Apr 11, 2016
3
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Long story short, I changed my major middle of junior year to biology not knowing what to do with it. I only opened options for optometry this past spring and had hopes of applying for this cycle (to get into fall 2017), since I will be graduating from uni in spring 2017.

Soo, would one think it'd be better to go ahead and apply this cycle, or wait another year? What is considered a "late application"? If I wait to apply for next year, what are some good ideas to do during my gap year? I plan to apply to the Texas schools and a few out of state.

My GPA is a low 3, and I started working at an optometry/vision office this summer to get some experience in the field. So far I really enjoy it. On the downside, it has given me less time to study for the OAT..

What is some advice for my situation?
 

Optometry2017

2+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2016
5
4
Status
Pre-Optometry
Since you recently changed your major you should also check how much of the pre-reqs for optometry you have or need to fulfill. Its okay to apply with some missing but the majority of it should be done. Late is considered December/January depending on your gpa you might want to consider how early you want to apply. You can also apply without your OAT scores but you cannot get accepted without them. If you take a gap year I suggest you work in an optometry office. The other thing to consider if you apply this cycle and don't get in you'll have to apply again and then write more explaining the change.
 
Sep 23, 2015
14
6
Status
Pre-Optometry
I would hold off on applying for now since you will be attending school (presumably full time) until Spring, along with working. I don't know what major you switched FROM, but there are probably some pre-requisites that you'll need to fulfill over the next year in order to get everything squared off for applications. My biggest concern if I were you would be preparing for the OAT. Since you don't think you have a lot of time to study, it could be difficult to pull off a good score (I dedicated three months during my summer break while I was working 40 hour weeks. Got a good score, but damn was it a rough summer.)

Gap years don't necessarily mean a bad thing. It gives you time to prepare, money to save up for the application process (all those costs, fees, and prices PILE up), sending applications, supplementary applications, and traveling to the schools for interviews. There's a lot you can do during your gap year to strengthen your application and talk about during interviews when they ask you what you've been doing since graduation! And since you're already working in an optometry office, most schools will consider that as experience. Regardless, don't rely only on your work to put on your application. Get some shadowing experience at a couple different places. Should not be too difficult, as your employer might have some resources for you!
 

KHE

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2005
3,337
328
Status
Optometrist
I would hold off on applying for now since you will be attending school (presumably full time) until Spring, along with working. I don't know what major you switched FROM, but there are probably some pre-requisites that you'll need to fulfill over the next year in order to get everything squared off for applications. My biggest concern if I were you would be preparing for the OAT. Since you don't think you have a lot of time to study, it could be difficult to pull off a good score (I dedicated three months during my summer break while I was working 40 hour weeks. Got a good score, but damn was it a rough summer.)

Gap years don't necessarily mean a bad thing. It gives you time to prepare, money to save up for the application process (all those costs, fees, and prices PILE up), sending applications, supplementary applications, and traveling to the schools for interviews. There's a lot you can do during your gap year to strengthen your application and talk about during interviews when they ask you what you've been doing since graduation! And since you're already working in an optometry office, most schools will consider that as experience. Regardless, don't rely only on your work to put on your application. Get some shadowing experience at a couple different places. Should not be too difficult, as your employer might have some resources for you!
I'm going to take the opposite viewpoint.

If there's a decision between applying and not applying, you should always apply. Don't reject yourself. Let them reject you.

Regarding the OAT, (to be fair, it's been 20 years since I took mine) you will do better if the material is fresher in your mind. In other words, you'll do better taking it while you're in school as it will require less studying. A year from now, during a gap year you're going to have to relearn and rehash much more material.

I agree that a gap year is not necessarily a bad thing but I would not do it with the main goal to "save money." The sooner you get into school, the sooner you graduate and the sooner you can start getting paid real money. Unless you can find a job that pays you a six figure salary in the gap year, you're going to come out much further ahead getting into school ASAP.
 
OP
Choco_Turtle
Apr 11, 2016
3
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I'm going to take the opposite viewpoint.

If there's a decision between applying and not applying, you should always apply. Don't reject yourself. Let them reject you.

Regarding the OAT, (to be fair, it's been 20 years since I took mine) you will do better if the material is fresher in your mind. In other words, you'll do better taking it while you're in school as it will require less studying. A year from now, during a gap year you're going to have to relearn and rehash much more material.

I agree that a gap year is not necessarily a bad thing but I would not do it with the main goal to "save money." The sooner you get into school, the sooner you graduate and the sooner you can start getting paid real money. Unless you can find a job that pays you a six figure salary in the gap year, you're going to come out much further ahead getting into school ASAP.
Say that I do apply this cycle, but I don't get in. How will the application be like if I applied again? Would I need new rec letters/re-write my personal statements? I was leaning towards applying anyways but I don't know if it'll be worth it to give a crammed application, versus a more put together one...and then having to apply all over again if I get rejected.
 

JLopt2020

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2015
26
16
Status
Pre-Optometry
I agree with KHE that you shouldn't reject yourself, but know that time put in to study for the OAT, apply, write essays and get rec letters will take away form your performance this semester. With a low gpa maybe focus this semester on school to be better prepared to apply next year. Also I would call a late application for the upcoming school year (2017-2018) anything past dec 2016 and even nov. OptomCas opens in july so many have already applied and some interviewed.
 

Weirdy

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2016
2,075
2,498
Status
Podiatry Student
Say that I do apply this cycle, but I don't get in. How will the application be like if I applied again? Would I need new rec letters/re-write my personal statements? I was leaning towards applying anyways but I don't know if it'll be worth it to give a crammed application, versus a more put together one...and then having to apply all over again if I get rejected.
https://optomcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login/casReapplying

Pulled from Optomcas. Says you can copy data from previous cycle to current one as long as you have already made an account with them.

If you made an account for current cycle, then make a new one for next cycle, you won't be able to copy over data.

You should not need new rec letters. Maybe ask for an updated one if the dynamic between you and the writer changed (i.e. you took on more responsibilities since then or really killed it at a research presentation or havn't talked to the writer in a while) but if its stayed the same, no reason to have to ask for new rec letters. Just ask them to submit the same one or if you have it on file already (not sure if rec letters are sent to schools specifically using Interfolio/something else or through Optomcas) then resubmit.

As a courtesy, always pop in their office, meet them face to face to fill them in on what you've been doing if its been longer than say 6 months. Just to update the LOR writer and give them a heads up that you're reapplying and might need them to resubmit/update a previous LOR.

Personal statement shouldn't change all that much. Be consistent. Again, unless some life-changing event happened or you really matured during your gap year- then include it in your statement. But if adding something mundane only makes your statement harder to read or cloudy, don't change a thing.