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Explanation Statement

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BovineBeauty

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Yes, another explanation statement post. I'm sorry.

So, usually when an applicant has had a spout of bad grades they also have a higher last 45 or pre-req GPA to lean on. Unfortunately, that is not my case. I had a 3.7 until junior year hit and destroyed all my GPA's. Now I'm at a 3.5 (barely) and my last 45 and pre-req GPA's are even lower than that. I don't have a major debilitating disease or deceased family members, just really awful year. I know my GPA isn't terrible compared to others who have already been accepted, but I'm still feeling insecure. I'm only applying to my IS school (no money) and they don't have interviews.

Basically the only "reason" for my crappy year is the fact that I'm financially independent (working ~30 hrs/wk) and I was going through a very difficult bout of depression which was never diagnosed or treated. Basically I was super burnt out, extremely unstable, and working when I should have been studying. From what I've read, this is a pretty common situation. How the heck do I spin that in a positive light?

Tell me if I'm wrong but I've basically got the three biggest red flags you can have on your application:
1) No money
2) Poor academic performance
3) Unstable

Thanks to all the work I do to keep a roof over my head, I've got a TON of experience and will have a publication soon, too. I have some good things going for me, but also a streak of fresh C+'s.
 

dyachei

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If that's your explanation, you're better off not explaining. If you do explain it, you should be focused on why it won't happen again.

Schools don't care if you have funds or not. They only care if you can't get loans
 

BovineBeauty

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If that's your explanation, you're better off not explaining. If you do explain it, you should be focused on why it won't happen again.

Schools don't care if you have funds or not. They only care if you can't get loans

Ouch. Saying nothing is better than acknowledging that those grades are there?
 

mmmdreamerz

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Yes, another explanation statement post. I'm sorry.

So, usually when an applicant has had a spout of bad grades they also have a higher last 45 or pre-req GPA to lean on. Unfortunately, that is not my case. I had a 3.7 until junior year hit and destroyed all my GPA's. Now I'm at a 3.5 (barely) and my last 45 and pre-req GPA's are even lower than that. I don't have a major debilitating disease or deceased family members, just really awful year. I know my GPA isn't terrible compared to others who have already been accepted, but I'm still feeling insecure. I'm only applying to my IS school (no money) and they don't have interviews.

Basically the only "reason" for my crappy year is the fact that I'm financially independent (working ~30 hrs/wk) and I was going through a very difficult bout of depression which was never diagnosed or treated. Basically I was super burnt out, extremely unstable, and working when I should have been studying. From what I've read, this is a pretty common situation. How the heck do I spin that in a positive light?

Tell me if I'm wrong but I've basically got the three biggest red flags you can have on your application:
1) No money
2) Poor academic performance
3) Unstable

Thanks to all the work I do to keep a roof over my head, I've got a TON of experience and will have a publication soon, too. I have some good things going for me, but also a streak of fresh C+'s.

Maybe don't explain. Instead focus on the strong parts of your application. You had a bad year. Your grades are what they are. Water under the bridge. Now show vet schools why you are a fabulous candidate anyway. Many have gotten in with a 3.5...it's all about how you present yourself going forward.
 

Lupin21

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The problem with having a lower last 45 is that in most cases, the courses are getting harder. This may indicate that someone has a problem with the harder science courses and could be flagged. Sadly, saying I was working is not a good excuse as that is pretty much the norm in these times. One has to be able to manage difficult coursework to show that vet courses can be handled. That is difficult to do without a strong showing in upper division classes.

That being said, if you can do well in any remaining classes that have a high difficulty level, you don't need words as it will show in your transcript.
 
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StartingoverVet

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NO money is irrelevant.
Unstable is only your perception. Don't mention it, and no one else will consider it.

As for bad grades. No you don't have bad grades, you have an average applicant GPA due to a bad year.

There are a lot of ways to spin it so you look better. But it depends on the details.
Nothing wrong with saying you over-extended yourself between work and study and learned an important lesson or something like that. It would show maturity and that you are learning from your mistakes if said humbly.

If your grades were good in many upper level classes you can demonstrate that it wasn't the difficulty of the classes but your ability to put in the effort.

You just have to look at it calmly and see how you can present it in the best light. TBH, the way you present it to us though, the less you say the better, because you don't come across well in your post (not that you need to, just sayin...) Have someone else go through this with you, we can't do it for you.
 
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BovineBeauty

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The problem with having a lower last 45 is that in most cases, the courses are getting harder. This may indicate that someone has a problem with the harder science courses and could be flagged. Sadly, saying I was working is not a good excuse as that is pretty much the norm in these times. One has to be able to manage difficult coursework to show that vet courses can be handled. That is difficult to do without a strong showing in upper division classes.

That being said, if you can do well in any remaining classes that have a high difficulty level, you don't need words as it will show in your transcript.

yes. If your explanation is that you were working and depressed and have done nothing differently to get through it, it's much better to leave it blank

I've taken three graduate classes (400 level), got A's, and they happened to be during this year. I'm taking a 500 level developmental physiology next semester. Two of the classes I performed poorly in was quantitative chem and orgo, but my research is all analytical chemistry (pharmacology). Should I explain how this solidified my knowledge of those subjects?
 

dyachei

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I've taken three graduate classes (400 level), got A's, and they happened to be during this year. I'm taking a 500 level developmental physiology next semester. Two of the classes I performed poorly in was quantitative chem and orgo, but my research is all analytical chemistry (pharmacology). Should I explain how this solidified my knowledge of those subjects?
how many poor grades are there? 2 or 3? leave it alone. Especially if C or higher.
 
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BovineBeauty

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NO money is irrelevant.
Unstable is only your perception. Don't mention it, and no one else will consider it.

As for bad grades. No you don't have bad grades, you have an average applicant GPA due to a bad year.

There are a lot of ways to spin it so you look better. But it depends on the details.
Nothing wrong with saying you over-extended yourself between work and study and learned an important lesson or something like that. It would show maturity and that you are learning from your mistakes if said humbly.

If your grades were good in many upper level classes you can demonstrate that it wasn't the difficulty of the classes but your ability to put in the effort.

You just have to look at it calmly and see how you can present it in the best light. TBH, the way you present it to us though, the less you say the better, because you don't come across well in your post (not that you need to, just sayin...) Have someone else go through this with you, we can't do it for you.

You're right, I only presented the weak pieces of my application here. I mean it when I say I have a lot going for me - one of my professors (got an A in his 400 lvl class) who was former adcom said he was blown away with the quality/quantity of my vet, research, and leadership experience. I've got good LORs who know me well. One of my jobs right now involves teaching 4th yrs in the teaching hospital. There's a lot of good things about my application, but I feel it's irrelevant to publicize them. I'm not concerned about displaying my strengths, but I am so insecure about my GPA since the damage is so recent. I don't have a way of proving or advocating academic integrity other than having clean grades next semester.


how many poor grades are there? 2 or 3? leave it alone. Especially if C or higher.

It's Orgo I, Quant. Chem, Economics, and Physics I. All C+'s but solid A's in everything else. Those C's are just heavy enough to weigh my GPA down that much.

Thanks for all your input, everyone - I really appreciate it. I'll probably end up just leaving it alone.
 

dyachei

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You're right, I only presented the weak pieces of my application here. I mean it when I say I have a lot going for me - one of my professors (got an A in his 400 lvl class) who was former adcom said he was blown away with the quality/quantity of my vet, research, and leadership experience. I've got good LORs who know me well. One of my jobs right now involves teaching 4th yrs in the teaching hospital. There's a lot of good things about my application, but I feel it's irrelevant to publicize them. I'm not concerned about displaying my strengths, but I am so insecure about my GPA since the damage is so recent. I don't have a way of proving or advocating academic integrity other than having clean grades next semester.




It's Orgo I, Quant. Chem, Economics, and Physics I. All C+'s but solid A's in everything else. Those C's are just heavy enough to weigh my GPA down that much.

Thanks for all your input, everyone - I really appreciate it. I'll probably end up just leaving it alone.
5 C's wont break you.

I had 4 or 5 when I applied.
 

Lupin21

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You're right, I only presented the weak pieces of my application here. I mean it when I say I have a lot going for me - one of my professors (got an A in his 400 lvl class) who was former adcom said he was blown away with the quality/quantity of my vet, research, and leadership experience. I've got good LORs who know me well. One of my jobs right now involves teaching 4th yrs in the teaching hospital. There's a lot of good things about my application, but I feel it's irrelevant to publicize them. I'm not concerned about displaying my strengths, but I am so insecure about my GPA since the damage is so recent. I don't have a way of proving or advocating academic integrity other than having clean grades next semester.




It's Orgo I, Quant. Chem, Economics, and Physics I. All C+'s but solid A's in everything else. Those C's are just heavy enough to weigh my GPA down that much.

Thanks for all your input, everyone - I really appreciate it. I'll probably end up just leaving it alone.
Depending on where you apply, you'll need Ochem II and Phys II. If you can boost those grades, that will also go a long ways towards helping you out. Also, did you not have to have both Gen Chem I and II as a prereq for Ochem, or are you simply including it all in what you call Quant Chem?
 

missdarjeeling

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It's Orgo I, Quant. Chem, Economics, and Physics I. All C+'s but solid A's in everything else. Those C's are just heavy enough to weigh my GPA down that much.

Doubt anyone would care about Econ. As for the others, 3 C+-es isn't a whole lot, and IMO the solid A's in everything else make up for it. That's not even counting the experiences you've mentioned. In your shoes, I probably wouldn't bother even saying anything. If you put something in the explanation statement, it'll just draw undue attention when they may think nothing of those C+-es anyway.
 

BovineBeauty

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Depending on where you apply, you'll need Ochem II and Phys II. If you can boost those grades, that will also go a long ways towards helping you out. Also, did you not have to have both Gen Chem I and II as a prereq for Ochem, or are you simply including it all in what you call Quant Chem?

I got a B in Chem I. Our school calls Chem II "Quantitative", so apologies for the miscommunication. I'll be taking Orgo II next semester, and then the only classes I'm taking in the spring are a 3 credit GenEd, Biochem, and Physics II. The only prereq we have for Orgo is Chem I, but both Orgos are required for Biochem. The only prereqs I have left are Biochem, Physics II, and Orgo II.
 
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Lupin21

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I got a B in Chem I. Our school calls Chem II "Quantitative", so apologies for the miscommunication. I'll be taking Orgo II next semester, and then the only classes in the are one 3 credit GenEd, Biochem, and Physics II. The only prereq we have for Orgo is Chem I, but both Orgos are required for Biochem. The only prereqs I have left are Biochem, Physics II, and Orgo II.
Gotcha. Rock them out and you'll be in good position. Sounds like the rest of the app is all good, so I 100% agree with the others that an explanation statement at this time is not needed.
 

vetmedhead

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Yes, another explanation statement post. I'm sorry.

So, usually when an applicant has had a spout of bad grades they also have a higher last 45 or pre-req GPA to lean on. Unfortunately, that is not my case. I had a 3.7 until junior year hit and destroyed all my GPA's. Now I'm at a 3.5 (barely) and my last 45 and pre-req GPA's are even lower than that. I don't have a major debilitating disease or deceased family members, just really awful year. I know my GPA isn't terrible compared to others who have already been accepted, but I'm still feeling insecure. I'm only applying to my IS school (no money) and they don't have interviews.

Basically the only "reason" for my crappy year is the fact that I'm financially independent (working ~30 hrs/wk) and I was going through a very difficult bout of depression which was never diagnosed or treated. Basically I was super burnt out, extremely unstable, and working when I should have been studying. From what I've read, this is a pretty common situation. How the heck do I spin that in a positive light?

Tell me if I'm wrong but I've basically got the three biggest red flags you can have on your application:
1) No money
2) Poor academic performance
3) Unstable

Thanks to all the work I do to keep a roof over my head, I've got a TON of experience and will have a publication soon, too. I have some good things going for me, but also a streak of fresh C+'s.

In addition to what everyone else has already told you, I would advise seeking some therapy/treatment for depression. Even if you feel fine now that stuff has a bad habit of rearing its ugly head right when things get difficult (such as: during vet school) and it's not a good or fun thing to deal with. Many universities have free or discounted counseling for their students and I encourage you to seek it out. Even if you don't have a "diagnosable issue" they can help a lot with developing coping strategies for stress and working on your resiliency in general, which are always useful life skills.
 
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