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Highschool Student Looking For Some Advice.

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Before I go into my question I just want to say that I know how difficult it is to get into any of these programs and I understand that I am getting ahead of myself, but imo if I am going to make a choice might as well take the path of least resistance. 


I live in vancouver and I applied to UBC and UofA because I didn't feel like wasting my money applying everywhere. Luckily I got into both of them and since I want to pursue Dentistry I am having difficulties making a choice where to go. Since both of the schools accept mostly people from within the province I obviously want to start and finish in the same school, the things is I am not sure about which one will be more advantageous for me. If I go to UofA I get to save 10-15k a year for DMD which will help me out with paying my loans, however, I've never went to Alberta and will have no contacts over there. Also, from what I have seen UofA has similar requirements for DMD to UBC, however, while they both have similar number of applicants U of A only accepts 30ish people a year vs UBC's 45 meaning I would have a higher chance of getting accepted assuming I have the same averages in both schools. On the other hand I have a lot of friends in UBC and would most likely have an easier time getting along with people. It's important to note that in both scenarios i'll be living in residence since my parents don't want me to be living at home.

So I guess what I am trying to ask is, where will I have an easier time getting into DMD and which will be most advanatgeous for me in the long run because 15k a year does add up? I keep hearing that getting grades in UofA is easier than UBC but I have no clue if that's even close to being accurate, and even if it's true they accept only 30 people which means my chances might be lower in UofA. Sigh.. I honestly have no clue what to do and I am hoping someone can give me some advice so I can make my decision and move in with life.


Thanks in advance.   

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Ahh... where to start...


First of all, if you live in Van now, then applying to UBC dental school will be easier (as in province applicant) because out of province applicants only make up maximum 10% (so like 3 people at UA), and living in Alberta with a primary purpose of full time studies doesn't count as in province in my knowledge. 


If you want to talk about money, then yes, U of A dental school is cheaper and will accept applicants who are in their 2nd year of studies, whereas UBC will only accept third years and above. However, you will likely be spending a lot of money travelling back and forth... If you look at the number of applicants vs. number of people accepted, it looks as though U of A is harder to get into.


Going to a new province knowing no one can be challenging, which could deter you from studies leading to a lesser than ideal GPA. I wouldn't think that at U of A it's any easier to get a good GPA, since mostly you are ranked against a class of like >200 people so it's a pretty good distribution of grades. 


U of A is apparently better dental school though, at least with better opportunities (according to CDA accreditation boards, U of A is now considered the best dental school in Canada -- quoting the head of the department at U of A)


So if I were you, I would stay put and enjoy the joys of Vancouver rather than coming here to dEaDMONTON (where I happened to live for the past 11 years...)

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Congrats on being accepted!


Being an "in-province" applicant increases your chances at both dental schools. I was BC born, and attended grades 1-12 in BC, then went to an Ontario university for 4 years. When I was applying to dental schools I was considered "in-province" for both Ontario schools, AND UBC (because I had done highschool there). The schools define what they consider "In-Province" differently. I think this helps a lot.


So, below, I've done the hard work for you.


http://www.dentistry.ualberta.ca/en/ProgramsAdmissions/Dentistry/DDSOverview.aspx - this means that if you go to U of Alberta, and live there, you'll be considered "In-Province" when you apply.

"For admission purposes, a resident of Alberta is defined as a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant) who has been continuously resident in the Province of Alberta, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut for at least one year immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term in which admission is sought. Because residency status determines the competitive pool in which an applicant is ranked, applicants may be required to present proof of residency status. Please visit section 13.2 Residence Requirements of the University of Alberta calendar for more information." 


http://tst-dentistry.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2014/09/BC-ResidencyRequirements-DMD.pdf - ( B) says that since you've completed highshool in BC, even if you move away for a few years, you'll still be considered a BC resident per UBC dental admission requirements.

"A BC resident is defined as a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who:

a) Has lived continuously in BC for twenty-four (24) full months immediately prior to the application deadline; OR

B) Has attended secondary school (grades 8 to 12 inclusive) in British Columbia, or attended for a minimum of three (3) years and had a permanent home in BC; OR

c) Has attended a university in BC within the last five (5) years for at least two (2) years; OR

d) Was born in BC and attended a minimum of five (5) years of school in BC. The applicant must have resided in BC for at least one continuous year in the last ten (10) unless the applicant has been living and working overseas on a work visa, or with the Armed Forces, having been a resident in BC prior to entering the Armed Forces; OR

e) Has attended residential secondary school (grades 8 to 12 inclusive) in BC, even if permanent home is in another province; or has been a resident in BC for five (5) years at any time for any reason and has resided in BC continuously for at least one year in the last ten (10); OR

f) Is a resident under the same terms from the Yukon, Nunavut or Northwest Territories. "


Basically, if you go to U of Alberta, then apply to Dental Schools, you'll be "In-Province" to schools in two provinces, significantly increasing your chances of acceptance, in my opinion. It sounds reasonable to me that you can probably get a better GPA at UofA than at UBC (I've heard horror stories about General Science programs at UofT and UBC - and I'd stay clear as a prospective pre-health professional).



Now you have to listen to me on my soapbox:

It is an utter shame that professional school admissions make students think about such trivial matters like this. Motivated students, with the world in front of them resort to thinking about technicalities, and how best to game the system to get into their desired profession. I'm not judging - I did the same when I was in your shoes. We pick the easier classes, we limit our classes not to what we want to learn about, and what will make us well-rounded students, but instead what will get us the best GPA. I plead to you, and others reading this, to try and strike a balance that you are happy with. It is important to have goals, and do things to reach those goals, but having a life, enjoying your time is very important as well. So, even though you may be increasing your chances by going to Alberta, also look at the school's non-academic (extra-curricular) merits. I think most larger (non-commuter schools) in Canada do a good job by putting in tremendous amounts of effort and money, towards providing nurturing communities and enhancing student life.


To the poster that commented on "dEaDMONTON" - I've only been to Edmonton once, and yea it seems super boring, but really, I don't think you need a fun city to have a good time in College. I was in Hamilton, Ontario for University, which is a blue collar city that doesn't have a lot of 'fun' stuff going on. Campus life is very important, and I urge you to look in to what kinds of opportunities the school has for extracurricular activities, the student body, sports, etc. Wherever you go, if you are open to meeting people and new experiences, you'll make friends and you'll have a good time - don't worry about that. But make sure you have a positive attitude and don't be close-minded. These are going to be the best years of your life, don't squander them. House parties, intramural sports, road trips - were among my funnest memories. You don't need fancy clubs, or expensive restaurants to do these things. 

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