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Is it still possible?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ThirdGalaxy, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. ThirdGalaxy

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    Hello all. Just found the forums today and this is my first post.

    I am wondering if anybody could give me any insight on my situation at this point and whether or not I will ever be able to get into dental school.

    I am now 28 years old, and will be 29 in April. I got a late start to community college at 23 years old. At that time in my life I had no clue what I wanted to be and I was choosing classes more towards computer science. I found out pretty fast that waiting so long to get into college had rusted my math skills down to nil.

    So in my first semester I was forced to drop the math I had chosen and planned to take a refresher course in the second semester. Due to me being in my first year I was unable to get the class as it had filled up before I was allowed to register.
    Going into my second year I did get the class, but this is the semester I had to drop out. Due to some major financial and family problems at the time, I had to start a second job and was working 16 hour days. So in the end, I had to drop all of the classes I registered for and pay back the grant I received.

    My GPA was, or still is I imagine, a 3.3. In high school I held a 4.0. With all the work I was doing in my first year at the college my studies suffered.

    So here I am, going on 29, with rusted math skills, a bunch of dropped classes on my record and the credits I do have are all mostly in computer related fields.

    I am now able to go back to college. I am stable and will be able to hit the books hard. I know I can do well in any of the classes I take and should be able to steadily raise my GPA over time. I know also, that I can pick up the math easy, but I have to start in some refresher courses before I get to the good stuff.

    Given that information do you think it would still be possible for me to get into Dental School? Have I gone to far off course to be able to steer back in? Will it help if I come back strong and they see that I am doing really well now as compared to then?

    Just to recap:
    3.3 GPA in college from back in 2003/2004.
    I should be able to steadily raise my GPA over time.
    I will be 29 years old in April.
    I have about 20 college credits or so thus far, none of which aimed for dental school.

    If anybody could give me their insights I would love to hear them.
    I would appreciate any of your thoughts, and I thank you for them in advance.

    If there is any information I left out, let me know and I will post it up right away.

    Thanks again.
     
    #1 ThirdGalaxy, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
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  3. lhtran07

    2+ Year Member

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    You can do it. The only problem is that it'll take time. You need to take most/all the pre-req's as well as the DAT. Plus, put in some hours with extracurriculars and shadow dentists before you apply.

    So...1 yr biology, 1 yr general chemistry, 1 yr organic chemistry, 1 yr physics, 1 yr english/composition/lit

    And then recommended courses...anatomy and physiology, genetics, microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry

    DAT covers bio, gchem, ochem, pat-perceptual, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. So once you get your pre-req's out of the way you should be good.

    Keep your GPA as high as possible, get to know the faculty so they can write you some great letters of recommendations, and SHADOW!!! To me, shadowing is pretty important, just so you can see whether or not this is the right career path for you.
     
    #2 lhtran07, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  4. AllSmiles009

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    Definitely gain some experience and do some activities or shadowing that is dental-related to make sure that it's what you want to do. Best of luck to you! It's nice to see that you are looking to do what you think you will most enjoy rather than going on to do something you don't! Study for DAT and look up school requirements to fulfill before you apply.
     
  5. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    OK, here is what you do. First, find out what University you want to go to. Then find the best CC (highest xfer rate) to go to in order to transfer there. If that CC if diff then the one you went to b4, thats no biggie,..in fact may be a plus(you get to start over..fresh..just don't submit your grades from that school).

    Once your in CC, kick holy butt. Here is where you should be getting a 3.8-4.0. Find out what schools do not take CC pre-req's and remember NOT to waste your time applying to them. I think Doc Toothache has a thread on it. Join a dental club at the CC, if there is one. Maybe do one leadership thing at the CC, unless you have leadership prior in your life,..like military experience or something. Main thing is grades...let me say that again,grades!!! GPA all the way!! Remember that. It's all that counts at this point.

    Once you transfer to the University, pick a major you want but not one so hard that your GPA drops. Definitely join the dental club there. Start assisting in several dental clinics and build up your hours so you have at least 100. Start thinking of LOR's. It's not necessary they come from the U. If you had a great relationship with a prof in the CC and aced the course, a letter there would be fine.

    Starting in Jan on the year before you apply, start studying for the DAT. Take relatively easy classes that semester/quarter so you can dominate it. Take it when your ready but preferably before June. Apply to dental school in May, the earliest date possible, even if you havnt taken the DAT yet.

    Once you applied, go straight to Predents.com and make an account(only weirdoes don't do this part!!:laugh:) and go from there.

    There you go, the 101 on how to get into d-school

    Summary:
    1) GPA!!!!!!!!
    2) DAT!!!!!!!
    3) Apply early!!!!!!!
     
  6. ThirdGalaxy

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    Wow, thanks for the great replies thus far.
    I truly was expecting a different response.
    If I truly am still able to get in with just a lot of hard work, then I know I can do it. Thanks guys.

    Now I have some questions in regards to your replies if you don't mind.

    I guess my first logical question would be about shadowing. I have yet to look into what is required for this yet. Do I need to go through the school or is this just a call a Dentist and ask really nice kind of thing?

    @PDizzle My first choice would be The University of Michigan. I live here and would like to stay here if I can.
    I am not sure how to figure what Community College has the highest transfer rate, but here is a link to the transfer page:
    http://www.ugadmiss.umich.edu/transferguides/

    As it pertains to not submitting grades from a previous school, wouldn’t that be dishonest and illegal or am I way off base there and this is something that is practiced in situations like mine?

    I am pretty confident I won't waste any credits as Michigan has a transfer info guide up on the site (inked above) that serves as a good guide to what converts from what colleges.

    And my last set of questions relates to particulars of applying to Dental School. I have read a lot but I am still a little perplexed as to how it works. If someone got accepted right now, as people are, when will they actually start attending school? Next Fall correct? And along with that, if it is next fall they are still to enroll for a final semester at their university correct?
    To this point, I have also believed that you can start applying to Dental School in your first year at the university after completing two years at a community college. Is this not correct?


    Thanks again guys, this is very informative info you’re giving me.
     
  7. huk1985

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    As a Michigan undergrad alum and an applicant to Michigan dental school (although rejected), I can give you some insight. Two of my best friend went to Oakland CC and tried to transfer to Michigan, only one of them got in. One that got in had 3.9 and one that didn't get in had 3.7. So you really do have to kick butt at CC like other posters said. Although undergrad in Michigan will accept transfer credit, I am pretty sure (not 100%) that the dental school do not accept any pre-req courses from CC. So, if money is a big factor, I would advise that you actually get into local 4 year university (cheap tuition) schools and do pre-reqs there rather than transfer to Michigan. Especially if you are trying to finish all the pre-reqs at Michigan. I don't know if you know anybody in Michigan, but science courses (orgo, biochem (required for Michigan), physiology) is very very tough and competitive. I can't possibly imagine anybody taking all the pre-reqs in a year. I tried to spread things out with my degree requirements after taking some random classes during freshman years and it still took me two years + summer classes to finish all my pre-reqs.
    So, in short I advise you not to go to Michigan undergrad, because I don't think there's really any advantage. I went to Michigan for 4 years and had pretty good stats, but they rejected me without even an interview, so I think there might be actually a disadvantage maybe.
    So from my point of view best course of action: finish your pre-reqs at a 4 year University at a cheaper school than UM (in-state-tuition isn't so cheap anymore and cost-of-living is crazy) and try to finish everything as fast as you can, if you work hard, you should be able to get em done in less than 3 years.
     
  8. ThirdGalaxy

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    huk1985, are you suggesting State? Also, are you saying I should do what PDizzle was saying about not reporting my credits from my past community college? So basically, I should start fresh at a 4 year and forget community? I am still unsure about this starting fresh idea. Is this really something not frowned upon?

    Money isn't important after the fact. I could care less if I had 900k in student loans to pay off after graduation to be honest, I would still be better off than I am now.
    My only problem is, when it comes to starting at a 4 year, I might have trouble securing loans of that amount. As it pertains to community college my grants usually cover everything but maybe 200 dollars. I think state is 17k a year with dorm. Community College is less than 2k per semeseter.
     
    #7 ThirdGalaxy, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  9. huk1985

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    You missed the important part. Your "first choice": Michigan dental doesn't accept community college pre-req credits. I actually found my email asking them and they said maybe they may accept one or two pre-reqs but it's still frowned upon. And Michigan has the most pre-requisite courses out of all dental schools.
    o, I'm not suggesting Michigan State, you'd have to live in Lansing. I am thinking you live in metro detroit? So, Oakland U, Wayne State, EMU, Lawrence Tech, Detroit Mercy (only schools I can think of, but I'm sure there are many more choices) are good choices for you. They should not cost much more than CC and you should be able to drive there from your home. Yes, and I'm suggesting that you wipe off your previous records, because 3.3 will affect your GPA when you are calculating the AADSAS GPA, but it's really up to you. I'm just giving you my opinion.
     
  10. ThirdGalaxy

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    Oh, wow, yes, I did read that part but it didn't really register until now. Well, now I guess its a good thing I didnt take a lot of the required courses.

    Nobody has answered the burning question I have but since its been suggested twice now, I am taking it that just disregarding my Community College credits and not reporting them is something that is OK to do?

    BTW, I am from Monroe County which is considered Metro Detroit I guess. Totally different way of life here than Detroit though. ;)
     
  11. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Not reporting your grades from a school isn't dishonest, as far as I know. Everyone deserves a fresh break IMO. In addition, if you don't send them your transcripts, how in God's green earth will they know you went there?
     
  12. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    There is a National Academic Clearinghouse used by many schools to verify transcripts and other records. Omissions can be, and are, caught.
     
  13. DiNoZeRo2o9

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    Pretty much, can't say it better than that.
     
  14. ThirdGalaxy

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    New Query.

    I will obviously be reporting my 3.3. In fact, I figured out that if I get all A's on 12 credit hours I will be right back in the game and if I can maintain a good degree of diligence, I will actually be above the average GPA of most of the Dental School Averages out there.

    Anyways, I am wondering, when I do report the community college stuff, how will everything be averaged. If something doesnt transfer over, will it be added on my GPA still?
     
  15. banana87

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    You will report all of your cc credits when you are in the application process. You will need to submit official transcripts from that school, along with the other institutions you attend. I think that your cc grades will count in your AADSAS GPA, however they will not count in your science GPA (unless you took bio, chem, physics or math in cc), nor will they count in the GPA at your new institution.

    Also, if you are from the ann arbor area, maybe consider taking some of those pre-requisite classes at eastern? It wouldn't be as far away as state, and its still a 4-year institution. Good luck!
     
  16. doc toothache

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    wow!
     
  17. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    OK, this is just my opinion. I feel that if you started a CC when you were like 18 or so, did like a year and a half and totally bombed out for any reason and are willing to scrap all that time and money to start fresh, I think you should be able to.

    They let you retake the DAT, why not let you "retake" your GPA?

    How is this so morally wrong? What if you were really young, didn’t care about grades, got straight C's because you were "lost" and didn't know what you were doing. Then, later in life, when you matured and found direction, wanted a clean start. Say this time period was like 5-10 years apart.

    If you start fresh, you are not cheating. You still earn every grade, except you just start over. What's so wrong with that?

    You can go bankrupt and seven years later its off your record, like it never happened. America is all about opportunity and that includes second chances. I see nothing morally wicked here.

    Now, this is a moral question. The schools have every right to require any/all transcripts they want. I'm not debating that so if you respond, just focus on the moral aspect of the question.

    I will play Devils advocate on myself on a few points:
    1) The retake the DAT analogy is a bit flawed because they see your old score. True, but almost no weight is given to the old score unless it is not an upward trend.

    2) Some people might take a bunch of courses in one school, get low grades, switch to another school, retake the same classes with an advantage of having the material before. If you go through that much time, money and trouble just to know the material beforehand, then go for it! It's really no different then buying your textbooks 3 months before class and studying them before school.


    PDizzle
     
  18. swellguy

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    Im pretty sure that during the application they ask for ALL college level credits you have taken. It would be lame to get accepted and then rejected because they found out, plus this is a profession that requires honesty and integrity, probably better not to start by lying. Just my two cents.

    But that being said I don't think the adcoms will frown too much, it was years ago. In regards to your GPA pretty much all schools have some line like "while it is preferred that you complete a four year degree before attending, applicants who have completed 90 or more credits with the proper prereqs can also apply" etc. etc. (pretty sure its 90). So at the least you will have to take about 70 more credits, since you only have 20, you should be able to get that GPA way up.

    However just something to think about, your chances for acceptance go way up if you do complete your major, so you would actually have 100 more credits or so. Some dental schools really don't like cc credits too, if there is any possible way you could just go to the cheapest in state four year school you could find, it might help you keep your options open later

    I would say that if you get some good shadowing/volunteer hours in and do solid on your DAT and keep your GPA up/apply early - with your age/maturity/life experience I would think you have a pretty decent shot at getting in. You have tons of hard work in front of you but its totally doable if its something you want to do, good luck
     
  19. NyCzPeter

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    In response to the original question.

    Anything is possible. If you need motivation, just look towards Obama.
     
  20. doc toothache

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    While your arguments on second chances may be noble, the reality is that decisions on what should be forgiven/forgotten is, in this case, up to adcoms. Like it or not, failure to knowingly withhold pertinent information regarding past academic performance is to say the least, dishonest and could lead to summary discharge from ds. Your conclusion on the DAT retake seems to be a little off the mark considering the fact that about half of the ds will look for improvement while the other half will consider the most recent or an average.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=527651
     
  21. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Did you read my post before you responded?

    First off, I admitted that the schools can make and enforce any policy they want. You go against their rules, you lose...I admit that. My point was a moral question, not a factual one(I explicitly said this in my post).

    Secondly, about the DAT, you proved my point. You get to take it over and get another chance. If you do better, all is good in most schools(another point I mentioned in my post). That's why they let you take it over, to give you a second chance. Why cant you get a second chance with your GPA?

    If you respond, please comment if you think it is morally OK to do. There is no right or wrong here. It is opinion. Don't even mention adcoms, they have nothing to do with this.

    If I think a law is wrong, I can't break it and not expect the consequences but I can question if it is right or wrong. That's what my point is.

    Discuss
     
  22. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    Take it over, be honest ( like all americans) and your hard work will so pay off.
     
  23. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets
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    Who you kidding lol.
     
  24. Performer

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    Agree on this one, so please report your cc classes.

    Anyway, for your original question. Hell yeah! You can do it. It will take a few years to finish up pre-reqs and stuff but you can make it for sure. My family dentist went to dental school when he was 38, with a wife, and the whole package. So if he made out alive, I'm sure you can. Good luck!
     
  25. doc toothache

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    Whether or not one should have a second chance with GPA without any repercussions whatsoever has the making more of a philosophical than a moral question. Actually everyone has the option of taking and retaking a courses as many times as they wish. Dental schools either directly or through AADSAS and TMDSAS do not, however, give us an option on deciding what courses we wish to report as having been undertaken and what we wish to forget. The moral issue comes into play when we unilaterally decide what transcripts we are willing to share with adcoms and what DAT scores we are willing to disclose. And if you feel that half of the schools is most in your book, so be it.
     

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