168135

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I'm a Canadian applicant, which means I can only apply to the school in my area, foreign schools (I probably won't be a competitive enough application by the time of application), and the carib schools.

The vet school in my area charges roughly $6 000 CAD a semester for the first 3 years.
SGU is $12 600 US a semester for the first 3 years.

I already have $30 000 in student loans and another $13 000 in my line of credit to cover stuff that my loan didn't cover. I know next to nothing about banks and finances and borrowing money so I went to my parents for advice. I told my parents how expensive the Caribbean schools and they told me to do whatever I wanted *sigh* My parents say that now, but I know that if I'm accepted to a school like SGU, they'll turn around and say they don't want me to go because they don't want to take out more loans or something of that nature.

Basically, I'm asking if choosing to attend a Caribbean school is realistic? Should I even bother applying? Is anyone else in a similar financial situation? What advice can you give?

I gradute next year. If I didn't get accepted to the school in my area, I was thinking of taking some time off, moving back home, and work full time to see if I can put a dent in my loans. Then I was thinking of applying for the January class at SGU... but because tuition alone is so steep, it looks like I'll be taking a year off.
 

DVMDream

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I'm a Canadian applicant, which means I can only apply to the school in my area, foreign schools (I probably won't be a competitive enough application by the time of application), and the carib schools.

The vet school in my area charges roughly $6 000 CAD a semester for the first 3 years.
SGU is $12 600 US a semester for the first 3 years.

I already have $30 000 in student loans and another $13 000 in my line of credit to cover stuff that my loan didn't cover. I know next to nothing about banks and finances and borrowing money so I went to my parents for advice. I told my parents how expensive the Caribbean schools and they told me to do whatever I wanted *sigh* My parents say that now, but I know that if I'm accepted to a school like SGU, they'll turn around and say they don't want me to go because they don't want to take out more loans or something of that nature.

Basically, I'm asking if choosing to attend a Caribbean school is realistic? Should I even bother applying? Is anyone else in a similar financial situation? What advice can you give?

I gradute next year. If I didn't get accepted to the school in my area, I was thinking of taking some time off, moving back home, and work full time to see if I can put a dent in my loans. Then I was thinking of applying for the January class at SGU... but because tuition alone is so steep, it looks like I'll be taking a year off.
Would you be able to take the loans out yourself? Yeah your parents can easily say no, but could you just take out the loans then in your name and pay them back?

I was able to get some private educational loans through a bank (yes I had to have a co-signer, but after paying on time for 5 years the co-signers name is dropped off the loan) for undergrad.

So, I would look into seeing if you can get the loans yourself. Then if your parents decide they do not want to take out more loans you already know that you can.

Good Luck, I know finances are stressful.
 

Minnerbelle

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Something to ask yourself and think about seriously is exactly how much you plan on making after you graduate, and how much of a debt to income ratio you're willing to take on. Do you plan on practicing in Canada once you have your degree? And if so, what's the average salary of a vet in Canada. If not, how feasible is it for you as a Canadian citizen to work in another location as a vet? Regardless of where you plan on working, most importantly, is it feasible to pay back those loans (+ interest) with your projected salary?
 

david594

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Yeah, you might be in a really tough situation being a newly graduated vet with $200k in debt when your competing with other local grads who all have $60k in debt if the salaries aren't up there to support your debt.
 

168135

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Something to ask yourself and think about seriously is exactly how much you plan on making after you graduate, and how much of a debt to income ratio you're willing to take on. Do you plan on practicing in Canada once you have your degree? And if so, what's the average salary of a vet in Canada. If not, how feasible is it for you as a Canadian citizen to work in another location as a vet? Regardless of where you plan on working, most importantly, is it feasible to pay back those loans (+ interest) with your projected salary?
I'd pretty much go wherever I can get a job. I know the average salary for vets in Nova Scotia is $33 an hour, according to the career book my brother owns. I'm guessing I would have to take a look at my student loan and how much per month they want me to pay back, and ask the same about other loans. I will look into it when I get ready to fill out my applications this summer.

Is it possible to establish residency somewhere else, where you might be a more competitive applicant?
AVC is the school in my area. I have an aunt that I could live with in BC, but the school there only takes 20 students or something like that. I have relatives in Ontario, so I could look into the requirements and how many students OVC accepts.

I don't know if it has changed but from my province, AVC accepts ~16 students from the agriculture college and ~16 students from the rest of Nova Scotia (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm sure that the agriculture college has more pre-vets then the rest of the other universities combined. So I think my odds are pretty good.

I don't want to throw all of my eggs in one basket and hope I'm accepted at AVC. I want to apply to every school that I have a shot at of getting in. It looks like I'll be doing an honours next year on parasites, so I hope doing that will make me stand out from other applications and possibly make up for the fact that my gen chem grades kinda suck. At AVC though, when they look at your app, intro bio + gen chem marks make up 15% of your total points while your other pre-reqs make up 75% of your total points. And looking at past stats, majority of people accepted have a 4 year degree. But I do know two people who got their degree at the agriculture college, was never accepted to vet school, and became registered vet techs. I don't know if that was because they had bad grades, not enough experience, or that they just couldn't compete with the large number of applicants with that 95 average.

I was wondering if a foreign school with a 5 year degree is an option... like Scotland? Do you still need very good stats to be considered for a 5 year degree?

I apologize for rambling. I wish I could just waltz right into AVC and demand they tell me whether I have a realistic shot or that I don't have a chance ever :p
 

Coquette22

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I don't know if it has changed but from my province, AVC accepts ~16 students from the agriculture college and ~16 students from the rest of Nova Scotia (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm sure that the agriculture college has more pre-vets then the rest of the other universities combined. So I think my odds are pretty good.
As far as I know, AVC has no formal agreement with the AC. The AC touts itself as the pre-vet school because it's got a specific pre-vet track and it caters to pre-vets, but as far as I know, there's no contract or anything that says that AVC will take X number of students from the AC and Y from everywhere else in Nova Scotia. (Forgive me if I've misunderstood you).

I do know that Nova Scotia is guaranteed a total number of students, but there's no breakdown by school.
Atlantic Veterinary College Agreement:
In consideration of the Provinces contributing their proportionate share toward the funding of the College, each province has a guaranteed number of seats for fully qualified applicants. New Brunswick is guaranteed 13, Nova Scotia 16, Prince Edward Island 10, and Newfoundland and Labrador 2 undergraduate seats per year. In addition to the 41 seats assigned to provinces, 19 seats are marketed annually to international students.
 

168135

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Thanks.

I saw the NSAC recruiter twice in high school and he basically said that if you want a shot at AVC, come to their school. Someone else told me that the 16 or 18 students with the highest grades at NSAC automatically get an interview?
 

mhlaur

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It varies slightly year to year how many AVC takes from NS. Four years ago it was only 9 because the quota was 11 and 2 had deferred from previous year. This year, I was told they are taking 18 from NS, which school they went to is irrelevant. I've also been told that the best chance to get in is to move to PEI for a year. Your comment about them counting 15% from bio and chem courses is incorrect. They count 20 courses toward the GPA calculation, 10 of these are science courses. Four bio courses (micro, genetics, and 2 animal bio) count for 15%, the other 16 courses 85%. So, if you did well in those 4 bios, you don't have to worry as much about chem I think.

If I get in, I plan to get a student credit line at RBC. As a veterinary student, you can get up to $20,000 per year for 4 years. You should pay the interest on the amount you use while you're in school. Then the balance you start paying back 6mths after graduation. I think it takes most people 10y to pay back the $80,000 in Canada. That's what my vet friend in BC did.

I looked into Ross U and decided it's way too expensive. I'd be better off moving to PEI and working on a farm for a year. But, being 38y old already, I hope to get in this year!!
 

Coquette22

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Thanks.

I saw the NSAC recruiter twice in high school and he basically said that if you want a shot at AVC, come to their school. Someone else told me that the 16 or 18 students with the highest grades at NSAC automatically get an interview?
NSAC like I said, it does have specific benefits for pre-vets. Pre-Vet club, animal based electives, and your classes are guaranteed to work out because they specifically schedule them that way. And if you don't get into AVC after the minimum two years, you can get your B.Sc in Animal Science which is a good solid degree to have going into vet school. So it's not surprising that they would send more students to AVC than any other NS school. But like I said, I doubt there's a formal agreement. I think the recruiter may have been embellishing the truth. :laugh: Hm, now I want to e-mail AVC and NSAC and see what they say...
 

mhlaur

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By the way, AVC is $4,674 per semester for Canadians and Ross is $14,700 per semester for the first 7 and $18,300 for the last 3 (3 semesters per yr). That's a total of $37,392 vs $157,800 just for tuition.
 

168135

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Sorry about that. I should have had another look at the AVC website before replying. I'm half-asleep right now.

I'm looking at the OVC website... they require the MCAT instead of the GRE, and the only chemistry that's a pre-req is biochem??? Then they look at your last 2 semesters. The admission requirements page is pretty overwhelming.

The average of people given an interview is between ~74 and ~95, in those two catagories (pre-reqs + last 2 semesters). The average is ~83. The number of applicants is 336, interviewed 209, and 113 were admitted.

Hmm.

Looking at the pre-reqs I've taken (haven't taken bio chem yet) and depending on which bio courses they use, my average is ~86. Plus, I'm doing pretty well this year compared to my first two years...

Thanks guys for giving me something to think about.
 

SocialStigma

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Sorry about that. I should have had another look at the AVC website before replying. I'm half-asleep right now.

I'm looking at the OVC website... they require the MCAT instead of the GRE, and the only chemistry that's a pre-req is biochem??? Then they look at your last 2 semesters. The admission requirements page is pretty overwhelming.

The average of people given an interview is between ~74 and ~95, in those two catagories (pre-reqs + last 2 semesters). The average is ~83. The number of applicants is 336, interviewed 209, and 113 were admitted.

Hmm.

Looking at the pre-reqs I've taken (haven't taken bio chem yet) and depending on which bio courses they use, my average is ~86. Plus, I'm doing pretty well this year compared to my first two years...

Thanks guys for giving me something to think about.
OVC is pretty nice in terms of prereqs :D (no orgo required), but I guess that balances out with needing to write an MCAT.

And one other thing to keep in mind, OVC requires you to send in a course approval (by fax) to their admissions office before you apply so that they can approve the courses you've taken/are planning on taking if you don't go to the University of Guelph. The admissions services lady just changed this year to Deanna Lundmark (used to be Penny Scott since I was in elementary school and first checked the OVC site) and she's veryyyyy slow. I faxed in my course approval in a month ago and still haven't heard from her yet even though the site says 2 weeks to process.

So do that asap if you're thinking about going to OVC in case some of your prereq courses get rejected and you have to take another course.
 

168135

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It must be $6000 tuition for your last 2 semesters at AVC?

I'm going to stop quoting numbers now, lol, unless I have the energy to look them up and refresh my memory before posting.

I moved into an apartment this year and the rigor of school and trying to keep an apartment tidy and in one pieces has had my brain in a jumble. I will set my keys on the bed when I get home, and 5 minutes later, I'm panicking because I don't know where they are. I also get numbers jumbled. I swore my boyfriend said he was taking 2 courses first semester and 4 second semester, but he's taking 3 and 3... I told him he was lying... turns out last year he took 2 and 4... and didn't appreciate me calling him a lier...

I tried to look up AVC tuition information and now I can't find it.

I'm going to shut up now. I'm just nutty today. :p
 

168135

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So do that asap if you're thinking about going to OVC in case some of your prereq courses get rejected and you have to take another course.
Thanks.

Well... if I do end up in Ontario, I'll have some time to kill before I'm a resident, which gives me plenty of time to take courses that may not be accepted by them. I hope?

Oo, I have another question.

According to the papers I got in the mail, AVC has some sort of affiliation with SGU. I've heard on this forum that some SGU students transfer to Kansas? after a year. Do I have the option of transferring to AVC if accepted to SGU?

I guess I could email them and find out.
 

Coquette22

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168135

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Well, I'd like to thank everyone for giving me something to think about.

And I appreciate the information... I could have found out myself the next time I had a spare minute to browse some websites.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. After seeing the interview stats at OVC, I think I might have a decent shot at getting in someplace. We'll see. For the past couple of years, all I've heard from people is that you have to be an excellent student to get accepted. When I think "excellent", I think of having a 90 average. I kinda know a girl there now and all but one of her marks were in the 90s. She got a 97 in orgo. At that point, I thought I was doomed. Now I'm thinking I'm not doomed. We'll see. I just have to keep working hard and thinking positive.
 

Coquette22

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Your friend is an anomaly. Really, I think you're worrying prematurely. You don't know if you have a shot until you apply.

To give you an idea... My pre-requisite average is approximately an 84, with marks ranging from 97 to 66 (no thanks to Organic Chemistry). My GRE was a 1230. I got an interview. :)

Regarding NSAC, I received this e-mail from them:
NSAC students don't have a preferred status with AVC but they do tend to be better prepared and have more success than students entering from other universities. The top students that come out of our Pre-Vet program usually do get an interview, as they are usually the top applicants into Vet school. Statistically, NSAC students do hold the most spots in the first year class at AVC, but we don't have an agreemement with them - we just send them more prepared students.
I hope this answers your question.
All the best,
Monica
 

mhlaur

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That's an interesting email from NSAC. I'm beginning to wonder if the profs there might be inclined to inflate their marks. Easy enough to do. An A+ there might not be as hard to get, who knows. But I'm sure they also get great animal experience.

I have spent the last year re-taking my science pre-reqs for AVC since they need to be <6y old. Looks like I'll have an A+ in all 9 science courses, an A in psych and A or B in English. I'm taking Organic in May just in case I have to re-apply. So, I'm not too concerned about grades, but I am VERY concerned about my minimal "recent" vet experience. It sucks that my 5y of vet work in the '90s doesn't count. I'm completely counting my grades and interview to get me in. The experience is only 10% of the evaluation. It's hard to say how much is enough because they changed their application process a few years ago. They used to only require minimum 80h.
 

Coquette22

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In my experience, yes, there's grade inflation at NSAC. The coursework is substantially easier then I feel it should be. I went from a 93 in Gen Chem I and II at NSAC to a 66 in Organic Chem at Dalhousie; I know Organic Chem is harder but one would expect Gen Chem grades to be a decent indicator of Organic Chem grades. I kept in touch with a friend from NSAC who stayed at NSAC after I transferred to Dalhousie, and at Dalhousie, there's a lot more that we're expected to know. The difference seems to be night and day.
 

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I've talked to people who went to other schools in the maritimes and they find the courses at my university more difficult.

I was told that the AVC got rid of their minimum amount of required hours. I actually had a vet refuse to let me shadow or volunteer because I had more well more than the 40 hours that I needed to get into AVC. I wanted to scream "I need WAY more than 40 hours to be competative! Some people have thousands of hours!" I wouldn't be able to apply if it was still 80 hours. I have 4 hours LA experience. The closest LA vet is an hour and a half away and I can't get to the closest farms by bus. I did most of my SA experience in high school and haven't had any luck finding another clinic to take me on.

Can't you mention the 5 years experience in your personal statement?
 

168135

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In my experience, yes, there's grade inflation at NSAC. The coursework is substantially easier then I feel it should be. I went from a 93 in Gen Chem I and II at NSAC to a 66 in Organic Chem at Dalhousie; I know Organic Chem is harder but one would expect Gen Chem grades to be a decent indicator of Organic Chem grades. I kept in touch with a friend from NSAC who stayed at NSAC after I transferred to Dalhousie, and at Dalhousie, there's a lot more that we're expected to know. The difference seems to be night and day.
I had a friend who said the intro biology courses at CBU is more difficult than the intro biology courses at Dal. I've only taken one class so far where my mark was scaled.

I wonder if AVC makes note of who came from where and look at how they're doing in vet school? That girl I was talking about? All year, her MSN status talked about how stressed she was. Is vet school really that hard, or was she not prepared as well as she should have been?
 

mhlaur

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I've been to 3 universities and 1 tech school over the years. They're all the same so far. St Mary's is definitely not easier than Dal. I managed to get 40h LA 4 yrs ago last time I applied to AVC when that was the requirement. Hopefully that will do. I have been taking horse riding lessons since Sept just to be around horses. The AVC application does not have a personal statement anymore. I was allowed to submit a resume to UPEI since I was out of school awhile, but the vet school may not have looked at it since it was requested by the UPEI application not AVC specifically. I'm really hoping my recent grades at SMU and GRE score (1380) will get me in. I've had more experience since my application, but it seems like I may not get a chance to discuss it at the interview as I had hoped.
 

168135

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I wish you two the best of luck and I hope you keep me updated. I'm especially curious about the rigor of vet school. People keep saying it's "hard" but never go into detail about how and why it's hard. I've read the thread about exams and grades, but it can't be too hard if some people balance part-time jobs, continue with volunteering and extracurriculars or devote their weekends to families and still make Bs.
 

rustysmom

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I wish you two the best of luck and I hope you keep me updated. I'm especially curious about the rigor of vet school. People keep saying it's "hard" but never go into detail about how and why it's hard. I've read the thread about exams and grades, but it can't be too hard if some people balance part-time jobs, continue with volunteering and extracurriculars or devote their weekends to families and still make Bs.
The material in each vet school class is similar to an upper level biology class. It's the volume in each class that makes it hard. As an example in my systemic path exam today, we were tested on respiratory, urinary, cardiology, lymphatic systems. Not so bad, right? Well, the amount of information that we had to learn was comparable to a semester's worth of information in undergrad and we had 3 weeks to learn it. Somebody counted - we had roughly 100 diseases to be able to recognize with gross pathological lesions and all their associated details. Our exam was 31 multiple choice questions along with 12 short answers. Not simple regurgitation of information - a lot of our multiple choices are "all of these are correct EXCEPT...".

Combine that 1 class with 7 other classes that have the same level of information that also have concurrent exams. Some classes you struggle with and demand more of your time than others. Sheer volume of information and trying to focus your studying is what makes vet school hard.
 

rugbychick16

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The material in each vet school class is similar to an upper level biology class. It's the volume in each class that makes it hard. As an example in my systemic path exam today, we were tested on respiratory, urinary, cardiology, lymphatic systems. Not so bad, right? Well, the amount of information that we had to learn was comparable to a semester's worth of information in undergrad and we had 3 weeks to learn it. Somebody counted - we had roughly 100 diseases to be able to recognize with gross pathological lesions and all their associated details. Our exam was 31 multiple choice questions along with 12 short answers. Not simple regurgitation of information - a lot of our multiple choices are "all of these are correct EXCEPT...".

Combine that 1 class with 7 other classes that have the same level of information that also have concurrent exams. Some classes you struggle with and demand more of your time than others. Sheer volume of information and trying to focus your studying is what makes vet school hard.

:thumbup: We had a systemic path exam this morning too. 200 points, 3 hours long. Cardiovascular, Neuro, and Urinary systems and their diseases that we've covered in the past 4 weeks. Never counted all the diseases we needed to know, but probably a similar number. 10 page fill in the blank, short answer, or describe the pathogenesis lecture exam, plus lab exam with gross and microscope samples to write short answers for and some pictures to name the morphological diagnosis.
And thats just one class, I have 5 others this semester. The volume of information is astounding (and terrifying). *goes off to get a drink*
 

168135

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Ew...

I'm taking one upper level biology course and when it came to test time, I was pretty sure that my brains were going to ooze out of my ears trying to memorize the names, lifecycles, diseases and treatments of 31+ parasites... plus having to know how the adaptive and aquired immune system works having not taken an anatomy course... and knowing how parasitism has evolved... and having to look at slides and name the parasite, what taxonomic group its in, stage or feature...

I was at a disavantage too, having not taken invertebrate zoology...

... and yet I somehow manage to have the second highest mark in the class.

... maybe it's partly because I realized that stuff like this is really cool???

So bring it on vet school! :p