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I need advice for a contingency plan

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by geckel, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. geckel

    geckel Senior Member
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    I am at a fork in the road right now and would sincerely appreciate some good advice. My state school has just sent out it's first round of acceptances and I was not chosen. Now I need advice for how to go about my contingency plan. Here's the breakdown on my application......

    I am a second year applicant, WM, with a B.A. degree in Psychology. My first DAT was a 17/16/17 and my second DAT is a 21/21/23. My overall GPA is a 3.25, science GPA is a 3.13, and my last 30 credit semester hour GPA is a 2.9something. I've got 100+ hours of shadowing under my belt and did volunteer work as a clinician for a couple of semesters. I was an officer in a newly formed ASDA chapter and a member of numerous honor societies.

    I also might add that when I applied last year my GPA's were only larger by about a few hundredths of a point. Even with my very average-below average GPA's and my low first DAT scores I was granted an interview last year in March (applied in late December).

    Last year, when I found out that I wasn't getting in, I spoke with the admissions man who said that all I needed to do was retake the DAT. I even specifically asked him if I should go back and retake classes and he said no. I even told him that my psychology grades were going to be low.....I used the words "a bunch of C's for my senior year" and he still said that I didn't need to worry about my GPA, just the DAT.

    Well, my DAT percentile ranking increased from the 52% to the 94.4% but I still didn't get the letter. I have called and they told me that of the 53 in-state acceptances they have sent out 23 so far. That leaves me with 30 more chances for acceptance. I am obviously unsure of my immediate future right now but I do feel that I still have a fighting chance.

    If I don't get in this year than it would be because of my GPA. I calculated that I could raise it to a 3.35 overall with a 3.45 science in about 30 credit hours (straight A's of course). This could be done by declaring a BCMB major.....I could finish it as early as the end of the summer or as late as by the end of the fall semester. Yet this is a lot of money that I do not have and DEFINITELY DO NOT want to spend.

    The reason that I need SDNer's advice is because the admissions man won't be back to talk with until January......when classes have already began. Also, I have already been cleared by advising so I can sign up and pay for classes whenever I wish.

    (1) Do you think that I will get in and taking more classes would be a waste of money? Do you think that I probably won't make the cut and taking more classes would be my wisest decision.
    (2) Is it worth the money to take more classes....If I don't get in this year would more classes insure me an acceptance in the next cylce? (I ask this because my GPA's won't increase that drastically)

    When responding please elaborate so that I can read your reasoning. Thanks a million
     
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  3. Ronald Jeremy

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    I would say you should enroll fulltime for this spring. If you don't get in this year, you most likely won't get in next year with no/very little improvement on your transcripts. And, if you get that acceptance letter within the next two months, screw school. If it's not a conditional acceptance you can drop all your classes.
    I wouldn't worry about spending the cash on education. Just remember, every year your aren't through with dental school and practicing, you're losing $150,000+ in salary. So, what's another few G's or whatever your tuition costs.
    Basically there's nothing you can do except keep plugging away, improving yourself on paper in anyway possible.
    I think that part of your problem might be the 2.9 over the last 30 credits. That trend isn't going in the right direction. If someone in the admissions office tells you that it's ok to relax about something that can improve your resume, why even take that chance? Obviously the guy was full of crap, so start kicking ass and taking names in school!!!!!!!!
     
  4. howui3

    howui3 1K Member
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    I read your post and was wondering if you are applying for the second time and you read the SDN posts, why did you apply sooooooooo late? I am sure you are aware that the dental admissions is on arolling basis and the earlier you apply the greater your chances. Can't do anything about that now, but you need to learn from your mistakes.

    That aside, did you only apply to ONE school? You only mentioned your state school, so it seems that you only applied there or just that it's your #1 choice. I hope you did apply to more schools, because if its the cost of tuition you are worried about, DON'T WORRY you WILL pay it back, and by waiting another year you are loosing a year as a dentist.

    I hope you don't get upset from my post, but these are the comments that came up as I read it. And since you posted looking for cemments......

    About the classes. Your GPA seems good especially with your DAT scores (which are great! congrats on that). The only problems I see is that admissions committee look for upward trends with grades and exam scores. You did improve on the DAT, but your GPA went down, not a good trend.

    You can enroll in classes and if you do get in you will have the option to drop it (and hopefully you can still get you fees back) or continue with the class and MAKE sure to get good grades. THe other option is the worse case, if you don't get in, then the only thing you can do to improve you application is to take more classes and do well in them.

    In my opinon, to be a stronger applicant this year (or even next year) you can only improve by raising your GPA.

    Good luck and hope you get in to your state school!
     
  5. alkibiades

    alkibiades alkibiades

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    Firstly, I would try to relax a little, since it's still December! Then I would enroll in as many upper division science courses as I could succeed in/afford. I would also continue volunteer work.

    If I were on an adcom and saw your profile, you'd easily be in the top 3rd of my applicant pool. My initial offers have gone out to applicants with slightly higher GPAs then yours, but their DAT scores are equal to or less than yours. They also applied in May/June with all their materials, play golf on Saturdays with the Dean, and their DDSDad is a generous contributor to our alumni association.

    Take the additional science classes for knowledge and preparation for dental studies, not for the insignficant GPA boost. Do well and get those professors to write you kicka-- letters, just in case.

    Don't forget about the politics of professional school admissions. Who's on the adcom of the school you really want? Do they know you? Your psych degree should be put to good use here... How about inviting them to speak at your pre-dent society meetings? Great non-threatening way to get to know adcom members...

    It never hurts to be prepared. Or lucky. :luck:
     
  6. jr8047

    jr8047 Senior Member
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    I was recently told by the dean of admissions at a d-school that I won't name that if you get an interview then you have already exceeded the threshold needed for an interview. After that threshold (whatever the magic number is) acceptance is based on the peripheral factors, ie. your interview, shaddowing, volunteer work, etc. Therefore, if this is true for all schools, your gpa and dat scores must have been high enough already.
    I would imagine schools vary to some degree in the admissions guidelines.
     
  7. giggledesi

    giggledesi Senior Member
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    i think you dont need to worry, i think you will get in, it is still early!!!
     
  8. giggledesi

    giggledesi Senior Member
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    i think you dont need to worry, i think you will get in, it is still early!!!
     
  9. giggledesi

    giggledesi Senior Member
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    i think you dont need to worry, i think you will get in, it is still early!!!
     
  10. geckel

    geckel Senior Member
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    Thank you all for the advice. As for being a late applicant, I did get the application in a little late but they told me personally that I was going to be considered with the rest of the applicants for the first adcom meeting (held on Dec. 14th)......I already interviewed last year so I didn't need to interview again. You are right about me applying to only one school, I didn't know how late I was on applying to other schools until I found SDN. I have been kicking myself ever since.

    I really like the idea of asking the admissions man to talk at one of our meetings. I am skeptical that I can pull that off though because he is very very very very busy!!!! But I sure will try :) .

    NOW I HAVE NEW QUESTIONS!!!!
    (1) Do I finish up a BCMB degree or do I just take classes that would better prepare me for dental school?

    Will another degree, in biochemistry, really make a huge difference as opposed to just taking the science classes that I want to take. I ask this because I don't want to be a biochemist.....I want to be a dentist. So why not just take the specific classes that I will see again in dental school. A BCMB major will mean that I have to take 2 Calc classes and a few other classes that will not help me as much in dental school. And for what......the right to put BCMB degree on my application.

    Once again, please include your reasoning so that I can make an informed decision.
    Thanks a million
     
  11. geckel

    geckel Senior Member
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    I wish that the school did that. I can tell you that this doesn't apply to my school though because I had my interview during last years cycle and I didn't get in. When I asked he told me that "your DAT is not high enough so take it over again and reapply". So I took it over again and here I am.
     
  12. howui3

    howui3 1K Member
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    Once again in my opinion you should take the classes YOU enjoy and will get good grades in. Since you want to raise your GPA, take the classes you know you can get an A in. So if you enjoy math or you are good at it, then continue with the BCMB major. Because in the end if you have the extra degree but no grades to show for it, the admissions people might not be that impressed.

    Plus, I think that the more well rounded of a student you are the better. You don't have to try to take all the classes you will take in dental school, remember you can major in English or Film Studies and go to dental school as long as you do the pre-reqs. So take a class you want, do well in it, and maybe you will like it so much that you can bring up your experience during the interview.

    Once again good luck and stay optimistic.
     
  13. Dr. Dai Phan

    Dr. Dai Phan Senior Member
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    Hello,

    After reviewing and read your thread along with others, I feel the following impressions...

    1. Your DAT score is good enough for entering Dental school (anywhere).
    2. Your GPA is less than desirable due to a "downward trend" and below the average of the entering class. UT is a very competetive school and anything below 3.40 is kind of borderline.
    3. You applied late when there are more applications means yours will be push at the end due to its weaknesses.
    4. You rely too much on the person who tells you of the reason why you were rejected and plan your future plan according to this person. Remember that there is a buch of people who vote "ye or ne" so it is not up to him. Now, if it is the Dean of Admission, then it is another story but I would not take it from a secretary.

    So what is your solution?

    1. Write a PERSONAL letter to the Dean of Admission (Dr.Coleman?) explaining your concerns and future plan.
    2. If you do NOT get in, request a personal appointment with him and ask him of the reasons for rejection and how to improve your chances.
    3. Take his advice and apply again. This time, write a letter telling him that you have done according to his recommendation and you look foward to be accepted in future class.

    Persistant and determination will GET YOU IN, more than just a pretty face and good grades. Trust me on this. Call me if you need advice. DP
     
  14. geckel

    geckel Senior Member
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    Actually, the "admissions man" that I was speaking of was Dr. Coleman. I just didn't want to mention him by name. Last year I did discuss with Dr. Coleman what I should do and he said that the only thing that I needed to do was retake the DAT. I have done that with good results but I feel that I am still not competitive.
     

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