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Any Advice???

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Stayce055, Apr 11, 2001.

  1. Stayce055

    Stayce055 New Member

    Apr 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I am currently a junior in college that recently had a life changing experience that made me change my major from pre-something"?" to dentistry(special needs dentistry). I have great ambition and know I will do well if accepted into a program. Problem is my GPA. For the first two years of college I aimlessly took classes (difficult ones) and did the typical college slack-off. My GPA is currently a 2.8 which I am working tediously to bring up. I have 6 years of experience in health care working with disabled individuals, special olympics, easter seals of america, and various other types of health care work. I have also worked 40+ hours a week putting myself through school. I have not yet taken my DAT's, but fear that the admissions committee will view my GPA and toss my application into the nearest recyling bin. Is there anyone out there that has come from a similar situation, or anyone that has any advice as to whether or not I stand a chance? Even any suggestions about programs that may look past the numbers and give me a chance at a career I can stay dedicated to and serve the underpriviledged with. Maybe even some stats of accepted applicants that may give me some hope. I cannot change my past academic performance, just strive to accomplish my goals from today on. Thank you for your time, feel free to email me at [email protected] Good luck to you all.
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  3. To stayce055,

    For GPA and DAT stats goto: http://memebers.tripod.com/~softballteam/dental.html
    Click under "admissions - GPA and DAT"
    Check also on other threads in this forum titled under "who got in? help others?" something like that, accepted students posted their stats and advice.

    First, I think you should concentrate on raising your GPA to 3.0 or above, second, do well do well on DAT (20 or above) and third, when you are ready to apply, apply early (most schools accept applications by June 1)

    I applied late last year but fortunately I think due to good GPA and DAT scores, I was asked to interview all but one school (applied to 11 schools) and I went to 5 interviews. (straight accepted to 3 schools)

    This is my observation with application/interview process. DAT and GPA's are major factors for being invited for interview. I say that because when I was being interviewed , most of them were reading my file for the first time. And I think that after the interview, rest of your file becomes critical for acceptance.

    Be persistent and things will work out.


  4. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I agree with Henkel on many accounts. The 2.8 gpa is obviously below the average but remember the gpa isn't the ONLY thing admissions will look at. Having put yourself through school says a lot about your drive and will explain the lack of time for study. Does the 2.8 hurt you? Yes. Is there something you can do to fix that blemish? Yes. In my experience----admissions want to see a student on the "upswing" of his/her academic performance. Meaning it is advantageous to end your college career with incredible grades. If you were to maintain a 3.7 the last 2 years----it may not move your gpa too much---but it will say you "have found your passion in life and now realize it is time to buckle down!"

    It is important that you prepare extremely hard for your DAT. In fact I would make that my only priority during this summer. Some say the Kaplan course is worth the $$--(i being one of them) and others claim buying a few books on the DAT will help prepare you. Bottom line is you have an opportunity to make yourself competitive with the rest of the applicants. If you perform well on the DAT----a test everyone in the nation has to take ---- it shows admissions that although your grades might not reflect it, your knowledge on what they deem is important is as competitive as everyone else. So make sure you nail the DAT. A score of 19/18 PAT should be the min.

    Other than the DAT, you will want to seek some experience in the dental field. Whether shadowing your dentist, doing some research, or working at a dental clinic----it is important to show you have knowledge of the day-to-day operations of dentistry. Continue with other organizations to build leadership qualities.

    I'm sure others can add where I missed---but i hope this helps. Good luck and study hard!

  5. Doggie

    Doggie Professional Jackass
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hey Stayce,

    If you have been reading the other posts, you would have noticed that my undergrad GPA was just a tad under 3.0. Just like you, I slacked off in the first 2 years and didnt get my act together till the last 2 years. Let's just say that my last 2 years' GPA of 3.4 wasnt enough to pull it past 3.0.........yes, it was that bad.

    See a pattern here? Methinks that the admission comittee would like to see some forms of improvements in your undergrad classes. I remember that 1 interviewer asked why I had such low GPA in the first 2 years..... I straight out told him the truth, "It was the first time that I was on my own, and I wasnt that in-tune with studying at the time."

    Just like the other people have said previously, the DAT is really important. My scores were well above the mean of most schools that I applied to......cept for the Bio section.....(18....DAMMIT!).....and strangely enough, I majored in microbiology. [​IMG]

    Anyways, my point is that you should really kick some butt on the DAT and show them that you "have learned from your mistakes" from the first 2 years of college. I think the minimum for all the sections is 19....just to be on the safe and competitive side. Do a lot of research as well. I did a full year of carpal tunnel syndrome investigation with 2 UCSF profs.....I think that really helped when the admissions board were reading recommendation letters from them. If however your GPA and DAT are just straight out bad, I think your chances would be slimmer than the chances of cows tap dancing. (hmmm......now that most of them have gone mad, they might take up tap dancing.... [​IMG])

    Just my 2 cents (monetary value may depreciate due to high volatility of current market conditions)

    Good Luck! [​IMG]
  6. csortman

    csortman Junior Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hey, just be persistent... I had a 2.9, and a 19 on the DAT. I held out for a second application though, and showed them that I was mature.

    Now, I'm in the top 1/4 of my class, and I'm doing fine...

    Getting in is the hardest part, so don't give up!

    Chris Sortman
    University of Michigan
    School of Dentistry

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