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Jun 10, 2016
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Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone could understand my situation and provide advice. Due to a long history of financial hardship in my family, I can only apply to and realistically attend either the Kean University or Seton Hall University's Occupational Therapy programs in New Jersey. Because of this, I need to maximize my chances at both of the universities. I am only in my second year of undergraduate studies right now at a community college (I will graduate Spring 2017), but in order to achieve this goal, I need to carefully plan my steps along the way. I planned my A.A. in liberal arts in such a way that I will complete all of the prerequisites for the Seton Hall program and most for Kean while fulfilling gen eds. However, the major issue I am having is with Kean's prerequisites. I would have to take their mandatory Introduction to OT class and Psychological Statistics on their campus and pay out of pocket for these courses. I'll have enough saved to take them this Summer as a visiting student. The only reason why I would have to take Psychological Statistics at Kean is because they require the use of a special statistical software, which other colleges in New Jersey don't seem to use. I am planning for transfer this year to start at a 4-year school in Fall 2017, and if I complete my undergraduate education at Kean, I can use financial aid to cover the prerequisites. However, I am hesitant to do this because of the accreditation issues they faced a few years ago and that there are other universities in my area that I feel are a better fit (they are also closer to home and I would have to commute because my family and I can't afford dorming). I do know that you can apply to the program with three outstanding prerequisites, but given my limited options, I feel it is best to take them as soon as I can so that I can be more competitive. I have started observation hours this Summer at a Skilled Nursing Facility and I will have 150+ hours by the time I start my fall semester this year. I would like to accumulate more over the summers before I apply to a total of maybe 300. I do have a good GPA at my community college (4.0 each semester), I take honors classes there, and I am a part of the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society. I also hold a job at a Kumon learning center and babysit on occasion for my boss, so I am hoping these factors could at least help me become more competitive.
I apologize for the long post, but what I am really trying to ask here is whether or not my current plan and the fact that I can only apply to two schools would make my dream of being an Occupational Therapist realistic. In addition, I would like to hear others' experiences with applying to these schools in terms of their competitiveness and what they did for their prerequisites. Again, I apologize for this long post, but it is really difficult to talk to friends and family about this and it would be beneficial to hear from others with a similar goal.