Pre-dental path for my Sophomore HS Daughter

Jul 7, 2019
3
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi,
My High School Sophomore daughter wants to be a dentist. She has A grades till now in Freshman year-dedicated, hard working kid taking the Physics,Calculus, Chemistry and Biology route in H.S.
Trying to find the right Under-Grad College for her to study Biology with great teachers who will prepare her well for the DAT and a great Pre-Dental club or Study group and getting into a good Dental College. Would love to get recommendations for people for that. Looking more for affordable Colleges with great Biology programs.

I am narrowing down into 2 categories working backwards from what she wants to do.
  1. Check the List of Combined dental programs(3 + 4 yrs) offered in the US and use them as Reach colleges (as we are going to be financially strapped as my D will not get any need based scholarship based on our income) for eg: Hopkins, Emory, Tufts(expensive), Marquette, Case Western, Boston U(expensive), Univ of Florida, Univ of Pacific. . Some of these below might have good Biology programs - Rutgers(?), SUNY Binghamton, RIT, Northwestern(expensive), Purdue(?), Columbia($$$$), UNC,Chapel Hill, Univ of Minn-Twin Cities, etc. (depends on her SAT scores etc which we have no control right now).
  2. Use as SAFETY - our in-state OR colleges like OSU, Corvallis or Univ of OR, Eugene for Chemistry/Biology type programs for under-grad at a cheap rate for under-grad. Reasoning was Under-grad was meant to be the only 3-4 years we can get it somewhat cheap for quite similar education but hopefully will prepare her really well for the DAT exam. Grad studies would mean taking out expensive loans because of our income when she is in her Junior year(for FAFSA). So, trying to treat it more like a marathon run and pace ourselves by not spending much during the under-grad. OHSU School Of dentistry in Portland is at about 280K sticker price for 4 years for graduate level studies. University of Portland Biology is another option but more expensive.
  3. Don't care as much for Big, brand names as an affordable expense and great teachers for Biology/Chemistry.
  4. Have heard from some pre-dental podcasts about Indiana Univ, Ohio State U.
TIA.
 
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Aug 16, 2018
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you also might want to check your research on 3+4 schools, several on the list do not even have dental schools
 
Aug 16, 2018
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by far, the most active pre-dental club I have ever seen is the UCSD one

 
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Aug 29, 2006
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I did a 3+4, and skipped a year of HS as well, so I will speak to my opinion that it is a tough road. Being younger is not an advantage. Saving a year of tuition may seem attractive as a parent ( I have already sent 3 kids through college and grad school), but in the long run it is not worth it. Good solid grades from OSU or UO will put your daughter in the running for lots of good dental schools. The DAT is not that hard, it requires preparation like any standardized test, but where she goes to college should not affect her ability to test well.
IMHO, unless you yourself are a dentist, or some other close family member, I would encourage exploration of other fields. There are many ways to work and be happy. Dentistry is a very expensive career to pursue, and the chance live a comfortable lifestyle continues to become more elusive for the new grads. The truth will be not how well a new grad can perform dental procedures, but how well they understand the business of dentistry, a completely different topic. Unfortunately the dental schools do not touch on this very much.
 

PreDenting

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Apr 12, 2019
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I've spoken to people who have embarked on the 3+4 journey and... it is tough!

And by no means does she need to embark on an accelerated track.

In fact, most of the top "feeder schools" in the nation do not have accelerated programs... BU, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and University of Washington to name some of the top 10 feeder schools.

As long as your daughter is proactive during her undergraduate career and seeks the proper resources, the reality is that the school she attends and the pre-dental organization there will not impact her chances of getting accepted to a great dental school.

If there is no pre-dental organization at the school she ends up at, that will open the opportunity for her to create one (hello leadership!). Or, if the pre-dental organization is sub-par, it provides the opportunity for her to make the changes to take the club from mediocre-to-great. And that's an awesome experience she'll be able to write about in her application and talk about during interviews.

I have a few other ideas about ways that could help her get on the right track so feel free to get in contact with me.
 
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Aug 16, 2018
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I've spoken to people who have embarked on the 3+4 journey and... it is tough!

And by no means does she need to embark on an accelerated track.

In fact, most of the top "feeder schools" in the nation do not have accelerated programs... BU, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and University of Washington to name some of the top 10 feeder schools.

As long as your daughter is proactive during her undergraduate career and seeks the proper resources, the reality is that the school she attends and the pre-dental organization there will not impact her chances of getting accepted to a great dental school.

If there is no pre-dental organization at the school she ends up at, that will open the opportunity for her to create one (hello leadership!). Or, if the pre-dental organization is sub-par, it provides the opportunity for her to make the changes to take the club from mediocre-to-great. And that's an awesome experience she'll be able to write about in her application and talk about during interviews.

I have a few other ideas about ways that could help her get on the right track so feel free to get in contact with me.
@PreDenting how did you determine "top 10 feeder schools"?
 
OP
Y
Jul 7, 2019
3
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I've spoken to people who have embarked on the 3+4 journey and... it is tough!

And by no means does she need to embark on an accelerated track.

In fact, most of the top "feeder schools" in the nation do not have accelerated programs... BU, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and University of Washington to name some of the top 10 feeder schools.

As long as your daughter is proactive during her undergraduate career and seeks the proper resources, the reality is that the school she attends and the pre-dental organization there will not impact her chances of getting accepted to a great dental school.

If there is no pre-dental organization at the school she ends up at, that will open the opportunity for her to create one (hello leadership!). Or, if the pre-dental organization is sub-par, it provides the opportunity for her to make the changes to take the club from mediocre-to-great. And that's an awesome experience she'll be able to write about in her application and talk about during interviews.

I have a few other ideas about ways that could help her get on the right track so feel free to get in contact with me.
Hi Andrew,
Pls feel free to pass me your ideas here. She is a good student. I just want to make sure she goes to a college that prepares her well in the Biology department. She has taken Physics(H) and Algebra2 in her 1st yr. She plans to do Calc AB,BC and Chem(H) this year and on her way to do Biology(H) in the Junior yr. My biggest criteria is a cheap but solid and good under-grad experience for Biology to set her up for success with the DAT. This way, she can reduce the amount of loans she might have to take at the Graduate level. Fallback, of course is the in-state colleges as far as price goes. OSU/ OU (Honors) under-grad to OHSU for Grad level.

@setdoc7 Thx for your input. Much appreciated. But she is looking at Dentistry as of now. If she changes, it is up to her. Not sure if the 3 yrs part of the Under-grad College would be easier for her considering her advanced workload in her College Prep H.S.
 
Apr 20, 2019
177
63
Status
Dental Student
Hi,
My High School Sophomore daughter wants to be a dentist. She has A grades till now in Freshman year-dedicated, hard working kid taking the Physics,Calculus, Chemistry and Biology route in H.S.
Trying to find the right Under-Grad College for her to study Biology with great teachers who will prepare her well for the DAT and a great Pre-Dental club or Study group and getting into a good Dental College. Would love to get recommendations for people for that. Looking more for affordable Colleges with great Biology programs.

I am narrowing down into 2 categories working backwards from what she wants to do.
  1. Check the List of Combined dental programs(3 + 4 yrs) offered in the US and use them as Reach colleges (as we are going to be financially strapped as my D will not get any need based scholarship based on our income) for eg: Hopkins, Emory, Tufts(expensive), Marquette, Case Western, Boston U(expensive), Univ of Florida, Univ of Pacific. . Some of these below might have good Biology programs - Rutgers(?), SUNY Binghamton, RIT, Northwestern(expensive), Purdue(?), Columbia($$$$), UNC,Chapel Hill, Univ of Minn-Twin Cities, etc. (depends on her SAT scores etc which we have no control right now).
  2. Use as SAFETY - our in-state OR colleges like OSU, Corvallis or Univ of OR, Eugene for Chemistry/Biology type programs for under-grad at a cheap rate for under-grad. Reasoning was Under-grad was meant to be the only 3-4 years we can get it somewhat cheap for quite similar education but hopefully will prepare her really well for the DAT exam. Grad studies would mean taking out expensive loans because of our income when she is in her Junior year(for FAFSA). So, trying to treat it more like a marathon run and pace ourselves by not spending much during the under-grad. OHSU School Of dentistry in Portland is at about 280K sticker price for 4 years for graduate level studies. University of Portland Biology is another option but more expensive.
  3. Don't care as much for Big, brand names as an affordable expense and great teachers for Biology/Chemistry.
  4. Have heard from some pre-dental podcasts about Indiana Univ, Ohio State U.
TIA.

Combined programs are great for students who know what they want to do in their life just like your daughter. But, the pace is accelerated. One of my undergraduate friend from Penn did the 3+4 years. Essentially, she figured out in her freshman year that she wants to do dentistry and apply to the bridge program at Penn. Her undergrad tuition was basically free since schools like Penn, Columbia etc can provide a lot of merit and need-based grants.

It's important to not take out a lot of loans for undergrad. So, cheap is good. But it's even better when you get into an ivy league or any brand with a lot of scholarships. So, don't be discouraged from applying to big brand schools. In some cases, they can be cheaper than state schools.

That said, state schools are probably cheaper in many cases. If the school does not provide a linkage program, your daughter can work with a counselor to take the right courses to finish her degree in 3 years instead of 4. That is also an option. You can create your own accelerated track in the way you want it.

Your daughter should go to a school with a strong focus & lots of resources around the sciences. But, she does not have to major in biology. I majored in international relations and still got into dental school. She needs to be good at biology to get into a program, but she does not have necessarily major in it. Let her choose what major she wants to do (be it economics) and encourage her to excel in that major. It does not have to be biology.

To your point about pre-dental clubs: it's not necessary to join one or be a leader in the club. the pre-dental club is just a vehicle to get to dental school. If your daughter has other interests, she should pursue those in college.

There are many ways to get into dental schools from High school, so let me know if you have any other question.
 
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Jan 7, 2018
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Pre-Medical
I am currently in a 3+4 BS/MD program and can share some more insight on that if you would like, however I would like to put out there that you should pay special attention to the PSAT and the NMSC Finalist program. This scholarship and opportunity is often overlooked but your D is young enough to take advantage and prepare for it. If you do well then it will be more important than the SAT, giving you full rides to many schools (although not entirely top tier but may have 3+4 programs/
 
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OP
Y
Jul 7, 2019
3
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I am currently in a 3+4 BS/MD program and can share some more insight on that if you would like, however I would like to put out there that you should pay special attention to the PSAT and the NMSC Finalist program. This scholarship and opportunity is often overlooked but your D is young enough to take advantage and prepare for it. If you do well then it will be more important than the SAT, giving you full rides to many schools (although not entirely top tier but may have 3+4 programs/
@Cheezin Thx for ur reply. Would definitely like to know your path to the 3 + 4 program ? SAT scores or what eligibility criteria got you into the program and where (if u want to mention it)- any scholarships etc or is it an expensive program where u pay for it all 7 yrs ? . My D is in a College prep HS and will be completing Physics(H),Calculus AB,BC, Chem(H), Biology(H) etc. What I am not sure is that will the 3 yr under-grad program still be super tough for her as mentioned above in the thread. Thx for the PSAT tip- heard ASU(Arizona) considers PSAT for eg- any others you know of ?