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predental11112

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Date of submission: Will submit this weekend (I am still waiting on one of my letters of recommendation)
Overall GPA: 3.82
Science GPA: 3.76
DAT score (include AA and all sections): 25AA/27PAT/27QR/24RC/26Bio/23GC/27OC/25TS
State of Residence: Kansas

Undergrad Attended: University of Kansas
Major: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Minor: None
Minority? No
Reapplicant? No
Nontrad? No

Shadowing Experience: 120 hours in a variety of dental settings (Endodontist, General Dentist, Periodontist, and Shadowing at UMKC)
Volunteering Experience:[170] Assisting a Panamanian Dentist in a Pop-up clinic in rural Panama (40 hrs), Health Ambassador(80 hrs), making and donating masks (20 hrs), Other Misc. Volunteer hours on campus(30hrs)
Employment: Chemistry Tutor (200hrs), Outreach Coordinator for a Health Center (400 hrs), Pediatric Dental Assistant (500 hrs)
Research: None
Other Extracurriculars: Leadership position in Scientific Journal Club, and active in Pre-Dental Society, Marketing Club and Jayhawk Health Initiative
Relevant Honors or Awards: Dean's List, Chancellor's Scholarship, Member of the University Honors Program
LOR type and strength: 2 from science professors (1 very strong, 1 strong / moderate), 1 from dentist (strong)
Misc Info/Things not stated elsewhere:
-
Personal Trainer (ACE Certified)
- Was able to complete undergraduate in three years and I am currently taking a year before dental school to work full time
- I spent a long time on my personal statement, and I am happy with how it turned out
- Working on my applications for the Army and Navy HPSP.
- I was fortunate enough to have room for a lot of upper level Biology Electives (Molecular Biology of Cancer, Histology, Cadaver Lab, ect. )

School list: Columbia, USC, UMKC, UPENN, UCSF, Colorado

Questions:
- Should I apply to more schools? I feel like a majority of them are reach schools.
- Is applying this late going to hurt me?
-I lost my grandmother to cancer in June and had prioritized spending time with her over working on my application material (no regrets there). She was immunocompromised, so I was very careful about quarantining, which pretty much stopped me from volunteering and shadowing for a while. I also wasn't able to take my DAT until July because of prometric being wack. Should I mention these thing in the COVID prompt?
- In high school, I had a drawing that was put up in a district building, a drawing that was picked up by an art gallery, and a drawing that received 2nd place in a talent competition (out of about 500 entries). I know that it is generally frowned upon to include awards from high school, but I don't have anything manual dexterity related that I could include in my application from my time in college. Do you think these accomplishments would be worth including on the manual dexterity prompt?
- I am struggling to find a third science professor to fill my LOR requirements for Columbia. I would really love to go to school there, but I am worried that I am going to end up with a weak letter of recommendation. I regret not establishing a closer relationship with more of my professors, and under normal circumstances I would have met with them in person. Any advice on finding that last letter or is it even worth pursuing?
- I am thinking of applying to some dental lab jobs (I know there is one in my area that has a history of employing pre-dental students). Would it look bad if I was only worked as an assistant for 4 months before becoming a lab tech? Or would the variety of experiences be looked at as a positive? I feel like I have worked a lot of jobs, and I don't want to come across as uncommitted, but I feel like working in a dental lab would be a great opportunity to work with my hands.
- What could I be doing right now to make myself a stronger applicant for the HPSP? How much does getting that application material in early matter? I would really appreciate the opportunity to begin my dental career in the Military.
- Any other general input?

I know that was a lot of questions, thank you all for reading through this!
 

knewstance

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I'm going to pick and choose what I answer... Sorry :shrug:

- Should I apply to more schools? I feel like a majority of them are reach schools.
I'm not sure what your dream school is, but I feel like you should apply for whatever school you think you would like the best. I'd try to get a list of 8-10 schools. It's always nice to have choices and alternatives vs reapplying the next year. Your stats are solid and I think you *should* get accepted wherever it is that you'd like to go, assuming all goes well with your Since you are applying for HPSP (and I assume you'll get it with strong stats), I think you should be focusing on cost of living, quality of education, and location.
Tuition costs don't matter at all when you are on HPSP. I ended up choosing one of the most expensive schools in the country because I liked the location, the COL wasn't too bad, and I felt like it would offer me the best possible dental experience.​


Any advice on finding that last letter or is it even worth pursuing?
How much do you love Columbia? I had a school on my list where I ended up not paying the secondary application fee because I knew it wasn't where I actually wanted to go. I think that decision can only be made by measuring your desire to attend there.

I have worked a lot of jobs, and I don't want to come across as uncommitted, but I feel like working in a dental lab would be a great opportunity to work with my hands.
College "kids" work a lot of jobs, that's just how college/that age of life goes. I wouldn't sweat it. I'd say if you can get a dental lab job, go for it. You will increase your knowledge of anatomy and understanding of a side of dentistry that most dentists think they know everything about but in reality, know very little.

- What could I be doing right now to make myself a stronger applicant for the HPSP? How much does getting that application material in early matter? I would really appreciate the opportunity to begin my dental career in the Military.
I think you are in a good spot. Just make sure that your LORs for HPSP are geared towards the military. They want to hear more about leadership than about academics and your potential as a dentist. Have your LOR writers specifically speak to the Army and to the Navy in the letters they send. Don't pop the champagne yet, but I think you should be at the top of the list for HPSP, assuming you don't have any issues at MEPS.
 

Mr.Smile12

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UMKC or any other dental school near you (like Creighton) should come to you with an II based on metrics. If you get indications you are strong candidate for HPSP, then you should add more schools IMO. You should add some more schools that aren't totally outside your region (Minnesota, Oklahoma... they may not have a lot of OOS seats but you can try).
 
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S_Diamond_DDS

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1. I agree with others, 8-10 schools is a safer number. 2. You’re still not late on applying, so it should not change your outcome much. 3. Yes, these would be suitable things to mention in the COVID section. 4. Yes these would be good things to put under the manual dexterity prompt. 5. One lack luster letter of rec won’t kill your total app to columbia, so if you know a sci professor who will do you the professional courtesy then you could ask him/her. If you don’t want this letter as part of your total aadsas app then send this letter directly to columbia, using a third party letter service, such as interfolio. 6. You could probably get hired at a dental lab with your experiences, but wouldn’t this be a strong commitment while you’re applying/interviewing? 7. Your app is strong enough for the HPSP. Applying early is out of your hands, so apply as soon as you can and hope for the best. 8. Chill. We all are nervous in navigating our way to dental school, but being anxious about everything will only serve to hurt you this cycle and in dental school. You’re highly competitive, just relax, and put your best foot forward.
 
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