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Do I stand a chance anywhere?


katys

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Hey guys, 

So I am going to be a senior in college this year with a major in audiology. My overall GPA is about a 3.0 and I know that isn't high at all. I had a really hard time in school my sophomore year for multiple reasons. However my junior year I have really improved. One of my professors for my principles of Audiology class is very well known and offered to write me a letter of recommendation. I am very involved in NSSLHA and residence life and housing. Do you think there are any schools that would want me? I know all you need is one yes and that's all I want. I was looking at Salus and Arizona School of Health and Sciences but other than that I don't know what to do. Also, what would you recommend as a back up plan if nothing works? All I can do is try at this point. I love audiology, it just took struggling through the speech pathology related classes for me to discover that. I've never wanted anything more in my life and I'm certain I don't stand a chance. Please, help. 

Thanks!

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@katys Honestly, I'm from the world of humanities, so I can't speak directly to audiology or SLP; but your post struck a chord with me, and I thought I'd share a little of my own experience.

My first two years of college were terrible, even with really good grades in my junior and senior years, I still came out with a 2.55 overall. When application season came around, I put my best spin on it, but got nowhere. So, on to plan B. What does one do with a major in philosophy? Get a job in the cell-tower industry, obviously. I tried out a few career options along the way, but settled into the rope-access world and kind of gave up on academia. 

Fast forward a few years and I eventually made my way back into academia, I'm now in a fantastic phd program - but a recurrent theme for me in this whole process has been having a Plan B (and C, and D, and E, and...) When you are applying to schools, you have to be 100% confident that you want to go there and that you're going to be great in your field - but behind that you have to realize that a> you may never get in, and b> you might never get a job in your field after you graduate. 

When I hear, "I've never wanted anything more in my life and I'm certain I don't stand a chance," I hear myself. And that's why I encourage you to take some time to think about what else you would like to do with your degree, or maybe even find some other routes to the eventual goal that you have in mind. I just know too many folk who have worn themselves (and their families) out pursuing a dream that is never going to happen - at a certain point, you have to mourn its death and move on. So, at each stage of my process, I've laid very intentional stopping points and alternative paths. Things like, OK, I'll apply this year, and if I don't get in, I'll apply next year - but that's it, time to move on. I'll try to find a good teaching job when I graduate, but if I can't, I'm not going to waste years trying as an adjunct while barely scraping by, I'll find something different. If all else fails, I can always go back to the world of EH&S. 

Now, with that somber stuff out of the way - good luck in your apps! I don't know exactly what path you are planning, but a lot of terminal master's programs are a bit more forgiving of undergrad GPAs and you can use these as stepping stones into a PhD (that's what I did). At least in many institutions, solid letters of recommendation carry a lot more weight than transcripts, so use your faculty resources!. Further, do your best to get to know the faculty and students at the schools you're trying to apply to - can you visit or Skype with them? Making a good personal impression can overcome a host of paper-based defects and give you a good handle on the school - I wrote off two programs after I visited and talked with the students! (again, you're nowhere near my field, so ymmv here). 

 

Edited by drivingthoughts
keeps changing b) to a smiley face. argh autocorrect.
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@katys You still have a chance. I've been researching into Audiology as a 'back up plan' & according to an article, the average GPA ranges between 3.2-3.9. Their acceptance rate is higher than an SLP program between 35-50% chance. Being that your GPA is below that, most schools look at your last 60credits the most. Explain in your personal statement why you did horribly then point out your improved grades the last two years. I do recommend getting a high score on your GRE because you can also use that as another backup. Spend a huge amount on tailoring your personal statement/letter of intent AND letter of recommendations to the schools you'll be applying to. You might not win them over with great statistics but you still have a chance explaining who you are as a person.

If for any reason you did not get accepted the first round, keep in mind ...some schools actually look for returning applicants. Take for example, an SLP program in New Mexico...on their website, they stated that they choose their first round of applicants, then they look over to see if there's any second round applicants. During your break off, grab ANY opportunities to gain experience. Keep in mind that without great statistics in a competitive field, you just have to prove your passion through other things.

Good Luck! 

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