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Question for students who cant afford interview trips

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ryce4u, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. ryce4u

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    I have a question about planning for interviews. Has anyone gotten any schools to interview them over the phone because they could not afford the trip for the interview in person ? How willing are school to do an over the phone interview? I feel that it is unfair for students who has received interview invites but can't attend due to financial reason. I'm sure i'm not the only one here who is in the same situation.
     
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  3. Prepharm1214

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    Money is very tight for a lot of students but I'm not sure you could ask for a phone interview. In my opinion it doesn't show as much commitment to the school plus half of being a good interviewer is the nonverbal communication you illicit. These aspects are not conveyed over the phone. It's tough to gather the money, but if you can't afford a trip to the school for an interview also realize you will have to travel there and back home many times throughout the course of pharmacy school.
     
  4. Jdario86

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    I’m glad that someone finally addressed this issue on the forum because I think this presents a serious inherent bias. Personally, I’m fortunate enough to finance my trips. However, not everyone can. Therefore, the typical accepted out-of-state student into a pharmacy school is someone who can afford the transportation and hotel room. I’m not trying to imply that those who are accepted into pharmacy school are not qualified enough; there are other disadvantaged candidates who are also qualified but they couldn’t go for an interview because they couldn’t afford it. In my opinion I think it’s the lack of commitment in the schools because they are not trying hard enough to seek the best of the best.

    I think schools should put more effort into reaching out to these disadvantaged students. They should pay the transportation or give discounts on air-fares and rental cars. I know some PhD programs even pay for their candidates’ air-fares. Pharmacy schools should to
     
  5. ajh88

    ajh88 New Member
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    I understand and sympathize with you...but once you get accepted, it's not as though things perk up financially (for me, they got quite bit worse). You also don't typically just up and apply to pharmacy school - you plan out your coursework, your PCAT studying, your applications, etc. - I guess part of that plan should be how to get some cash for interviews. One option might be to only apply to schools that you could afford to get to, say within a 2 hour drive of home so maybe you wouldn't even have to get a motel room. (I do think this is part of the draw for in-state schools to attract in-state students - much more affordable than traveling a greater distance and paying more tuition). That may not be feasible of course, but just an example. Maybe look at taking a train or bus instead of flying if you don't have a car - sometimes it's a lot cheaper.

    If you're an undergrad, maybe you could talk with your advisor - occasionally schools or specific programs will have some money laying around to send students to conferences, etc. - perhaps if you made a hardship appeal you could get a small stipend to help fund your interviews. Talk to the financial aid office at your current schools - they sometimes offer short term emergency loans that you might be able to take advantage of. If you have a job somewhere, ask if they have any programs to help. If you have a relative who might be able to help, ask. And, if at the end of the day you just absolutely cannot scrape the money together to go, maybe the school will help out somehow (phone interview or whatever). My opinion is that it never hurts to ask and the worst thing they can do is say no - at least that doesn't leave you any worse off than before.

    I understand PhD programs foot the bill for their applicants - but you also get "paid" (and I use the term loosely) a stipend while you're in school - pharmacy school (and most professional schools I guess) is an entirely different beast, really.

    Another thing to consider is that most schools will require a deposit within a few weeks of acceptance - a couple hundred dollars or more.

    I don't know if unfair is really the right word - they didn't really spring the cost of this on you at the last minute or anything and they aren't asking one applicant to do something they aren't asking everyone to do. However, I do see how it could cause financial hardship and be a barrier to success for some people. I would think the school might be able to offer some reasonable alternatives if it is truly that desperate of a situation, but I don't know how they would make that determination.

    Best of luck to you.
     
    #4 ajh88, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  6. JackTran

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    Hey guys, if you really want to go in pharmacy school and you can't be cheap. I spent $5,000 in hotels, tickets, and application fees. I didn't have the money so I used my credit card. I paid off the debt when I got into pharmacy using my loans (yo can borrow up to $45,000).
    If you believe you can get into pharmacy school with your stats, go for it!!
     
  7. JeremyE30

    JeremyE30 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Quit bitching, I had to put nearly $2000 on my credit card to apply for pharmacy school and do the interviews. Nobody is going to accommodate you. This is professional school, you should make things happen if you have the desire to be a professional. I am working nine days straight plus christmas eve and christmas, plus new years day just to make enough money and overtime to pay back all the money from applications.
     
  8. Artful Dodger

    Artful Dodger Membership Revoked
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    lol you're going to have debt any way...you might as well pay up now.
     
  9. fugm

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    yeah I agree. this **** is so expensive, but if you really want it, you may have to put it on credit cards. its better to spend $600 on an interview, then to go through the application process next year wishing otherwise. also, like jacktran said, pay it off with student loans and worry about it later.
     
  10. calisoca

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    If you can't afford getting to an interview, how do you intend to pay for the school for the next 4 years? You must be joking--No, they won't let you interview over the phone. Welcome to the real world.
     
  11. Ghady

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    yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
     
    #10 Ghady, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  12. sandoz

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    Get a credit card and then use it.

    If you can't afford to go to interviews, you definitely can't afford to pay for pharmacy school, so you might as well start practicing what it feels like to be in debt now.

    I'm not a fan of credit cards, but almost all of the people I know who applied to grad school or professional school paid for their applications and associated fees with credit... if you don't have the cash, there's no other real option. They aren't displaying a bias, they're making sure you are committed because they know it will cost a lot for you to attend their school for four years.

    Don't forget.... we will make enough money after school to repay all of this debt.
     
  13. calisoca

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    Hrmmm...So how does you agreeing with me, make me a "****ing idiot"?
     
  14. jmoini

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    to OP: some other posters may have been harsher, but you do need to find a way to get to the interview. they are making as much of a commitment to you (if they do accept you) as you are to them. they want to see you in person to ask you some questions to get to know you as best they can, and confirm you are the person you say you are in your app.

    i hope things work out
     
  15. YiYaoYue

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    DO NOT ask to interview by phone unless you do it anonymously, you don't want to be known as the guy who isn't willing to interview in person. You have to make sacrifices like everyone said. Last year Maryland did interview by phone, but it was towards the end and mostly due to time constraints. With the holiday season and economic crisis, the credit card companies are offering lots of low interest rates. I was able to get 0% interest for up to 15,000 dollars till next year, but I have good credit. Once your in pharmacy school, you can pay it off by moving it to loans. It really does stink to have debt and end up not getting into the school, so make your choice very wisely (you need to be able to get over those debts in case you don't get in). Search on the internet for deals on flights/hotel/transportation and plan to your budget. I've drove 6 hours to one location to save about a hundred or so dollars, but make sure if you do that to leave early so you can get plenty of rest.
     
    #14 YiYaoYue, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  16. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    This year, I only spen less than $400. I only applied to 3 schools, 2 instate, and 1 out of state. I got in my top choice school in state without owning a lot of money.

    I also think they will not let you have phone interview. If you do not have credit card, i suggest you borrow from parents, or somewhere else.
     
  17. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    He likes to call people stupid, don't worry. If you are stupid, you would not be admitted to pharmacy school.:thumbup: He doesn't.
     
    #16 WhiteSnows, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  18. ryce4u

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    Kinda hard to use credit card when its max out from pcat tests, pcat class, application fee. I have several credit cards. All maxed out . Student loans wont kick in till spring semester and that'll be too late. The only option I have is to get relatives pay for my flight as a x-mas gift .
     
  19. Ghady

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    Now u are talking....
     
  20. ryce4u

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    I think that was an inappropriate comment. Not called for .
     
  21. Ghady

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    retracted
     
    #20 Ghady, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  22. YiYaoYue

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    I would go and send a nice letter to all your relatives to help you get into pharmacy school. Forget Christmas presents, just ask them to send you some money or like some _____ airlines gift card you can use to take money off your travel expenses. Otherwise get a new credit card.. they have deals now with 0% interest if your new. If you're already in debt... doesn't matter if you take more debt if you reach your goal of getting in. You most likely won't get in with phone interviews unless you do just absolutely phenomenal (because automatically you are at a disadvantage doing a phone interview in the case they even let you do one) or not going to an interview.

    I know it is hard, but it is an absolute waste in my opinion to spent tons of money on pcat school, application fee, etc TO GET an interview and not go to the interview. Maybe it was a mistake to take pcat class and apply to so many schools, but what is done is done... if you spent that much money to get an interview so you can go to pharmacy school, you should do whatever it takes to increase your chances by going to every interview you can. Once you get accepted then you can start being picky about where to go or not to go, but again that is your choice.
     
    #21 YiYaoYue, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  23. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    I put all of these expenses on my credit card and used my student loan to pay off the credit card.
     
  24. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    He did not know the faculties of the shools may be in this forum and look at every thread. It might go against him later when they can figure out who he is.
     
  25. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Actually, it's medicalCPA, PhD now
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    There are some valid points made in this thread. OP, take note of them.

    My $0.02: I'm broke, literally. This year, applied to one school, and spent $162 on my interview trip from SW Missouri to Minneapolis, MN (this included my bus ride to and from the place, a room, and a lunch of some really good and spicy Pad Thai). It is possible, though not always advisable, to plan your trip so you can save money. If you can't fly, perhaps try taking a bus. Greyhound is incredibly cheap if you buy your ticket a week or two in advance. If you cannot afford a hotel room and your interview is in the afternoon, you could arrive in the morning and change in a school bathroom. I've done both.

    You've paid for PharmCAS, the PCAT, and supplemental applications. After all that effort, would you throw away your chance of getting into pharmacy school? Borrow if you can, or ask everyone you can think of. But just get there.
     
  26. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Last year I spent around $5000 on applications and interviews. I had to fly out for my interviews, and each trip cost me around $1000. I also have to fund my schooling privately because I don't qualify for student loans (international), which will cost me in excess of $100K. I'm not rich, I just work full-time, and try to save whatever I can. In the school's view, if you can't pay, you can't play, so if your financial situation is not straight now, how will you have it straight by the time you start the program? Only a handful of schools will do interviews over the phone, and being unable to afford it will not count as a reason for them to do it. You either find a way to do it, like medicalcpa did and take the least expensive option possible, or you call and tell the school you can't make the interview. There's more than one way to travel. Flying's just the easiest.
     
  27. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    How did you get the money for the school? Any cheap interest private bank?
     
  28. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    If you can't afford the airfare, there are cheaper alternatives like Greyhound. As for hotels, you don't have to stay at the fanciest places either. Just bite the bullet and sleep with the cockroaches for one night. ;)
     
  29. transzincIIB

    transzincIIB Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    First of congratz on your interview while I also sympathize with you on your money problems. However, there's always a solution. Anyway, my first reaction is it's is bad to max out credit cards. Usually your supposed to use just 50% of the credit limit. That's how I was taught to have a good credit history while I also restrict myself to one or 2 major cards.

    As for getting ways to get money for your travel tips. You've sorted it out that your family /relatives could probably lend you some money (Plan A). Plan B: I don't know how you call those stores where you go and get money cash advance. Plan C: You can go to a pawnshop (or maybe this is the same store as plan B?), you put some gold/jewelries then they would calculate how much that gold cost, in exchange they'd give you cash but make sure you retrieve your gold asap :laugh: The last two are kinda when you are really desperate. Oh yeah Plan D: request for early pay check if you can from your boss. Hopefully it works out for you.
     
  30. pharmant

    pharmant PharmD student
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    I understand everyone’s frustrations and money problems. Just to point out that applying to a professional program is not suppose to be easy on any level. If you are not willing to make sacrifices to get into a program, do not apply. Once you start the application process you need to understand everything that will need to be done, from pre-reqs., GPA requirements, PCAT scores, etc... Tuition, and the financing of a school is very important.

    I only applied to schools with tuition from 12,000- 20,000 per year, also to schools that I could travel to on a low budget (so schools in driving distance <300 miles). I have 3 children and a wife so relocation and money associated with this was a big factor to where I applied. I understand that some individuals are kept from programs because of money, but I bet if you asked who overcame money difficulties to apply and get accepted you would get numerous stories (probably everyone applying).

    Life is about the individuals that overcome adversities to be accomplished, and not the individuals that should have succeeded but succumbed to their situations. If life was easy everyone would be Paris Hilton , sorry bad joke- but the point is that things of worth are meant to be fought for and are not just simply handed over.
     
  31. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory
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    Keep the posting civil... There is no point to bashing someone's point of view on a forum: If you cannot express your opinions in an appropriate manner - you may not be allowed to express them at all.

    As to the OP's question / statement - find the money. I know from 1st hand experience that you will NOT be granted a phone interview (people do ask). While I do not believe it would cause you any harm, it is simply not possible. It is an ACPE mandate that all schools require a face to face interview. Some schools are attempting to circumvent this still - but they are few and far inbetween - and will be fixed within a year or two when their accredidation is up for review. I would contact your school's financial aid office.

    There are several programs that exist to help financially strapped students pay for the high cost of applying to school (this is a well defined barrier to higher education).

    Good luck - let us know if you need any further help.

    ~above~
     
  32. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory
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    Quoted for truth - This past interview date - we had one applicant arrive by greyhound - it was a 36 hr trip one way.

    I stayed at a motel on my interview date that cost like 45 dollars. It had uneven carpet and a stagnant smell... but I am here now and that is all a distant memory.

    ~above~
     
  33. Ghady

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    #32 Ghady, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  34. TrjTraddie

    TrjTraddie Accepted!
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    ive never heard of ppl doing phone interviews. But im assuming that no one would apply to a school if they could not afford to get there for an interview.
     
  35. Sparda29

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    I think the most expensive part is the hotel, ask the school if they can set you up with a dorm room for one night? Or, ask the schools for an afternoon session for the interview so that you can leave in the morning with the plane and arrive an hour or so before the interview.
     
  36. Electrode

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    You why I think they don't accept phone interviews? Because they could be questioning that your uncle or cousin that has been a pharmacist for 25 years, when probably you can't say A B C:rolleyes:

    C'mmon, how fair is that?
     
  37. PrepharmKID

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    What it comes down to is how much you really want to attend this school. If it's not worth you spending 500 for an interview, maybe it wasn't worth the original $100+ you spent on applying either. I mean you went into the whole thing hoping you would get an interview so you should have known you would be forking out more cash along the way.

    On that note, if money is tight, sell some of your belongings on craigslist. Donate plasma. You can make like $350 in a month doing it 2 times a week, all tax free. There are plenty of ways to make quick cash.
     
  38. diastole

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    I would go with this option. Now that I'm a older and can afford to help out, I would feel sick if I found out that one of my family members didn't go to pharmacy school because they couldn't afford the interview. I bet your relatives feel the same way. If they can't afford it, they won't be able to contribute but it doesn't hurt to ask.
     
  39. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Just watch out for injection site reactions. My brother did that for cash a number of times. He started getting a rash around the injection site after a few times.
     
  40. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    No cheap interest. Prime +1 which I pay for all the money I borrow. Then, 6 months after school ends it jumps to Prime +4. From a Canadian bank that I and my family have been dealing with for decades.

    I sure hope that applicant got accepted. Talk about dedication!

    Huh?
     
  41. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    I think Electrode is saying that the interviewer could be interviewing your uncle or cousin who is already a pharmacist, as opposed to the actual applicant.
     
  42. Sparda29

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    Easy solution for that. All applicants send a passport photo/copy of passport page as part of the application.

    The interview would be via web cam. If the person lied and faked it, they would know when the person comes in for orientation.
     
  43. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    Not everyone has a webcam or computer. Even if you do, it will hard to evaluate a person on webcam.
     

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