Help With Questions About Pre-Reqs For Dental School (VCU)

Oct 19, 2014
2
0
Status
Non-Student
Hope you all can provide some insight. And I know the post is fairly long so I appreciate you all taking the time to look it over and giving me advice.

A little bit of background on me:
-31 years old
-I have a B.S. in Information Technology from a 4-year university with a final overall GPA of 3.7.
-Will have my student loans completely paid off within another 6 months or so (currently just promoted to Security Engineering making ~$60k/year)

Unfortunately the courses I opted to take throughout my degree did not put me in a good spot to change over to the Dentistry path easily meaning I have to take all of the ~2 years worth of pre-req science courses.

I'm fairly confident in my ability to take all the science pre-reqs and do well on them and maintain my 3.7 or even pull it up some; not saying it's going to be a breeze for me, but doable I would think.

I'm going to try and reach out to NVCC and see if they have more info; probably VCU after that but figured I'd try here as everyone is/has gone through similar things and are very helpful from all the reading I've done here so far.

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1. In order to get my pre-reqs completed, do I HAVE to enroll in some sort of post-bac program or can I just enroll in the needed courses at the university I graduated from? Most preferable would be if I could take the courses at the local community college (Northern Virginia Community College) in order to save on tuition, etc.

2. Would grades from 10 years ago pre-bachelors be a negative on my application? I had taken some courses at NVCC in my early 20s when I wasn't exactly focused or driven and the grades weren't so great but I also did not transfer them to my 4-year university. NVCC allows students to re-take a course at which point the old grade is overwritten - not sure if that even matters 10 years later; but from an admissions committee perspective, would this be seen in a positive manner? I don't believe they'd be able to see the original grade if I re-take them.

3. Does anyone know what VCU's stance/view is on non-traditional applicants? I'm from VA and at my age financial stuff is a huge consideration so this might all be more of a pipe dream than a feasible reality for me since it would be hard to swallow out-of-state tuition/loans along with the lost income I could have been bringing in during 2 years of pre-reqs and 4 years of dental school itself. I imagine most here would agree that banking into getting into your state school as your only option is a completely foolish one when they have a 4% acceptance rate.

4. As a non-traditional, would you all think VCU might understand that an applicant's background might not have all the extra-curriculars, research experience, and other things of that nature that a traditional's would? Would a strong GPA/DAT, shadowing, and non-dentistry related work experience possibly be sufficient?

5. Any suggestions of other schools with out-of-state tuition rates that are similar to what one would get from their in-state? My cousin who is a dentist recommended that if I really do pursue dentistry that I should go to VCU, or maybe even Howard in DC but that would be considered out-of-state and I've read here they are an HBC and perhaps my chances of getting in (Asian) are not so good?
 
OP
Dave22003
Oct 19, 2014
2
0
Status
Non-Student
So I went to NVCC and talked to a counselor and also a VCU admissions person for a few moments on the phone - VCU actually wanted me to drive down there to speak to a counselor in person; don't believe she realized I was a non-traditional with a full-time job as she said that students from the area do drive there for that. She's supposed to send me a form to request over-the-phone advising.

1. I was told by NVCC that I could take the pre-reqs with them and that they would be accepted by VCU; Biochem is not taught there though so I'd have to go to GMU for that one.

2. They have an "Academic Renewal" option where if it has been 5 years since you last took a course, if you get a 2.5 GPA on your next 12 credits they don't include your prior D's/F's in your transcript GPA that they send out. The other school will see them on there though and I'd have to explain it to the admissions committee assuming I take the plunge and pursue this further.

If anyone could provide some insight for 3, 4, and 5 I'd appreciate it.