Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hello everyone! :)

I am currently in the process of building up my resume with a view to applying for postbac programs and then hopefully on to a master's in SLP. (I don't want to go into research, so either M.A. or M.S. is fine). I am trying to get an idea of the kind of schools I should be applying to. My question is, do "safety schools" exist in a field as competitive as SLP?

Context: My GPA is 3.76; my major GPA (I have a B.A. in psychology) is 3.6. Not sure whether this is relevant, but I went to a college that unfortunately seems to have fairly mediocre reputation value from what I can gather (it was a perfectly respectable, accredited school, but not really known at all outside of a small region), though I was in the honors program if that makes a difference. Also studied abroad at a tippity-top uni and got perfect grades in every class that semester and a fancy-sounding academic award, if that helps at all. I have not decided whether I want to take the GRE (it would be a lot of stress, and a lot of money and time that I don't have sunk on prep courses, as I test poorly in math) but if I do, it's a safe bet that my quantitative score will be average at best while my analytical writing and verbal reasoning scores would be in a v. high percentile (this has been the same story with every standardized test I have ever taken, lol). I haven't done my shadowing yet but I have a good number of volunteering hours with a diverse array of relevant programs, and will have a very respectable number of hours by the time I start applying to master's programs. I very much enjoy working with seniors, so my hope would be to work with that population, probably in an SNF. (I am also eyeballing the Ohio State singing-health SLP program, as I have a music background, but that program seems to be pretty unique, so I'm not pegging all my hopes and dreams on that one option. :) )

I'm fortunate enough to have some recommenders who are willing to write me really good letters. :) I also have a background of taking on a lot of the responsibility in my family from an early age, which was part of my inspiration to look into this field (it taught me flexibility, compassion, patience,  responsibility, resilence, and so forth which are important qualities in the rehab professions), and makes for good essay fodder (feel a bit gross about leveraging my family tragedies that way but it's what ya gotta do I guess! :) ) Folks I've talked to so far have been pretty impressed with my backstory and encouraged me to make a point of it in my applications as it gives me a pretty unique perspective.

I currently work as a research assistant, mainly assisting with projects related to child neglect in military populations. I have been at the same institution for several years and have my name on a couple publications, albeit not as a main author or anything like that.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that I do decent in a postbac program - not okay, not 4.0.

This isn't one of those "what are my chances" posts, but I'm wondering, are there safeties into this field? I plan to apply to a couple prestigious programs. I've been a city girl all my life, DC born & bred, and I thrive on that energy, so it would be nice to get a job in a competitive, fast-paced city like DC or NY or Chicago if I can swing it. I like NYU, Kent State, Ohio State, and Baldwin-Wallace, for example.

( UPDATE: To clarify here - I'd like to work in a big city after graduating, but I'm fine with going to grad school in the middle of nowhere if that's what it takes. :) I apologize for the confusing wording!)

But I'd like to aim mostly for schools that are in the middle of the pack. Are there any programs that would be considered safeties by anyone (let alone little old me, haha)? This whole process is still pretty new to me and I am still working on getting my bearings (my spreadsheet currently has almost fifty schools listed in it - LOL!!! - so clearly I need to find a way to start narrowing down my list!) :) Thank you so so much!

Edited by Crescenza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mm, well you should first know that metropolitan locations (CA, NY) will be more competitive. That said, I don’t believe there are necessarily any safety schools in either of these regions. I live in NY so I’m very familiar with the procedures here. Safety schools are largely located in more rural areas such as NC (to my knowledge).

Your overall stats are quite attractive, just be sure to do well in your post-Bach program and you’ll be fine there. Aside from that, you have to put your best foot forward with the GRE exam, it’s a major factor for considering students. Recommendation letters help significantly as well so be sure your professors really know you well and continue that professional relationship with them. Finally, I strongly feel that your statement of purpose defines your application, it’s the part of your app where you demonstrate your personality, ability to write on a graduate level and let the admissions committee know why YOU are a grand fit.

At any rate, google ASHA EdFind. You will be able to search up ASHA-accredited schools (make sure they’re accredited) and find some best statistics on them (admitted students’ average GRE scores, average GPAs, number of admitted students per year, what schools offer in terms of research, programs, etc., and other things). Compare your stats with these, it’s a good indicator of how you’d fare when applying.

Ah and one last thing; don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. There are schools I’ve been accepted to I had 0 hope of getting into and somehow I made it in so don’t underestimate your abilities and always apply for reach schools as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can research using ASHA EdFind: https://www.asha.org/edfind/ Look at the GRE scores and GPA ranges. Unfortunately, safe schools tend to be in rural areas and smaller towns, not fast-pace cities (they don't exist in CA). Even then, there are no safe schools. I've been waitlisted at one of my safety schools and got into my reach school.

You have a good undergrad GPA and your research experience is great. As long as you didn't go to a school like the University of Phoenix, I don't think they'll care too much about the reputation of your undergrad institution. What's much more important is your post-bacc/pre-req GPA and gaining experiences directly related to the field (shadowing, CSD research). For the areas you'd like to attend school in, I'd shoot for a 3.9+ post-bacc GPA. You will find tons of stories on here of people who made it into great programs with lower GPAs, but I recommend setting your sights higher because you haven't started your post-bacc and you have a clean slate -- aim for that 4.0! I had a lower undergrad GPA than you do and managed to get all A's in post-bacc. The application is so stressful and feels so out of your hands. GPA is one of the things you can control. 

Good luck to you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Aspire_to_BeThank you so much for such a thoughtful reply, and for your encouraging words! I really appreciate it! :)

Sorry, I should have clarified; I meant I want to live & work in a big city after graduating. I'm perfectly fine with going to grad school in the boonies if that's what it takes. :)

And congrats on your reach acceptances; that's awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah I see. That’s a little tougher to answer. As far as I’ve been told, you’re able to go wherever you want especially if it’s a reputable location (CA, NY, TX, CT). I’m actually visiting CA, TX and NC this upcoming week so I’m going to be asking what the transition is like going from a grad program in a rural area to working in a more city like region.

I’ll be sure to put up a post or comment here regarding that matter once I finish my visits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Crescenza said:

@Aspire_to_BeThank you so much for such a thoughtful reply, and for your encouraging words! I really appreciate it! :)

Sorry, I should have clarified; I meant I want to live & work in a big city after graduating. I'm perfectly fine with going to grad school in the boonies if that's what it takes. :)

And congrats on your reach acceptances; that's awesome!

In that case, I'd recommend looking at schools in some of the middle states (Kansas, etc.) because I remember seeing that (not all, but some!) schools out there are both cheaper and less competitive, compared to schools in the northeast, California, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No such thing as safety schools, as they're all competitive.  I still remember the post in the results page for SLP where they were WAITLISTED to all seven on their schools.  You'll find that you won't be able to apply to many schools, since many programs require the GRE. (Even schools people may consider to be "safety" schools.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got rejected from my "safety" schools. I think that is because, one, they were in California. Even though ASHA ed Find said they had lower GPA's, they had lower scores because they only take their own students, not because they are easier to get into. So, it was more of an allusion and not the truth. I think if you try places that aren't the west coast you may be able to find safety type schools. But I think they're all competitive and it's just an allusion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I am finishing up my post-bacc year and here's my advice.

1. Take the GRE, especially if you are good at verbal sections! You will significantly limit your options if you try to only find schools that don't require the GRE.

2. Look at the program pre-requitsites. There were a number of schools I immediately had to discount because, even with my post-bacc year, I would have to take 3-6 classes the summer before the program started. 

3. Use ASHA edfind to make a strategic list of schools. (Some of the highest acceptance rates I've seen are at city schools (like MGH), probably because they are so expensive, so you could think of a really good school as a safety school in that way). My general strategy was to apply to schools that my GPA and GRE scores were roughly equal to or higher. If my GRE scores were quite a bit higher (by 3 or more(ish) points) and the acceptance rate was above 25% I thought of it as more like a "safety" school. 

4. If you're interested in working with with adults, ask programs coordinators/current students what the options are for placements in adult care settings. There are some programs that are pretty hyper pediatric. I know that it's an ASHA requirement to have an adult population externship for every program but it's still something to consider. I also want to work with seniors and I was always extra drawn to schools that had an aphasia clinic or something along those lines. 

I considered Kent State a safety school and I went to visit. I think it's a great safety school option! It seemed like a good program. WVU was my other safety. If you're in the area, that could be another option? There's also Edinboro University near Erie.

Edited by cakcak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, cakcak said:

I am finishing up my post-bacc year and here's my advice.

1. Take the GRE, especially if you are good at verbal sections! You will significantly limit your options if you try to only find schools that don't require the GRE.

Yes! Schools that don’t require the GRE are often more competetive because people who don’t want to take it or who are nervous about there scores look for these schools. I’ve seen multiple topics on this forum of people asking which programs those are. You can reteach yourself the math. I recommend the Princeton Review book to learn it and the 5 lb. Book of GRE Questions to practice. Give yourself about 4 months to prepare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Aspire_to_Be said:

Ah I see. That’s a little tougher to answer. As far as I’ve been told, you’re able to go wherever you want especially if it’s a reputable location (CA, NY, TX, CT). I’m actually visiting CA, TX and NC this upcoming week so I’m going to be asking what the transition is like going from a grad program in a rural area to working in a more city like region.

I’ll be sure to put up a post or comment here regarding that matter once I finish my visits.

I go to a grad school in NC, the only rural ones are the 2 programs in the mountains and maybe EUC could be considered rural. But the other 3 are in fairly large cities! Which schools are you looking into in NC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, soontobeslp2018 said:

I go to a grad school in NC, the only rural ones are the 2 programs in the mountains and maybe EUC could be considered rural. But the other 3 are in fairly large cities! Which schools are you looking into in NC?

I’m largely unfamiliar with NC, I’m only going by photos haha, sorry about that.

Raleigh/Durham; NC central university!

Which school are you currently attending if it’s alright to ask?

Edited by Aspire_to_Be

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Aspire_to_Be said:

I’m largely unfamiliar with NC, I’m only going by photos haha, sorry about that.

Raleigh/Durham; NC central university!

Which school are you currently attending if it’s alright to ask?

I go to school in Greensboro. Durham is a decent sized city, some people give it a bad reputation but it isn’t that bad! Hope you enjoy your visit!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/29/2019 at 7:34 PM, Crescenza said:

Hello everyone! :)

I am currently in the process of building up my resume with a view to applying for postbac programs and then hopefully on to a master's in SLP. (I don't want to go into research, so either M.A. or M.S. is fine). I am trying to get an idea of the kind of schools I should be applying to. My question is, do "safety schools" exist in a field as competitive as SLP?

Context: My GPA is 3.76; my major GPA (I have a B.A. in psychology) is 3.6. Not sure whether this is relevant, but I went to a college that unfortunately seems to have fairly mediocre reputation value from what I can gather (it was a perfectly respectable, accredited school, but not really known at all outside of a small region), though I was in the honors program if that makes a difference. Also studied abroad at a tippity-top uni and got perfect grades in every class that semester and a fancy-sounding academic award, if that helps at all. I have not decided whether I want to take the GRE (it would be a lot of stress, and a lot of money and time that I don't have sunk on prep courses, as I test poorly in math) but if I do, it's a safe bet that my quantitative score will be average at best while my analytical writing and verbal reasoning scores would be in a v. high percentile (this has been the same story with every standardized test I have ever taken, lol). I haven't done my shadowing yet but I have a good number of volunteering hours with a diverse array of relevant programs, and will have a very respectable number of hours by the time I start applying to master's programs. I very much enjoy working with seniors, so my hope would be to work with that population, probably in an SNF. (I am also eyeballing the Ohio State singing-health SLP program, as I have a music background, but that program seems to be pretty unique, so I'm not pegging all my hopes and dreams on that one option. :) )

I'm fortunate enough to have some recommenders who are willing to write me really good letters. :) I also have a background of taking on a lot of the responsibility in my family from an early age, which was part of my inspiration to look into this field (it taught me flexibility, compassion, patience,  responsibility, resilence, and so forth which are important qualities in the rehab professions), and makes for good essay fodder (feel a bit gross about leveraging my family tragedies that way but it's what ya gotta do I guess! :) ) Folks I've talked to so far have been pretty impressed with my backstory and encouraged me to make a point of it in my applications as it gives me a pretty unique perspective.

I currently work as a research assistant, mainly assisting with projects related to child neglect in military populations. I have been at the same institution for several years and have my name on a couple publications, albeit not as a main author or anything like that.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that I do decent in a postbac program - not okay, not 4.0.

This isn't one of those "what are my chances" posts, but I'm wondering, are there safeties into this field? I plan to apply to a couple prestigious programs. I've been a city girl all my life, DC born & bred, and I thrive on that energy, so it would be nice to get a job in a competitive, fast-paced city like DC or NY or Chicago if I can swing it.

( UPDATE: To clarify here - I'd like to work in a big city after graduating, but I'm fine with going to grad school in the middle of nowhere if that's what it takes. :) I apologize for the confusing wording!)

Examples of schools I like: NYU, Kent State, Ohio State, and Baldwin-Wallace.

On 3/29/2019 at 7:34 PM, Crescenza said:

I'd like to aim mostly for schools that are in the middle of the pack. Are there any programs that would be considered safeties by anyone (let alone little old me, haha)? This whole process is still pretty new to me and I am still working on getting my bearings (my spreadsheet currently has almost fifty schools listed in it - LOL!!! - so clearly I need to find a way to start narrowing down my list!) :) Thank you so so much!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/30/2019 at 4:46 PM, soontobeslp2018 said:

I go to school in Greensboro. Durham is a decent sized city, some people give it a bad reputation but it isn’t that bad! Hope you enjoy your visit!!

Is there plenty to do in Durham by any chance? How do nights usually look like? I’m excited to visit soon! 😃

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can look on ASHA to see what schools to see which ones have high acceptance rates. However, I was accepted to every school I applied to except my safety school!! I know a bunch of people that had this experience too! So I'd say apply only to schools that you're interested in because I'm sure you'll get in especially with your stats and experiences :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.