Do schools look at life events when considering applicants?

Dec 26, 2011
34
0
Status
Pre-Dental
To start off with Im working on a post-bac at UF in microbiology due to my terribly low GPA with my first degree in 09' (cGPA 2.6). I was wondering if schools look at events other then just extracurriculars?

My current cGPA is 2.885 and sGPA 2.7.

Since January 2011 I haven't had a semester less then 3.42 and my overall gpa from this degree is 3.59.

I will be taking the DAT July 3rd.

This all said, do schools look other things that may make getting good grades a bit harder and how do they view it?

My wife and I (married ~1 yr) welcomed our first daughter into our lives in January. I work 20-25 hours a week as a nutrition care coordinator at a 120 room long term care facility, and have accrued ~2k hours of direct patient care. This past semester I took molecular genetics (A), virology (A), nutrition and disease (A) and graduate immunology (B- :annoyed:- final was 40% of total grade). I managed a 3.67 this past semester as a newly married man with a crying baby in the house. In addition, I shadowed 2 dentists (general and periodontist) over the past 2 semesters (~40 hours--- truly I only went in when cool stuff was going on).

My GPA since perusing the post-bac shows an increasing trend (>1 whole GPA point with only upper division/graduate courses) that coincides with increasing course loads (3.44 with 9 credits and work, shadowing and 10 hrs weekly research to 3.67 this past semester). If I discounted my prior time at UF (nutrition degree) and just included my time spent at junior college before first transferring up, I have a 3.59 GPA with jr college and post-bac work.

I worked for a dentist one summer a couple years back (~300 hours) and after calling 4 dental schools, they said to stop shadowing, working was better then shadowing. As stated earlier, I did research and coauthored a paper which is in final revisions prior to publishing. Other extracurricular activities include high school soccer/track/chess club!, played oboe and guitar in middle school (still fluent at playing the recorder!), teach drawing classes at a local art museum, volunteered at Shands (hospital) in Gainesville x 2 semesters, blood donor (?) 2 gallons to date. That all I have at the top of my head.

I know it'll be hard to say if I even have a chance without DAT's, but My goal is 23's. I took off summer A to study for this ~8-10 hours nightly.

Anyone have any insight as to if or how schools view little ones in admissions?

(3 hours of sleep a night since January is rough...!)

Lastly, how "creative" are people getting at listing courses for addsas? My first degree (nutrition-mostly C's) I was going to see if I could tip-toe around putting any of those classes in sciences...... Anyone have any input as to how or what they did/did they get called out/consequences?

I have LOR from anatomy and virology professors along with the periodontist/MD that I worked/shadowed with, all of which are pretty stellar.

I know I'm not going to get into any ivy league schools and I accept that, but I just want to get into a school, hopefully without pursuing a masters.

Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
Apr 26, 2012
150
2
Virginia
Status
Don't be fooled. It may come up during interview or your personal statement for you to defend. Dental schools do not "consider" life events. In a 4 year span, everyone has life events. They will select the better student with the higher DAT and GPA who may or may not went through the same life events.

That being said, your stats are not bad. This site will help give you an idea. Look for doc toothache's posts here on SDN. His signature has some useful links with GPA and DAT scores.

http:// predds .net/dental-school-admission-statistics/
 
Apr 28, 2012
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Sorry, I'm not going to be much help since I am still in the early stages of researching as a pre-dent, but I did want to ask for some clarification.

It looks like your grades have improved since your child was born, right? So are you asking whether the committee will be really impressed by that, enough to overlook some possible mistakes from the past? I would assume you don't have much to worry about. It looks like you've held up well.

My son was born halfway through my bachelor's degree and I took about a year off, TWICE, first when he was <1 year and then after going to school for a full year. I am concerned that it looks like I couldn't handle motherhood and school at the same time, but every time I went back I ended up improving my grades until I got ~3.9 consistently through the last 5 quarters (with 14-18 credits/quarter). I worry about the time off looking bad, but I am planning to put in another year of work to finish my prereqs and I'm not too worried about it. I am pretty sure I will do well.

Ultimately, it is what it is. Like Toothsayer says, everyone has life events. Showing that you can handle them and jump back on the wagon is probably a good thing overall. Showing improvement following a major event should definitely be a good thing.
 

dentalprodigy

Mr. Awesome
7+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2009
529
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South Jersey, NJ
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They do, there's a section on application to explain situations like this.

I wrote in that section but was never asked about it in any interviews

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk
 

DatRat86

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2008
41
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They do, but they have a cut off to weed out low gpa's and your close! Not to sound pessimistic but you need to do well on the dat! Good luck bro hope you get in
 
May 9, 2012
22
0
Status
**** happens in everyone's life. Some are more lucky than others.

It may help you, but really there are people who have gone through life altering events but still remain on track.

Sad to say, Dental Schools will take those people over everyone else.
 
Jan 10, 2012
171
0
Status
Dental Student
You cannot change what happened but you can control what will happen. Explain ur story in AADSAS application. I had an opportunity (I don't believe in a failture, only an opportunity) during college and my GPA was pretty bad. In my PS, I explained how that experience allowed me to grow as an individual and to develop great characteristics. At every school, an interviewer always asked me that questions. I elaborated what I wrote in the PS and blah blah blah. They really liked that. IMO, schools are really looking for applicants who struggled yet persevered, and overcame obstacles because everyone is motivated and smart. those two won't cut it.

When I applied last summer, some people would've laughed at me for applying some of the schools (they are very competitive, and my stats are not great) sometimes u gotta trust yourself and roll the dice. best luck on DAT and applying!

PS apply to more private schools. Admission director at one private school told me during the interview that he used to work at a public dental school and that public schools get taxpayers' money and have to report the stats of incoming students to the states??(something along that line. basically, they can't pick and choose applicants as much as private schools), etc... so they put a lot of emphasis on GPA & DAT.
 
Last edited:
OP
SE86
Dec 26, 2011
34
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks everyone for their input. I know that I have work to do and that I have room for improvement.
 

Cello

7+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2011
1,169
1,417
Status
Dental Student
If I am understanding this correctly, you did poorly your first time around, but have improved significantly during your post-bacc. I'm not sure what you're worried about, as your post-bacc will absolutely help to offset your poor performance during your undergrad.

You know, there's a lot to be said for taking ownership of your past deficiencies and mistakes. While others try to explain away their past and brush their mistakes under the rug, you have the opportunity to stand out by taking responsibility for your past. Excuses are dishonest, and they insult the intelligence of whoever you are making the excuse to. Just own up to your past, don't feel the need to explain yourself and your situation, or make excuses, and simply say: "In the past I made mistakes, I have grown up, I'm not a little kid anymore, and I have demonstrated that with these great grades during my post-bacc."
 

yappy

10+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2008
3,086
330
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Make sure to take advantage of the special essay
 
Last edited:
May 12, 2012
20
1
Status
Dental Student
While everyone has life events that occur, some schools will take into consideration obstacles that you've had to work through. However, that's not to say that all schools show that much sympathy. If you could get a tour of a school and meet an admissions officer, get your name out there and tell your story - it's much easier to convey how much you want this, how you got distracted, and show to them that you currently plan to do everything possible to get to your goal. They want to see dedication and that the distraction that once let your grades slip won't be a factor in the future. I had a similar situation and instead of fooling anyone by trying to alter my online ADSSAS form, I was just honest about it. I got my name in admissions offices, showed my interest, and that made it clear that I had grown from the experience, that I am capable of performing well and that was just a one time thing that I learned from. All in all, kill your DAT and express yourself in your personal statement, don't lose hope! I didn't and now I'll be entering the class of 2016 :)
 

molar3

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2010
738
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Status
what life events are u referrring to? that u got married and chose to be a husband and a father? ie things u can control.....? why would they take that into any sort of consideration.....when ppl have bad/uncontrollable events happening in their life and yet they maintain good grades or get masters just like u. therefore imo, id say no, adcoms wont really take ppls personal lives into consideration....at least its not going to be a deciding factor in anything.
 
Jun 21, 2011
151
0
Status
Dental Student
To start off with Im working on a post-bac at UF in microbiology due to my terribly low GPA with my first degree in 09' (cGPA 2.6). I was wondering if schools look at events other then just extracurriculars?

My current cGPA is 2.885 and sGPA 2.7.

Since January 2011 I haven't had a semester less then 3.42 and my overall gpa from this degree is 3.59.

I will be taking the DAT July 3rd.

This all said, do schools look other things that may make getting good grades a bit harder and how do they view it?

My wife and I (married ~1 yr) welcomed our first daughter into our lives in January. I work 20-25 hours a week as a nutrition care coordinator at a 120 room long term care facility, and have accrued ~2k hours of direct patient care. This past semester I took molecular genetics (A), virology (A), nutrition and disease (A) and graduate immunology (B- :annoyed:- final was 40% of total grade). I managed a 3.67 this past semester as a newly married man with a crying baby in the house. In addition, I shadowed 2 dentists (general and periodontist) over the past 2 semesters (~40 hours--- truly I only went in when cool stuff was going on).

My GPA since perusing the post-bac shows an increasing trend (>1 whole GPA point with only upper division/graduate courses) that coincides with increasing course loads (3.44 with 9 credits and work, shadowing and 10 hrs weekly research to 3.67 this past semester). If I discounted my prior time at UF (nutrition degree) and just included my time spent at junior college before first transferring up, I have a 3.59 GPA with jr college and post-bac work.

I worked for a dentist one summer a couple years back (~300 hours) and after calling 4 dental schools, they said to stop shadowing, working was better then shadowing. As stated earlier, I did research and coauthored a paper which is in final revisions prior to publishing. Other extracurricular activities include high school soccer/track/chess club!, played oboe and guitar in middle school (still fluent at playing the recorder!), teach drawing classes at a local art museum, volunteered at Shands (hospital) in Gainesville x 2 semesters, blood donor (?) 2 gallons to date. That all I have at the top of my head.

I know it'll be hard to say if I even have a chance without DAT's, but My goal is 23's. I took off summer A to study for this ~8-10 hours nightly.

Anyone have any insight as to if or how schools view little ones in admissions?

(3 hours of sleep a night since January is rough...!)

Lastly, how "creative" are people getting at listing courses for addsas? My first degree (nutrition-mostly C's) I was going to see if I could tip-toe around putting any of those classes in sciences...... Anyone have any input as to how or what they did/did they get called out/consequences?

I have LOR from anatomy and virology professors along with the periodontist/MD that I worked/shadowed with, all of which are pretty stellar.

I know I'm not going to get into any ivy league schools and I accept that, but I just want to get into a school, hopefully without pursuing a masters.

Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
My advice to you is to NOT try and cheat the application process and lie about the courses you did poorly in.

I think a low GPA will be far out-shadowed by being "creative" or "tip-toeing around" courses that should be listed as science.

If you apply based on your merits and successes, which you certainly should be proud of, given the additional responsibilities you have chosen to assume, then you should do well in the application process. It is certainly not easy to have a wife, child, job and school and do as well as you have.

Write about that in your personal statement, about how you manage time, how dentistry as a profession will allow you time with your family, how you are not afraid of responsibility.

Also, middle school and high school activities as extracurriculars on your application? That seems like a long time ago.

Don't lie about your coursework.
 

goffdent

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2008
356
3
CORN
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Dental Student
When I read life events.. I was like: Your family trip to Florida? Highschool graduation? Your first word? Or the time you were living day to day trying to get an education and a job on wall street while trying to provide for your son. Then you caught a break and made millions. I kid.. that's just how i read it at first.