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Advice??

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by rchawk3, May 26, 2008.

  1. rchawk3

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    This past year I applied to 4 schools this past year (Purdue, LSU, TAMU, and UC Davis) and was almost immediately rejected from 2 and later rejected by the remaining 2. When I contacted the schools they all said basically the same thing. "Your GPA is too low retake the classes that you scored poorly in to improve your GPA and reapply." My problem is that I already have retaken the classes I did poorly in (cell bio and ochem) and got As and Bs but due to the way GPA is calculated my GPA is held way down. I have gotten As and Bs in biology and animal science classes but I can't seem to do any better than a B or C in chem and physics.

    No school seems to even want to bother at looking at the rest of application unless my GPA is over 3.5 and yet by averaging grades they make it near impossible to do this for pre req courses that are retaken. Has anyone else had a problem like this and if so what did you do?

    I originally started out wanting to go into biology/research but after working a clinic the summer after my frosh yr, I made the decision to become a vet and switched to an animal sci degree. So in the last 3.5 years in addition to school Ive accumulated 4100+ hours animal experience and about 200 hours vet experience. I graduated in dec with a BS in Animal Sci. My GPA was 3.06 and GRE 1310 (V:600 Q:710 A:4.5). Since I have already completed all the pre reqs and graduated I am really at a loss of what to do. Do I go back and take fluff classes to bring up my GPA? I am already working full time so is there a point at which experience can make up for grades?
     
  2. athenaparthenos

    athenaparthenos Western U C/o 2012!
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    I wouldn't say to go back and take fluff classes, but it may be a good idea to go back and take upper-division biology classes (stay away from the chem and physics if it's your weak point). You might also research which schools look at science GPA in particular and take the higher grade of a retaken class instead of averaging them -- I'm not sure which but other people on the board may know better. But taking new upper-division science classes may well a) prove that you can handle the kinds of coursework they need you to handle and b) raise your GPA at the same time. Once improving your GPA/course record I'd mention it in your personal statement to show that you are really committed to getting into vet school.
     
  3. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012
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    Ditto with the above good advice

    I'm not sure if you're looking to go into clinical practice or research? If clinical practice is your goal, you may want to go for more Vet experience hours. Perhaps getting a part time job at a clinic and taking upper level/masters courses.

    In the successful app thread, there are quite a few people who have a lower undergrad/science GPA, they've taken upper level/masters science courses and it seems to have worked well for them.
     
  4. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012
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    You also may want to reevaluate the schools you apply to. I didn't apply to 3/4 schools you did so I don't know about them, but I know UCDavis is a longshot for lower gpa (especially OOS).

    As athenaparthenos said - you may want to go back and find schools that take the new grade in a class as opposed to those that average them to help bring up your gpa. Also, some schools take a more holistic approach to the first part of the application as opposed to some that put your grades in a computer program. Additionally, you should always consider schools outside the US (canada, uk, Australia, or even the Caribbean).

    You should check out the successful applicants thread as Lailanni suggested and see what schools people with lower gpas had success at. My gpa was a 3.16 and i was accepted at 3 schools (Illinois, Glasgow, and Ross), and waitlisted at another (Penn).

    For the next application cycle though you probably should take more upperdivision bio classes to show you cann handle the work and add as many good grades to your resume as possible.
     
  5. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    Also, 200 hours of vet experience is low. The thousands of hours of animal experience are great, but my impression is that vet schools really focus primarily on the vet experience, with animal experience a nice rounding out or bonus area. I think with low GPA and low vet experience hours, schools might wonder whether you know what you're signing up for.

    Definitely look into increasing those hours. Also, I'd take a hard look at ALL the different areas of vet med, and see what kinds of unique experiences you can get. Those usually stand out and can really help set you apart.

    Did you do the official application review with each of these schools that they offer to folks that have applied and not been accepted? My understanding is that those kinds of sessions can be quite in depth. The questions you're posing here are really better asked directly to the schools in on of those (individual) sessions. That way the schools can really give you an idea of what the weaknesses are and what kinds of things they would like to see to address those issues. If you don't have a nice "to do" list coming out of one of those sessions, I'd be surprised.
     
  6. rchawk3

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    Where is this successful applicants thread. I didnt see it on the main part of the forum?

    Due to the fact that I have 2 parrots (both CITES I animals) I can't really look at school at schools outside the US. One is an older wild caught grey that I have worked with for 3 years and the other is a hatchling. Leaving both of them for 3-4 years isnt an option. I will look into schools that take the holistic approach though. I was under the impression that all schools just averaged grades.

    When I tried to sign up for an official review I was very rudely turned down. I got an email from an admissions director that said he "looked over my application" and that I should retake the classes I failed (which I had already done but he obviously had failed to see that) and other than that there was nothing he could tell me. I was both shocked and discouraged. None of my undergrad advisers really had any experience with prevet students so Im having to go about this whole application thing on my own, and learning as I go.

    Im wanting to go into exotics so Im applying for a jobs at several zoos but I'll put in applications at some clinics as well. Looks like it will be a year or two before I should try again.:(
     
  7. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    Weird. I thought they all did that for candidates who weren't accepted. Did you try the other three schools you applied to? Did you try any of the ones where you interviewed?
     
  8. Rebeki

    Rebeki Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012
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    Here's my .02....First I don't think you need a GPA over 3.5, but it should probably be in the ballpark of 3.5. I agree with previous posters that upper level coursework is in order to boost that area of your app.

    Secondly, your vet experience is way too low to help your GPA. In fact, even with a better GPA, 200 hours of vet experience may not be competative. I would suggest getting your vet experience over 1000 hours to really help balance out a lower GPA. Also, getting unusual experience and large animal vet experience can help.

    Lastly, I would definitely re-think what schools you apply to. You listed TAMU and UC-Davis. Both of these schools admit very few out of state applicants, making it extremely competative. Davis admits 8 and TAMU admits 10. If you have an in-state, I would absolutely recommend applying to that school again. If you don't have an in-state, you could try to move to a state that does (although this isn't always possible). Also, I would look at schools that a greater number of OOS applicants and if possible apply to more schools. I feel like there is an aspect of luck in applying to vet school - the more apps you put out, the better your chances.

    Best of luck to you :luck:
     
  9. WishingnHoping

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    I agree with all of the above posters about getting more vet experience. Broad experience is wonderful! Get some large animal and anything else different that you can get. Good luck and I know that if you want to do something since it is your passion, you will do it.
     
  10. purplebunnie

    purplebunnie kicking the coke machine
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    I had a 3.4 GPA, which I knew was on the lower side of average, so I just made sure to spice up my application with other types of experience. Try wildlife rehab, more large animal hours, or research. I got both interviews or acceptances to most of the schools I applied to, and nobody even discussed my GPA. A friend of mine had a 3.4 like me and just did TONS of large animal, and she got accepted almost everywhere she applied as well.

    If you retake chem or physics, try getting a tutor. Those classes can go a lot smoother when you have another reference besides your professor or TA.

    Good luck! It really is a crapshoot every year.
     
  11. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    If you're interested in exotics, you might want to look at Tennessee and Kansas State. Both are more friendly to OOSers than some of the schools you had applied to (like UC Davis and TAMU). Just a thought...
     
  12. Moonpaw

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    Along the lines of schools that tend to accept more OOSers, there's also Ohio, Tufts, Cornell, and U Penn, but those are also the schools that usually look more at GPA as well.

    Take a look at the file I just attached; it has info about each school and the number of IS/OOS seats. When I was applying, I figured out the percent of OOS seats available at each school, and eliminated schools that had a really low number.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers stabby cat
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    I know from my own looking around that KSU and Western both take the new grade rather than averaging the old with the new. I also know that OKSU averages. Try figuring your pre-req GPA with averaging and then with replacing and see how much of a difference it makes. If it's a huge difference, I would look specifically for schools that replace grades. There are quite a few. KSU, UTK, and Florida all have good exotics programs, so you should look into those more.

    Sorry that you had a bad experience with admissions somewhere - they should never be rude to anyone, no matter what their stats. That's a shame, and know that there are lots of very nice, helpful admissions people out there. :)

    Also, I agree on increasing your vet exp. hours - those are definitely important, and also a source for a great letter of recc. if you do well!
     
  14. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    Does anyone know any other schools that do this?
     
  15. cows93

    cows93 Cornell 2012
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  16. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers stabby cat
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    I had to email these two to find out. Not that emailing them was HARD, it would just be nice to have that info on their website somewhere.

    Anyone know their school's policy? So far we have two that do and a few that don't.
     
  17. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    As a Ohio resident, I know OSU does average the two grades.
     
  18. Pandacinny

    Pandacinny VMRCVM c/o 2013
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    Va/Md averages the grades, unless it's been over...6 years since you originally took the class? I might be wrong on that figure, but I'm pretty sure they'll replace after a certain amount of time.
     

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