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Community college vs well known school

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by eep29, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. eep29

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    Hi All,
    I've decided to go back to school and start taking my prereqs for vet school. I read on another forum that vet schools look negatively at community colleges and would prefer if you went to a well known school to do them. The school they cited as doinig this was Tufts. I don't know if this is right or wrong, and this is 2nd hand information but I was just wondering what everyone's experiences were.

    I have the opportunity to take my prereqs at a very well known school in the country but it's $$$$ that is leading me to not want to have to pursue that option.

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Erin
     
  2. philomycus

    philomycus The Tree Rat
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    I don't think it's hurt me, but I did go on to get a Master's in Biology, so it's hard to tell.

    But I haven't been offered anything yet either. I truly think it's because of fewer vet tech hours and crappy general GRE scores than the fact I went to a CC.
     
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  3. StealthDog

    StealthDog U of MN 2010
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    It varies with the school- some factor in a "quality of undergraduate program" score, while other consider Harvard the same as a community college. I'd call up the admissions people at the places you're interested in an ask.
     
  4. philomycus

    philomycus The Tree Rat
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    Stealthdog- love your Avatar!!!
     
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  5. mtrl1

    mtrl1 UC Davis Class of 2011
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    I attended a community college and was accepted to Tufts.
     
  6. cyrille104

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    Yes, but your GPA was close to a 4.0, and did you transfer to a UC school for the last 2 years?

    If you're planning on applying to Penn, Cornell, and (arguably) Tufts, I would go to a 4-year college...just my $0.02
     
  7. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    It's not actually community college vs. well-known that's the issue, because there are literally thousands of perfectly adequate 4-year private and public colleges that are not well known by adcom members, if they've even heard the name at all. The number of truly well-known schools (public or private) is really small, so it would be a pretty nitpicky thing to count on the application. I went to a smallish not-at-all-known state university for undergrad, and have gotten in to all the schools I've heard from so far. Even Penn. So as long as you do well I wouldn't consider that a major handicap.

    I think the more common issue is a junior college (e.g. 2-year school that does not award bachelors' degrees) vs. a 4-year accredited college or university. There is a general assumption that classes at the former are easier than the equivalent classes at the latter, and therefore some schools prefer the latter. There may even be some that explicitly won't accept pre-reqs from a JC but I don't know off-hand. The major exception to this would be starting out at a junior college and then transferring to a 4-year program. The 4-year school gives you transfer credit for your JC classes and they show up on your transcript. Then you've taken, say, Bio 101 at the JC but Biochem and Orgo at the 4-year school, and I don't think there are any vet schools that would refuse to accept the Bio 101 credit. (If, on the other hand, you already have a 4-year degree and are going back to just take selected classes, it would be better to do this at an accredited 4-year college or university, regardless of whether it's well-known.)

    NB. It seems that online classes, particularly when offered by accredited 4-year institutions that have an actual physical campus in addition to their online offerings, are OK for most schools and often cheaper (and more convenient) than actually going to an on-campus class. Whether this is a good option for you would depend on your learning style and whether it's a class you actually care about, or just some dumb class that you have to take only because it's a prereq.
     
  8. KittenKiller

    KittenKiller chop suey
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    To add to this, some online courses offered like this aren't even listed on your transcript as online courses if there is a campus version of the class.
     
  9. wildfocus

    wildfocus DVM/PhD student
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    i was asked at csu's dvm/phd interview if i thought cc courses prepared me for a rigorous training in science, and i told them i thought they were actually better than at my highly ranked university b/c of the small class size (compared to 300+) and more attention i received.... however, i don't think the committee was convinced considering i was put on the alternate list. there is still a chance i might get in, but i think my cc courses may have hurt me there...
     
  10. OP
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    eep29

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    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their feedback. I'm slightly concerned - I already have a 4 yr degree but it's in History so I need to take all of the pre-reqs science wise and I'd much prefer taking it at a local CC because its $260 a class vs.$800+ at any of the 4 yr programs around.

    If I'm going to be spending a lot of $$ as an older student to go back to vet school, do I really have to spend the extra to avoid a CC?

    I can understand why vet schools would prefer 4 yr degrees but don't they understand money doesn't grow on trees?!

    Just venting, sorry. I really do want to give myself the best shot.
     
  11. wildfocus

    wildfocus DVM/PhD student
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    actually, i took most of my prereqs at the cc, while i was getting a second bac in wildlife. it was just a matter of time and money for me too. i got into wsu, interviewed at csu and ucd - so, i wouldn't worry! take them at the cc if you want. as an older student, you have other experience they will probably focus on...
     
  12. mom2jnc

    mom2jnc UC Davis Class of 2011
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    I know at least one Davis faculty member (also been on the admissions committee several times) who actually prefers community college students. He feels as if they have more real world experience and come across as better educated than students who have only experienced 4-year universities. Now this is not a dig to those who have only attended universities, but community college students tend to have more work experience, might be a little more mature, and truly appreciate their education since they had to work and pay for it themselves.

    Again, not universal, but I definitely appreciated my professors at community college and the personal attention I received in the classes. The science and math classes at a cc prepared me very well for upper division courses.
     
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  13. ri23

    ri23 OSU CVM Class of 2011
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    I've heard that a lot of adcomms don't mind if you start off at a CC and transfer to a University after two years to complete GECs, they tend to prefer that you complete your science and math courses at a University. The veterinary pre-reqs are what they really look at in an application for the student's ability to handle the rigors of vet school. I don't think that that would make/break your application, but that is what I've heard.
     
  14. OP
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    eep29

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    Thanks, everybody!
     
  15. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    Since you're really starting from scratch, but you don't need a full degree, you could try a modified version of the "start at a JC and transfer to a university" approach: Take (and ace) the lower division science courses - the first year of bio, chem, and physics - at the local CC, and maybe even the medium-level courses like microbiology, nutrition, genetics (exact requirements differ between vet schools). Then take the harder upper division courses - organic chem, biochem, etc. at the 4-year school (and kick ass). This saves you some money in the beginning but ultimately shows the adcom that you can handle hard science classes at the university level.

    NB. You won't actually transfer the CC credit to the university because you're not in a degree program, but the concept is the same.
     
  16. horselvr

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    Sorry - I don't know what I am doing today. I keep duplicating my posts.
     
  17. horselvr

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    Sorry - I don't know what I am doing today. I keep duplicating my posts.
     
  18. horselvr

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    It is hard because there is a school here that I have heard is known for giving Cs (I don't know this from experience, just what others have told me), but they are one of the schools in my area that offer some of the pre-reqs at night. I hate to bring down my GPA by taking classes there, but maybe it isn't true. I can't imagine that would be good for their ratings.

    My pre-reqs are coming from a couple of different 4-years, depending on who is offering the required courses at night. Hopefully that isn't frowned upon.

    I am honestly not certain if it matters or not. I think some may give credit for the quality of the program (Cornell states they give 5% or something like that for this), whereas others may base the initial results on GPA and GRE.
     

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