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meadymalarkey

Nerves, stats, and thank you!

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So... I've been a serial lurker here for the better part of 18 months and I've never posted or responded. Hi all!

Firstly, I just wanted to say - for those of you that have shared your experiences: thank you so much! You probably don't realize it, but your willingness to share has been very calming and helpful. Even though I've never met any of you, it's been reassuring to see others share their statistics and misadventures throughout the application process. I come from a linguistic anthropology background and found CSD later, so my connection to the community from an academic standpoint has been sorely lacking. This forum has helped me quell a lot of my concerns (and develop some new ones, but whachagonnado?).

Secondly, given that it has been useful for me to see, I've decided to share experiences and stats, in case anybody else might benefit from seeing more of them for another out-of-fielder. If that's not interesting to you but you want to judge my numbers, I've listed them further down. :)

In 2013, I graduated from with departmental honors for a thesis I wrote on gendered narratives and a 3.62 GPA. I transferred from a community college for my junior year. My GPA took a hit due to one very bad quarter in my first year, during which I dealt with an assault and fell off the map for a few weeks, leaving me with flat B's in 4 courses. Despite this, my research and overall performance gave me a leg up with potentially continuing in that field for PhD's. By that time, I recognized that I had qualms about academia. I didn't love the idea of working with populations in need without seeking to directly empower them in being able to advocate for themselves. I wanted to feel like my research had more potential to have direct impacts and have the ability to work with individuals long-term. Also, the job outlook for PhD's in the social sciences is less than stellar, and while I love teaching adults, I also love not always being in debt and things like food and roofs. 

I spent a few years trying to decide whether I saw myself going to graduate school for sociolinguistics or not. I ultimately found myself working in exceptional needs intensive reading interventions, which typically caters to the same youth populations as SLPs. Speech pathology had come up a number of times, but it didn't really click until I was working with kids from the academic side of things as something I saw myself doing. I now manage an instructional caseload of between 15-20 students at any given time, most often ages 5-14 (meaning that I'm responsible for assessing, pacing, and training/mentoring teachers, in addition to teaching). It's by far the best day-job I've ever had, 2 years strong. 

Last cycle I applied to 4 schools knowing that my background was insufficient. I was wait-listed at my top choice (U.W.) and rejected from the other 3. While disappointing, I found this hopeful, given that despite some applicable work experience, I'd completed a grand total of 0 prerequisites. What I had done in fall of 2018 was find a local program for SLPA and begin taking the courses it required at my local community college that I was able to enroll in and kept a 4.0. The following spring, I found an online program within my state that offered a bridge. So, as of this cycle, I've accrued 45 post-bac units (15 of which are SLP-specific, the rest which are in related areas like ECE, psych, linguistics, physics, etc), maintained a 3.91, and continued to work full time because, again, roofs etc. I have no idea what will happen this round, but the very least, I've become a walking encyclopedia for parents to lean on throughout the IEP process and I can tell when people are under-trained in those meetings (ANSWER: TOO MANY). So there's that. 

TLDR

  • Post-Bac GPA: 3.91
  • CSD GPA: 3.82 (likely to improve after this semester)
  • UCLA - BA GPA (last 2 years): 3.62
  • Community College - AA GPA (first 2 years): 3.54
  • CSDCAS GPA: 3.56
  • GRE: Q151 (41st), V157 (75th), and AW 5.0
  • Experience: I'm currently an exceptional needs educator/case manager for a private company that does academic interventions - mostly see dx's of ASD, dyslexia, hyperlexia, ADHD, and cAPD. I also managed a healthcare clinic for 9 years and have a nonverbal sister with dx's of ASD and Downs Syndrome. 

Current woes and oh noes:

  • I'm concerned I didn't apply to enough schools/should apply to more.
  • Maybe I should be aiming a little lower. 
  • I'm in my early 30s. I mean, it's fine but I'm a little scared about being in a cohort with fresh-faced undergraduates and not measuring up. 
  • My GRE could be better. The first time I took it, I did worse on the multiple choice and better on the AW, so it could definitely be worse. Admittedly I'm a lot better with quantitative reasoning when I'm not a total ball of anxiety, which is why I haven't forked out another $200ish in an effort to earn back that 5.5 and push my quant up. Maybe if I fail this round again I'll revisit that. *shivers*
  • My SOP was SO HARD to write. As you may have noticed, I'm not very good at being brief. I'm concerned I didn't say everything I should have, or what I said may not have illustrated what I wanted it to. 
  • My old GPA is still haunting me like Moaning Myrtle and looking at it in CSDCAS was like that part in "What Not to Wear" when you look in the 360 mirror, but not getting a $5,000 shopping spree afterward. ;_______;
  • The idea of getting rejected from everywhere again after all of the work and sacrifice makes me more than a little sick to my stomach. Limbo is a mediocre game at best, but it's absolute murder when it becomes what your life looks like for too long. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and for your posts! If you have any insight I'd love to read it. 

---

University of Washington - Portland State University - Vanderbilt - Northwestern - Louisiana State University Health New Orleans - CSU Los Angeles - UT Dallas

Applied - Accepted - Wait-listed - Rejected

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if you can open yourself to the possibility of matriculating at other programs, I would apply more broadly. You seem to have a great profile, and if you can channel what you've written in your post into a coherent and thoughtful SOP, you are a shoo-in somewhere. As you already know, the programs you're applying to are, by the numbers, some most competitive in the country. Those programs receive hundreds of applications and accept ~10-20% of applicants, many of whom are admits from their undergradute program; however, if you aren't willing to compromise and are hellbent on an elite education, then don't. 

Let's go concern-by-concern:

  • I'm concerned I didn't apply to enough schools/should apply to more. See above.
  • Maybe I should be aiming a little lower. See above. It never hurts to have safety schools.
  • I'm in my early 30s. I mean, it's fine but I'm a little scared about being in a cohort with fresh-faced undergraduates and not measuring up. Cohorts are creeping up in age. Think of what you were like at 21. You are every bit as worthy.
  • My GRE could be better. The first time I took it, I did worse on the multiple choice and better on the AW, so it could definitely be worse. Admittedly I'm a lot better with quantitative reasoning when I'm not a total ball of anxiety, which is why I haven't forked out another $200ish in an effort to earn back that 5.5 and push my quant up. Maybe if I fail this round again I'll revisit that. *shivers* It's solid enough that it shouldn't barr you from admission.
  • My SOP was SO HARD to write. As you may have noticed, I'm not very good at being brief. I'm concerned I didn't say everything I should have, or what I said may not have illustrated what I wanted it to.  If there's still time, there are a handful of folk here who are willing to revise SOPs, myself included. Send me a PM if you're interested!
  • My old GPA is still haunting me like Moaning Myrtle and looking at it in CSDCAS was like that part in "What Not to Wear" when you look in the 360 mirror, but not getting a $5,000 shopping spree afterward. ;_______; It's not a big deal; admissions committees don't harp on decisions made a decade ago.
  • The idea of getting rejected from everywhere again after all of the work and sacrifice makes me more than a little sick to my stomach. Limbo is a mediocre game at best, but it's absolute murder when it becomes what your life looks like for too long.  Stay strong, admissions season is mentally exhausting. Make sure to take care of yourself.

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