Low-GPA, will be a 2nd time applicant. WAMC?

andsotheplants

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Jan 20, 2021
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    Academics:
    - uGPA: 3.09
    - Science GPA: 3.18
    - Last 45 uGPA: 3.42
    - Last 30 GPA: 3.72
    - GRE: 165V, 155Q, 5.5W
    - 2 bachelor Degrees, 2 minors, 2 certificates earned at the same time. (dual degree program)
    - Will finish my MPH in Spring 2022.

    Animal Handling:
    - 600 small animal: dog day care attendant
    - 600 zoo/exotic: zookeeping
    - 2000 equine: competed for years

    Veterinary:
    - 1800 small animal: veterinary assistant, job title is technically vet tech but I'm not registered/certified, both ECC & gen practice
    - 100 zoo/exotic: spent some days shadowing while I was at the zoo

    Research:
    - 800: work in a research lab at my university, will be published for the first time this year.

    Other extracurriculars:
    - Am an election judge in my county
    - Interned on a campaign
    - Interned at a criminal defense firm
    - Worked as a receptionist for a summer

    LoR:
    - Curator at zoo (supervisor)
    - 2 vets I work with
    - supervisor at lab I work in
    - supervisor from summer receptionist job

    I also have ~80 CE hours and am fear-free certified.

    I'll be applying to Mizzou, UPenn, UWMadison, CSU. Maybe Arizona and LSU.
    Thoughts? Any major areas to improve?

    Last cycle I applied to UWMadison, MN, Mizzou, and CSU and was outright rejected from all of them. At the time I hadn't started research yet or been accepted into my master's program.
     
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    battie

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      So I think the big thing is obviously your grades in combination with your school list. You have a list composed of basically highly competitive schools either by virtue of how many applicants they have or their application process. Your strengths are your last 45 GPA (keep that streak up!!) and your experience. Your school list generally doesn't match your strengths well. I suggest using the threads here, school website breakdowns of evaluation, and the AAVMC public data to build a school list around your strengths.

      @ajs513 is a Penn student and @vetmedhead is a CSU student that could probs give you a better idea with those schools specifically, but I'm under the impression that your stats make you less likely to be competitive for them. I outright advise you to *not* apply to LSU if they are still interviewing only the top 150 OOS applicants; there's a really high chance you won't be in that 150 and your money could be better spent applying elsewhere.
       
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      ajs513

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        I have a good number of friends (my classmates) who had GPA’s around where yours is. I think you’d stand at least some chance of getting in, especially with an MPH. My GPA was a 3.3, a bit lower according to VMCAS. My last 45 was around a 3.75, but my other stats were very similar. I think it would be worth it to apply to Penn. They’ve gone very holistic with their approach.
         
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        vetmedhead

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          CSU does like upward trends in the last 45, but I think even then the last 45 is on the low end for their average applicants and the science GPA is also something that is probably going to make them more reticent about admission to the program, so it might be a longer shot for admission as an OOS student. I'm not sure if they directly calculate a last 30, but that trend is great and you should keep it going. They are a notoriously competitive program (tbh I think they get a lot of applicants because "ooooo ranking" and also CO is a nice place to live) and had something like ~2500 applicants last year. That being said they aren't a school that outright strikes students based on GPA alone, and I think the lowest GPA of an admitted applicant in their current class was something like a 2.9.

          The MPH is a plus - it proves you can handle the rigors of a professional program and also as mentioned above shows an upward trend in your GPA. I also think they would definitely be interested in your extracurriculars as well, as they generally like to see experience and interests outside of directly animal related things.

          Does CSU still do file reviews for OOS students? Might be helpful if they do, as they can give you some great insight into areas to build up on your application. Everyone on the admissions team is quite nice and can hopefully point you in a good direction.

          I will also say now as someone who applied to UW back in my original application cycle, I don't think it's a good idea to apply to them again this time around. They get a ton of OOS applicants for like 30 seats because they have one of the lower OOS tuitions, and the way they look at cumulative GPA per their website is only up to the completion of the first undergraduate degree, so your improvement with your MPH is apparent in your last 30 only unless you repeated some required courses recently.

          I think it might be in your interest to look for programs that blind to GPA in their admissions evaluations after an initial screening to be above a minimum (for many schools this minimum is usually around 3.0). These are usually more helpful to lower GPA applicants as they are evaluated more holistically on a file review once they pass the GPA minimum for their file to be evaluated. I want to say that Michigan State does something like this, but I don't know and a student at that school may have more insight to offer.
           
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