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27 minutes ago, Mayestr said:

Is anyone else starting to stress that they might not get in anywhere? I’ve applied to 10 programs and already have rejections from roughly half. I think due to my low GPA. I had a head injury my freshman year and it really tanked me. Could use some solidarity. Thanks!

Hi @Mayestr - I'm not currently experiencing that feeling, but I did live through it the first two times that I applied to graduate programs. I was almost universally rejected, with consolation offered in the form of waitlist placements. If there is a purgatory, I'm certain it's that. Well, that and being stuck on the set of "Love Island: Australia," but I digress. 

The good news is that even if things don't turn out your way this cycle, you can always reapply, and you'll have time in between to take classes to improve your chances. :) That's what I did, and it worked out. I've responded to a few threads along these lines that speak to my experiences with rejection. If you want to look through those, snoop through my post history by way of my profile. 

There is absolutely no shame in rejection when it comes to graduate school, but I do understand that it's not how it feels until this stage is over. Just know: this too shall pass. 10 programs is a great number to have applied to if your GPA isn't where you want it to be, especially if they represented a range of admittance profiles. Most programs take a holistic approach when looking at applicants, and while GPA is important, so are other indicators of readiness like writing ability, your last 60 units of coursework, courses you've taken that are specific to the field, GRE scores, rec letters, work/volunteer experiences, etc. After that, no matter who you are or what you look like on paper, it's still a numbers game. 

Edited by meadymalarkey
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Sorry this is so long.  I hope this will help somebody for next year.  And I hope you get an acceptance soon and don't need this advice. 

My hobby is to help friends and family with college searches and essays.  My daughter's friend with a 3.35 GPA and a 291 GRE just got her first acceptance last week.  This was her second year applying.  She finally took up my offer of help.  This is the advice I give.  When applying there is not much you can do  about grades and test scores.  Your essay is the place to shine.  Schools aren't looking to just admit resumes.  They want actual people with personalities.   When I looked over her SOP, it was perfectly adequate and totally boring.  It was: I graduated from XYZ college.  I held a position in a club.  I want to be an SLP to help people.  And on and on in it's averageness.   We discussed her information and I sent the following example I gave to a kid seeking a scholarship from the school he was accepted to.  Her final essay used examples of what she learned in college, what she actually did in the club, her love of music, her job as an SLP-A.  She tied that all into a progression to show she is a multifaceted person and how her past experiences prepared her for grad school and beyond.  

Use your SOP to explain specifically why you want to be a speech pathologist, how  you became interested in it.   Show how you will be an addition to their program.  (This can be the same for each application) Then tell how each school will help you.  Be specific about one or two things different about each school, whether it's a course or a teacher or the large or small cohort or the clinical opportunities or whatever stands out to you.   Your first sentence should grab their attention.  

Here’s a silly example of an essay using your prompt.  Good luck. This is off the cuff to show the formula.  It  needs some editing to tighten it up, but all first drafts do. My sample shows, not tells, an interest, a plan, why you need what you're applying for.  Most important tip is: don’t be boring in your essay. Make the people want to give You the money. Tell a story, paint the picture of you. 

 In answering this question for an application: What are your personal and academic goals and how would this scholarship help you achieve your goals? How will achieving these goals prepare you for new opportunities? 

Ever since I saw the orange glop on the end of a Q-tip my mother used to clean my ears as a small child, I’ve been fascinated with cerumen. Yes, that gunk in our ears. I’ve collected and inspected samples from over a hundred people since I started studying biology in middle school. I have read all the research papers available about the subject.

Through out my schooling, I have maintained excellent grades while delving further into the whys and hows of ear wax. I have conducted experiments using various compounds to see their connectivity to others. For example, I once took 10 samples of ear wax from 10 different fellow students in my class, as well as 10 samples from various adults to see if there is a difference in color, viscosity, smell, drying time. The results were astounding. I discovered young people’s ear wax stays moist longer but also has interesting adherent effect. This could expand into a new form of glue. My meticulous note keeping has assisted me in continuously building on this knowledge whether each experiment failed or succeeded.

I wish to attend Wonderful College due to the presence of the world-renowned Dr. Schnickle. His work with cerumen has inspired me, especially his article, “Earwax and You.” I plan to major in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. These two combined subjects will give me the knowledge base I need to understand the chemical make-up and the production of earwax. My plans for the future are to not only study the health implications of ear wax, but also its potential as an energy source and as an adherent. Ear wax is an amazing substance with so many potential uses for the betterment of humanity.

Your generous scholarship would allow me more time to dedicate to my research by volunteering in Dr. Schnickle’s research lab. Having access to the state of the art equipment, as well as being in the presence of such knowledge, would allow me to test my theories.

The scholarship would also give me the opportunity to intern at the Mertz Ear Clinic in Grand Rapids instead of taking a fast food job over the summer. Learning how ear wax is produced and to see if a synthetic form could be developed under the expertise leading researchers would expand my knowledge.

My hope is to change the world through the study of ear wax. Your scholarship would help me to accomplish this goal. Thank you for considering me for this prestigious award. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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