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Am I applying to too many schools??

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by orinam, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. orinam

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    I am finishing up my applications and am struggling to narrow down a list of schools to apply to. I am looking at schools in NY, PA, VA, and NC. My list is currently at 24 schools. Through PTCAS the fees will cost me $615 alone... I haven't even totaled what the non-PTCAS schools will cost me or the additional supplemental fees... I fear I won't be able to afford to apply to all of these schools, but I just can't cross a school off of my list... I'm afraid the school I cross off could be the only school that accepts me. Should I just spend all the money on these applications? Is it possible to apply to schools with earlier deadlines through PTCAS, see if I hear back, and wait on the ones that have deadlines in like February and on?
     
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  3. DSOLoSt

    2+ Year Member

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    Before I give my opinion, may I ask what your admission stats are?
     
  4. orinam

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    unfortunately, they're not the most impressive...
    GRE: 510 V 550 Q 4 AW
    Overall GPA: 3.39
    Pre-Req: 3.37
    I havent gotten my adjusted GPAs from PTCAS yet, so they might be lower...
    and I've shadowed 109 hours in pediatrics, brain injury, outpatient, geriatrics, and inpatient settings...
     
  5. ptresearcher

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    These aren't bad stats. The average accepted student GPA is only 3.5, and the average accepted private program GPA is only 3.4, which is where you are. You certainly shouldn't need to apply to 24 schools, but I would look at the acceptance stats on PTCAS for each school that you are considering. Pick a number of private schools where your GPA is competitive, pick a couple of cheap public schools, and pick a couple of reach "dream" schools. Consider a few non-PTCAS schools which get fewer applicants and can be easier to get into. Also, if you willing to take a little risk, apply to a new program that is not yet accredited like Lynchburg or Radford as many with stronger stats will avoid these schools. Good luck!
     
  6. rangardrum

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    In my opinion, 24 schools is probably going too far. I expect you'd be a safe bet to get in with half the schools (or less).

    I'm no expert on this subject of course, but I did look at the PTCAS statistics for last year's applicants and noticed that the % of students getting accepted to at least one school didn't seem to improve beyond applying to 4 schools. This might sound strange, since surely applying to more means you have a better chance right? But the statistics didn't seem to show that, which seems to suggest that the people applying to tons of schools tend to have weaker applications if they're no more likely to get accepted to at least one school as the set who just applied to four.

    Your stats aren't bad by any means though (I've often read on here that 3.0 is a sort of "magic" level that you'd ideally like to meet or exceed), and again I think you'd be fine with applying to far fewer schools...especially if you don't want to waste a lot of money.

    With all that being said, I think I understand very well how concerned you might be and worried about not being accepted. I've looked at the stats and have an idea intellectually about what it takes to get accepted, but emotionally it's easy to feel panicky about not getting in until you get something official. Even though my stats are quite high, I have the same fears that somehow I won't be considered a good enough "fit" or something. It's probably pretty normal to feel anxious about this application process though!

    Anyway, that's my two cents!

    EDIT: I think I did see ONE person who got accepted into 1 program after applying to 51 schools! This is a statistical anomaly though, so don't let that freak you out. Who knows what the circumstances were with this individual and how their application looked.
     
  7. TheOx777

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    Based on your stats, I would say that you are definitely applying to too many schools. There are programs that are more competitive than others, yet those tend to be state-funded schools or schools that have a pretty small class size. I would like to think that you would be right in the thick of things with your numbers. I personally applied to 10, and looking back I thought that was too much. PT school can be extremely competitive, but not as competitive as many of us have it in our minds. Being in the thick of one's application cycle can really lead you to put undue stress and pressure on yourself. If at all possible, I would cut back on the schools you apply to!
     
  8. Corks

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    I applied to 10 as well, it SEEMS like a lot, but I just want to be assured I can make it my choice where I go, as opposed to applying to 2 and not getting in any.
     
  9. pumpkinpatch

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    Personally, I think that 24 is way too many for anyone, regardless of your stats. If you have a 2.5, applying to that many schools is not going to save you. If you have a 4.0, it clearly won't make a difference either. And if you're somewhat in the middle of the road, as you are, you're probably going to get some acceptances along with some rejections as long as you apply to at least three or four. It is foolish to apply to only one because admissions can be fluke-y, but I would say that any more than 10 is just a waste of money. If you get rejections from all 10 of them, I'd say it's a very safe bet that those other schools would have also rejected you and you simply need to improve your stats. [I'm not saying your stats are bad. Yours are decent.]

    I actually applied to seven schools originally, even though I really was only considering three of them. I ended up turning down three interviews because I had already heard from a school I preferred. I had a $500 deposit due for a different one to save my spot which was due a couple months before I heard back from my top school, so I paid it just because I was freaking out even though my stats were pretty solid. My point here is that this admissions game is a source of extreme and irrational anxiety for some people, and it can lead to a lot of wasted money. I really regret having spent all that extra money just because I was freaking out. So if it were up to me, I'd think strategically about the schools I choose to apply to and make sure there's a variety (a few reach schools, a few safety schools) and cap it at ten. Also, make sure that these are actually schools you'd be happy attending! Don't add schools that have ridiculous tuition just to beef up your chances if you really can't see yourself with that debt.
     
  10. johncronejr

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    I think applying to 24 schools is way too many, but I applied to 1 (I did consider another, but just settled on the one that would work best for me).

    Was this risky? I suppose it was, but I had good stats, it was at the school where I received my undergrad, and I knew I would hit the interview out of the park....so I took the chance.

    What is too many is subjective...If you can afford it and it makes you feel better to apply to that many, then apply to that many...honestly, I think you're throwing money away.

    Best of luck!
     
  11. jlconner2

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    I am applying to 12 schools through ptcas and 3 schools that are not. My stats are nothing compared to yours. I do not think you will have any problems getting into a school. I think your numbers are to high. I don't think you will need to spend that much money when your stats are as high as they are!! Good luck!! Hope everyone gets into the school of their choice!!
     
  12. orinam

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    thanks everyone :) I definitely feel better about this. I compared class profiles and tuition and have now cut my list to 14! Still a lot of schools, but at least its not 24 anymore!
     

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