Aug 9, 2015
5
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hey everyone! This is my first time here, but I thought I would pop in, say hi, and hopefully get some help from people who know a lot more than me.

So I'm a 24-year-old woman from Ohio, and I graduated from undergrad with a non-science degree in 2013 - philosophy, specifically. I attended a private, liberal arts college. I am planning on enrolling in my local community college to complete some science courses, as I have been planning to pursue a vet tech degree. But lately, I have been considering whether or not pursuing life as a DVM might be what I really want. I LOVE veterinary medicine, having spent the last year and a half working in a clinic. I'm fascinated by parasites and illnesses and I love puzzles. Truthfully, I think I could be happy, in different ways, being a doctor or a tech. But I'd like to know my options, you know?

Now here's the catch. My UGPA is VERY low - 2.65. I'm sure I could bring it up as high as a 2.85 or 2.9 by doing my pre-reqs, since I'd have to take almost all of them anyway. There were, however, serious extenuating circumstances that caused this. Specifically, I am Bipolar, but was not diagnosed until two months before my graduation. I also herniated a disc in my back in my second year. I am also an abuse survivor. So yeah, there was a lot going on. =P

A lot has changed in the two years since I've graduated. I think I would do really well if I went back and took my science/math pre-reqs, so my sGPA would probably be strong, and I think my test scores would be, too, as I've always tested extremely well. As of now, I have around 3000 hours of clinic experience. It is more managerial than assistant material, but I've also acquired a lot of knowledge in the process that most wouldn't assume a "receptionist" would have (I never thought, as a "receptionist" that I'd be learning how to explain skin impressions, skin scrapes, and the need for atropine to clients, but well, here we are).

Do I have a snowball's chance in hell anywhere with a background like that? I know it's about matching myself to a school that looks at an applicant holistically. I do think my test scores, most recent credits, and sGPA would do a lot for me, and by the time I applied, I'd have even more than my current 3000 hours in clinic. I'm also very personable and tend to do very well in interview type settings. Are there any schools that would care about an extenuating circumstances story, or with a UGPA like that, am I too far gone and out of luck?

Advice and brutal honesty much appreciated. Thank you!!
 

Minnerbelle

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
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If you start school again and get a 3.7-4.0 with all of your pre-reqs, kick ass on your GRE, and explain without going into too much detail on your explanation statement that you had extenuating circumstances during your first go around at undergrad that has since resolved, and show that your new gpa is more indicative of your true abilities, I think you have a good shot at your previous grades not holding youn back. If you just do mediocre on your pre-reqs I think it might be rough
 
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OP
T
Aug 9, 2015
5
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'm sure that's gotta be dependent on the school, though, right? I mean, I looked at OSU's requirements, and that's one school that's very rigorous. I can't imagine it would be a case that that school would even consider accepting me, no matter how good my grades were the second time around, especially in light of the fact that the four-year degree amounted to over 100 hours, and the pre-reqs might only be 40-60 hours.

I mean I would HOPE it would be okay and work in my favor, but I have serious doubts. I just don't want to waste time and money where I don't need to do so, you know? Sigh.
 

Caiter92

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
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Some schools have policies where credits so many years old (I think at Illinois it's 6?) you can petition to not have them factored into your GPA as calculated by the school during admissions. Those classes can't be used to satisfy any prereqs if that is done, however. It would be worth looking into.
 

Elkhart

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Mar 7, 2015
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Do you have any idea what year you might apply?

The good news is that there are at least a handful of vet schools that use only science/pre-req and last 45 hours GPAs in their admissions process. The University of Minnesota, Iowa State, and Kansas State come to mind, though there may be others. There are also Ross and St. George's, which are historically a bit more forgiving of lower academic stats (though they have definitely been getting more competitive), but honestly, if you can pull a 3.7+ out of your pre-reqs, then you do have a shot at US schools outside of the ones that put a high focus on cumulative GPA.

As for your circumstances... this is precisely the type of thing that the Explanation Statement on VMCAS is for. If you choose to share it on the application, schools will see it and, provided that you have done well in your pre-reqs, likely not ding you too much for your past poor grades.

If it helps you to feel any better, I am applying this year with a below average cumulative GPA (3.2-3.3 depending on how it's calculated), but much higher science and last 45 hours GPAs (both around 3.8). I, too, started in an unrelated field, changed my mind, and have beasted my pre-reqs. All of my poorer grades are in non-sciences, so I honestly was told that it likely would be far more worth it to take hard, upper-division sciences rather than retake my D in history, for example.

Good luck!
 
OP
T
Aug 9, 2015
5
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Wow, this advice is more than I could have hoped for, tbh. I would REALLY prefer to go to OSU, since I live in Columbus, OH, and I love it here so much. So if anyone has any knowledge about that school specifically, I'd appreciate it.

I'm not sure what year I'd apply. I mean, it'd probably take me at least four semesters to complete pre-reqs, even if I went hard. I'm enrolled to start this fall, so I'd likely be class of 2022?
 

Caiter92

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2015
4,762
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There is a c/o 2020 applicant thread for Ohio State. Current students sometimes pop in and out and answer questions. You may get more responses about Ohio State specifically in there :)
 

Minnerbelle

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
5,269
3,070
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Veterinary Student
I'm sure that's gotta be dependent on the school, though, right? I mean, I looked at OSU's requirements, and that's one school that's very rigorous. I can't imagine it would be a case that that school would even consider accepting me, no matter how good my grades were the second time around, especially in light of the fact that the four-year degree amounted to over 100 hours, and the pre-reqs might only be 40-60 hours.

I mean I would HOPE it would be okay and work in my favor, but I have serious doubts. I just don't want to waste time and money where I don't need to do so, you know? Sigh.
There's a difference between getting into 'a' school and getting into a particular vet school. If your goal is the former and you want it enough, and you do well moving forward, I think it can be done. If your goal is the latter, or you feel like you need to be a shoo-in for it to be worth it, then I think you need to find something else to do with your life.
 
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OP
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Aug 9, 2015
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There's a difference between getting into 'a' school and getting into a particular vet school. If your goal is the former and you want it enough, and you do well moving forward, I think it can be done. If your goal is the latter, or you feel like you need to be a shoo-in for it to be worth it, then I think you need to find something else to do with your life.
My goal is to get into vet school. Bonus if I get into OSU. I'm not asking about being a shoo-in. There's a difference between knowing that you could potentially be taken seriously as an applicant at all, and expecting guarantees. Anyone in this business wil tell you that finances are always a factor. I'll be in vet med one way or another, and no one makes bank doing it. I don't want to burden myself if there's absolutely no chance, or a very slim one. Simple as that.
 

Coquette22

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Dec 21, 2009
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AVC only looks at prerequisite grades but the price tag is pretty steep, currently at $56,372CAD per year. The exchange rate can help (right now that would be $42920USD) but it's not reliable, obviously as it goes up and down with the economy.
 
Last edited:

that redhead

7+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2010
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If you're willing to apply out of state (and have a plan for the increased cost of OOS tuition), you'd have a better chance. Getting as close to a 4.0 as possible in your pre-reqs (which would also be included in your last 45 credit hour GPA) will do you a lot of good at certain schools (Minn, KSU, etc). Make sure your application is balanced with experience, too.
 

wheelin2vetmed

CSU c/o 2021
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Jun 6, 2015
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Do it. Life is too short and you're not too far gone. I think the fact that your degree was non-science related helps you in this particular situation.

Rock your pre-reqs, your GRE, and your personal statement, and that will show people how you handle adversity. If there's a will, there's a way.
 
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pinkpuppy9

Illinois c/o 2019
5+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2013
5,583
3,887
Status
Veterinarian
Hey everyone! This is my first time here, but I thought I would pop in, say hi, and hopefully get some help from people who know a lot more than me.

So I'm a 24-year-old woman from Ohio, and I graduated from undergrad with a non-science degree in 2013 - philosophy, specifically. I attended a private, liberal arts college. I am planning on enrolling in my local community college to complete some science courses, as I have been planning to pursue a vet tech degree. But lately, I have been considering whether or not pursuing life as a DVM might be what I really want. I LOVE veterinary medicine, having spent the last year and a half working in a clinic. I'm fascinated by parasites and illnesses and I love puzzles. Truthfully, I think I could be happy, in different ways, being a doctor or a tech. But I'd like to know my options, you know?

Now here's the catch. My UGPA is VERY low - 2.65. I'm sure I could bring it up as high as a 2.85 or 2.9 by doing my pre-reqs, since I'd have to take almost all of them anyway. There were, however, serious extenuating circumstances that caused this. Specifically, I am Bipolar, but was not diagnosed until two months before my graduation. I also herniated a disc in my back in my second year. I am also an abuse survivor. So yeah, there was a lot going on. =P

A lot has changed in the two years since I've graduated. I think I would do really well if I went back and took my science/math pre-reqs, so my sGPA would probably be strong, and I think my test scores would be, too, as I've always tested extremely well. As of now, I have around 3000 hours of clinic experience. It is more managerial than assistant material, but I've also acquired a lot of knowledge in the process that most wouldn't assume a "receptionist" would have (I never thought, as a "receptionist" that I'd be learning how to explain skin impressions, skin scrapes, and the need for atropine to clients, but well, here we are).

Do I have a snowball's chance in hell anywhere with a background like that? I know it's about matching myself to a school that looks at an applicant holistically. I do think my test scores, most recent credits, and sGPA would do a lot for me, and by the time I applied, I'd have even more than my current 3000 hours in clinic. I'm also very personable and tend to do very well in interview type settings. Are there any schools that would care about an extenuating circumstances story, or with a UGPA like that, am I too far gone and out of luck?

Advice and brutal honesty much appreciated. Thank you!!
I'm glad to hear you've succeeded despite your difficulties :) Anything I'd have to say would just reiterate what's already been said: Rock your pre-reqs, GRE, and essays/supplemental applications. It's up to you regarding how personal you want to get on your explanation statement, and there are a few good threads on this forum regarding those.

You have experience as a receptionist, which is definitely veterinary, but you might want to search for more hands-on experience. The schools want to see that you've done hands-on work (not to say that reception work wouldn't help you). IMO, 1,000 veterinary assistant hours would be much more beneficial than 3,000 reception hours, but it can be subjective. It's more about quality, not always quantity. I want to emphasize getting more experience prior to deciding to take pre-reqs since you aren't sure if you want to go the doctor or tech route. Try to get time in the back of your clinic to see what the doctors/techs really do before deciding.

If you decide to go the doctor route, heavily research schools that do grade forgiveness or allow old courses to expire. I'll also recommend looking into Illinois for that. If you are unable to at least reach a 2.75, you won't qualify to even be considered for admission at most schools. The majority of schools automatically cut applicants with less than a 2.75 (They typically make note of it on their websites), and a few cut off at 3.0 (such as Ohio). If you end up taking all of the pre-reqs and can't reach that 2.75, I'd consider going a different route. Having a 2.8 or 2.9 isn't impossible, and there are some posters on here that prove that. You'll likely be looking at multiple attempts and thousands of quality hours, though. At that point, it's up to you to determine how much you're willing to pay for the DVM degree and where you're willing to go to get it.

My goal is to get into vet school. Bonus if I get into OSU. I'm not asking about being a shoo-in. There's a difference between knowing that you could potentially be taken seriously as an applicant at all, and expecting guarantees. Anyone in this business wil tell you that finances are always a factor. I'll be in vet med one way or another, and no one makes bank doing it. I don't want to burden myself if there's absolutely no chance, or a very slim one. Simple as that.
You did ask for brutal honestly, just saying! :)
 

BirdsinMyHouse

Ohio State c\o 2019 :)
Feb 6, 2015
277
216
Ohio
Status
Veterinary Student
OSU does replace old grades with new ones and they've changed how they weight pre-req classes for this application cycle. More emphasis is being placed on biochem, etc: http://vet.osu.edu/education/prerequisites

So my suggestion would be to work on retaking those classes and do as well as you possibly can. Practice writing a kick-butt personal statement and interviewing, and get as many experience hours as you can. Try to get at least a 3.0 if you can, as that's usually the minimum required for admission.