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Dental School Rankings - do they really mean anything?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by WilliamC93, May 20, 2014.

  1. I'm a Junior in college and about to apply to my first round of dental schools. I have a very strong GPA and DAT, a fairly strong accumulation of shadowing (~60) and volunteer (~50) hours, and my personal statement is...only in its first draft...(I hate writing; words are the devil) HOWEVER, I feel like I have a fairly good chance of getting into a school that I want, and that school would be University of Colorado. Why? Location. I'm a total nature mountain guy and there's no better place for that than Colorado. I don't know much about the school, nor have I been able to find much about it, other than its in the bottom portion of some of the school rankings lists (but #3 on a different one...?). My question is, do these rankings honestly mean anything? Many tell me that it doesn't matter because, in the end, I'll be a dentist no matter where I go. I am an Oregon resident and am constantly told that OHSU is a great school, but I don't think I can do another four years of consistent clouds and rain. I'm also told that Arizona is amazing, as well as UCSF and UCLA.

    So yeah, if theoretically given the option, go where I would like to live, or go with the rankings or word of mouth?

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  3. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    There are no true dental school rankings... So yup, they don't mean squat.

    By all means, though, go to the cheapest school. The cost does make a difference.

    If you're just starting out, you might not have looked at the cost of schools as an OOS student--it is astronomical.
    LaughingGas likes this.
  4. ModifiedBass

    ModifiedBass 2+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Whatever "rankings" you found are completely fabricated and entirely, plainly incorrect. There is no such thing as dental school rankings.
  5. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Not a single applicant I know paid attention to dental school ranking. As a matter of fact, is there even one? The best dental schools are the schools are accepts you. If you feel like UoC is good for you, then by all means attend it; no one and I mean literally no one will be like "UoC? Eh I prefer a different dentist"
  6. Ok thanks! Money wise, OHSU in-state would be 'only' $20,000 less a year than OOS Colorado. In my opinion, that's worth it, especially if I can snag the Navy or Airforce scholarship. (But I hear both these schools are extremely slow in acceptance)
  7. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    With a scholarship, the money is a moot point. Otherwise, $20,000/yr is a BIG difference when you factor in loan interest rates. :)
  8. syap

    syap 2+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Is Colorado part of WICHE? Look into that!
  9. Jordan1671

    Jordan1671 5+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    Nah, go for whatever's in your budget.

    Optional: You'll be spending 4 years of your life in one spot pretty much. Might as well make it good, so look into whether you want a rural school / city school. That depends on what type of personality you rural schools tend to have a cheaper living expense. Take note of what you want as well. I wanted a big-ass free-weight grunting meathead gym, so I looked for those around the area. I may not end up going to one due to high workload, but it's nice to have the option if you can fit it.
  10. jeffity

    jeffity 7+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Already noted...ignore any rankings.

    As fantastic as the outdoors of CO are, the odds are against you, even with a very strong GPA and DAT (I don't know what your definition of 'very strong' is so I'm kind of gauging off 60 hours of shadowing being 'fairly strong'). OHSU is considered state-supported so WICHE won't apply to you. Based on the past few years of statistics, CO only interviews ~150/~1,500 OOS applicants and accepts ~1/3 of those interviewed. So you're looking at single-digit acceptance rates for all OOS applications. A good chunk of that ~150 interviewed are WICHE applicants. Of course anything is possible and I suppose everyone has a dream school, but it'll be a battle. At least they don't charge you a secondary fee unless they interview you. So what is it, a $90 gamble? I think that's the going rate this year.

    You'll be inside studying all day, so you won't even know it's raining outside in Oregon, right?
  11. jeffity, so I have a 3.88 oGPA, 3.95. sGPA, and on the DAT I got 25AA/24TS/28RC/26PAT.
    But damn...I guess I really didn't realize how low the acceptance rate is...
    So maybe I got overly confident about it, but because of my lacking shadowing and volunteering, would I still not even be competitive?
    I know its a bad time for me to make big decisions as I just finished the DAT a few days ago after studying for it for months, but I'm pretty drained at this point, with still a month of Spring term to go, and I'm just burnt out. I'm really playing with the idea with a gap year, and I could really increase my application strength with an additional year.. I hate decisions..
  12. jeffity

    jeffity 7+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Now, we're talking! That changes everything! A pair of 3.9s and 25/24? Apply wherever you want. Restrictions don't apply to you. Despite what we want to believe and what schools might want us to believe, this is still a numbers game. I wouldn't suggest a gap year to improve your application because stats are basically the bulk of it. Cost is still cost, so consider that and financing options. But you are in very fine shoes to shoot for the Rockies.
  13. wolfchild007

    wolfchild007 2+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    My friend got into CO with a 3.8 and a 18AA 19TS 19PAT. I think u have a shot everywhere with your stats. (He was OOS from a decent state school)
  14. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Sterling Hts, Mi
    There is only one ranking that maters, and thats tuition. The cheaper tuition the higher the ranking.

    With regards to obtaining a job vs ranking of the schools... no such thing exists.

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