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Should I apply now for Fall 2012 or should I wait a year and apply Fall 2013?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by HelloNicky, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. HelloNicky

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    Question: Should I apply now for Fall 2012 or should I wait a year and apply Fall 2013?

    My Situation: I am considering applying to Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), University Louisiana of Monroe (ULM), University of Missippi (Olemiss), and Lecom for Fall 2012. I am on my last year of prerequisites. I have 20 credits to finish for XULA and ULM, 26 credits for Olemiss, and 7 for Lecom.

    My Science and Math GPA is about 3.6 and my general is also about 3.4. I have not taken my PCAT yet, and am planning to do so in September. I have no background in health care. However, I have good experience working with children as a paraprofessional at an elementary school for 2 years. Besides studying for my classes, I spend my free time building websites for various people and my husband's clients and friends.

    Despite my inexperience in the healthcare/pharmacy field, my so-so GPA, and my unknown PCAT score, do I have a shot at pharmacy school this year?

    What would be a competitive Pcat score with my Gpa?

    Should I wait another year, pursue a bachelor's degree, and volunteer at a hospital or a pharmacy store to gain hours?

    The reason I am a dilemma is the extra year of school means one more year managing on one income for my family. I am serious about pursuing pharmacy as a career and am trying to do so without straining my family or putting unnecessary burden on my husband. XULA is my target school due to location. It will allow the family to stay together. If I get accepted to Olemiss or ULM, I will only be able to see my family on the weekends. If I get accepted to Lecom, I will see them on the holidays and the summer only. That is if I can get in...

    The bachelor's degree I am planning to pursue is a limited enrollment health-care related program that lasts 16 months. The deadline for that program is coming up. I need to decide whether I am applying to pharmacy school or that program. That degree can (hopefully) help me stand out more if I apply to pharmacy school for fall 2013 and allow me to find a job in that particular health-care field in case anything happens to my husband's job.

    What should I do?! Your input would help greatly!

    P.S. Let me add that most of my prerequisites were completed at a community college if that makes any difference.

    :help:
     
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  3. Rouelle

    PhD Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    IMO, applying this year can't hurt anything. If you get in, great. If not, all you've lost is a bit of money for application fees and you at least will be more familiar with the process next year. Is there a reason why applying for the Bachelor's program would exclude you from applying to pharmacy school?

    I understand the concern about being away from your SO / family. I only applied to one pharmacy school (the one in the city where I live) because I was unwilling to spend time away from my wife. I was fortunate and got in, but in hindsight, it is not the best strategy for admission.

    Good luck on the PCAT. IMO, a 75% composite would make you a pretty serious competitor at many pharmacy schools. You could get in somewhere with a lower score (60s or so), but maybe / maybe not at your target schools.
     
  4. pinksparkly

    7+ Year Member

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    I would apply to all of your choices now if you tend to test well (or at least decently). I would apply to XULA no matter what, since they appear to be a non pharmcas school with a low application fee. Your GPA is fine.

    All of the extra things (like volunteering at a hospital), you can start doing now. If you get an interview this year, you can talk about them there. Otherwise, you'll have some experience for next year.

    If you pursued the bachelor's, what precisely would your degree be in?
     
  5. HelloNicky

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    That program starts in Spring 2012 and does not complete until the end of Spring 2013. If I apply for pharmacy school and get accepted, I start in Fall 2012 which is in the middle of that program. It would be awful of me to drop out of that program to attend elsewhere. I feel that I am disrespecting the person that could have taken my seat and the school itself. If I start that program, I want to finish that program and take everything I can from the classes and teachers. I want to make bridges not burn them. =X Those teachers can possibly be great references for pharmacy school. =) However, if I make the decision to apply only to pharmacy school and get rejected, I have to wait a whole year to reapply to that bachelor degree program. If I am correct, XULA requires the applicant to get a bachelor's degree if he/she is rejected and is reapplying. With my current stats, I am unsure whether I should wait a year, complete that program, and build my portfolio.

    The degree will be in Medical Technology. I avoided stating the degree, because there were relatives that discourage that route and recommended a "normal" degree instead. I can understand their kind concern, but I believe Med Tech will help me build on my precision and motor skills.

    I am planning to shadow the pharmacy department at my local hospital soon. It is hard for me to put in the hours I like due to monetary reasons. Hopefully, they will understand how serious I am, because I am literally paying money to shadow. (Babysitter)
     
  6. pinksparkly

    7+ Year Member

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    I take it you have children? I would strongly discourage you from applying to a school (LECOM) where you would have to live away from your kids. I know that I would have trouble sticking with it while living alone and my family somewhere else. Only you know how you would feel, but parental guilt/missing your kids would make a hard thing even harder.

    I would recommend really researching XULA (talking to current students, etc) and trying to find out precisely what the adcom is looking for in a successful applicant. I would hate to see you put in all of that work and then drop out for family reasons.

    Could you wait on applying to the bachelor's program so you would start in the fall of 2012? The acceptance decisions might coincide, allowing for more options.
     

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