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How did you decide where to apply?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by pressmom, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. pressmom

    pressmom Third year! 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Personally, I drew a line on the map and applied to every school inside that line plus NCSU, which was a little farther away but I had lived in Raleigh-Durham previously, and Auburn, which is my "in-state" vet school. (I live in KY.)
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  3. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    I used a few criteria:

    1. They had to take my pre-reqs or I had to be able to complete them before graduating without compromising my major or minor.
    2. It had to be someplace I was actually willing to live, so not the south or anywhere really far from a city (just my personal preference, nothing against the south or the cornfields)
    3. I went to visit some of the schools before applying to make sure it was something I was interested in.
    4. I looked at the statistics for out-of-state applicants. If they take very few (10 or less), I didn't bother.

    If I had known about this forum ahead of time, I would have taken a few hours to look through the posts of accepted applicants on this forum and find (or piece together) their stats. If I was way off for a particular school I wouldn't have applied.

    Of course I was flexible with this, because I had to make sure I was applying to enough schools. 4 schools was enough for me.
  4. dyachei

    dyachei vet robot pirate zombie Administrator Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Looking back, I didn't really have good reasons to apply where I did. I applied to UGA, UTK, Penn, and Davis. I really don't know why I did Davis. Penn was because they accept a lot of out-of-state students. UGA and UTK are both in the region where i currently live. I applied to UTK on sort of a whim, but it turned out that since my parents recently moved there, I counted as a resident (which I didn't expect because I have everything registered in GA, and my parents lived out of the country for a while).
  5. critterfixer

    critterfixer Veterinarian 2+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    I looked over the pre-requisites to be sure I wouldn't need an extra class for any particular school. Then I perused the school's web sites, learning everything I could about their philosophy, method of teaching, research interests, amount of clinical exposure, etc. I also looked at the percentage of out of state applicants who were accepted, and how I compared to their average student with GRE scores and GPA. I compiled a list of 12 schools I was highly interested in and then sat down with my husband to narrow it down.

    We ended up choosing 8 of the schools based on whether or not he would be likely to find employment in his field within commuting distance. I applied to Knoxville (my state school), Auburn, CSU, Penn, Iowa State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Purdue. I was rejected by Purdue, Penn, Auburn, Wisconsin and CSU. I interviewed with Illinois and Knoxville. I was selected as an alternate at Iowa State and Illinois and offered admission at Knoxville.

    In the end, I could have saved a lot of time and money applying only to Knoxville, but I think I would have been happy at any of those schools.
  6. PdxYOSHI

    PdxYOSHI Oregon State 2011 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    Well, having a SO really limited where I applied to. I first considered the prerequisites, then the curriculum, and location. The prereqs. definitely ruled out some schools that I would have really liked to apply to. Location was also pretty important to me since I'm forcing my husband to move as well and he needs a job. But ultimately I got in to my in-state school so our transition will be as smooth as possible. After some interviews and campus tours its much easier to visulize where you'll fit in the best so if you have the opportunity to visit a campus then I highly recommend it.
  7. horsybaby

    horsybaby 2+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    "After some interviews and campus tours its much easier to visulize where you'll fit in the best so if you have the opportunity to visit a campus then I highly recommend it."

    Other than applying to your state school- for obvious reasons- I highly second this suggestion. After going to visit one of the schools I had applied to, I realized it was THE school for me. Honestly, I felt we were a perfect fit for each other and really knew I was HOME. I could have saved myself alot of wondering and doubt, if I had just visited before applying.
  8. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011 2+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Living in Washington, DC, I was out-of-state everywhere and also without contract slots anywhere.

    I would say that geography probably played the biggest role in my decision, as I made my initial cut of schools based on geography. My SO and I made a list of places we would feel comfortable living for the next several years and that would be advantageous for her career. It was a rather short list that included only non-southern schools that were in or very near a fairly major metro area. No offense to the south or more rural areas...this was just personal preference, having lived in DC for the past 15 years, having grown up just outside of NYC, and having a partner whose personal and professional needs necessitated those criteria, as well.

    Once my list of 5 schools was made, I certainly had preferences amongst the 5, based on what I learned about each school's program, but I knew that ultimately we would be happy at any them and that I would be getting an equally strong education no matter which I ended up at.
  9. eep29

    eep29 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Sorry this will be off topic everyone...

    RunnerDC, I live in DC as well. I'd like to get in touch with you to ask you about places where you've been successful finding veterinary experience here. I've tried a bunch of places to no avail.

    I tried to PM you but you don't have that option available. Would you mind sending me an email at ccmeetsdc at

  10. ri23

    ri23 OSU CVM Class of 2011 7+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    I suppose my reply isn't really helpful but I have always wanted to go to either OSU or Penn, so I only applied to those two schools. Those were also 2 of the 4 schools that I applied to for undergrad. They both have fantastic programs and are relatively close to home (Penn not as much).
  11. ratbandit

    ratbandit 2+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I pretty much just looked at the pre-reqs to make sure I wouldn't be wasting my money. Since I'm a junior I only qualified for 9 schools, I was only going to apply to 5 since it's so expensive, but my boyfriend (yay for real jobs) pitched in and paid for me to apply to the other 4. I barely squeaked by w/ the pre-reqs for a lot of schools. I really didn't care where I would get in, I can deal w/ a less than ideal situation for four years if it means I can do what I want for the rest of my life! I was planning on doing as cyrille said, not applying to those schools who accept 10 or fewer out of state, but since I saw that someone from my undergrad got into VA-MD last year I applied and got waitlisted.
  12. JIKJen124

    JIKJen124 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    Umm... Did you miss the cornfields down in Champaign-Urbana? I'm from the "middle" and I thought it was a little too in the middle of nowhere for me, so I can't imagine how that worked if you were anti-cornfield.

    As for my selection process, my life goal since deciding to pursue vet school is to obtain my DVM before my 31st birthday, so I knew I was going to apply to a bunch to try and increase my chances of getting in somewhere this cycle. I started with schools known to have strong equine programs that also took a decent number out of state, as well as with my state school. That got me OSU, Penn, and CSU. Then I started looking at other schools in the midwest with strong reputations - Madison, MN, and IL. I applied to UTK because of its strong reputation for high quality teaching, which was important to me. Purdue was added fairly late in the game because I started dating someone in Lafayette and wanted to maybe have that possibility. Glasgow was the backup plan to make sure I'd have my DVM in 5 years. Michigan State was the last school I applied to, not because I wasn't always interested (they too have a solid equine program), I just didn't think I had all the pre-reqs. When I took animal nutrition for Purdue, the problem was solved and there was my 10.

    Perhaps in retrospect, I should have applied to about 5 schools, but I having choices was also a nice luxury.
  13. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    i picked 4 schools where i really liked the program. then i took all the schools that didn't have a supplemental app, put them into a pie chart and threw darts at it until i had picked 2 more schools, for 6 total.
  14. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    No, I know. Like I said, I had to be flexible, and since it was only ~2 hr drive to Chicago, where I went to undergrad (a lot of my friends are going to be there, I know the city well, etc.), I figured it could work.
  15. Apollo84

    Apollo84 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    I took the complete list of US schools.
    1. Subtracted any place where I didn't have certain prereqs (speech, micro w/lab, nutrition)
    2. Subtracted any place where I absolutely knew I didn't want to live (removed a few of East Coast places since I would prefer to stay on West Coast)
    3. Subtracted the places with really high out-of-state costs (Penn, Tufts, though for next year I will put these back into consideration)
    4. Subtracted any place that you had to apply to separate from VMCAS because I'm lazy (Tuskegee, and maybe another one...)

    This left me with a list of about 10 schools.
    5. Checked with SO to see his preference of schools left since he would be moving with me.
    6. Checked wallet to see how many I could apply to.
    I came up with a list that was 5 schools - 3 that were West Coast and 2 more that were favorable to out-of-state. I would be happy to go to any of the schools I chose.

    This is a good thread. I like hearing everyone's criteria.
    I personally don't care about the details of any of the programs. I know that might seem a little weird.
  16. wildfocus

    wildfocus DVM/PhD student 5+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Rocky Mountain High
    included my state school b/c i had the best chance there (wsu), and then chose others that had dvm/phd programs with strong research in wildlife and zoonotic diseases (uc davis and csu). added cornell (despite it being on the east coast, where my husband would probably be miserable) b/c they have a dvm/phd program that pays for all years - plus i never would know if i didn't try (and fail!)...
  17. 4theanimals

    4theanimals 2+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2006
    Fort Collins, CO
    Apollo84 - I really don't think that is weird. In a lot of ways I approached this whole process with the thought that it doesn't really matter where I end up I will make it work. It's not like you can go to a bad vet school after all. ;) My magic number was six schools. Why? No good reason. I could afford it and yet it didn't seem too over the top. My choices were all sort of random. I applied to my in state, Davis, and Western because it literally is five minutes from where I currently live. I applied to Massey because I had spoken with a rep at some meeting and she was telling me how they had a certain number of spots for US citizens and were having a hard time filling them (I think it's completely different now). I chose VA because I lived there before and loved it. I had also volunteered at the hospital in Leesburg and was impressed with the students and staff. I initially chose CO because I had lived there. When I looked into it I was very intrigued by the MBA/DVM program and so applied for that. So after all this I had five. The last school was probably the most random - Purdue. I had heard Dr. Luescher speak at a couple of behavior seminars and knew I would learn a lot.

    But let me add one more little thing, remember when you are looking at admissions statistics, they're averages. Are you going to have a better chance if your near that average - absolutely. If you aren't near it should you forget it - not necessarily. If you can afford it - go for it. Worst case, you get rejected and you can talk to the schools and find out how to improve.
  18. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Sounds like my criteria were pretty much the same as everyone else: having all the prereqs, locations where my SO had *any* chance of finding a job he'd be happy with, and the heinousness of the supplemental app (under which classification fell Tufts b/c they didn't use VMCAS at all). Secondary to that was research reputation/opportunities. Ended up with a list of 4 which has alternately felt like too few and way too many.
  19. Pennymare

    Pennymare Ohio State Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2007

    To be honest, I asked every vet I knew 1) Name me schools you think are strong in equine 2)Do they have sizable caseloads.

    Then I looked at prereqs, teaching style, overall reputation, location, and facilities.

    But, it wasn't nearly as methodical as my list looks ;) Get lots of information, establish what's important to you, and go by the feeling in your gut.... I don't think you can pick a 'wrong' school, because becoming a good vet probably has more to do with *you* than with the school.
  20. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane 7+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    boo... i've been slacking on these boards and people are saying my thoughts before i get to it, lol.

    i'm among the few that didn't even look at prereqs until registering for my last semester of undergrad. i guess i'm teh emotional hippy type (maybe tahts why i hate research?), so i just went with my gut. always knew i'd apply to Penn and VA-MD, and tacked on some others based on whims.

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