If you don't meet the minimum GPA, does that mean they won't even look at your application?

Apr 17, 2017
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OptomCAS changed their grade replacement policy, so instead of counting the most recent grade, they take an average of all attempted grades. My GPA is WAY below 3.0 if all attempts are counted, but around 3.0 if the higher grade is considered. My school only counts the recent attempt so my GPA shown in my transcript is higher than what OptomCAS would calculate it as. I'll be applying next cycle, and I believe I have a solid PS, and strong LORs. If I do well on the OAT, will that make up for my low GPA? If the school considers GPA more than the OAT score, does that mean they won't look at my application since my OptomCAS GPA will not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA? The reason why my GPA is so low is because of medical reasons, and I have many documents to back it up. I'm not sure how understanding the admissions will be regarding my medical issue, because this seems like a very common excuse.
 
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a lot of the schools look at your application holistically and most schools just recommend that your gpa is over a 3.0 rather than require it. i would recommend reaching out to the admissions offices of schools you are interested in for a counseling session. this will show them that you are interested in their program and want to make yourself a competitive applicant and you also benefit by finding out where you stand with their program requirements and they can provide actual advice on how to improve your application.
 
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Sep 5, 2020
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I had the same concern about this weighted gpa. I was told by an admission officer that the retake shows your determination and they understand how OptomCas has figured the final gpa with the average of both grades. If you have a school that you are really interested in, please call the top person of admission department and explain the gpa being lower due to OptomCas . They probably have already realized this about your gpa but it will at least let you explain your situation AND listen to their feedback so you will know where you stand with the admission process ath this school. Best of luck to you. Keep me updated please!
 
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OptomCAS changed their grade replacement policy, so instead of counting the most recent grade, they take an average of all attempted grades. My GPA is WAY below 3.0 if all attempts are counted, but around 3.0 if the higher grade is considered. My school only counts the recent attempt so my GPA shown in my transcript is higher than what OptomCAS would calculate it as. I'll be applying next cycle, and I believe I have a solid PS, and strong LORs. If I do well on the OAT, will that make up for my low GPA? If the school considers GPA more than the OAT score, does that mean they won't look at my application since my OptomCAS GPA will not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA? The reason why my GPA is so low is because of medical reasons, and I have many documents to back it up. I'm not sure how understanding the admissions will be regarding my medical issue, because this seems like a very common excuse.
Where did you hear they stopped doing gpa replacement? I emailed optomcas a couple days ago and they said they would take the most recent grade if it's taken at the same institution.
 
Sep 16, 2020
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Where did you hear they stopped doing gpa replacement? I emailed optomcas a couple days ago and they said they would take the most recent grade if it's taken at the same institution.
Hi! I also directly spoke to someone from optomcas and they told me that they no longer allow grade replacements: "We will no longer ZERO out initial attempted, repeated coursework credits in OptomCAS’s new 2020-2021 cycle. All credits appearing on a transcript will be honored and verified as reported." This was sent to me at the beginning of October so I'm not sure if they changed their policy again.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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Hi! I also directly spoke to someone from optomcas and they told me that they no longer allow grade replacements: "We will no longer ZERO out initial attempted, repeated coursework credits in OptomCAS’s new 2020-2021 cycle. All credits appearing on a transcript will be honored and verified as reported." This was sent to me at the beginning of October so I'm not sure if they changed their policy again.
Thats weird this is what they replied when I asked them about their grade replacement policy.
 

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Jul 21, 2020
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Thats weird this is what they replied when I asked them about their grade replacement policy.
I would reach out again. I was in a similar boat and they ended up apologizing to me because "their staff" was not properly trained on the new policy that switched this year. I was told that they now verify courses exactly the way they appear on the official transcript: if a college counted all attempts for repeated courses on a transcript, OptomCAS would as well (so no longer have the ability to zero those courses out). So my assumption is that if your school zeros it out, they would, too, and vice-versa.
 
Sep 5, 2020
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I repeated a class at the same university. The first attempt on my transcript was a..."D" as well as the second attempt "B" as a "R" repeat. The university did not count my first attempt with the "D" in their gpa calculation BUT OptomCas did count the "D" along with the "B" in Their gpa calculation. If the above case is true by Preopt2021 then OptomCAS should have zero out my "D " like the university did with my gpa even though it was still on my official transcript. Confused? Me , too. My impression is OptomCas does not cancel out the first attempt if it is still on your transcript even though the university DID NOT use it to calculate the university gpa since it had a "R" by the class description. Bottom line, if I could do it over again, I would calculate my own gpa and NOT use their calculation service and then deal with OptomCAS if they dispute the gpa calculation.
 
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I repeated a class at the same university. The first attempt on my transcript was a..."D" as well as the second attempt "B" as a "R" repeat. The university did not count my first attempt with the "D" in their gpa calculation BUT OptomCas did count the "D" along with the "B" in Their gpa calculation. If the above case is true by Preopt2021 then OptomCAS should have zero out my "D " like the university did with my gpa even though it was still on my official transcript. Confused? Me , too. My impression is OptomCas does not cancel out the first attempt if it is still on your transcript even though the university DID NOT use it to calculate the university gpa since it had a "R" by the class description. Bottom line, if I could do it over again, I would calculate my own gpa and NOT use their calculation service and then deal with OptomCAS if they dispute the gpa calculation.
I called customer service and she said they count all attempts rip :( that drops my gpa pretty badly.
 
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Apr 17, 2017
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a lot of the schools look at your application holistically and most schools just recommend that your gpa is over a 3.0 rather than require it. i would recommend reaching out to the admissions offices of schools you are interested in for a counseling session. this will show them that you are interested in their program and want to make yourself a competitive applicant and you also benefit by finding out where you stand with their program requirements and they can provide actual advice on how to improve your application.
Some do have a minimum GPA though, which is 3.0, and I no longer meet that requirement since they are taking an average of all attempts. But thank you for your suggestion, that is a great idea.
 
Apr 17, 2017
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I had the same concern about this weighted gpa. I was told by an admission officer that the retake shows your determination and they understand how OptomCas has figured the final gpa with the average of both grades. If you have a school that you are really interested in, please call the top person of admission department and explain the gpa being lower due to OptomCas . They probably have already realized this about your gpa but it will at least let you explain your situation AND listen to their feedback so you will know where you stand with the admission process ath this school. Best of luck to you. Keep me updated please!
Do you mind sharing which schools you have reached out? It seems like most schools rather prefers the OptomCAS's GPA, even if your university takes the most recent attempt. Thank you for your advice, I'm going to reach out to them
 
Apr 17, 2017
59
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I repeated a class at the same university. The first attempt on my transcript was a..."D" as well as the second attempt "B" as a "R" repeat. The university did not count my first attempt with the "D" in their gpa calculation BUT OptomCas did count the "D" along with the "B" in Their gpa calculation. If the above case is true by Preopt2021 then OptomCAS should have zero out my "D " like the university did with my gpa even though it was still on my official transcript. Confused? Me , too. My impression is OptomCas does not cancel out the first attempt if it is still on your transcript even though the university DID NOT use it to calculate the university gpa since it had a "R" by the class description. Bottom line, if I could do it over again, I would calculate my own gpa and NOT use their calculation service and then deal with OptomCAS if they dispute the gpa calculation.
What frustrates me the most is that they didn't even announce ahead of time that they were thinking about changing the policy. It sucks because I spent many semesters just retaking classes to make up for my low GPA, and now that it's finally above a 3.0 (not taking an average of attempts), they changed the policy, so now I feel like I just wasted my time and tuition :(
 
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Apr 17, 2017
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I would reach out again. I was in a similar boat and they ended up apologizing to me because "their staff" was not properly trained on the new policy that switched this year. I was told that they now verify courses exactly the way they appear on the official transcript: if a college counted all attempts for repeated courses on a transcript, OptomCAS would as well (so no longer have the ability to zero those courses out). So my assumption is that if your school zeros it out, they would, too, and vice-versa.
Have you put in your grades yet? Did they count the recent grade if you have retaken any of your classes? It seems like most OptomCAS employees are still not up to date on the new grading policy, so you might want to triple check. They told me all attempts will be counted, so that means even if your school doesn't, OptomCAS will.
 
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Jul 21, 2020
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Have you put in your grades yet? Did they count the recent grade if you have retaken any of your classes? It seems like most OptomCAS employees are still not up to date on the new grading policy, so you might want to triple check. They told me all attempts will be counted, so that means even if your school doesn't, OptomCAS will.
Yea, both of my grades counted but that’s how it shows on my transcript (which I think most schools do). Aim for a high OAT score
 
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Given the averaging of the grades by OptomCas ......Here is something I did in my application. I explained the retaking of the class and then attempted to turn it into a positive. I mentioned it showed my diligence to not accept a poor grade. Briefly , I stated the professor was extremely difficult to understand and the classmates I knew of no one received any higher grade than a "C". The proof to back up my statements were seen in my higher grade the second attempt and with another professor. Any explanation will be better than none to the admission committees .
 
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Do you mind sharing which schools you have reached out? It seems like most schools rather prefers the OptomCAS's GPA, even if your university takes the most recent attempt. Thank you for your advice, I'm going to reach out to them
Missouri, Rosenberg, MCPHS, Chicago
 
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Vna

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I spoke with someone and they unfortunately said they don’t do the grade replacement anymore. My verified gpa is incredibly low and I’m not sure if any school will take me into consideration.
 
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I spoke with someone and they unfortunately said they don’t do the grade replacement anymore. My verified gpa is incredibly low and I’m not sure if any school will take me into consideration.
I would still apply, especially if you make comment about the situation in your application and during the interview.
 
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I would still apply, especially if you make comment about the situation in your application and during the interview.

My concern is that students with a subpar GPA due to unforeseen circumstances, medical issues, or other reason, who had to repeat a course will now have a low GPA and be rejected before even being offered an interview to explain. I submitted my application early this cycle before realizing that grades were not being replaced, although I did briefly mention my reasoning for low grades and repeats in any additional information section, I have only received rejections or silence since then. I have, In my opinion, a great PS, great LORs, lots of ECs and an average OAT score, but since my grades are not being replaced I have an Optomcas GPA of 2.91 instead of what my school calculated which is a GPA of 3.21. That is a big difference and I think this change screwed me this cycle. If anyone has any tips for me let me know, but this grade replacement really makes me feel like I wasted my time trying to improve
 
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My concern is that students with a subpar GPA due to unforeseen circumstances, medical issues, or other reason, who had to repeat a course will now have a low GPA and be rejected before even being offered an interview to explain. I submitted my application early this cycle before realizing that grades were not being replaced, although I did briefly mention my reasoning for low grades and repeats in any additional information section, I have only received rejections or silence since then. I have, In my opinion, a great PS, great LORs, lots of ECs and an average OAT score, but since my grades are not being replaced I have an Optomcas GPA of 2.91 instead of what my school calculated which is a GPA of 3.21. That is a big difference and I think this change screwed me this cycle. If anyone has any tips for me let me know, but this grade replacement really makes me feel like I wasted my time trying to improve
If you don't mind, what was your OAT scores?
 
Oct 17, 2020
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I got destroyed by that new policy. When I re-enrolled back into school 2.5 years ago, my pre-optometry advisor told me grades would be replaced. My heart nearly stopped when I saw my official OptomCAS app list 2.51 for cGPA and 2.48 for sGPA.

I was declined an interview to NECO due to my GPA and waitlisted to NOVA for I believe the same reason.

However, I've received four interviews and I've been accepted into two schools so far for Fall 2021 (waiting on 1 response and I declined 1 interview). I even somehow managed a modest scholarship. Keep your head up!
 
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My concern is that students with a subpar GPA due to unforeseen circumstances, medical issues, or other reason, who had to repeat a course will now have a low GPA and be rejected before even being offered an interview to explain. I submitted my application early this cycle before realizing that grades were not being replaced, although I did briefly mention my reasoning for low grades and repeats in any additional information section, I have only received rejections or silence since then. I have, In my opinion, a great PS, great LORs, lots of ECs and an average OAT score, but since my grades are not being replaced I have an Optomcas GPA of 2.91 instead of what my school calculated which is a GPA of 3.21. That is a big difference and I think this change screwed me this cycle. If anyone has any tips for me let me know, but this grade replacement really makes me feel like I wasted my time trying to improve

Did any schools reach out for interviews or were you notified of these decisions before they offered an interview? Anyways, a 3.21 GPA is solid and shows that you're more than a capable person that understood the stuff taught in school. If it makes you feel better, there have been people who have been accepted with a 2.8 GPA in previous classes. Keep pushing and things will work out
 
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Did any schools reach out for interviews or were you notified of these decisions before they offered an interview? Anyways, a 3.21 GPA is solid and shows that you're more than a capable person that understood the stuff taught in school. If it makes you feel better, there have been people who have been accepted with a 2.8 GPA in previous classes. Keep pushing and things will work out
The 3.21 is my college reported GPA, Optomcas says my GPA is much lower at 2.91 which sucks... yes I was rejected before being offered an interview at 6 schools. I have made the plan to submit my fall grades (projected to be all As) once available which will bring my optomcas GPA to 3.01 if their excel GPA calculator sheet is accurate, then I will apply to additional schools. I am hopeful! I have wanted to be an optometrist for a while now, and although I am frustrated with the GPA situation, I am not planning on giving up!
 
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preopt2019

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The 3.21 is my college reported GPA, Optomcas says my GPA is much lower at 2.91 which sucks... yes I was rejected before being offered an interview at 6 schools. I have made the plan to submit my fall grades (projected to be all As) once available which will bring my optomcas GPA to 3.01 if their excel GPA calculator sheet is accurate, then I will apply to additional schools. I am hopeful! I have wanted to be an optometrist for a while now, and although I am frustrated with the GPA situation, I am not planning on giving up!

What schools rejected you?
 
Apr 17, 2017
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I got destroyed by that new policy. When I re-enrolled back into school 2.5 years ago, my pre-optometry advisor told me grades would be replaced. My heart nearly stopped when I saw my official OptomCAS app list 2.51 for cGPA and 2.48 for sGPA.

I was declined an interview to NECO due to my GPA and waitlisted to NOVA for I believe the same reason.

However, I've received four interviews and I've been accepted into two schools so far for Fall 2021 (waiting on 1 response and I declined 1 interview). I even somehow managed a modest scholarship. Keep your head up!
Congrats on your interviews and acceptance! Do you mind sharing your OAT score? And can you also share which 4 schools you interviewed at?
 
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Vna

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Just wanted to let you guys know keep your heads up! I ended up getting 3 interviews so far: SUNY, WesternU, Pacific
 
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Vna

Jun 19, 2020
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I got destroyed by that new policy. When I re-enrolled back into school 2.5 years ago, my pre-optometry advisor told me grades would be replaced. My heart nearly stopped when I saw my official OptomCAS app list 2.51 for cGPA and 2.48 for sGPA.

I was declined an interview to NECO due to my GPA and waitlisted to NOVA for I believe the same reason.

However, I've received four interviews and I've been accepted into two schools so far for Fall 2021 (waiting on 1 response and I declined 1 interview). I even somehow managed a modest scholarship. Keep your head up!
Are scholarships awarded by admissions? Or must optometry applicants apply on their own? I’m not clear if this is something we can start applying to scholarships before or after getting accepted into the schools.
 
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Just wanted to let you guys know keep your heads up! I ended up getting 3 interviews so far: SUNY, WesternU, Pacific
Great to hear! Hope you can update us if you get into any of them good luck!
 
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Dec 25, 2020
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I had the same concern about this weighted gpa. I was told by an admission officer that the retake shows your determination and they understand how OptomCas has figured the final gpa with the average of both grades. If you have a school that you are really interested in, please call the top person of admission department and explain the gpa being lower due to OptomCas . They probably have already realized this about your gpa but it will at least let you explain your situation AND listen to their feedback so you will know where you stand with the admission process ath this school. Best of luck to you. Keep me updated please!
So does that mean the new way of GPA won’t affect much? And will the schools calculate the GPA by taking the last attempt?
 
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So does that mean the new way of GPA won’t affect much? And will the schools calculate the GPA by taking the last attempt?
The way I understand is the new calculation stands . However, you can turn it around in your favor by showing you improved the understanding of the material and it does open up a dialogue with the head of admissions. Saying that I would not speak with anyone except the top of admissions. It also helps to find out which schools will actually talk with you and show interest in your application.
 
Dec 25, 2020
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The way I understand is the new calculation stands . However, you can turn it around in your favor by showing you improved the understanding of the material and it does open up a dialogue with the head of admissions. Saying that I would not speak with anyone except the top of admissions. It also helps to find out which schools will actually talk with you and show interest in your application.
So does all the school go by the new Optomcas gpa? It’s really frustrating. It will drop my gpa very low like 2.0. But how can we speak with the head of the admissions? Do we have to call them? Will they consider if the OAT score is high with low gpa because of the Optomcas new system of gpa calculation?
 
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So does all the school go by the new Optomcas gpa? It’s really frustrating. It will drop my gpa very low like 2.0. But how can we speak with the head of the admissions? Do we have to call them? Will they consider if the OAT score is high with low gpa because of the Optomcas new system of gpa calculation?
OptomCAS does send their new calculation to all the schools you apply to, yes. I was told all the schools did not agree with this new calculation and will look at your pre- req gpa even with re takes and of course the OAT. And, yes, if there is a school you definitely want to attend, do not be shy to ask for the top . This is what they do for a living is to admit applicants. You are their livelihood, period ! Be confident and write down notes on what you want to relay to this person. Sell yourself . You will only get what you want IF only you ask as I have been told by my father. Explain your retakes as I stated earlier. Stats state there is a high probability of acceptance somewhere with a low gpa and 300 OAT even. And, yes , low GPA s are maybe a reflection on your school being more difficult so the OAT is the equalizer. No two schools are the same academically ; thus, we get to take the wonderful OAT :) I wish you the best and keep me updated, please :)
 
Dec 25, 2020
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OptomCAS does send their new calculation to all the schools you apply to, yes. I was told all the schools did not agree with this new calculation and will look at your pre- req gpa even with re takes and of course the OAT. And, yes, if there is a school you definitely want to attend, do not be shy to ask for the top . This is what they do for a living is to admit applicants. You are their livelihood, period ! Be confident and write down notes on what you want to relay to this person. Sell yourself . You will only get what you want IF only you ask as I have been told by my father. Explain your retakes as I stated earlier. Stats state there is a high probability of acceptance somewhere with a low gpa and 300 OAT even. And, yes , low GPA s are maybe a reflection on your school being more difficult so the OAT is the equalizer. No two schools are the same academically ; thus, we get to take the wonderful OAT :) I wish you the best and keep me updated, please :)
Which schools did you talked to? I called several schools but they are closed for the Christmas. So will they look at the pre requesting GPA more and won’t look at the Optomcas GPA more? It’s really frustrating to see the way they changed the GPA calculation. I just hope they calculate their own GPA and not look at the Optomcas GPA more.
 
Feb 24, 2021
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Has anyone had any issues where they submitted their application in January and receive confirmation that your app is verified by all the schools you applied to and have paid the supplemental fees but haven’t heard anything back from any of them? I’m starting to get nervous that either they don’t want me or I applied too late for this go round. Any advice?
 
Aug 19, 2020
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Has anyone had any issues where they submitted their application in January and receive confirmation that your app is verified by all the schools you applied to and have paid the supplemental fees but haven’t heard anything back from any of them? I’m starting to get nervous that either they don’t want me or I applied too late for this go round. Any advice?
Hey I just applied recently and also got the confirmation emails. I heard back from PCO for an interview the same day. I would probably contact them if they haven’t reached out to you by now !
 
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Hey I just applied recently and also got the confirmation emails. I heard back from PCO for an interview the same day. I would probably contact them if they haven’t reached out to you by now !
Yea I reached out. And they said that my application is still under review. And it’s been over a month now. The same thing with a few other schools as well
 
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