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Hi there! I graduated undergrad from CU Boulder a little over a week ago, woo! I'm taking a gap year to relax a little and gain a little more experience because I graduated in three years, as well as be able to be with my family a little more.  I have my list of schools I want to apply to and had already done most of the research on them, but I'm terrified I won't get in anywhere. I'm from California, so I'm currently looking at schools in California, Colorado, and Washington (but am open to others!). I am taking the GRE this summer/fall and have volunteered and done internships throughout my time at CU, but my GPA is only at a 3.4 because my first year wasn't my strongest. So I'm scared that it'll be too low. I am fluent in Spanish and am learning ASL more in my gap year. Does anyone know if the admissions teams take into consideration that I did it in three years? Also any advice of things to do during my gap year to raise my chances? Any advice helps! Also sorry if this is too long. 

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Get a job in the field too. Sub teaching/TA/ childcare center. Experience is a good place to start and play up your Spanish speaking skills.

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Yes great idea! I also forgot to mention that I am going on a therapy abroad trip this summer and in addition to the internships and volunteering I was a teaching assistant this past year, but yes I am definitely considering all of the options you mentioned. Sorry, I just keep thinking of things. Thank you!

Edited by slptobe!

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I just got accepted to Hampton University, and my gpa was lower than yours. I am sure you'll get in. These days, being billingual and able to work well with others of different cultures well is an advantage( youll be surprised so many people are horrible at this) . So def play that up ( your Spanish)- thats really important for billingual families, as well as the fact that you are going abroad. Def use those 2 to your advantage. I made sure to highlight I was a beginner in Arabic and studied in Turkey. So if I can do it why cant you? Make sure you get some great references too.

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Hi! I think a gap year can be a really good thing. I finished my undergrad in 3 1/2 years, and going straight to the graduate application cycle was stressful! This is a second career for me, so I'm too old to take a gap year! If your state uses SLPA's, this is also a great way to gain experience in the field while you are working. Enjoy your time off, and take advantage of learning about the application process at the schools you plan to apply to, so that you can take your time to prepare all the components! I know that west coast schools have a high number of applicants each year, and the extra time and attention to your applications will help you stand out! ?

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Even if you have a lower GPA, your resume can shine is so many other places. Focus pretty hard on the GREs and try to get the best scores you possibly can. Then play up that you are bilingual and have taken ASL classes (even if you aren't fluent). Highlight any experience you have in the field (volunteer/work). My undergrad professors said that bilingual SLPs are extremely sought after (as well as men in the field) because there isn't an abundance of them. So I think this could really work as an advantage for you. Look for strong letters of rec and write a bomb personal statement and you should be just fine. 

Best of luck to you!

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Thank you everyone! Just looking at the ASHA edfind and all the high GPA ranges has been quite scary after just having graduated, but I really appreciate all the advice and the encouragement! Thank you! 

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@slptobe! 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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Thank you! That is all really great advise, I really appreciate it and will definitely take what you wrote with me.  

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I’m trying to decided what’s the best move for myself. I’m currently on 4 waitlist and am waiting to hear from another university. I got an over all 300 on the Gre with 147 on quant and 152 on verbal and a 3.0 on the writing (unfortunately). I graduated with a 3.5 gpa in CD and a 3.1 overall gpa. I worked for 2 years in an intergrated clinic for students on the spectrum. And have been on two different committees for speech and hearing. On being Delta Zetas national philanthropy aka speech and hearing and another one for Starkey Hearing Foundation. I’m not sure what the best move for myself is. More experience? Higher gre? 

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Absolutely play up Spanish in your applications! I did and tbh I feel like that plus my volunteer experience is what got my foot in the door.

If you're interested in bilingual/multilingual programs I'd suggest checking out programs on edFind! San Jose State, San Diego State, and Fullerton all have strong emphasis programs if you're looking to stay in Cali.

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On 5/18/2018 at 10:25 PM, slptobe! said:

Hi there! I graduated undergrad from CU Boulder a little over a week ago, woo! I'm taking a gap year to relax a little and gain a little more experience because I graduated in three years, as well as be able to be with my family a little more.  I have my list of schools I want to apply to and had already done most of the research on them, but I'm terrified I won't get in anywhere. I'm from California, so I'm currently looking at schools in California, Colorado, and Washington (but am open to others!). I am taking the GRE this summer/fall and have volunteered and done internships throughout my time at CU, but my GPA is only at a 3.4 because my first year wasn't my strongest. So I'm scared that it'll be too low. I am fluent in Spanish and am learning ASL more in my gap year. Does anyone know if the admissions teams take into consideration that I did it in three years? Also any advice of things to do during my gap year to raise my chances? Any advice helps! Also sorry if this is too long. 

I was literally in almost the exact same position!! I took a gap year where I focused on ASL and ABA certification and I had a 3.5 GPA! I just got in and what I think helped me was really good/above average GRE scores, as well as a boatload of field-related professional and volunteer work. GPA and GRE scores show your potential as a student, whereas experiences, letters of recommendation, and to a certain extent personal essays speak to your clinical potential. It's obviously much easier to change your GRE score versus your GPA, so if your GPA is less than perfect, a high GRE will instill confidence in your academic abilities! Play up your strengths in any written materials and if it feels necessary acknowledge your weaknesses, but don't put yourself down! Word it as a challenge you met and overcame- because it is! Good luck!!!

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On 5/29/2018 at 12:18 PM, snoves said:

Absolutely play up Spanish in your applications! I did and tbh I feel like that plus my volunteer experience is what got my foot in the door.

If you're interested in bilingual/multilingual programs I'd suggest checking out programs on edFind! San Jose State, San Diego State, and Fullerton all have strong emphasis programs if you're looking to stay in Cali.

Thank you! Yes those schools are all on my list at the moment, but they are really competitive! So I'm nervous I won't get in, which is why I'm applying to so many. 

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20 hours ago, armello said:

I was literally in almost the exact same position!! I took a gap year where I focused on ASL and ABA certification and I had a 3.5 GPA! I just got in and what I think helped me was really good/above average GRE scores, as well as a boatload of field-related professional and volunteer work. GPA and GRE scores show your potential as a student, whereas experiences, letters of recommendation, and to a certain extent personal essays speak to your clinical potential. It's obviously much easier to change your GRE score versus your GPA, so if your GPA is less than perfect, a high GRE will instill confidence in your academic abilities! Play up your strengths in any written materials and if it feels necessary acknowledge your weaknesses, but don't put yourself down! Word it as a challenge you met and overcame- because it is! Good luck!!!

Thank you! I will definitely keep that in mind! I'm hopeful that I still have a chance! 

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On 5/29/2018 at 8:27 PM, armello said:

I was literally in almost the exact same position!! I took a gap year where I focused on ASL and ABA certification and I had a 3.5 GPA! I just got in and what I think helped me was really good/above average GRE scores, as well as a boatload of field-related professional and volunteer work. GPA and GRE scores show your potential as a student, whereas experiences, letters of recommendation, and to a certain extent personal essays speak to your clinical potential. It's obviously much easier to change your GRE score versus your GPA, so if your GPA is less than perfect, a high GRE will instill confidence in your academic abilities! Play up your strengths in any written materials and if it feels necessary acknowledge your weaknesses, but don't put yourself down! Word it as a challenge you met and overcame- because it is! Good luck!!!

I have heard of people getting an ABA certification during their gap year. I also heard of people getting certified while working for a clinic, do you have any insight on that? 

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A little update, I actually got into the field of ABA during my gap year and I have fallen in LOVE with it! I am definitely still applying to SLP schools, and I think the experience gave me a major leg up on other applicants. Its pretty early and I have only heard from 1/9 schools, and I was waitlisted (its better than nothing!), I will be hearing back from the other 8 schools shortly. I highly suggest looking into ABA if you are taking a gap year, I really feel prepared to work 1:1 with kiddos and other clients.

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On 5/18/2018 at 7:25 PM, slptobe! said:

Also any advice of things to do during my gap year to raise my chances? Any advice helps! 

The thing that was asked about on apps so many times that I didn't have was research experience. I would try to connect with your former professors and see if there's anyway to get involved as an alum. I would also recommend trying to shadow a medical SLP at a nursing home or hospital. Even if you don't want to go the medical route, it shows you've been exposed to the field more broadly and who knows? - maybe you'll like it!

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33 minutes ago, Rezzy S. said:

The thing that was asked about on apps so many times that I didn't have was research experience. I would try to connect with your former professors and see if there's anyway to get involved as an alum. I would also recommend trying to shadow a medical SLP at a nursing home or hospital. Even if you don't want to go the medical route, it shows you've been exposed to the field more broadly and who knows? - maybe you'll like it!

Excellent advice! I'm a bit biased because my gap year(s) are in medical research. It's absolutely great experience! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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11 hours ago, SingingSLP said:

A little update, I actually got into the field of ABA during my gap year and I have fallen in LOVE with it! I am definitely still applying to SLP schools, and I think the experience gave me a major leg up on other applicants. Its pretty early and I have only heard from 1/9 schools, and I was waitlisted (its better than nothing!), I will be hearing back from the other 8 schools shortly. I highly suggest looking into ABA if you are taking a gap year, I really feel prepared to work 1:1 with kiddos and other clients.

Totally agree! I was told by some of the programs that my 3 years of experience as an ABA therapist was a huge strength. You learn how to conduct sessions with clients and how to track and interpret data -- skills that I'm sure are great to have in the field of SLP. 

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