Low GPA, low familial support

ceramii

New Member
Jun 22, 2020
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hi guys, I'm new here and am going through a panic moment. I just finished my third year in undergrad and am feeling horrible about my GPA. As of right now, my overall GPA is at a 3.2 and my science GPA is at a 2.8. I haven't taken the DAT yet and am planning to retake at least 1 class. My GPA fell really low in my second year because I was struggling with an eating disorder that I was in denial about and an anxiety disorder that I still haven't seen counseling for. I haven't done research, but I worked at a medical clinic for a year, am currently working for a family's dental clinic with plans to shadow for a dental clinic independent of family influence during the school year.

I recently found out about postbacc and master's degrees as an option, but they are expensive. I've tried explaining to my family about these options, but I got a lot of criticism, with them telling me to apply for dental school anyway and to attempt a postbacc only if I can't make it to any school. I don't know how best to explain to them that I either need to take a 5th year at my current university and attempt to fix some of my failed classes or that I may need to apply for a postbacc. They're not very enthusiastic about me taking a 5th year either.

What steps should I take and what should my timeline be in fixing some of these issues? I'm pretty lost and feeling like my concerns are being dismissed by my family. Also, a minor question: how do you balance counseling with academic and extra-curricular time? I've never done counseling before and I'm nervous about going or if the time in counseling will take away time needed for trying to focus on fixing my academics.
 

Ach05

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2017
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I can’t answer your concerns about counseling. However in regards to applying, have you told your parents how expensive dental school is? And it seems you haven’t started prepping for the DAT. By the time you finish prepping and take it, it will be late in the cycle for someone with a low GPA (been there). I would try and explaining this to your parents, if you haven’t already.
 

ceramii

New Member
Jun 22, 2020
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  1. Pre-Dental
So I never planned on going from 4th year to dental school. But i’m not sure whether it’s better to attempt a 5th year and try to increase my gpa through that (retaking some classes and trying to increase my science gpa) or if I should just graduate, do a postbac, then apply for dental school.
 
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Ach05

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Nov 15, 2017
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So I never planned on going from 4th year to dental school. But i’m not sure whether it’s better to attempt a 5th year and try to increase my gpa through that (retaking some classes and trying to increase my science gpa) or if I should just graduate, do a postbac, then apply for dental school.
The main thing is really to just take upper level science courses. I would take the cheaper option while doing so. You can get in with your current GPA and a decent DAT if you’re okay with going to a expensive private school like NYU (don’t unless your parents are loaded).
 

tarheelbaby

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Apr 17, 2017
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Hey OP, I know how scary it can be to try to make a decision like that! I felt SO stressed trying to figure out the best option for me when I was having that realization. I ended up talking to everyone and anyone who would listen, and listening to everyone and anyone who would speak with me to gather as much info as possible to make the most informed decision I could. I ended up doing a masters program because my situation was: completed all pre-reqs and already repeated all but 1 of the classes I got <C in, majored in biology so wasn’t really lacking in the sciences, but had a crappy (I mean CRAPPY) gpa. So a masters was perfect for me to show that I could succeed in graduate-level sciences rather than simply retaking undergraduate sciences in a post-bacc program.

For you, it kinda depends on what you want as well as how many classes you need to retake. My undergraduate institution really didn’t want people to stay more than 4 years (wouldn’t wanna mess up those stats) so they would charge tuition and a half to deter it. It would be worth it to make sure your school doesn’t do anything like that! Also, something I didn’t realize is that you can take post-bacc classes as a non-degree student without enrolling in an official program. If you just have a handful of classes you need, it could be easier to apply to your school/a nearby school’s NDS program and just take only the classes you need. Otherwise, from my understanding with a post-bacc program you’ll have to major in something that you didn’t major in in college and take allll of those courses, even if you didn’t need all of them. Doing that might end up costing more and taking more time and it doesn’t make you any more marketable for a job. Overall, it sounds like taking a 5th year could be the easiest and most efficient option for you.

Something else to consider - 5th year, post-bacc, and NDS all contribute to your undergrad gpa. When the AADSAS presents your gpa, the most recent performance will get mixed in with the rest and be indistinguishable. Do the math and make sure you can get your gpa where you want it with those additional classes (and remember there is no grade replacement in AADSAS, just the addition of more grades)! If not, then maybe the masters program is the best option overall! You can still take undergraduate classes while you’re in a masters program, they just won’t count towards your hours you need for the masters. Then the undergrad classes you take will factor into your undergrad gpa like normal, buut you’ll also have a totally separate masters gpa!!
 
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