Hi! I'm a vet tech student and my dream is to get into Cornell. I know it is hard to be considered for veterinary medicine school. Do you have any advice on how to get in?
I do not believe there is any specific formula to get into Vet School. However, I do think it's to your advantage to be a well rounded candidate and to apply as if you know you're going to get a seat in next year's class. I've talked to some students who applied to graduate programs like medical school with the mindset that they were not going to get in but they were applying anyway for the heck of it.
It's my belief that when you take that approach you are predisposed to not presenting yourself as efficiently and optimally as you can to the admissions committee because you have already told yourself it's pointless. You won't put the same effort in making sure your essays are well formulated, making good grades in the classroom or on the GRE, or choosing who to ask for your recommendations.
On that note, I will also say that although grades matter, THEY ARE NOT EVERYTHING. I consider grades and the GRE as a weeding out tool, to make an applicant pool smaller and more manageable. It's like going to an audition and getting a callback. (So you should research what is the average GRE score of the schools you want to attend and aim to score higher in preparation of the exam). Make sure you are a well rounded candidate. You want to stand out in the crowd of applicants.
At the end of the day, the common denominator MAY BE grades but they won't be the deciding factor. I also know some students that had great GPAs and still didn't get into vet school. Get some experience working in clinics, doing research, working at zoos, animal education or park wildlife. Be involved with sports, have a job in retail, be active in your college organizations and clubs. It shows you have a life and an outlet.
- (future) Dr. G