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Direct Nursing Admit Journey for a California A-/B+ Student

theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
Now that my D17 with a 3.8 GPA/28 ACT (29 Superscore) has been rejected from our two public CSUs where this year the requirement for admission became at least a 4.0+ and ~30 ACT, I thought to document her experience that includes admission to a dozen+ other nursing direct admits [privates or OOS] to encourage other wonderful, deserving students who are passionate about nursing and due to the lack of Direct Admit Schools in CA might be discouraged. Do not give up! There are tons of other great options.
First of all, you can always try to transfer junior year as majority of CA publics only admit starting with junior, but please be aware that this is also very competitive and the college prereq required GPA looks to be 3.6+ for publics. In addition, you can always get a bachelors in another subject and do a post BS program. My D considered this, if she did not get into any directs, and her GPA/ACT was sufficient to be admitted for Nutrition to Cal Poly, SJSU and CSULB. Not a bad option at all, particularly if privates and OOS, even with Merit $ is not feasible for you and you have your heart set on a 4 year college experience.
In terms of Direct Admits, my D17 was admitted to every one of her non-CSU schools! Our plan was to apply to all privates on the West that looked like a good fit [we discounted anything less than 3K students as something that is essentially the size of our high school and everything extremely religious s.a. Azuza and Point Loma which require 3X/week chapel - we are not Christian and after visiting Azuza, my daughter did not feel comfortable applying there. Although, the school and people were lovely and welcoming and for other students would be a great choice. We also applied OOS by carefully selecting schools from the Nursing Direct Admits Thread on this site - it was a god send. We were looking for certain locations, which then we narrowed down by school reputation, clinicals, discussion on this site...etc. We also picked several schools in Pennsylvania, which has the biggest number of directs and therefore appeared to be a real possibility. We also chose schools that appeared to have average GPA/ACT at or slightly below my daughters, as very few report nursing specific averages and all state the Nursing is very competitive.
We ended up applying to 13 schools in addition to the two CA publics. This is WAY too many. However, we were so concerned that D would not be able to get anywhere based on what we read, that we over did it. Another reason we applied to so many is that we did not know any of these places outside west coast except by reputation and chose different states, urban vs suburban, large vs small, public vs private...etc, just to give my D good options to choose from.

Below are the results including merit $ and some of the reasons why we chose these schools, in case you find it helpful. Please note, that when evaluating $, please do not forget to take a look at the tuition (some OOS is pretty cheap and differences in private schools can be significant) AND dorms. Because cost of living is so different around the country, some places that are offering less aid, would actually end up being cheaper than those offering more. Merit below is annual.
Need to keep 3.0 gpa for most merit.

University of San Francisco, CA - 16K merit; too close for my D and she is not crazy about urban environment, jesuit
University of Portland, OR - 17K merit; daughter loved ivy covered campus on the river; very nice atmosphere; holy cross is a bit more religious than Jesuits
Seattle University, WA - 20K merit, urban setting, lovely Seattle Jesuit
Gonzaga, WA - 13K merit, obviously a fun and spirited school, we interviewed which is highly recommended, jesuit
Purdue, IN - biggest public and the most known of these schools; top 20 public in the nation; D loves the name and spirit of the school. No merit, but their OOS tuition and dorms are not unreasonable.
U of Del, DE - 7.5K merit, another great public, I think top 30. They love OOS as state is small. Close to some big urban centers. Excellent recommendations on this site.
U of Rhode Island - RI flag ship, another small state that likes OOS, Up and coming Nursing school; friend attended; close to beach.
Quinnipiac, CT - 20K merit, one of few non-religious LA schools with nursing, 10min away from Yale, 1.5hr from NYC, beautiful new healthcare campus for nursing, med school, etc...Overall, most expensive option, however, even with great merit.
Xavier, OH - 20K merit, nursing school with outstanding reputation, there is a potential Spanish emphasis program that could be great for Californians, One of the CHEAPEST options due to reasonable private tuition, cheap housing and generous merit. Almost as cheap as CSUs and cheaper than UCs!!! jesuit
Curry College, MA - 22K merit, weak school except for Nursing, however only 7 miles away from Boston and has clinicals at some of the best hospitals there. Curry nursing students have good reputation. This was our biggest safety. Students with GPA 3.5 and even lower can likely get in. Private liberal arts, so another non-religious option.
University of Scranton, PA - 19K merit. Excellent nursing school and clinicals close by., Jesuit
Duquesne University, PA - 19K merit, another good PA school, but this one in urban setting in PIttsburgh which is thought to be a fun college town, jesuit
West Chester, PA - 4K merit, best of PA state system, another CHEAPEST option that is almost as cheap as CSU and cheaper than UC.

I know that this is a bit winded, but I wanted to share everything we learned in case it will be of help. I'll likely be checking back on this site for the next couple of months until decision day, in case folks have questions.

I do want to point out that D has stellar EC with hospital internships, school government, dance team, volunteer hours...etc. Wrote essay on her internship and love of neonatal nursing and had a great letter of recommendation from her manager.

From our end, my D is trying to narrow down her choices at this point and plans to visit schools in the spring.

Best to all and remember, the goal is Nursing if that is your passion and there are lot of options to get there. Just stay the course.
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Replies to: Direct Nursing Admit Journey for a California A-/B+ Student

  • theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Also forgot to add, must apply EA an if rolling admission, as soon as possible. Most nursing decisions get filled up quickly. Write your essays...etc in the summer. Approach your counselors and teachers for letter on day 1 of back to school. A number of my Ds friends had issues with letters because they waited until 2-3 weeks before due date.
  • CharlieschCharliesch Registered User Posts: 2,076 Senior Member
    Yes, the lesson to be learned is that California residents should also apply to out of state colleges, because the in-state options are so competitive. Congrats on having great choices, including U Del, which is highly competitive for OOS nursing.
  • theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    @charlieschm thank you for all your posts in this site! We relied on them a lot! Some of the success above belongs to you
  • kchampkchamp Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @theally1 - thank you so much for your detailed information. I find the merit and quick synopsis of each school extremely helpful!

  • Angela220Angela220 Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Congrats, you & your D have a lot of great choices.
    School in an urban setting can have its pro & con, depending on how you like it. That can mean clinical within a reasonable distance ( walking or driving w/ carpool ) and may have a higher apartment rental cost inside a city.

    College town-like setting may require carpool or have your own transportation to get to clinical. Clinical may not always be at the university's hospital, they can be at other sites outside of campus ( 30min, 40min, 1hr ) away, it all depends on how the school set this up.

    Again congrats you have lots of wonderful choices
  • CharlieschCharliesch Registered User Posts: 2,076 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Thanks, thealley1. I won't be bitter that your daughter was accepted to U. Del's nursing program, and my daughter was only accepted as a bio major. (That worked out for her because it would have been her most expensive choice by far, after aid).

    People should take advantage of the search feature on this site. Many useful comments have been made by many people on here about many nursing programs. I only had a chance to research the programs in Eastern PA., when my daughter was searching. My information is getting out of date - my daughter graduates with a BSN in 2 months. She already has one informal job offer from the hospital where she works occasionally as a nursing assistant, and has an interview for a competitive position tomorrow.

  • kandcsmomkandcsmom Registered User Posts: 632 Member
    If you looked at Xavier would she consider Otterbein?
  • theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Congratulations @charlieschm on a daughter about to graduate! While, I never want to rush time, I wish I could be saying the same!
    And yes, I agree, there is a wealth of information on this site. Folks should take time and research; they won't be sorry. One of the reasons I took the time with such a detailed post is to try to "give back" for the future kids/parents that are in panic, like we were last spring when we got home after vising San Diego and hearing that CSU only looks at GPA/Test scores. I literally had a crying child on my hands in the airport that was saying things like "I should have just sat and studied all day, all my 88% and 89% would have been As and I would get in, no one cares about everything I did for government, dance, Sunday school, Girl Scouts...etc." After sternly bringing her back to reality - real life is not just grades and that is not what makes the best pediatric nurse (her dream), she and I sat down studied this site and put together a game plan.
    Re Otterbein @KandKsmom , we did not explore Midwest in great deal. Xavier came on the radar because of an article that we came across on line regarding the Spanish emphasis program that we thought would be great given CA patient population.
  • CharlieschCharliesch Registered User Posts: 2,076 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Some of the largest universities are most likely to look at only GPA and test scores in admission.

    To repeat myself, everyone should take the ACT, because it has much more science and less emphasis on math than the SAT. Most prospective nursing students will do better on the ACT than the SAT. Most colleges are happy to look at whichever score is better. Higher test scores are not only important for admissions, but may make a student eligible for a large merit scholarship.
  • ECmotherx2ECmotherx2 Registered User Posts: 2,024 Senior Member
    Congratulations and best of luck. Thank you for your detailed info. I think that visiting some of the schools will give your daughter a good perspective. Some other things that I'm sure will come into play: the NCLEX pass rates for the schools and do the nursing courses begin in freshman year or junior year.
  • negirl508negirl508 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    My daughter was in the same boat as yours last year @theally1. She was so disappointed to have been waitlisted at SDSU, admitted for an alternate major at UCI, and denied at UCLA. After visiting schools she fell in love with UConn and its direct entry nursing program. You are right that nursing is the end goal and its important to keep focused on that. It's a crazy ride for sure for CA applicants. Good luck to your daughter. She has some wonderful choices!
  • theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    @negirl508 How did your CA girl handle this winter? And thanks for encouraging words!
  • lastofthreelastofthree Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    @negirl508 Hi, your daughter already found out from UCI and UCLA for Fall 2017?
  • theally1theally1 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    She was talking about last year's results.
  • negirl508negirl508 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Yes I was talking about last year's results. Sorry for the confusion. I believe she found out late March/early April.
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