Hello everyone. My name is Monte, and I am a new member to the forum. I will be applying to dental school this fall for 2003 entry. I would like to know what are my chances of getting accepted first time around because my academic background is not strong.
I'm a graduate of Emory University with BA in Psychology. I took most of my required courses in undergrad but no additional science courses. My overall GPA is 2.7 with 2.4 for science. I know this is VERY low, and I'm being very realistic.
After graduation in 2000, I taught in inner city school under the Teach For America organization. In addition to that, I have a wealth of volunteer and community service experiences. Currently, I'm in a MEDPREP post-bacc program at Southern Illinois University. I intend to complete the basic sciences with some retakes and enroll in some higher level science courses as well. Furthermore, I will be taking the DAT in mid-August, and I have been prepping for that (ie. Top Score).
I would not feel comfortable applying if I hadn't spoken to a number of Admissions Officers and Minority Recruitment Directors from schools such as UofMich, Marquette, Temple, UNC, etc..who insisted that I apply despite my low GPA. However, their main concern what that I APPLY EARLY and score really well on the DAT.
I know you all have great GPA's and DAT scores. In a sense I feel hopeless, but I know what dentistry is my destiny, and I must pursue this goal. I would like to hear from any minority applicants or current dental students who are/were in a similar situation. What advice would you offer? Do I have a remote chance of gaining acceptance? How do Dental schools really evaluate/select minority candidates? For those non-minority applicants, please feel free to offer any comments or suggestions.
Please feel free to respond via forum reply or directly to me via email.
Welcome to the SDN -- it's great to meet new people.
On the bright side: you have a remote chance of being accepted, and probably more than that. It depends on a few key factors, along with the luck of the draw (seriously!).
Your grades are horrible, but grades can be overcome (but not overlooked: be prepared to discuss your academic performance to some extent!). What is your GPA trend? That 2.4 science is especially glaring, but if you earned a 3.8 for the last two years while initially earning a 1.2 the first two years, then your GPA is actually on your side. GPA trends are extremely important (unless you've been a 3.6-4.0 student throughout).
Your DAT scores will be key to gaining interviews -- rock the test and prove that the 2.7/2.4 doesn't relay your true colors or your motivation. The DAT can be a cakewalk, but you have to put in some time and effort (isn't that what life boils down to?).
I can't comment on minority applicants, but your discussions with admissions peeps and deans will probably give you the most insight into that realm (other than minority SDNers who have tips for you).
Keep working hard and rock the DAT. I think that you'll be fairly successful once you gain interviews. Interviews will be your chance to woo the admissions peeps, so be prepared to let your personality shine through, discuss your motivations, maturally discuss your past grades, etc.
I'm sure others will post more advice -- take it all with a grain of salt and recognize that ultimately you decide what happens to you. If your DAT scores come out poorly, then it wouldn't be far-fetched to say that you won't get accepted this year. If that happens continue your studies and reapply. Good things come to those who wait & work hard.
Don't lose hope. I would recommend searching to last year and focusing on our de-throned king (he's still the king in my heart) YAH-E. he had similar stats to yours and he got into dental school with great DAT scores, but he applied late also. I think applying early, and keeping in contact with the admission commitee will help. Also, become an active member on SDN and view the posts regularly. Most people have great stats that blow your mind, but remember most people who are on SDN are obsessed about dental school. I will guarantee that many people who think positive and don't let what others say influence them get what they want. I think you will do it. Just make sure your DATs are 20's.
PS: I am studying for the DAT right now, PM me or email me if you have questions. It always help to know others applying at the same time.