I really enjoy your blog….so glad I stumbled upon it while surfing the net.
I am a bit of an overachiever and would love to have your advice. I am 17 years old and currently a sophomore in college. I was homeschooled and graduated from high school at 16. By taking dual enrollment classes (college credits for high school), I was able to get a jump start on college credits and now I should be able to finish all of my pre-requisites in order to apply to vet school next fall – 2012 (for fall 2013 admission). I will finish all of my advanced science courses by June of 2013. Halfway to a Bachelor’s degree, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA .
Experience….. I have worked for a local small animal clinic for 6 months now (over 120 hours) and will continue to do so until vet school. I do need to get experience with a large animal vet, which I plan to do over the summer and I have experience with my own animals….dogs, cats, horses, and cows. My uncle has a dairy farm where I help in summers and vacations.
Finally, I plan to take the GRE in the late summer, early fall.
My question is…do you think they will laugh at my application when I will be only 18 years old? Should I apply early or just finish my Bachelor’s degree and then apply (I’ll be 19 then).
I know it costs $$ to apply and don’t want to waste the money if they throw me out because of my age.
Thanks so much for any advice you can offer,
Hi CT –
I’m really glad that you wrote because on the blog we often discuss applicants to vet school that are non-traditional, with the implication being that they changed careers or had some unusual path. Your situation is also non-traditional, but in a very different way. Yes, you are young (I’m jealous!) and have time on your side, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily wait to apply to vet school if you know for sure that it is what you want to do with your life.
At Davis we definitely have had students starting vet school who were younger than average because they got in before they finished their bachelors, so it is definitely possible! I do not think that the committees will laugh at your application and throw it out. I think they may very well be intrigued by your application since you are ahead of the game. They will likely be evaluating you on the usual criteria but also on your maturity and how you demonstrate that the decision to become a vet isn’t just a child’s dream but a carefully thought out decision made by a girl who’s age is not necessarily indicative of her maturity level.
I would urge you to go ahead and apply this fall (2012) but be selective in which schools you apply to. Choose a handful, say three – try for your instate school if you have one and two others that are your top picks. Give it your best shot and see what happens. Worst case scenario is that you apply again next year and finish your Bachelor’s in the meantime. That’s no big deal! And if you get in, some schools (such as UC Davis) even award you a Bachelor’s degree after 2 years of vet school!
Good luck with everything!
Life In Vet School & Tips On Getting In