Getting into graduate school

getting into grad schoolFour years of college. What’s next? Going into the medical field has always allured new students for its prestige and glamour. After my daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, my son suddenly decided that becoming a doctor or going into medical research was the field he was drawn to in the hopes of curing his sister’s anomaly. However, in today’s world having the word “Doctor” before your name brings with it healthcare issues and exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums–it is a daunting task.

Dentistry became a true interest to my son after discussing it with our own dentist and before long it became is passion. But not so fast….just because you want to pursue that field does not necessarily mean the doors will be wide open in anticipation of that first day when you start training. If you think acceptance into your chosen college or university is difficult enough, try enrolling into a medical/dentistry school.

First of all, biology sciences must be your major. My son had majored in biology sciences and had graduated in 2008 with excellent grades and a GPA of 3.5. He took the DATs (similar to SATs) with a score of 17. We were sure he was on the right path. He dutifully sent out the applications to schools he was interested in attending and this time last year we waited patiently to welcome the acceptance letters. However… none arrived. With the abundant applications flowing in dental schools these days, it is very competitive. No interviews, no responses and you would think with the amount of money they ask for with the application we would at least get a response. We also found out that many of the out-of-state schools accept applications from in-state residents first.

The cut-off dates approached and we had zip, zero, nothing. It was time to re-review our strategy and take a step back. What we needed was to improve our DAT score to be able to meet the competition. I talked my son into taking a DAT preparatory course (which he did not do the first time – he thought he could home school himself). This helped bring his score up to 20, which made him very attractive to the dentistry schools he reapplied to. He recently received two interviews – one from our own state and one from New York. The good news is he passed both interviews with flying colors and has decided to accept our own state’s dentistry school. We are saving about $60K by going to this school so for us it made perfect sense.


Paying for Grad School