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Poor grades from over a decade ago

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ktgk

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Can anyone throw some anecdotes my way about people who came back to college after doing poorly and dropping out? I'm finishing up my last semester and studying for the MCAT, but I'm worried about my grades from my first round of college. I could use some bolstering.

I started college in 2001 and my gpa for the first 2 years was 2.62. After that I got married and stayed at home with my kids for a few years.

My overall AMCAS gpa today looks like it'd be about 3.18 and my science gpa, 2.92. I expect it to go up VERY slightly after the coming semester, but it's not going to be drastic. If I get all A's, I could possibly bring my overall gpa to 3.25 and my science gpa to 3.17. That'd be ideal, but with a family and a commute, I think an A- or two likely.

I've done most of the prereqs over the past two years at my final institution, including repeats of the classes I did poorly in over a decade ago. At my current institution alone, my overall gpa is 3.81 and my science gpa is about 3.72. I feel good about that, but I'm worried about how much weight it'll have with an admissions committee.
 
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I'm exactly the same situation with a slightly higher sgpa 3.3. And my amcas cgpa was 3.02. 31mcat

I have had 1 MD interview and offered 8 DO interviews. I went to the first DO and got accepted, cancelled all my other DO interviews. Still waiting on word from the MD school.

My advice is also apply DO
 
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MDforMee

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I've worked pretty hard to repair my GPA. 184 semester units with a 3.6c and 3.58s through mostly science courses, part of a nursing degree, and a biochemistry degree from UCLA.

Before that, I had 85 units and a 1.91 GPA in various community colleges.

I'll let you know how my application cycle turns out if you want.
 
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Mad Jack

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If you go DO, grade replacement factors in, so your GPA could be -much- better. DO programs also tend to be much more forgiving than MD programs so far as past mistakes are concerned. If you've got some stellar EC's MD is a possibility, but if not, DO is the way to go with the way your application looks.
 

ktgk

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Thank you all.

I'm going to try MD first. I qualify for financial assistance, so I can apply to a ton of schools to improve my chances. If that doesn't work, I'll try DO. After that is PA...after that is...something else, but I don't see myself as a nurse, so maybe I'd go on to become a psychologist.

I don't know how my ECs compare to other students.

I've done less shadowing than I'd like, but I'm trying to fix that by shadowing at the clinic where my husband works. I used to work as a medical translator in a consulate in Germany. I'm hoping that this will qualify as clinical experience: I interpret for my in-laws at their medical appointments, which are many and diverse (both have heart disease and my father-in-law is diabetic and has neuropathy, retinopathy, and kidney disease related to that). I have a little over 200 volunteer hours at a local hospital. I'll be doing an internship this summer... I've worked as a line therapist with children with autism... I also work two part-time student jobs and am the vice-president of the non-traditional student club on my campus.

Other than that, I have a family with three young kids and the a.m. in-laws (who came to live with us when war broke out in Syria) who take up a lot of my time.
 
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StBernardsRule

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If you cumulative GPA is 3.25, then it's probably going to be a bad idea to apply only M.D. unless you do very well on the MCAT. That's especially true if you're from a state without a generous state school.
 

doyouhaveaflag

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I think if I can do it, you can do it. It just may take a while. I too dropped out of college and I suffered a low GPA due to health reasons (now resolved). I have slowly been improving my application over the last nine years, including completing a post-bac program. This year is my fourth time applying and I finally have MD acceptances.

I think it will be possible for you to get into an MD school if you complete a post-bac with stellar grades and kick butt on the MCAT. It sounds like you have shadowing and volunteering, so that will definitely help. Also, I think it largely depends on which schools you apply to. Some weight your later grades heavily, especially if you let them know you achieved them as a busy mom of three (some of my interviewers were impressed that I had done so well in my post-bac while working full-time), while some schools will write you off after looking at your overall GPA. I looked for schools that had accepted people with lower GPAs and that claimed to do a "holistic" review of applications. Also, look and see if they're non-trad friendly. Many schools give their median age or the range of ages of matriculating students. I've found that those that matriculate a wider age range tend to be more non-trad friendly. At many of the schools where I interviewed, I was not the oldest one there (and I'm 30).

Also, look for schools with secondaries that have essays you can write something significant in, or ones that allow you to explain how you've overcome poor grades. In hindsight, I've realized I probably should not have applied to the schools that didn't have a secondary essay. The schools at which I was invited to interview had essays that I feel allowed me to highlight my strengths while explaining my weaknesses. As you're probably aware, you can look at the school-specific SDN threads for essay prompts. Many schools re-use the same questions each year.

I hope my long-winded explanation helps! And remember, if at first you don't succeed...
 
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