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Do PT schools look at student-athlete status?

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by noke11, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. noke11

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    I am heading into my senior year and what will be my 4th year of college soccer. Do PT schools look at this? I put it under my extracurricular activities on my application and just ballparked the number of hours. But it's pretty demanding. 6 days a week of practice/ games plus travel. Anyone know anything about this?
     
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  3. SnowyDPT

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    They look at your application as a whole. I was a 4 year college baseball player and put it in my application. It shows you're well rounded, not someone who simply only studied through school, but can manage multiple tasks at once.
     
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  4. Tammy Gohard

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    you should put any and everything you can on your app
     
  5. jamesmr8138

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    It's absolutely worth adding to your application, but I felt as if being an athlete was an afterthought compared to the rest of my application back when I applied. Playing a D1 sports holds as much weight as playing intramurals with most of the programs that I applied to. Before I graduated from PT school I asked the program coordinator how they chose their applicants, and she told me it was a formula that factors in GPA, GRE, and observation hours (however every program will be different!).
     
  6. starrsgirl

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    It's worth putting on but it won't give you extra credit or anything or make up for poor GPA/scores.
     
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  7. RhinoDPT

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    I was a D1 athlete in college as well and I put it on my application. I think it will only factor in if we are in a deadlock between multiple other applicants. For example, if we have around the same GPA and GRE scores as well as interview similar to other applicants, our student-athlete status might give us the nod! Goodluck!!
     
  8. starrsgirl

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    One thing to keep in mind is that there are a TON of student athletes who are PTs. I think my class is about 50% college players...even some post college (semi pro or whatever for their particular sport). It's nuts to have so many in a class of 50!
     
  9. DesertPT

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    I don't think the oft-fabled "deadlock" or "head-to-head" between applicants ever actually happens. Schools receive 20+ applications for every available seat, they often interview at least 3 students for each available seat, and then they may accept 2 or more students for every available seat at a lot of schools, and waitlist many others. They also use ranking systems which, once interviews are scored, I'm sure allow students scores to differ by only fractions of a point even if they truly were as close as possible to identical applicants. Most schools send out acceptances simply by selecting the top x number of final scores.

    So all things considered, the chances of two students actually ending up in a "deadlock" seem very slim indeed. I imagine it is rare that Adcoms select two applications out of the stack of hundreds, place them side by side, and then sit and vacillate at length between them. There just simply isn't time in the work week for most faculty members for that kind of stuff. We often say things along the lines of "if two applicants were identical, but A had this and B didn't, then A would get in", as a hypothetical situation, but in reality that is probably a very romanticized view of how the application and selection process actually works at the vast majority of DPT programs.

    I think instead of always talking about what applicants can do to make themselves "stand out" from other applicants like we always do, I think we should talk more along the lines of how can an individual make themselves more qualified for PT school, or perhaps more appealing to an interviewer. A lot of aspects of your app will be scored automatically, and the subjective aspects that are scored by your interviewer or whoever else will only be on the mind of that person right during those minutes they are interviewing you or looking at your app. You would have to be truly exceptional in some way to make yourself "stand out" in the long term in someones mind, but at most schools I don't feel like it matters that much anyway, because your fate is probably sealed right then and there during the interview when you are fresh in the persons mind and they score you. I have to qualify this obviously by saying that this is going to vary a lot school to school of course. I'm sure the extent to which Adcoms discuss each interviewee when they convene varies a lot.

    Perhaps @ptisfun2 can help me out here and tell me if I'm wrong.
     
    #8 DesertPT, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    RebaMc, Archline and starrsgirl like this.
  10. ptisfun2

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    Could not agree more! I think I have said before, for my school (and I imagine a lot of others), getting to an interview is a numbers game. A computer program 'works its magic' and spits out a list to interview (for those schools who interview). I can tell you we never open an application until we get that list, but meeting minimums is the minimum criteria for all items on the list and then all are ranked to determine how many we can interview based on how many slots we have. So for us a LOR or personal statement is not read until we have the applicants we are going to interview.

    We have rubrics for LOR and personal statement and interview. Those are used, scored, and added to scoring for other things (GPA, GRE). We do not 'discuss' candidates at all; all scoring is done independently and then an average is taken. The rankings make our decisions, and during this, we are 'blind' to school graduated from, major, age, race, sex, etc. (the person interview probably knows all of this, but the AdCom does not). Our goal is to make admission decisions consistent, objective, and transparent. Our students tell us sometime we succeed they think, and sometimes we fail, but we have rubrics for everything, and a standard weighting equation.

    The interview is where the applicant can convince the interviewers why PT is the right profession for them, what they will contribute to the profession, and how prepared they are or graduate school. All of that said, as DesertPT stated, this can vary school to school, although with the high number of apps many schools are getting, I cannot imagine it deviates much.

    All of that said, a student-athlete in my opinion has one advantage that they should state in an interview or personal statement. With 20 hours/week plus study halls, meetings, etc. student-athletes have a lot of experience with time management and prioritization, 2 skills critical for a graduate student. Student-athletes are not unique in this (e.g., people who work significant hours), but for me, this is how SA status is different than other extra-curriculars; those you can always just stop if schoolwork gets stressful. So in an interview or personal statement, work it in somehow. HOW being a student athlete contributes, and not merely the fact that you were a student athlete.

    Oh, and one more thing...as DesertPT said (seriously, you all should listen to her or him!), standing out is very, very difficult. ALL applicants want to help people, spend time with a patient, and have either gone to PT due to any various sports injuries or watched your grandmother/father, sister, etc. receive PT and saw the good it did. Every. Single. Applicant. Not a bad thing to say, but that rarely makes you stand out. In 8 years, I can think of 1 applicant that one of these things stood out (family member receiving PT), and I still remember the story to this day. But that is 1 out of over 200 I have interviewed, and many more personal statements I have read!
     
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  11. DesertPT

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    Thanks @ptisfun2! I always enjoy reading your posts.
     
  12. starrsgirl

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    EVERYONE applying to PT school should read and understand this post. Writing a great essay or being a student-athlete can't overcome your application numbers. But every cycle, people seem to think those things will.
     
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  13. RhinoDPT

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    I am a D1 athlete with a 3.95 GPA and a solid GRE. I do not use being a student-athlete as a crutch by any means. However, I think it will favor me having kept such high grades while placing top three nationally in my sport. I have never thought it can make or break my application, but the process of getting accepted into a DPT program is a game of inches. I believe being a student-athlete is a good inch.
     
  14. redrose424

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    I don't think anyone is saying being a student athlete isn't something good on an application, just that other things are significantly more important. Those things probably being GPA, GRE, observation hours, personal statement, interviews, LOR etc etc. Basically the list is long before athlete status might be considered a significant factor in determining admission.
     
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