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etriplett

Getting into graduate school with a low gpa

16 posts in this topic

Hi!

 

I am currently applying to graduate school for speech language pathology with an undergrad gpa of 3.25 and a major gpa of 3.03. I have made mostly b's in my major, but I have experience in the field and I have conducted research in the field. I am coming from a highly ranked university, which is why my gpa is lower than most. I have made one c+ in a phonetics course, and a b- in audiology and speech science. My GRE scores are 300 and a 3.5 in the writing. I'm extremely hardworking and I have a great deal of knowledge in this field. Please tell me where I should apply. I'll go anywhere! 

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Hi!

 

I am currently applying to graduate school for speech language pathology with an undergrad gpa of 3.25 and a major gpa of 3.03. I have made mostly b's in my major, but I have experience in the field and I have conducted research in the field. I am coming from a highly ranked university, which is why my gpa is lower than most. I have made one c+ in a phonetics course, and a b- in audiology and speech science. My GRE scores are 300 and a 3.5 in the writing. I'm extremely hardworking and I have a great deal of knowledge in this field. Please tell me where I should apply. I'll go anywhere! 

I would say try for least competitive schools. It is really competitive in NY and CA. I would recommend using ASHA's edfind to find schools that accept people with your scores. 

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I would search for the topic "less competitive schools" (should be floating around on the first or second page.) Provides a lot of insight on schools that seem to cast wider acceptance nets! 

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Hi!

 

I am currently applying to graduate school for speech language pathology with an undergrad gpa of 3.25 and a major gpa of 3.03. I have made mostly b's in my major, but I have experience in the field and I have conducted research in the field. I am coming from a highly ranked university, which is why my gpa is lower than most. I have made one c+ in a phonetics course, and a b- in audiology and speech science. My GRE scores are 300 and a 3.5 in the writing. I'm extremely hardworking and I have a great deal of knowledge in this field. Please tell me where I should apply. I'll go anywhere! 

 

My overall is a 3.1 so I feel your pain. Definitely choose schools with higher acceptance rates, and write a killer personal statement. Relevant research and volunteer experience will help bolster your application. So far that's gotten me 3 wait lists and no acceptances (I should have done more research before applying, honestly), so if I'm not accepted off of a wait list I'm going to take some pre-reqs online (even though I've essentially covered that material in my undergrad) and volunteer at a local hospital to improve my application. Having a low GPA isn't hopeless, but you do have to strategize and it is stressful, but I'm a firm believer that it can work. I wish you the best of luck!

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Hi!

 

I am currently applying to graduate school for speech language pathology with an undergrad gpa of 3.25 and a major gpa of 3.03. I have made mostly b's in my major, but I have experience in the field and I have conducted research in the field. I am coming from a highly ranked university, which is why my gpa is lower than most. I have made one c+ in a phonetics course, and a b- in audiology and speech science. My GRE scores are 300 and a 3.5 in the writing. I'm extremely hardworking and I have a great deal of knowledge in this field. Please tell me where I should apply. I'll go anywhere! 

 

I am in a similar situation as you. I do go to a university that's ranked in the top 30 of the world. I'm not sure if grad admissions take a college's ranking into account when assessing GPA? Can anyone answer this?

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I am in the same boat as well. Hoping to hear from some schools tomorrow. My professor from UNC , who is also the head of the grad school department told me to look into any graduate course you can take without actually being enrolled in the grad school. UNC has two classes that are grad classes you can take as an undergraduate. Other universities probably have some as well. She said this would help determine how you would stand with grad level of work. If you have an option to get and be an SLPA, that's another way to get experience.

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I am in the same boat as well. Hoping to hear from some schools tomorrow. My professor from UNC , who is also the head of the grad school department told me to look into any graduate course you can take without actually being enrolled in the grad school. UNC has two classes that are grad classes you can take as an undergraduate. Other universities probably have some as well. She said this would help determine how you would stand with grad level of work. If you have an option to get and be an SLPA, that's another way to get experience.

Unfortunately being an SLPA doesn't seem to help. I Have been an SLPA for five years and have gained a lot of great experience. My undergrad GPA was a 3.3 and I also have a masters degree in Special Education in which I obtained a GPA of 3.75. You would think that already having a master's degree and valuable experience would help me get into grad school for speech but so far I've been rejected from all but one and I'm expecting another rejection this week:( I am also bilingual. Unfortunately this field is so competitive and it's ridiculous and very discouraging.

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Unfortunately being an SLPA doesn't seem to help. I Have been an SLPA for five years and have gained a lot of great experience. My undergrad GPA was a 3.3 and I also have a masters degree in Special Education in which I obtained a GPA of 3.75. You would think that already having a master's degree and valuable experience would help me get into grad school for speech but so far I've been rejected from all but one and I'm expecting another rejection this week:( I am also bilingual. Unfortunately this field is so competitive and it's ridiculous and very discouraging.

 

That makes me sad. :[ I seem to have very similar stats as you minus the masters degree. Nothing but rejections. 

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Hi!

I am currently applying to graduate school for speech language pathology with an undergrad gpa of 3.25 and a major gpa of 3.03. I have made mostly b's in my major, but I have experience in the field and I have conducted research in the field. I am coming from a highly ranked university, which is why my gpa is lower than most. I have made one c+ in a phonetics course, and a b- in audiology and speech science. My GRE scores are 300 and a 3.5 in the writing. I'm extremely hardworking and I have a great deal of knowledge in this field. Please tell me where I should apply. I'll go anywhere!

I have very similar stats and you can see in my signature I got accepted to 3 schools! It is totally possible :)

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Research research research the schools you're applying to!  Being someone who has always had difficulty in the classroom and with my grades (3.0 undergrad, 3.48 post-bac), but with years of killer experience and amazing recs to back me up, I knew that I needed to apply to colleges and then grad schools that saw the PERSON and not just the GPA. Unfortunately due to the competitive nature of the programs because of so many amazing applicants for extremely limited spots, it's just a fact that many of the schools have to act pragmatically and cut off those with lower scores (which yes happened with me and most of the schools I applied to). BUT there are schools out there! I was also unapologetically myself and forward about both my strengths and shortcomings, and poured my heart and soul into my personal statement.  And *poof* my top choice school, Pacific University, asked me in for an interview and it was AMAZING.  I was nothing but honest and real, and when asked what made me stand out as an academic student, I took a second and decided to go out on a limb and share that I was confident in my intelligence, but that in the classroom I was a slow processor.  Immediately one of the professors I was interviewing with interrupted me with excitement told me to connect with a fellow student about their own experience.  I later did connect with that student (who has dyslexia), and she said that the professors in the program were not only supportive of all learning styles, but also celebrated them, and that she was head over heels in love with Pacific.  Lo and behold, 2 weeks laters and that same professor I interviewed with was in the background of my acceptance phone call cheering me to come to Pacific in the Fall.  HELL YEAH! The professors there are unbelievably passionate about simply spreading their own passion, supporting the students, and making us well-rounded clinicians.  Will I be in mounds of debt? Oh you betchya, but it's worth every penny.  And my faith in higher education in this country has been restored.   

 

Whew, I digress, but I just wanted to share that anectdote. My advice: believe in yourself and your passion and experiece.  Don't sell yourself short on less competitive schools (though don't lose yourself in ignorance of the actual reality of rejection probabilities), And most importantly, look into programs that are really open and proud about sharing their values and passion, and then be just as open about expressing your own.  And don't try to fit into that cookie cutter mold.  They've seen enough of that :)   Best of luck!

Edited by me_kaleidoscope

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Research research research the schools you're applying to!  Being someone who has always had difficulty in the classroom and with my grades (3.0 undergrad, 3.48 post-bac), but with years of killer experience and amazing recs to back me up, I knew that I needed to apply to colleges and then grad schools that saw the PERSON and not just the GPA. Unfortunately due to the competitive nature of the programs because of so many amazing applicants for extremely limited spots, it's just a fact that many of the schools have to act pragmatically and cut off those with lower scores (which yes happened with me and most of the schools I applied to). BUT there are schools out there! I was also unapologetically myself and forward about both my strengths and shortcomings, and poured my heart and soul into my personal statement.  And *poof* my top choice school, Pacific University, asked me in for an interview and it was AMAZING.  I was nothing but honest and real, and when asked what made me stand out as an academic student, I took a second and decided to go out on a limb and share that I was confident in my intelligence, but that in the classroom I was a slow processor.  Immediately one of the professors I was interviewing with interrupted me with excitement told me to connect with a fellow student about their own experience.  I later did connect with that student (who has dyslexia), and she said that the professors in the program were not only supportive of all learning styles, but also celebrated them, and that she was head over heels in love with Pacific.  Lo and behold, 2 weeks laters and that same professor I interviewed with was in the background of my acceptance phone call cheering me to come to Pacific in the Fall.  HELL YEAH! The professors there are unbelievably passionate about simply spreading their own passion, supporting the students, and making us well-rounded clinicians.  Will I be in mounds of debt? Oh you betchya, but it's worth every penny.  And my faith in higher education in this country has been restored.   

This is such an awesome story! Congratulations many times over on your acceptance. A number of my old professors from my undergrad (PSU) transitioned over to Pacific when the program opened and they were some of my favorites. From what I hear it's a really high quality program. And, of course, the PNW is awesome. 

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I am in a similar situation as you. I do go to a university that's ranked in the top 30 of the world. I'm not sure if grad admissions take a college's ranking into account when assessing GPA? Can anyone answer this?

 

I wan't expecting them to pay attention to my undergrad school, but I go to an Ivy League school and almost all of the grad schools I applied to remarked specifically on this in interviews, phone calls, etc.: "You should be so prepared coming from XXX school," "The grad school course work should be easy for you coming from XXX," "We try to make exceptions for students with your background," etc. etc. So I do think big names stand out and they realize differences in difficulty of coursework between schools. However, my GPA is still pretty high, and I know they still are really GPA focused so I really can't answer your question with any certainty.

 

My recommendation would be to apply to the schools that would be more likely to appreciate a top undergrad school because they are one themselves, e.g. Northwestern, NYU, Columbia (though Columbia has a very low acceptance rate so maybe not that one). So more "snooty" schools lol, rather than the state ones. This was my plan when I was worried about coming out with a lower GPA. And then go rock the GRE! Good luck!

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I wan't expecting them to pay attention to my undergrad school, but I go to an Ivy League school and almost all of the grad schools I applied to remarked specifically on this in interviews, phone calls, etc.: "You should be so prepared coming from XXX school," "The grad school course work should be easy for you coming from XXX," "We try to make exceptions for students with your background," etc. etc. So I do think big names stand out and they realize differences in difficulty of coursework between schools. However, my GPA is still pretty high, and I know they still are really GPA focused so I really can't answer your question with any certainty.

Shame that schools assume the Ivy League is more rigorous when grade inflation is a well known thing in them. Prestige != rigor.

 

Hopefully schools focus more on LORs / experience & projects / SOPs where you can actually compare a LOR vs another LOR, a SOP vs another SOP.

 

My A in Computer Networks might mean less than another student's A in Computer Networks at a different school, or it might mean more. Who is to know?

Edited by <ian>

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Shame that schools assume the Ivy League is more rigorous when grade inflation is a well known thing in them. Prestige != rigor.

 

Hopefully schools focus more on LORs / experience & projects / SOPs where you can actually compare a LOR vs another LOR, a SOP vs another SOP.

 

My A in Computer Networks might mean less than another student's A in Computer Networks at a different school, or it might mean more. Who is to know?

Well, in my personal experience, my classes at my undergrad have been more rigorous than the prereqs for speech I took elsewhere. Based purely on my grades - I got a 100% average in every speech prereq I took with not a huge amount of effort. One reason why there may seem to be grade inflation in Ivies is that the academic caliber of students there is higher overall. If all students are performing at such a high level, one school is that they all deserve As, rather than scaling down the A- students to a C to make a perfect curve.

But you're right, it is not easy to compare classes between universities, and many non-Ivies have similar, if not harder, classes but do not have the same reputation. It is not a perfect science by any means. So I agree that LORs and SOPs are helpful, but those are hard to directly compare too as you cannot quantify them. And I think most LORs are pretty positive.

So that's where the GRE comes in - to compare academic skills in students whose undergrad schools may differ in grading/rigor. Of course the GRE has its problems as well, but overall I think it is an important "equalizer."

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When are you applying? If you have time, I would suggest more experience! I know you listed that you have experience and research, but the more the better! When I first decided I wanted to be an SLP, my GPA was around a 3.1. From that point on I had a massive freak-out, never slept so I could get all A's, and really dug around for as many clinical/research/club/activist opportunities as I could! Once you start networking, opportunities just keep popping up. It was overwhelming, but I think that's why I got accepted--a good last 60 credits GPA and a crapload of extracurriculars. That, and I also come from a very good school (#1 public university! Go blue!) and I think I may have been forgiven for my first year of horrible grades due to that...classes ARE harder, and more is expected out of you in top schools! It's part of the learning process--how to be ambitious and how to think critically, especially under pressure. 

 

Also, are you in-field or out-of-field? If you are out-of-field, it could be a good idea to do a post-bacc and raise those grades (or retake some classes). I know Wayne State University in MI has a non-competitive post-bacc program, so you don't need to apply to get in.

 

Also, if your school has a Career Center or other resource like that, utilize it! Have them read your letter of intent, your resume, everything. Ask professors for their advice. Ask your research coworkers. A lot of the time people will give you great advice to make your application better! Make up for your grades with a killer letter of intent, resume, and letters of recommendation. And be willing to move from a top university to a perhaps not-well-known one. In the end, you will still be an SLP.

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