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Waiting to get rejected from Florida State


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So I'm sitting in my room on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and still stressing over schools. I wouldn't be stressing this much if my GPA were at least a 3.0...that's how low my GPA really is (2.51 to be exact). I want to go into Educational Leadership and Policy and do a Peace Corps Masters International program which Florida State University offers and they have a program that I'm greatly interested in. I believe I wrote a great statement of intent that also explained why my GPA is so low without making excuses. I scored an 1120 on my GRE, I know that's not stellar but you have no idea how hard I had to study for this test to even bring it past 1000. My letters of recommendations are written by a professor (I took two of his classes and scored an A in both of them and he seemed to really like my input), my old co-teacher from Korea (I taught English in South Korea for a year and we got along very well), and from my other co-teacher in Atlanta (I volunteer at a literacy center and help teach a citizenship class). I'm hoping that my work experience will help me balance out my low GPA. Also, I have a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Spanish, so maybe they'll look at that and see how I'm well-rounded?


I don't know, but I'm scared that I'll never end up into a school and become an obsequious housewife of a surgeon husband (just kidding, I'd never torture myself like that).

Anyways, so I'd like some words of encouragement...or from someone who got accepted into a grad school with a low GPA like mine....or something that will get me out of this house and smell the pollen infused flowers.

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Maybe you could try going into the Peace Corps instead. It seems to me that you will need significant work experience to overcome the low scores. Co-teacher recommendations are probably not considered to be that strong. Maybe try to take a few graduate classes non-degree, pull A's and get some recommendations from those professors.

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I'm a returned Peace Corps volunteer and that is basically how I got into grad school. I'm not sure if without it I still would have gotten into my safety school, maybe, but I know I never would have even gotten on the waiting list at my top choice, hell I probably wouldn't have even bothered to apply. The Peace Corps is my only relevant work experience, I mean it doesn't get any more relevant than 2 years of development work in a developing country for someone who wants to go into International Development. It didn't get me into my second choice, but I have major suspicions that it was partly due to how late I submitted my application...oh well, whatever, they waive the application fee for pcvs. I too would recommend trying for the PC first. To be frank, I think they look for a minimum 3.0 GPA and you'll have to send transcripts as part of your application, but if you have all of that volunteer/teaching experience that will probably offset that and plus your aspiration of going into the education field will make you a good candidate for a teaching assignment. I have a 3.35 undergrad GPA and the recruiter told me I was an "almost match" because I had a good application but was lacking in volunteer experience. I worked at a preschool so I was able to tie that into education (eh, not solid, but it worked), I also had Russian language proficiency and spent a semester abroad there. At my interview he told me that he wanted to nominate me for an assignment because I basically just said this is everything that I want to do. I highlighted my attributes that would make him see I'll make it for 2 years abroad. So a few weeks later he found something for me and I eventually got in. I ended up in Ukraine. It can take a good year from start to finish, but just know that after you've had an interview and a few weeks later if you're nominated for an assignment than really the rest of the process is the medical clearance and timing of assignment start date, if you're in reasonably good health it should be all good from there if you remain patient. The Peace Corps just had a major budget increase and they're pushing to up the number of volunteers, I know in Ukraine alone they hope to double the current number. That's good for you, if you want to do it. Also, a lot of volunteers I knew started applying to grad schools while finishing up their service rather than waiting until they got home...wow how I wish I did that...so at least for one thing you're not sitting around going crazy with nothing else to do but check your email or mailbox, but even better if you get in somewhere, which you should after a successful service you'll have somewhere to go sooner rather than later depending on timing. And as a side note, I know people who didn't finish their 2 years in order to go to grad school, not that I recommend bailing on PC, but you do what's best for you. If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask.

And once you decide to pursue it, it's really exciting and will give you something to dive into rather than sitting around waiting for a rejection...which I don't wish for you, hope you get in, but if not, PC is the ultimate experience.

Edited by Mal83
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As another former Peace Corpse volunteer, I have to agree. I also think its better to do PC and then get a MS/MA instead of doing the Masters International program. FYI, it often takes nine months to a year from when you apply to when you depart for PC. So apply now.

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