Sunday, July 20, 2014

Supplemental application question

Question: One of my Supplemental Application asks: What have you done to prepare for admission and a career in pharmacy? (Re-applicants should focus on specific things -activities, additional educational studies, etc. - which strengthen the file from the previous application.) – Limit: 2000 characters

My question is how should I approach this question? Do I try to be personal and provide some examples of what I have learned about pharmacy? Or do I just literally list things that I have done to prepare for a pharmacy career (resume-like)? I am pretty sure it should be personal, but the question can be interpreted in different ways.

Answer: My first question is: Are you reapplying? If so, I think you need to answer the question quite a bit differently than if this is your first attempt. If reapplying, you need to show what you have done to improve your application from the previous cycle. Have you taken new courses or started a masters program? Did you get a Tech license or a job in pharmacy? When I review a file of an applicant who we rejected previously, I immediately look to see what changed from the rejected applicantion. If the answer is "nothing", you've got pretty long odds that the response from the school will change.

If this is your first application to this school, you should address any pharmacy experience (volunteering, shadowing, or tech work) that you have completed, including any interaction with other health care professionals as well as volunteer experience that might be applicable (hospital, Red Cross, etc). Depending on much space you can fill with the aforementioned, referring to your academic studies could certainly be included as preparatory work for pharmacy school. However, it seems pretty clear that the school is looking for more than simply an academic update.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Financial dilemma - public vs private pharmacy school

Question: I have a dilemma, I don't want to be in 200K of debt. I've been wait listed at a public school but admitted to a private one where I have given a deposit.  What if I go to the private school for a week, and then find out I've been accepted at the public school? Do I have an outlet within a timeframe or am I stuck with the private school that will put me in a huge finanical crisis?

Response: First of all, I believe that if you make a commitment and enroll in a program that you should commit yourself to it.  However, I understand the financial pressures that students feel (I was a student once too).

Most schools have a window where you can get part or all of your tuition back one school has started. For example, if you leave school by Sept. 1, you might receive a 90% refund of your tuition; before Sep. 15, 70%; and no refund after that date. You should check with the school where you plan to enroll first.  I suspect this information is in your enrollment information or may be available on their website.

Good luck.