Jul 18, 2016
2
2
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm a recent graduate and don't know if I should apply for this cycle (start school in 2017) or next (2018). My cumulative GPA is 3.59 and science GPA of 3.78. I am currently scheduled to take the DAT at the end of August. On practice tests, I have been scoring 21 on natural science and PAT, 20 on quantitive and 19 on reading comp. My major concern for applying this cycle is finances. On top of 15K in student loans and an additional 10K of debt from medical bills, my credit score is below average and I don't have someone to cosign for loans for dental school until next next summer. With finances being the major concern for waiting, would it be beneficial to wait and pay off these debts before applying or should I just go for it? Also, I have heard from friends that have been accepted to dental school that you stand the best chance of getting accepted if you apply early in the cycle. I'm not sure how much truth there is in this statement so any input would be appreciated.
 

Typical Average Student

5+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2014
1,483
1,723
Houston, TX
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Dental Student
You will be able to receive finanial aid loans regardless of your credit score so postponing applying in order to pay off debt won't really do much. Just know the gov't will only allow you to accumulate no more than 224k in federal loans total (which include prior undergrad debt)... any more than that would require private loans which do require credit scores.

On topic though, since you are still deciding whether or not to apply this cycle, I would assume you do not have your letter of recommendations gathered (even if you begin to gather them now, it'll be rushed and may lack quality). Thos will ultimately push back your application which is not very good since applying early has a very large impact. I would suggest to apply next cycle... take the DAT this August, if you don't like your score, you can do a retake in 3 months. You also have time to increase your volunteering/working/shadowing/extracurricular components, work on any courses/grades, and gather quality letters of rec and be ready to apply the first day of June next cycle. I would suggest taking at least 1 or 2 classes in the mean time if you are already out of school.... To increase your cumulative gpa and keep busy (which is what schools want to see).
 
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Panis et Circenses

2+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2015
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Typical average student gave some really good advice there. The only thing though, is that if you wait to apply, you may regret it. You may sit around next year thinking, man I should have just applied. That's kind of the boat that I'm in right now, doing a gap year and wishing I wasn't.

If you take the dat early August, can get letters asap, (and submit your AADSAS application before you take the dat) you still may be able to get in this time around.
 

DJI

2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2016
124
76
Status
Dental Student
I took my DAT on Nov 7th, then collected 4 letters, and filled out the entire application by Nov 27th. You should give credence to "rolling admissions", and earlier is better.. but I applied late and was accepted. With your stats, you will get in. Get this done fast and apply this cycle.

I wouldn't wait another year if you don't have to. That's one year of salary as a dentist that you forfeit by waiting. The debt you have now is chump change compared to the debt you are about to receive and won't make a difference in the long run.
 

Faefly

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
1,983
1,143
Status
Dental Student
I took my DAT on Nov 7th, then collected 4 letters, and filled out the entire application by Nov 27th. You should give credence to "rolling admissions", and earlier is better.. but I applied late and was accepted. With your stats, you will get in. Get this done fast and apply this cycle.

I wouldn't wait another year if you don't have to. That's one year of salary as a dentist that you forfeit by waiting. The debt you have now is chump change compared to the debt you are about to receive and won't make a difference in the long run.
Congratulations. Do you mind sharing your gpa, because I am planning to apply late and I was trying to see what are my chances.
 

Faefly

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
1,983
1,143
Status
Dental Student
I'm a recent graduate and don't know if I should apply for this cycle (start school in 2017) or next (2018). My cumulative GPA is 3.59 and science GPA of 3.78. I am currently scheduled to take the DAT at the end of August. On practice tests, I have been scoring 21 on natural science and PAT, 20 on quantitive and 19 on reading comp. My major concern for applying this cycle is finances. On top of 15K in student loans and an additional 10K of debt from medical bills, my credit score is below average and I don't have someone to cosign for loans for dental school until next next summer. With finances being the major concern for waiting, would it be beneficial to wait and pay off these debts before applying or should I just go for it? Also, I have heard from friends that have been accepted to dental school that you stand the best chance of getting accepted if you apply early in the cycle. I'm not sure how much truth there is in this statement so any input would be appreciated.
you have a month on work on getting the highest Dat you can get. I don't see the point from waiting? Keep on studying for the dat.

Unless you are planning to travel and do something like volunteering in a poor country or do a research or shadowing. Postponing one year from your life is not worth it.

Unless you wanna travel the world and have some fun, why would you postpone it..

The only scenario I see you postponing this is by getting low scores on practice dat tests and you feel you are not gonna score high enough..

Other than that go for it!
 

fayevalentine

See you space cowboy.
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2014
505
285
Status
Pre-Dental
Everyone else has given you great advice, but I do want to add something in case you apply next year... apply for fee assistance if you can! You have to make 300% or less of the poverty guideline. If you qualify that will save you a nice chunk of change :). Good luck with whatever you decide to do!