.

    Do not give up. Look at official low gpa thread. You would be able to find something helpful.
     
  9. sidewalkman

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    HES, Northwestern, and WashU all have open-enrollment options.

    And for summer sessions, many, many institutions magically become open-enrollment.
     
  10. OP
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    cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member
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    Thank you so much for the help! I have stayed away from the forums for the last few weeks because it was pretty discouraging. HES sounds like a wonderful option. I went to a top public for undergrad so I'd like to stay away from the cutthroat likes of Berkeley. What private schools allow one to re-start their GPA? Thankfully I have some money saved by opting for a public instead of a private school so the financial difficulties will be offset for a couple of years.
     
  11. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Not sure if I understood this correctly, but you do know that on your med school application (AMCAS), you will report ALL courses including all courses taken when you had a 2.2 GPA. Although starting a new bachelors program at a new school gives you a clean slate for that specific school and program, the GPA of the past will greatly effect you.

    All schools that I know of "restart" your GPA. Heck when I started graduate school at the same school where I did my undergrad, my GPA restarted. However in the end, all undergrad courses are lumped together on AMCAS, even if I took the undergrad course as a grad student or at another school. So not quite sure what you meant by finding schools that "actually re-start your GPA...".

    You may have to factor in how many more classes you have to counter the effects of 3-5 years of school that amounted to a 2.2 GPA. If I totally misinterpreted that post up there then please let me know. :thumbup:

    See above comment to JYG. Re-starting GPA is moot, unless you retake every class that you did poorly in and applied to a DO school. MD schools count EVERY grade, including all re-takes. DO schools do not. All schools will separate out the GPA you attained at their school, and the GPA you transferred over, and the cumulative GPA. Doing a second bachelors degree is essentially doing a post-bacc program (degree-earning). Therefore on the AMCAS application, you will have your undergrad GPA (2.52), and a post-bacc GPA, which will be derived from your 2nd bachelors degree program. AMCAS will also have an overall undergrad GPA which will be your 2.52 GPA combined with whatever you got during your post-bacc work.

    We should stray away from this talk about "re-starting GPA" since it is incorrect at least in terms of AMCAS. As spicedmanna pointed out earlier in this thread, your GPA sticks with you forever.
     
  12. CuriousStar

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    HES does sound like a great option...and it is, but they will not accept you with a 2.5 even thought its open enrollment. I am speaking from personal experience and I have a great CV to go along with my sucky transcript. I even got my application fee back so dont waste your money!:oops:
     
  13. jessie

    jessie Junior Member
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    What's the full name of HES and Northestern? (I'm Canadian and not familiar with any of the shortforms) Does anyone have a link for either of these?

    Has anyone ever gotten into med school taking an open enrollment program? What courses should ppl in open enrollment take?

     
  14. nanaschool2000

    nanaschool2000 Junior Member
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    HES - Harvard Extension School
    WashU - Washington University in St.Louis
    Northwestern - Northwestern (obviously). Visit northwestern.edu (i believe)

    I believe people in open enrollment take basic science (premed/prepharm/predent requirement) courses as well as uppper level biology classes. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. sidewalkman

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    Right - HES is at extension.harvard.edu

    WashU's classes are through their University College division - www.artsci.wustl.edu/~ucollege/

    Northwestern's classes are through their School of Continuing Studies - scs.northwestern.edu
     

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