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Poor GPA/ Moderately High ACT... how can I get some $$$ for college?


Replies to: Poor GPA/ Moderately High ACT... how can I get some $$$ for college?

  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    @twoinanddone @KurisuMakise OP luckily has the reasonably priced college options in West Virginia (my son is going there for Boy Scout Jamboree this summer). So if OP commuted to Shepherd, it would cost about $7000 per year for tuition plus gas $ needed. Your maximum freshman year Stafford loan is $5500. Your sophomore Stafford loan is $6500. (Junior and Senior year loans, $7500). You probably need to earn 2 to 3 thousand for your Freshman year if you commute to Shepherd. Maybe stay one more year at that rate. Earn 2 - 3 thousand for the year and save what you can. Then maybe transfer to WVU. Keyser has the least expensive option, only 13 thousand for the year to live there but maybe you can find less expensive room and board off campus. If you do well Freshman and Sophomore year, could you talk to your parents about just helping out 3 thousand a year for Junior and Senior year? Would they give you money from their tax credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit. @twoinanddone Do you know how that would work for OP if self funding. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/aotc
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    @KurisuMakise It is possible that if you went to a community college for two years and that only cost you about 2 thousand per year, you could take the maximum Stafford loan for those two years $5500 (Freshman) and $6500 (Sophomore) and have $12000 from your Stafford loans but only need $4000 for community college expenses. You would then have $8000 in the bank. If you then take $4000 each year of that money in the bank and add it to your $7500 Junior and Senior Stafford loans, you would have $11,500 per year to spend which you could add to with summer jobs. Then you could be on track to being able to afford WVU with careful planning of room and board.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,832 Senior Member
    I believe Biology related courses will help when I take the MCAT to get into medical school.

    What is a "biology related course"?

    Look up the required courses for acceptance into medical school. They are NOT all science related.


  • KurisuMakiseKurisuMakise Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Sorry, was sort of out of it when I wrote that. I intend to take Biology in my Freshman year at shepherd as they do not offer some of the courses that I need to complete for my Physics degree, so I might as well take it there. As someone above me mentioned they don't offer a Physics major. A lot of the courses I need for admission to medical school fall under what I need for my Physics major, including lab experience, mathematics courses, and Physics. It's also recommended that i take Biochem and Molecular biology. I'll have to look into whether or not Shepherd offers those courses.

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,894 Senior Member
    edited May 22
    First thing: register with Disability resources/disability services.
    Bringing a laptop to bring to class won't make you stand out at all - MANY students do that nowadays. But registering with Disability will give you the extra time
    (Those kids who told you your grades didn't count were cruel and, most importantly, wrong. Haven't they ever heard of "levelling the playing field"? You're fighting with disabilities, they're not. You deserve accomodations otherwise they have an unfair advantage over you since they don't have to fight OCD nor ADD.)

    Second thing:
    As a premed, you don't have to major in biology; you can major in anything (and biostatistics or bioinformatics would have more professional outcomes than straight biology). Regardless, you'll need to take these classes over the course of four years
    1 semester each of calculus, statistics or biostatistics, psychology, sociology, biochemistry, a course that deals with diversity (+, if you can, neuroscience/cognitive science/neurobiology because so much is happening in the field right now, more in biostatistics, bioinformatics)
    2 semesters each of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, English communication/writing/speech (+ if you can, speaking a language that is spoken by an immigrant group in the US with relevant experience at a clinic).

    As a result, you don't block any major by taking a regular "premed" schedule and deciding during sophomore year.

    You could take:
    Freshman year, Fall
    English Composition
    Foreign language or art or other general education requirement

    Freshman year, Spring
    English Communication
    General Education requirement in arts or humanities

    Freshman year, Summer (or Maymester)
    Chemistry 2

    Sophomore Year Fall
    Organic Chemistry1
    one major-related class
    one easy class or nothing else

    Sophomore Year Spring
    Physics 2
    Organic Chemistry 2
    one major-related class
    one easy diversity-related gen ed class

    All universities would have these classes regardless of what major they offer (or don't). It'd cover what you need for premed and doesn't close any science major. Or you could even spread them out more.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,836 Senior Member
    edited May 22
    A lot of the courses I need for admission to medical school fall under what I need for my Physics major,

    Not exactly. (My older D has a BS in physics. She went to med school and is now a doctor.)

    A physics major will only include 3 of the 15 required courses for med school admission--

    1 semester of college level math (Calc 1)
    2 semesters of intro physics w/labs

    NOT included in a physics degree:

    2 semesters gen chem w/labs
    2 semesters ochem w/labs
    1 semester biochem (some medical schools require biochem lab)
    1 semester math-based statistics or biostatistics
    2 semesters english composition or 2 semesters of writing intensive classes (like literature, history, philosophy,etc)
    2 semesters intro biology w/labs
    1 semester psychology
    1 semester sociology

    In addition, some medical schools have additional requirements for additional classes like medical ethics, genetics, human physiology, upper level social sciences or other specific courses.

    And I think you're confused about what medical schools mean by lab experience--they don't mean a lab class. They mean an independent research experience--which is not a routine part of a physics degree. And while physics research won't hurt you when it comes to applying to med school (D1 did medium energy particle physics research for 3 years); it won't help you either. It's a neutral factor.

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,596 Senior Member
    Unless you really love physics and will excel in it, I don't think that's the right major for you. As WOWmom mentioned, physics major doesn't include most of the premed prereqs.

  • KurisuMakiseKurisuMakise Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I do love Physics. I'm not taking it for medical school, I'm taking Physics because I find it interesting and challenging. I'm not going to college purely to attend medical school, I'm simply considering it as an option.

    Additionally, I have an update with good news. I went to the financial aid office at Shepherd yesterday to see what could be done about scholarships. Apparently, they calculate GPA differently from my high school. According to their calculations, my final GPA was EXACTLY 3.00. This made me eligible for the Director's Scholarship for $500. However since my ACT scores were considerably higher than the President Scholarship requirements ( Mine was a 31, President's requires a 28), they waived my GPA and gave me that instead! That's two thousand dollars in my pocket! Naturally, I'm ecstatic. I'll continue to apply for scholarships and update this thread as more information becomes available.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,894 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    Wow, congratulations!!
    And I'm guessing it means you got into the honors College? ( if you do 't know, ask) .
    Shepherd is a good university actually so if you can find a major you like there, it's a great school for you to study at.
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    @KurisuMakise Great news. Very happy for you. Keep us updated.
  • KurisuMakiseKurisuMakise Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    End of summer update if anyone was interested.

    I've registered for all my classes at Shepherd and my first term starts August 28.

    In terms of money, this is what I've come up with...

    -$2000 Merit Scholarship from SU
    -$2000 Academic Waiver from the biology department for an essay I wrote
    -$1000 in graduation gift money
    -$1500 from my summer job

    These are not exact numbers, but they're pretty close. probably more than that. Regardless, 6.5K is not too shabby for only 3 months. Basically pays my tuition for the semester.
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    @KurisuMakise That is great news. Did you fill out a FASFA? Will you plan to take a loian for second semester? Very exciting for you to be starting in a few weeks!
  • KurisuMakiseKurisuMakise Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I did fill out a FAFSA. Also, I'm going to try to get more scholarships from other sources. I shouldn't have to take out any loans, but it's not the end of the world if I do. It really is exciting, I actually can't wait.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,889 Super Moderator
    Hi @KurisuMakise ,

    If you live in West Virginia, I recommend that you and your parent contact the
    West Virginia department of Education and the arts , Division of Rehabilitative services as you may be eligible for assistance for college.

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,894 Senior Member
    What classes are you going to take?
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