• A new admissions hurdle is becoming more common: the CASPer test. Learn more about it at a free webinar hosted by SDN and PrepMatch on May 6th. Register now!
Sep 26, 2020
16
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Apologies if this has already been answered elsewhere, I was unable to find anything on it.

I did 7 years in the Army I started doing online coursework after my first tour in 2012. I have three tours and I'm a purple heart recipient. When I started college I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was just told "start college for better career advancement" so I did. For those who are unaware, military posts have education centers with schools from all over the country. This is so soldiers can go where ever they want on "in-state" tuition using Army Tuition Assistance. There is absolutely no guidance on careers or programs or there wasn't back then.

I started at Central Texas College, at the time they only offered a handful of programs for active duty and they didn't work as well with military transcripts. I transferred to Barton community college and stayed with them for a couple of years almost finishing my AS (as I deployed off and on I was never able to attend traditionally by taking courses year-round). It was around this time that I was reminded I once wanted to be more than a soldier. I did my research and found that majority of medical schools require seated courses for prereqs and this that and the other. So I started at a local university where I was stationed until I could get out of the Army and move back home. After getting out and moving home I started at a local university and did two years having to move again to obtain custody of my then 12-year-old son. I am graduating with my BS this year from this final University.

I am not looking for criticism on how many schools I have attended. It was never academic or punitive reasons that required a transfer. I have maintained a solid GPA of 3.7 with an extremely long list of extracurriculars, shadowing, volunteer work, and clinical hours.

My question is what is the best way to address why I have attended 5 schools? I have read I should mention something in the personal statement, not my first choice since it is already finally drafted and I feel it covers more important areas. I have read there's a spot on the application I can mention it. I was also told by my pre-health advisor "With your military background it is implied and you shouldn't need to address it." <-- doesn't seem like the right answer.

What is the recommended approach?

Thank you!
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,033
41,835
Candor Chasma
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
Thank you for your service!

Of course you are going to include your "employment, military" in the work & activities section of your application. You'll check the "military box" on the application, too. Adcoms will see the dates of your service and see that they overlap with your early experience in higher ed and they will easily connect the dots.

Your GPA is good and, in my experience of >20 years, your military service is good for a 0.5 bump in your GPA so you are golden. It will be a pain in the butt to collect all those transcripts now and going forward but its the price of freedom (from educational debt).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Sep 26, 2020
16
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you for your service!

Of course you are going to include your "employment, military" in the work & activities section of your application. You'll check the "military box" on the application, too. Adcoms will see the dates of your service and see that they overlap with your early experience in higher ed and they will easily connect the dots.

Your GPA is good and, in my experience of >20 years, your military service is good for a 0.5 bump in your GPA so you are golden. It will be a pain in the butt to collect all those transcripts now and going forward but its the price of freedom (from educational debt).
You definitely provided the information that I needed. I wasn't sure about the "GPA bump". I had read different things about Lizzy M and military increasing that number. Thank you for the quick response as well!
 

CricB4Tube

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2018
165
455
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I was also military and attended a total of 4 schools. I never mentioned anything about why I transferred so many times but obviously my application had a ton of military stuff on it. Nobody ever questioned it and I crushed this application cycle with a similar GPA. Gathering the transcripts was annoying so do it as early as possible. Just don't bomb the MCAT and you'll be solid.

Shoot me a pm if you have any questions or want me to read over your application. I'm always down to help out a fellow vet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads
Sep 11, 2020
89
97
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Spouse of Active Duty SM here- I have transcripts from 5 schools and had to change majors due to transferring, take a semester off, withdrew a semester due to adjusting, and take pre-reqs at community college while living in a rural area. Whenever asked, it usually clicks for people when you explain military affiliation. For a while I was worried about how it would look and saw it as a weakness compared to others who went straight through undergrad at one school, but I try to be proud that no matter what situation I was in I tried my best to stay in classes and to get where I wanted to be. I think it shows grit, determination and resilience. Not sure I'd want to be at any school that criticizes or doesn't understand/respect my commitment to supporting my spouse who serves, or in your case, your determination to make it work wherever you were while active duty.

Some schools have a prompt in the secondary asking for any other info you want them to know, you could use that space if not already addressed in your primary in the work section.
 
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.