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How can I strengthen my application?

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Hi all! I graduated with my bachelor's in 2016 but wanted to take time off before applying to a grad program. I've been pretty bummed out because I just don't think I have much of a chance since I took time off and haven't done anything relevant in the time being. I've been working full time since graduation in the business field but am switching to nannying part-time this summer so I will have the time to shadow and volunteer with local SLPs. I'm not sure if it helps but the 2 children I'm nannying have Tourette syndrome.

I graduated with a 3.51 overall GPA and am taking the GRE this summer. I've already started a rigorous studying schedule because I want to blow the GRE out of the water to counter my GPA being a bit lower. I will be able to get LORs but I only think 1 or 2 will be decent. However, I'm thinking if I shadow enough then I can have an SLP (who worked with my sisters for years) write me a LOR. 

Is there anything you guys think I can do to help strengthen my application? I'm applying for Fall 2019 so I don't have a ton of time but want to do anything I can. 

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Time off can actually be a strong point of an application.  It is all in how you spent that time, the fact that you still have the motivation to pursue a masters degree says a lot! I took 2 years off before reapplying and worked in a pre-school and retook some classes  (your GPA is much stronger than mine was when I graduated).  During interviews I was asked how I felt my "break years" benefitted me and the application committee seemed understanding of my reasoning that I needed a break from the craziness and pressure of undergrad because I wanted to put my best foot forward during grad school.


Volunteering in any form, especially in a setting somewhat related to the field, is important to have on a resume.

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If possible, professional experience as a direct support professional or teacher's assistant will help! Also, make sure your personal statements include research on the school (professors research, special tracks, history of the program, alumni etc.) I think it will be open again in late summer...join ASHA's STEP Mentoring program!

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@mountaingirl135 After applying three different application cycles here is the best advice I can give based on my experience:

1. Ask for more than the standard 2-3 letters of recommendation

For my last application cycle I ended up getting 4 letters of recommendation, 2 that were from professors and 2 that were past supervisors of mine. I think this helped me to stand out and also gave the committee an opportunity to not only see my academically, but also personally. It also is going above and beyond to prove to them why you are worthy.


2. If you can, apply to a wide range of programs (states, cities, etc)


My last cycle I applied to 25 different states across the U.S. Now, I'm not saying you have to do as many as me haha but I was very selective with the schools I chose. I chose programs from all over and based this on asha edfind and each school's stats regarding gpa, gre range and the ratio of applicants to the new interviewed and the percentage accepted. I chose programs well fewer applicants so there was less competition. Personally I looked at it as this is two years of my life and then I can have my degree and be done! That was why I was so open to moving for grad school, but I understand not everyone can do this for family or money reasons. I just feel this gives you more variety of programs and how they can best suit you. 


3. Gain experience


One of the biggest factors that I think helped me between the second and third cycle applying was I gained experience. I volunteered an a integrated preschool that had typically developing children and those with speech and language delays and disorders. From this experience, I was able to observe an slp and gain experience working with kids. I really enjoyed this and was able to talk about this in my letter of intent. It also shows to the committee the experience and reasoning why you want to be an slp. 


I hope this helps you! Your stats were better than mine so I believe you can do this! Feel free to personal message me if you have other questions :) 



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