WAMC: First-time App (high GPA, low experience)


vmcvm '25
May 11, 2020
  1. Veterinary Student
    Hi guys! I’m a first-time applicant and I’m trying to narrow down which schools I should apply to this cycle. I’m graduating a year earlier than I initially planned, so my experience hours are pretty low. I was supposed to go to Europe this summer to get large animal and research experiences, but COVID messed that up. I don’t think I want to apply to all five schools because of the cost, but I don’t know which one(s) I should cross off of my list. I set a cap at $50,000 a year for tuition. I appreciate your help!

    20 y/o female; Virginia resident

    Applying to:
    VMCVM; Purdue; Florida; NCSU; Cornell (OOS applicant but will receive IS tuition here because of military benefits)

    Cumulative GPA: 3.95
    Last 45 GPA: 3.94
    Science/Math GPA: 3.92

    Degree: B.S. in Animal & Nutritional Sciences at West Virginia University

    GRE: Haven’t taken; Don’t plan on taking this cycle.

    Veterinary Experience:
    ~560 hours working/shadowing in small animal clinics by the end of the summer

    Animal Experience:
    18 hours at animal shelters
    26 hours training a service dog for academic credit
    53.5 hours caring for puppies, dog-sitting service dogs in training, and taking service dogs in training to community events for a Service Dog Training program

    Research Experience: None

    Extracurricular Experience:
    HS sports, NHS president, freshman mentoring
    WVU Pre-Vet Club (2 years-member; just elected Treasurer)
    WVU PAWS (1 year-member; 1 year-Event Coordinator)
    WVU Davis College Student Ambassador (1.5 years; mainly recruitment)
    College-level tutoring (1-2 hours per week for 1 year)
    TA for a Service Dog Training lab (1 semester)

    Singing/playing guitar/songwriting (~9 years)
    Acrylic painting (2 months)

    Employment Experience:
    Chili’s—Hostess (part-time; summer)
    Small Business Café—Crepe Maker (part-time; summer)
    WVU Freshmen Service Project Leader (temporary; summer)

    University-level academic scholarship (highly competitive; awarded to top 20 in-state freshmen)
    Pre-Vet academic scholarship
    College-level academic scholarship
    State-level academic scholarship
    President’s List (3 semesters)
    Dean’s List (1 semester)
    Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture member

    2 Veterinarians from different clinics
    Supervisor from WVU Student Ambassador program
    My academic advisor (only if I apply to Cornell)

    Comments: Based off of comments I’ve seen on this site, I think my worst shot is NCSU, but their overall tuition is comparable to IS at VMCVM, it’s the same distance from home as VMCVM, and I grew up mainly in NC so I’m pretty familiar with the area/culture. It just seems too good to pass up. I’m a little hesitant about my chances at Cornell as well. Thoughts?
    Last edited:


    Full Member
    2+ Year Member
    Dec 21, 2016
      Your grades are excellent. Is there any chance you could find a large animal vet to shadow, even if it's only for a few days? Explain that your summer plans fell through and you'd love to ride along for just a couple of days. Or see if an ER clinic would let you shadow on the weekends. The lack of diversity in your experience is the only lacking area that I see.

      Beyond that, work really hard on your essays to demonstrate that even though you don't have much diversity in your experience hours that you understand the field. Ask your LOR's if they'd be willing to back you up on that as well.

      If it were me, I'd only apply to the schools that you definitely want to go to and are the least expensive. You're graduating early and a gap year wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. You could use that time to diversify your experience and save up money for vet school. So, I'd keep VMCVM and NCSU and drop the other schools for this cycle. The expected COA's from VIN range from $188k VMCVM to $275k FL. Even the $38k difference between VMCVM and Cornell is a solid chunk of change when it's time to pay it back.

      And yay for crepe making. I love crepes!
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