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Why the ridiculous number of unqualified applicants?

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by knj27, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. DesertPT

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    So this past year NAU received over 1200 applicants and 35% of them did not meet the minimum admissions requirements. I have even had a conversation about this with one of the admissions counselors. What is the deal with this? How could there be this many hundreds of people doing this? Are people just blowing their applications out all over the place because all they have to do is check the boxes on the PTCAS list of schools, without even taking 2 minutes to look up the minimum requirements? WTF people, if it says on the schools website that you have to have a 3.0, 149/146/3.5 V/Q/AW, and you have a 2.9 and a 147/146/3.5, do you think that is gonna just slip by and be close enough? These numbers are processed by computers. They are called minimums for a reason. Sheesh...is this happening in med school and everywhere else in the grad school world?

    :boom:


    Ok, rant over. Thank you for entertaining it. :)
     
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  3. davidtheusername

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    a 2.5 rounds to a 3 right? :)
     
  4. Azimuthal

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    They are listening to the "let the adcom decide whether or not you have a unique story to tell" advice. Truth be told, that legendary application status was started by adcoms for application fees. What they don't tell people is that few schools will review an application that did not meet the cutoff. Apparently, everyone believes their story is unique and has not been heard before. Very few will ever experience this legendary 'exception' status, but many will strive for it.
     
  5. tweaze

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    It seems like a crazy waste of money to me, plus a waste of time if you have to write extra essays, ask for additional references, etc. On the other hand, I'm glad there aren't 1200 qualified applicants - around 800 is daunting enough.
     
  6. DesertPT

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    No doubt this is true. I still don't see why people think that when a school clearly states hard minimums, they think that they can still stand out as exceptional. If people are reading that a 3.0 GPA is a prerequisite to admission, and they think well I might as well apply with a 2.85, are these really the people we want in PT school and in the profession? That might sound a little mean, but it's food for thought.
     
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  7. DesertPT

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    I know, considering that between PTCAS fees, GRE score sending fees and supplementary application fees (especially at public schools) you can easily be looking at $130-170 a pop for additional school designations, you'd think people would be a little more judicious.
     
  8. NewTestament

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    Why do people apply for positions without spell-checking their CV and resume? It's just as bad. You have a good point, knj27, but at least its their own money they're wasting.
     
  9. quebert

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    Holy Moly! Schools have 1200 applicants???? I was nervous about my chances with 100 applicants at my school!!! Those poor admissions people...
     
  10. starrsgirl

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    The funny part to me is applicants don't seem to understand many schools and places of employment use computers to do the initial cut. So your application never ends up before a real person...no one even reads your essay even if you are "close".

    The other strange thing to me is the number of out of state applicants to a state school who admits they only accept a couple out of state per year. If I remember correctly, one school I looked at received hundreds of out of state applications and they only accepted 2 out of state.
     
  11. DesertPT

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    NAU accepts an above average number of out of state students for a public program. I don't know what the number is, but I think it must be at least 20 out of 85 (between the two campuses).

    An admissions person I spoke to told me that they automatically discard the applicants who don't have the minimum, and then the rank everyone statistically based on GPA and GRE scores and start going down the list selecting as many people as possible. She said last year they interviewed all the Arizona applicants, which was a little over 200 I believe, and then another 200 or so out of state applicants beyond that. So I can only assume they just have some kind of form that is used for scoring the interviews and then use that in combination with the other numerical values in order to admit people. There is no way they sit around and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of 400 people to come to a decision.

    She said to me that in the future they are "looking to develop a system that will select people for interviews based on more than just the numbers, because we understand that people are more than just numbers", but that right now with the number of applicants being so high, they are doing the best they can do.
     
  12. DesertPT

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    No doubt about that!
     
  13. NeuroRehabilitation

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    I think that nowadays applicants are so desperate that they overlook all of the details and apply anyway to help calm their nerves. It feeds the illusion that they might have a shot at being accepted when in reality, they are a weak candidate and need to take some time to strengthen their stats. I'm sure PTCAS, ETS, and the universities don't really care, they make some good money off those knuckleheads.
     
  14. NewTestament

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    And learn how to write, and how to spell check, how to be strategic, etc.
     
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  15. DesertPT

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    Very good points. I can't say I feel bad for PTCAS and ETS taking their money because the application instructions on PTCAS are very clear in saying that you must review the requirements of each program and that PTCAS won't determine if you are meeting the minimums of any schools.

    People don't seem to realize that applying in volume is a much more difficult way to increase your chances than applying strategically is. The most effective way of all is to get better grades. This probably sounds really horrible, but I'm gonna say it anyway, and I would like for people to provide me with some counterarguments: I'm not sure that people who have a GPA of less than 3.0 really deserve to be in PT school no matter what school it is or how exceptional their story is. Shouldn't ability to get a B average in undergraduate level coursework be required of anyone in any field who wants to potentially have the health and well-being of other people in their hands? When seats in graduate programs get taken from people with 3.6's by people with 2.9's, I find that to be somewhat bogus, all the other components of the application package notwithstanding.

    Just openin' a can o' worms...please everyone refute me vehemently :D
     
  16. easb

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    Some schools post misleading information about their requirements. USC and CSUN said on their web sites that they prefer GRE scores to be at least 150, for example, but they "will still consider applicants with lower scores." As a result, new inexperienced applicants trust this information and hope that they will be considered and maybe accepted. But they just get a rejection letter later (instead of being disqualified).
     
  17. starrsgirl

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    I COMPLETELY agree with you except I really wish more schools would consider timelines of the courses (I know some look at last credits but not many) For instance, if courses more than 10 years old don't generally count for schools, why are they part of the calculation? The number game is just rough for non traditionals. In my case, I graduated more than 10 years ago with a 2.5 undergrad GPA and went on to have a very successful non PT career. So then years later, I decided to switch careers...no problem, right? Little did I understand that each class I took post undergrad only raised my GPA by about .01 of a point! So 5 years of straight As later, I still only have just above a 3.0. It just looks HORRENDOUS on paper and I know it. Did I get it done? Sure but barely. And gosh am I thankful I wore a few schools down and they finally said yes. I guess I do think interests can change and people can change. I would need a few more undergrad degrees to ever get that 3.6 ;)
     
  18. Bluecase

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    I think that many people are realizing in today's job market you have to have a graduate degree (outside of engineering, business, going to a top ivy school) so unlike the past schools are being inundated with applicants so they now have the luxury of being choosy and setting standards to which brings out to the top students from possibly run of the mill students just knowing that PT is a good career with a positive outlook on growth. There will always be the individual cases of ohh I failed a few classes as a freshmen because I did yagerbombs every night but now I'm getting a 4.0 but those are signs of non serious students and the schools have so many serious/qualified students applying they don't have to care about those cases. The average gpa when I was in school in my incoming class was around a 3.8- if you have 55 people with grades like those it makes sense to not even entertain the 2.8s and just keep the application fees to keep tuition down.
     
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  19. DesertPT

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    If you go on to get an entire degree worth of straight A's, that definitely shows something. Your story is definitely more compelling that the hackneyed "I made some poor choices aka partied and stoned a lot my first few semesters of college but then turned it around and got straight A's so I think my life changing experience shows that I will be a good grad student with my 2.8 GPA." You provide a good example of somebody who is legit with a low GPA. But you still have above a 3.0, so I'm not counting you as one of the ones that I'm questioning whether they should really be allowed in grad school anyway :)

    I realize their will always be exceptional circumstances but I don't think most of the circumstances people try to use to tell their story are necessarily as exceptional as they think.
     
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  20. DesertPT

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    I guess another thing I'm thinking is that if I was to be treated by a physician or a nurse or a PT or whatever the case may be and found out that they had a low undergrad GPA that would be one thing. But if I also found out that they were someone who applied to schools for which they did not meet the minimum requirements because they thought they were an exceptional person who could game the system, that tells me something about the character of that person that makes me question if I really want them to be my healthcare provider. It also shows a profound level of just plain stupidity and lack of following instructions, which we learned how to do in 1st grade.
     
  21. starrsgirl

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    The "exceptional person" comment just cracks me up! Isn't that supposedly a generational thing? Like our parents all pumped us up so we think we are smarter and more special than anyone who has ever come before us? I envision this whole nation of big heads just walking around. Lol
     
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  22. PTMattI

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    I disagree, I think getting into grad school is such a numbers game these days I wouldnt hold it against anyone for trying to `game the system` or applying to somewhere where they dont meet the reqs on the off chance they get in by some miracle....when you are already spending hundreds on the whole application process, whats another 25-50 bucks?
     
  23. Azimuthal

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    :)
     
    #22 Azimuthal, Aug 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  24. Azimuthal

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    I got into my school by having a soft requirement (versus hard) overlooked due to strengths in other areas of my application. I had less than a stellar verbal GRE score (I can't remember what it was - it's in that huge applicant thread). I applied to 8 schools. Seven that was a great application fit and one (didn't think I'd be considered) with a GRE requirement "strongly preferred" along with the whole "applicants that do not meet these requirements will be considered on a case by case basis." I took the exam on a whim 2 years prior when I was thinking about a PhD. I had no plans on retaking it. I also sent a requirement to my school late. I found a required document listed on the school's website that was not listed on PTCAS. Yeah, I'm a dirt bag and I can't emphasize enough about attention to detail. But my cGPA/sGPA were above average.

    So, I was on a first come, first serve basis. I wasn't picky on where I went. I ended up interviewing at 4 of the 8 and was eventually accepted to 5, including my "one", which also happened to be the first to offer me a seat. Long story short, it can happen. Odds may be small, but if one should try for those small odds, one should ensure that the odds exist. Know the school's application process like you're employed there. If the admissions office has an open contact policy, that doesn't hurt either.
     
    #23 Azimuthal, Aug 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  25. DesertPT

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    Azi, I definitely see your point and understand your story. I am taking issue with/questioning the legitimacy of people who knowingly and repeatedly apply to schools with very clear hard minimums that they know they don't meet.
     
  26. Azimuthal

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    I completely agree with you. My thinking for sharing my story is to help those differentiate a soft requirement versus hard. Also a note to those who run the odds of a soft requirement to ensure their application will be screened.

    On another note, I wonder if PTCAS has been handing out bonuses, hahaha...
     
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  27. PTMattI

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    Its their money, let them spend it how they wish haha. And IMO, if somebody is able to pass PT / Med / Dental school I dont really care how many times they applied / whether or not they may have been foolish during the application process.
     
  28. DesertPT

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    The fact that someone has graduated PT school does not make them a good PT or speak to their abilities as a clinician. People who are good at school can get through school and pass the NPTE by the skin of their teeth. I have both been treated by and observed PTs out of school less than 2 years who I thought were excellent clinicians and who made me feel confident in their abilities to treat my condition. On the other hand, I have both been treated by and observed PTs out of school less than 2 years who I felt were only borderline competent and in whom I placed only a minimum amount of confidence. There are fantastic PTs and terrible PTs all along the spectrum of experience levels and practice settings.
     
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  29. PTMattI

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    knj27, I agree. I am just trying to say that I dont think the # of times a person applied / whether or not they applied to programs they had no business applying to is no indicator of whether or not someone can be a good PT, just like the fact that if someone is able to graduate PT school and pass the NPTE does not guarantee they will be a good clinician.
     
  30. DesertPT

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    No doubt about that! Too bad so many people are pissing their money away applying for PT school!
     
  31. PTMattI

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    Maybe the thinking is that if you are already going to be ~100k in debt, whats another couple hundred bucks :p
     
  32. DesertPT

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    Or a few thousand... While an entirely logically flawed thought process, I've definitely been guilty of thinking this myself on more than one occasion! :banana:
     
  33. TravelGoalsAndArterioles

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    The grading systems of schools are all over the place... At a university with +/- , a B-, or 80-84, is equivalent to a 2.7 in the PTCAS system. A student with an 80 flat that is reported as an 80 flat instead of a B- will receive a 3.0 instead. A B- student can earn a 2.7 for an 83, while a student with an 80 earns 3.0. There's too much variance to place a hard and fast cut off imo. I'm applying this cycle, and despite being a nearly straight A student, my GPA is only a 3.63 because my As are reported as 3.7s instead of the 4.0 someone with a lower A who can report numerically receives. These discrepancies are frustrating, and should be taken into account.
     
  34. cmquin12

    cmquin12 SPT
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    as someone who had a very low undergraduate gpa for a variety of reasons: Biology major, hated biology, admittedly lazy. I find the ignorance in these posts astonishing. I'll be sitting at a 3.7 end of this semester in PT school, as if your undergrad gpa influences your ability to be a good PT more so than your actual DPT gpa? As a graduate assistant when handling admissions I do see the large number of applicants who apply even tho they do not meet the requirements, however its not my place to judge them on why they applied or to belittle them for it.

    Why not focus on bigger issues within the admissions system like no merit given to the difficulty of the course taken. For example, an individual who places in calculus in college takes Calc 1 and Calc 2 and gets a B which is determined to be of lesser value than someone who took the min requirement of college algebra and received an A. Even tho Calc is 3 levels of math above both grades are weighed the same. Another large issue is the pathetic number of hours required by most admissions committees. In a field focused around hands on work and large amounts of patient interaction most schools only require 40-100hrs. Some schools do not even require the hours to be officially signed off on. All other health profession schools require many more hours than this even tho they have lower level of hands on patient contact.
     
  35. Azimuthal

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    I’m a little confused. If I had my options of choosing BIO 1 student with sGPA of 3.9 or BIO 2 student with sGPA of 2.8... other requirements met, and they seem to be a good fit, it’s a no brainer. If anything, it tells me that student 1 was not “lazy”, probably a trait I’d look for. If said student did not find interest in their chosen major, that’s the student’s issue, not the program’s. The assumption is vs. that student, right or wrong. See, the problem with your assumption is that you assume a low GPA should not be overlooked because the student may have undocumented potential. I somewhat agree, however, it doesn’t neglect the fact that someone with a higher GPA also has potential. That’s their leg up. The school has more than enough applicants to make that cutoff and there are a lot of 3.8-4.0 bio majors. Some variety is justified.

    Now here is another perspective. There will be a group of other than life science majors. Their study may not be as rigorous, but imagine the field of PT only being bio majors. Think of the studies on diversity and innovation/ creativity. Just because one took a more difficult physics series does not mean that they will help propel the profession of physical therapy forward, diversity however, does.

    I do agree that coursework and course load should play a role in admissions, though small. To my knowledge, many programs actually do look at those factors. Truth be told, the GPA bar set for admissions is usually higher than what a PT actually needs to be successful in school and pass the NPTE. Also, PT gpa is not correlated with practice competence, fyi. In the end, it’s all about the number of seats available and how much resource a program is willing to allocate to find their best fit candidates. I agree with one of the previous posters about strategic vs. mass applications.
     
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  36. cmquin12

    cmquin12 SPT
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    So I believe you misread much of what I said. Starting off my comment involving noting undergraduate gpa is less relevant to an individuals ability as a PT than their gpa in the actual PT program, this was a comment due to another posters comment of being wary of treatment by a PT with a low undergraduate gpa. Also, you speak of assumptions in your statement and yet note you would assume a student is lazy based on their gpa alone. Additionally, I never stated low gpa should be overlooked I simply stated I do not believe individuals hoping and trying to get into PT school should be blasted on a public forum. You then argue diversity will propel the field forward but refuse to look at individuals applications due to their low gpa regardless of the work and life experience they may bring to the field and the program (which could have detrimentally impacted their gpa)? I know of no programs that weigh the difficulty of courses taken. If the course meets the minimum requirements that is all that matters. In an ideal world where two candidates are equal in all things it only makes sense the one with the higher gpa will gain the spot in the program, but that is not how things are. Gpa is valuable but is relied on too heavily in the admissions process. Its unfortunate PT schools are heading in the same direction most med schools are now back peddling from. Its also sad most would rather degrade individuals who are trying their chances desperate to gain entry into the crazy competitiveness of PT schools of today.
     
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  37. Azimuthal

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    Well, you quoted yourself that you were lazy. That assumption was validated on behalf of yourself so I just went with it. Also, let’s be honest about life experiences affecting GPA. Most of the time, students will drop a course to make things manageable. It looks better than an F. A semester of bad grades can actually be explained. Some schools like Cal State and UC actually has a waiver program setup to exclude gpa from these life happenings. If low GPA is prevalent throughout years of undergrad, that is showing of other factors. It’s up to the student to manage what they can. I mean, they are planning to apply to a graduate program, no? Anecdotally, I took courses in Afghanistan and my gpa sucked. I didn’t continue a second semester. My diversity bit was based on course of study, a perspective on difficulties on tracks of study; another point you brought up. Everyone is unique in their own way, therefor it’s only reasonable to have a cutoff. They’re not relying solely on gpa, it’s literally used to draw the numbers to a more manageable level unless they choose to allocate more resources into secondary applications, etc., to obtain more of applicants’ backgrounds.

    Columbia U will look at course load.

    No one actually ‘blasted’ anyone on a public forum. No names, no PII.
     
  38. cmquin12

    cmquin12 SPT
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    That is not true many students don't have the money, time or other resources to retake classes they drop and may take a C to maintain a job in an attempt to graduate, also many students do not know from the start if they will be attending gradschool or not it seems. My personal reasons for a low gpa do not validate everyone's low gpa as lazy, and I do not agree with the idealistic approach you seem to uphold. Also, I actually attended UCI for my undergrad and the counseling department never advertised these services you are mentioning.
     
  39. Azimuthal

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    Did you hold down a job to help pay for your DPT? How many students do you know that did? How is that any different from an undergrad? Those are choices. I’m not saying they’re all lazy, however, I am saying that their gpa will place proving otherwise on the applicant. Why should schools look beyond that with the amount of applications they receive?

    Also, if they graduated with a low GPA, they can retake courses at a JC to have them average it out. Very affordable and it’s pretty much the go to for success around the PT forums. Many students also look for schools that count the last 2 years of their cGPA. Again, strategy over mass. If they’re really worried about $, perhaps they shouldn’t be mass applying to schools.

    As for attending UCI, or any other school, the exceptions policy is not readily advertised. That’s counterproductive, no? It’s also possible that UCI doesn’t have one. You literally have to be hospitalized or something life threatening and also had grades submitted. I’m pretty sure a student would have to go through an Academic Grievance Panel or the like. I did a qualitative study on graduation barriers for one of my grad courses. Having a job while attending full time classes is not reasonable for a hearing at one of these panels. ‍♂️

    Last, you should have went to UCLA Zot! Zot!
     

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