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How can I support my girlfriend as she applies?

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my girlfriend and i have both just completed our final year of college. i'll be starting medical school in new york city this coming fall while she has chosen to take a gap year. we're a serious couple so we're hoping to be in the same area for graduate school, especially after spending our four years of college being four hours apart at different schools. 

i really want to help her achieve her goal of becoming a speech therapist as its a goal she has had since she was a high schooler and continues to still feel passionate about it. ideally, she'd be at a school not too far from me, but she's been hit with a strong bout of graduation blues for the past three months thats been making her feel very inferior / unworthy of applying to programs at all (her friends are off to the jobs or grad school programs they'd been hoping for). so i realize that now's the time for me to step up and be her rock and keep her as ambitious and focused as she has always been. i'm positive this forum is filled with tons of helpful people with helpful advice so i thought i'd turn here. 

to keep things short, i have a few basic questions: are schools in the NJ/CT/NYC area very competitive? what GPA and GRE scores are expected of SLP applicants? what can my girlfriend do during her gap year to strengthen her application? what are the most important components to an application? what are some resources i can find to best understand the application process? 

she's told me she's interested in spending her gap year either traveling internationally (to a spanish-speaking country) or in new york city with me. i'm very happy with either, i just have no clue what i should be looking for in terms of strengthening her application. do SLPs emphasize research or clinical volunteering or even something more informal but equally challenging like nannying children of all ages? how important is being bilingual? 

thank you!


Edited by jhyo2
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You are literally the sweetest bf ever! Do you have a brother?! (Lmao thought a girl could try) But I'm not sure what your girlfriend's GPA or GRE scores but I guess there's always room for improvement. She could retake classes that she didn't do so well in cause it shows a drive to do well. Really study and then retake the GREs using Magoosh. But try not to take it more than three times. But I think the thing hat would be most helpful is to get real world experience. Say for example she has an interest in working with children with autism, then she should try to find a job or volunteer position with that population. Participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible (walks, clubs, support groups). It's a great way to network and get experience. Make sure your girlfriend asks professors that truly know her to write her LORs. Tell her to fine tune her SOP to each program (talk about what aspects of each program that she likes). Find the programs that accept more applicants through the ASHA edfind website even though now it seems like every program gets an absurd amount of applications ?  Just tell her to keep trying because it WILL happen it just not might be in the timeframe she wanted it to happen but it so will! 

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You are so sweet!

Avg GPA is between 3.3-4.0 - BUT it's hard to get into a school in NYC/tri-state area with a GPA below 3.6. Many schools only look at the last 60 credits or (if she was a COMD major - her major GPA)

TAKE THE GRE THIS SUMMER if she plans to apply in the fall. I echo the above post. Magoosh is great - she should get the apps and the online program. Avg GRE is 148-160s for both verbal and quantitative. Really good scores are in the upper 150s - Great scores are in the 160s. Verbal obviously matters the most. I know people who got into great schools with a 155V/145Q.

Her Statement of Purpose (SOP) needs to be on POINT. She needs to show her passion, what makes her a good match for that school, what is driving her to be an SLP. 

Schools in NYC/tristate area are competitive. BUT there are a lot of programs in the area - both public and private. I'm looking at schools there, but I haven't been through the app process yet. 

Show her some blogs that will help spark what originally drew her to the profession. Remind her that getting into grad school isn't your career, it just feels like that when you're applying! Here are a couple that helped me wade through all the info for apps, requirements, advice, etc.:



In the end, she needs to be the one to take this journey. You're such a supportive BF to reach out on these pages. Honestly, the next step is she needs to find a way out of the post graduation blues - it's not easy and it may take time! This is a supportive community. BUT if she starts going deep into those results pages on this website, it can be demoralizing. So many more people post about NOT getting in. The results page can be useful to a point - after it gets too obsessive and NOT representative of reality. 

Good luck to your GF!

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As difficult as this may be, you need to let her do her own thing. It is neither your job nor your place to get her where she wants to be. 

If it is important for her to take a gap year, she needs to figure that out. If it is important for her to get into a great graduate program, again, that is something she needs to figure out. You can support her emotionally and always be there for her, but you are going to drain yourself if you try to do the work required to achieve her goals. 

In short, let her live her own life. If she has goals, she needs to be the one who achieves them. 

Edited by blc073
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