sugarmagnolia91

5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2013
78
17
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on these forums for some time but this is my first post. Today I got a rejection letter from the HES Health Careers Program. :confused: Has this happened to anyone else!?

I have a Psych degree, cGPA 3.2/sGPA 2.7, but I only took introductory bio and that was sophomore year. I thought if you had a cumulative of over 3.0 and hadn't taken a majority of the core sciences admission was pretty much guaranteed! I wonder if they have a higher number of applicants or something this year?

Is it foolish to sign up for HES courses anyway (if I'm eligible to do that) and re-apply in a semester or a year?

I'm so bummed, I was really set on this program.
 
Jul 31, 2012
12
0
Boston, MA
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry to hear about this. Maybe consider posting this in the official HES thread where people who are already in the program can offer advice (http://206.82.221.135/showthread.php?p=13680801) and/or suggestions.
I applied too late last admission cycle after all of the places in the HCP had been filled up and I am still taking classes (Physics and Chem). I am working on my HCP application right now and am hoping for the best. If I don't get in, I (and you) can still ask for letters of recommendation from each individual teacher, it just won't be the committee letter. So, don't give up hope just yet. Also, perhaps you could call and find out why you were denied admission.
Best of luck to you!
 

MedWonk

高飛車
7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
1,773
958
New England
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on these forums for some time but this is my first post. Today I got a rejection letter from the HES Health Careers Program. :confused: Has this happened to anyone else!?

I have a Psych degree, cGPA 3.2/sGPA 2.7, but I only took introductory bio and that was sophomore year. I thought if you had a cumulative of over 3.0 and hadn't taken a majority of the core sciences admission was pretty much guaranteed! I wonder if they have a higher number of applicants or something this year?

Is it foolish to sign up for HES courses anyway (if I'm eligible to do that) and re-apply in a semester or a year?

I'm so bummed, I was really set on this program.
If you are so inclined and have the financial resources, you could sign up of for courses at HES and attempt to prove that you can handle the coursework and would be a decent candidate. The thing that most hurt you was likely your sGPA. If you can bring both GPAs up to at least a 3.3, then you may have a better shot at being sponsored. Keep in mind that coming from a low GPA you'll have to put in a ton of work into your classes, get a good MCAT score, and have some strong ECs to be a good candidate.

If you email Dr. Fixsen, he will tell you why your app was rejected and how you could improve your prospects.
 
OP
sugarmagnolia91

sugarmagnolia91

5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2013
78
17
Status
Pre-Dental
Sorry to hear about this. Maybe consider posting this in the official HES thread where people who are already in the program can offer advice (http://206.82.221.135/showthread.php?p=13680801) and/or suggestions.
I applied too late last admission cycle after all of the places in the HCP had been filled up and I am still taking classes (Physics and Chem). I am working on my HCP application right now and am hoping for the best. If I don't get in, I (and you) can still ask for letters of recommendation from each individual teacher, it just won't be the committee letter. So, don't give up hope just yet. Also, perhaps you could call and find out why you were denied admission.
Best of luck to you!
Thanks for the reply! Very much appreciated!!

I will definitely post it in the Harvard Extension thread-- that's a good idea. Have you had any trouble getting into the classes you need as a result of not being in the Health Careers Program? My understanding is that dental schools (or med schools- dental in my case) find it a little sketchy if you go to HES but are unable to get the committee letter... but please correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I am at this point).

If it doesn't make much of a difference either way, I think I'll head to Cambridge this summer to start classes, and re-apply to the HCP next year, like you are doing now. Do you have access to advising, library, etc?
 
OP
sugarmagnolia91

sugarmagnolia91

5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2013
78
17
Status
Pre-Dental
If you are so inclined and have the financial resources, you could sign up of for courses at HES and attempt to prove that you can handle the coursework and would be a decent candidate. The thing that most hurt you was likely your sGPA. If you can bring both GPAs up to at least a 3.3, then you may have a better shot at being sponsored. Keep in mind that coming from a low GPA you'll have to put in a ton of work into your classes, get a good MCAT score, and have some strong ECs to be a good candidate.

If you email Dr. Fixsen, he will tell you why your app was rejected and how you could improve your prospects.
Thanks for the info!!

I actually did email Dr. Fixsen after creating this thread-- you're right, it was my low grade in Bio (plus a few Ws on my transcript...) He said, "You may certainly take courses here without our acceptance and we would reconsider an application after doing so, and while that reconsideration would be without prejudice, it is not a guarantee of future acceptance." It was a nice response, albeit a somewhat generic one. Do you know of anyone who has applied AFTER taking the classes and has gotten in?

I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me to prove myself academically, but I am serious about this and I'm going into it with the right mindset. I'm ready to study hard! I want to go to dental school, not medical, so I think that makes it slightly more doable. I've worked at a dental office for several years, and plan on doing some related volunteer work while taking the pre-reqs.

On a side note, what's the cost of living in Cambridge? It seems like rent is pretty high (hard to find anything under $1000?) but I'm wondering about the lifestyle, groceries, etc as well.

Thanks again!
 

MedWonk

高飛車
7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
1,773
958
New England
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the info!!

I actually did email Dr. Fixsen after creating this thread-- you're right, it was my low grade in Bio (plus a few Ws on my transcript...) He said, "You may certainly take courses here without our acceptance and we would reconsider an application after doing so, and while that reconsideration would be without prejudice, it is not a guarantee of future acceptance." It was a nice response, albeit a somewhat generic one. Do you know of anyone who has applied AFTER taking the classes and has gotten in?

I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me to prove myself academically, but I am serious about this and I'm going into it with the right mindset. I'm ready to study hard! I want to go to dental school, not medical, so I think that makes it slightly more doable. I've worked at a dental office for several years, and plan on doing some related volunteer work while taking the pre-reqs.

On a side note, what's the cost of living in Cambridge? It seems like rent is pretty high (hard to find anything under $1000?) but I'm wondering about the lifestyle, groceries, etc as well.

Thanks again!
I do know of someone who reapplied and got in. They started with a 3.1 for both cGPA and sGPA and pulled up their cGPA to a 3.3 and their sGPA to a 3.5. It's certainly doable.

I don't live in Cambridge, so I can't really tell you that much (I live further out in a more backwater locale and commute). What I can say is that rent is expensive. If you're looking to pay less than 1k, then your options come down to finding roommates or living in a crappy part of Boston. I highly recommend the former option. Also, if you've never driven around here before, there's no reason to start if you value your sanity/safety. Public transportation is plentiful and parking is difficult to find in most areas. Belmont, Watertown, and Somerville are the only places with a reasonable amount of parking. If you find yourself really needing a car, Zipcar is everywhere. Winter is cold, but not terribly so. Summers can be quite humid, but nothing like what you'd get in the Midwest or down south. IMO, Autumn is the best season here. Skiing/snowboarding isn't very far, and beaches are close as well. Montreal and NYC are easily within reach.

For beer, I recommend the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont. For vino, Brix in Boston. For bars, Publick House in Brookline, Deep Ellum and Silvertone in Boston, Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, and Bukowski's in both Boston and Cambridge. For pastries, Flour Bakery, and for ice cream/gelato, Toscanini's. For Coffee, I go to Diesel (Somerville), Crema Cafe (Cambridge), or Thinking Cup (Boston). Favorite places to eat: Pinnochio's, Cambridge 1, Muqueca, Hungry Mother, Tupelo's, Giacomo's (Boston), Xinh Xinh (Boston), Myers + Chang (Boston), Posto (Somerville), Atlantic Fish Co (Boston), Soul Fire BBQ (Allston), Genki Ya and Tampopo. I also occasionally go to Sculler's Jazz Club, The Beehive, and The Lily Pad. These are just places I tend to go to when I'm in Boston, and there's a billion other places.

You won't get bored here.
 

robflanker

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2009
3,031
73
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Mar 28, 2011
585
2
Bosstown
For coffee I go to Dunkin Donuts. If you don't have one on your street, look across the street, chances are you'll see one. Matter of fact, even if you have one on your street there could be another within a stone throws distance.

OP- I got rejected from the program and I'm here in the thick of my fourth semester here. I wouldn't have done it any other way. The experience I'm getting here in Boston can't be beat.
 
Mar 28, 2011
585
2
Bosstown
I'd just like to add- as time passed I started to personally devalue the worth of a possible sponsorship letter from the program to the point where I don't even care anymore that I won't be getting one. The committee letter shouldn't be a deciding factor in you deciding to go to HES. If you spend 2 years here and don't walk away with 4+ Harvard LORs then you're not trying hard enough.

Huge weird coincidence, the bus that I'm on literally stopped right in front of deep ellum as I typed this. Allston/brighton area near coolidge corner?
 

robflanker

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2009
3,031
73
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Huge weird coincidence, the bus that I'm on literally stopped right in front of deep ellum as I typed this. Allston/brighton area near coolidge corner?
Yup
 

MedWonk

高飛車
7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
1,773
958
New England
Status
Medical Student
For coffee I go to Dunkin Donuts. If you don't have one on your street, look across the street, chances are you'll see one. Matter of fact, even if you have one on your street there could be another within a stone throws distance.

OP- I got rejected from the program and I'm here in the thick of my fourth semester here. I wouldn't have done it any other way. The experience I'm getting here in Boston can't be beat.
As an aside, Dunkin Donuts >>> Krispy Kreme. I don't care what anyone says.

You could also say the same thing about finding a Dunkin Donuts in Seoul. That and Outback Steakhouse. It was a surreal experience.
 
Jul 21, 2012
194
30
Status
Medical Student
Rent in Medford (just north of Somerville) is often under $1,000 because it's just outside the MIT-Harvard-Leslie-Tufts student belt that causes a lot of rent inflation north of the Charles. Medford Square is a nice neighborhood, though quite dull. But it's ten minutes from Davis Square by bus, and another 10 minutes later you're in Harvard Square without changing busses. Boston public transportation is pretty fantastic, so a 20-minute commute isn't aggravating.
 
OP
sugarmagnolia91

sugarmagnolia91

5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2013
78
17
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks for all the replies. I live in NY and have actually never been to Boston, so I'll have to visit ASAP!

MedWonk, I'm happy to hear I wouldn't need a car there. Do you live with family or did you find an apartment in a more affordable location?

smiley, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I've been trying to justify going the HES route despite my rejection from the program. I've heard that Boston is an awesome place to live, especially for young people. Are you from the area? I'm just trying to decide between HES or living at home and taking classes at Brooklyn College or another CUNY school. I really hate the sound of the latter option, but it makes sense financially. I would love it if someone could give me a hugely compelling reason as to why Harvard Extension is the better choice.

Where do you guys study? Do you feel safe taking public transportation later at night? Is it easy to find a part-time job in Boston? Are Belmont/Brookline/Medford/Somerville/Boston/Cambridge all close to each other? I don't really understand the geography of Boston (but I assume visiting will help). Are some of these areas more suburban than others, or are they just different neighborhoods of Boston, like how NYC is divided into the Village, Midtown, Chelsea, Upper East Side, etc.?

Goucher, thanks for the tip. Do you feel like you can still have the full Boston experience if you live in Medford?

Sorry for asking a million questions. I overanalyze the sh-t out of absolutely everything.
 

MedWonk

高飛車
7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
1,773
958
New England
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for all the replies. I live in NY and have actually never been to Boston, so I'll have to visit ASAP!

MedWonk, I'm happy to hear I wouldn't need a car there. Do you live with family or did you find an apartment in a more affordable location?

smiley, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I've been trying to justify going the HES route despite my rejection from the program. I've heard that Boston is an awesome place to live, especially for young people. Are you from the area? I'm just trying to decide between HES or living at home and taking classes at Brooklyn College or another CUNY school. I really hate the sound of the latter option, but it makes sense financially. I would love it if someone could give me a hugely compelling reason as to why Harvard Extension is the better choice.

Where do you guys study? Do you feel safe taking public transportation later at night? Is it easy to find a part-time job in Boston? Are Belmont/Brookline/Medford/Somerville/Boston/Cambridge all close to each other? I don't really understand the geography of Boston (but I assume visiting will help). Are some of these areas more suburban than others, or are they just different neighborhoods of Boston, like how NYC is divided into the Village, Midtown, Chelsea, Upper East Side, etc.?

Goucher, thanks for the tip. Do you feel like you can still have the full Boston experience if you live in Medford?

Sorry for asking a million questions. I overanalyze the sh-t out of absolutely everything.
I live with my family and I can't wait to get out. All the places mentioned are either right next to Boston, or within a reasonable distance. Boston itself is not a very large city, and things often blend together such that you don't notice when you've left Boston and entered a different town/city. It's more akin to NYC being composed of five boroughs, with each borough containing its own neighborhoods. You can think of each city as a borough, each with its own neighborhoods.
 
Dec 31, 2014
29
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd just like to add- as time passed I started to personally devalue the worth of a possible sponsorship letter from the program to the point where I don't even care anymore that I won't be getting one. The committee letter shouldn't be a deciding factor in you deciding to go to HES. If you spend 2 years here and don't walk away with 4+ Harvard LORs then you're not trying hard enough.

Huge weird coincidence, the bus that I'm on literally stopped right in front of deep ellum as I typed this. Allston/brighton area near coolidge corner?

Hi! I'm considering doing the same...not doing the HCP and just taking the classes at HES to increase my GPA. I was wondering how it worked out for you?