I am new to this site (joined today, but have been searching forums for quite some time) and I am very confident that someone will be able to help me.I plan on applying to Thomas Jefferson's FACT program in either 2013 or 2014 (depending on how prerequisite classes go in terms of getting classes to fit work schedule, how much money I save, etc) and I have some questions and concerns. I graduated from Holy Family University in 2007 with a BA in psychology and a 2.83 cumulative GPA. Not very competitive, I know, but HFU has a different grading scale as most schools (94-100 is an A or 4.0, 90-93 is a B+ or 3.5, etc). So I'm assuming my GPA is possibly equivalent to an 85- 87%, with very strong grades in courses pertaining to my major. No failures. I have already taken A&P 1 and 2 and chem 1 at CCP in 2010 with B+ in all of them. I plan on doing much better in my next science courses as I do not have two jobs to worry about. I also have only about $3100 left on my AES loans. So on to my questions!! Finally lol
First of all, I know I have to take the GRE since I do not meet the 3.2 GPA requirement. Would even a competitive score be enough to trump my less-than-desirable GPA?
Additionally, will my science prerequisite grades from CCP up my cumulative GPA, do they look at them separately, or do they look mostly at the science prerequisites?
I have read great reviews on the FACT program itself on this website, but HORRIBLE reviews on the university itself. The dean is miserable, unforgiving, and not helpful at all; some of the professors are cranky, washed-up, and uninformed; the program is way too rushed; and the financial aid department is a mess...impossible to get the loans you need on time, then don't give you the information you need to pay them off properly. And heaven forbid you move after the program before you need to pay the loans off, that the billing department did not send bills to new/fowarding addresses or make any effort to contact the student until their loans go into collections, therefore ruining that students credit. Can anyone disprove these rumors of the school and loan department?
I have some more questions as well, but pertaining more to closer to application time. Plus I think I've said enough, lol... I just don't want to take the biochemistry prerequisite (in lieu of chem 2 because of certain reasons) because the other accelerated programs in the area do not require that class and I do not want to waste my time or money taking it, studying for GRE, paying for GRE etc if I do not even stand a chance of getting in or receiving a loan. Sorry for the novel and probably not making sense, I just want to get all the info I need before starting this long process. I hope someone can help!!!! Thank you!!!
Last edit by Allieisms on Jul 18, '12
: Reason: Formatting
Jul 19, '12
I wish I could dispel some of those horrible reviews but I can't. I was not in the FACT program so it may be a little different but I was accepted into the RN-MSN program for the Spring semester 2012. I completed all my requirements and even sent my non-refundable $500 deposit. My advisor (who was also going to be one of my instructors) was supposed to go through a small orientation with me. The office kept sending me emails stating that I had not met this requirement. Problem was, my advisor wasn't calling me back. I tried calling and emailing...nothing. Finally, I got ahold of her secretary who told me that she had been out. (For months? Who is taking over for her while she is out?) Then, late December, I got my financial aid package. The loans weren't going to cover the tuition. My FAFSA contribution was $0. So, I contacted the financial aid office. Do you think they offered any assistance? No. That was pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back. I felt like if I am going to pay this much money then I should get pretty good service. The experience was horrible. I decided at the last minute (I think Jan 3) to contact Widener for a Jan 9 start date. They were on winter break but the advisor called me back the same day from her cell phone and bent over backwards to get me in. I have nothing but good things to say about Widener. The advisor from Jefferson finally emailed me back the day after my acceptance to Widener. I told her the situation. I am sure they have plenty of people willing to pay all that money and be treated that way but I wasn't one of them. Also, if I couldn't get ahold of her for a basic orientation, how was the year going to go? I lost my $500 deposit but I feel like I made a good choice. That's just me. I am sure there are many who have had good experiences there. I'm just not one of them!
Jul 24, '12
I don't have any specific information about the FACT program, but I am due to start in the APW program at Jefferson this Fall. The two programs are practically identical in the coursework, but APW takes 2 years to complete (we get summers off) and FACT is a 1-year program (as I'm sure you are aware). I chose APW because I am coming from a non-medical background and felt that 1 year would not be enough time for me to properly learn everything. But everyone is different and I'm sure there are plenty of people who excel at the fast pace.
I think you should try to contact the admissions office to see if they would convert your GPA to a "normal" scale (where an A is 90-100, etc.). If they do that, then you may actually meet the 3.2 minimum GPA and may not have to take the GRE. Even if you still have to take the GRE, I think you should give it a shot. I've only ever heard good things about the school. From personal experience, sometimes it can take a little persistence to get a hold of some people and that can get a little irritating, but I honestly think that is because they have too few employees trying to handle way too much (i.e. the main admissions counselor for the APW program is also the admissions counselor for the FACT and graduate programs). Other than that, everything has gone pretty smooth for me so far. We had our orientation last week and everyone seemed really great. But I guess I won't know for sure until classes start in September. I'm really hoping for a great experience.
Anyway, that's where I'd start...try to contact the admissions office and ask about your GPA conversion. That might really make a difference! Good luck and sorry I don't have more specific info for you!
Jul 26, '12
I'm currently in the FACT program and my experience far is not what the rumors are. I had my finances and FAFSA were lined up so i didn't have to deal with any mess. The school did offer me a loan but never disbursed it. I didn't bother to follow up because it's less money i have to pay back.
In terms of GPA, i can't really answer that. they do look at your undergrad GPA separately from your cum GPA but they also focus on your pre-req GPA and it is more than your sciences. I believe about 55 credits or so. you actually have to fill out a separate form for that
Yes the FACT program is very accelerated and you get a lot of information for 1 year of studies. It comes with the territory, you sink or swim. The program can be disorganized. I don't bother planning for the week, I go day by day because that is how I maintain my sanity with the load of information we get. In the beginning i almost pulled my hair out because i'm a type A personality and you quickly learn that being a type A and the FACT program will not always mesh. But you get used to the pace. I think this goes for any accelerated program. at least of the ones i know. The best thing is to first determine if a 1 year program is what you need and you have to be committed to pass every class per quarter if not you will fail and you cannot continue with the program.
Sep 5, '12
If you read through these boards some more, you'll find a ton of info on the FACT program. I'm a FACT grad and will agree with some of what you've read online. After reading the nightmares people experienced with the financial aide office, I paid as much as possible up front and secured my own private loan when I needed it. I've avoided the financial aide office in nearly every way possible after my one encounter yielded incorrect info.
There are also little annoying things within the university that I never dealt with at my previous school. For example, right before graduation I received an email from someone saying I had to print the email and have signed clearances on the printed email to prove my various accounts had been closed, otherwise I couldn't graduate. I had never even done anything with most of the departments listed, so I couldn't figure why I would have to waste time I didn't have right before graduation to run around campus getting signatures. They wanted to me to have my housing account closed. I NEVER lived on campus!!! So I emailed the person and asked them to please verify that they really needed me to collect all those signatures, since I was doing 12 hour clinical days and didn't have any interaction with most of the departments listed. They looked into it and decided I only needed 1 signature, not 6! As a whole, I found that the entire year was full of little annoyances like that. But when you're eating, sleeping, and breathing school, those little annoyances are a heckuva lot more stressful. Especially when you find they're consistent.
I will agree that the faculty is overworked. Even so, many of the nursing faculty will bend over backward to help you because they're that dedicated. Some of the professors are great, some I hesitate to call "professors" (I hate to take away from the professors who really were outstanding because there truly are some fantastic people who work there, but some professors just are not very good). There was definitely favoritism among certain professors and students, which was really irritating, since you think that kind of idiocy only exists in high school, but it definitely exists within the FACT program. The clinical experiences were great overall. I had a few clinical instructors who were less than stellar, and even that's being generous, but the majority were awesome and so dedicated. Some of my clinical instructors would have made excellent nursing professors too - they were that good!
I will also say that there were essential chunks of nursing info that were barely covered or not at covered at all. They say it's because it's "facilitated" that they don't cover everything. Some things are too important to leave out of a curriculum. Had those things not been omitted, I would have had a much easier time grasping a number of nursing concepts. It's not as if you have much time to read things on your own, due to the accelerated nature of the program, so it makes no sense to skip over essential info. That's a major complaint I have.
Anyway, as I've posted on another thread, I don't regret having attended Jefferson, but it wasn't the program I thought I was going to have. My previous undergraduate institution was far superior in academic excellence, organization, and overall experience. Students who were younger and/or had previously attended a large university thought it was an exceptional program. Those of us who were older and/or attended liberal arts schools felt that overall the academic excellence was lacking, that students could submit shoddy work and still earn As. I guess I'm old school in thinking that universities shouldn't lower standards for students to earn their grades. Many will hate me for saying so.
Oct 18, '12
I just graduated from the FACT program in 2012! There are good and bad with any university you go to, believe me when I say this becuase Jeff was my 8th university (I have a BS in Psychology)Overall I feel that Jeff was a really good school and basically had their stuff together.
As far as your questions, your GPA is cumulative meaning all your pre-reqs and bachelor degree is considered, this may or may not help your GPA. They probably will not switch out your gpa just because your school has a whacky grading (I went to a school like that and they did not switch it for me, of course I didn't ask). Also, when they are choosing people I really think they are looking for more than you gpa, I would say it is an overall application package.
The professors were overall pretty good, there were a couple that I really disliked and had horrible attitudes, played favorites, and were just unprofessional. But there are much more that are helpful and really believe in your success as a student.
The financial aid department I personally did not have any issues with, my package was accepted and I got my money deposited on time. There were some things that didn't make sense like kdrose above was mentioning the running around to get signatures. As far as losing information and stuff like that after graduation if you move, when you are done with everything and do your exit counseling they give you paperwork that shows exactly when your payment starts (so those students whose credit was ruined, I am sorry but that is their fault for not paying attention to their paperwork). But you have to be diligent in changing your address in the schools system so they know where you will be. I have recieved a bunch of reminders in the mail about my loans already.
Was the program disorganized? yes at times it seemed like no body knew what was happening but in the schools defense for 2011-2012, we were guinea pigs for everything; first iPad users and switching from HESI to Kaplan. The set up of the program was pretty good compared to other schools I had looked into, no going to the hospital the night before clinical to get a detailed report on your patient before coming in the next day, the pharm, patho, and management are taught together so it flows pretty well, and once the summer session is up your time frees up quite a bit. Also, at the beginning of the program and many times throughout our class was told "do not plan weddings, birthdays, etc." because things will and can change. Many of the students got so mad becuase the professors were rude or whatever but they were probably just irritated that they kept having to tell people they were not rearranging their clinical schedules just to accomadate someone's wedding. My advice, you chose this school and program knowing that you would not have time for much so don't get mad when something doesn't work out, just get over it and move on.
My last thing, I lived on campus and for me this was a huge mistake, I had the worst experience and many of my issues stemmed from the property management company Jeff hired. I think it may be better now that they fired the manager and got a new one but that happened about a month before I left so I can not attest to the building now. Needless to say I would never live there again and would not reccommend anyone else to live there. Any other questions just let me know? Good luck
Nov 24, '12
I have just been accepted into the FACT program for this year and am very excited. Also a bit scared. I will be commuting from NYC and I have a 2 year old son. I will be renting a room in Philly for those days before tests or when the commute is just killing me. I am very worried about spending so much time away from my son, but I also think the commute will allow me a lot of structured study time. Does anyone have any thoughts/advice about doing the program as a parent? Anyone who wants to rent a room or a closet
to a fellow student?
Also, can anyone give me a rough breakdown of the schedule of classes? I realize clinicals will be all over the place but the theory classes? Thanks so much!
Nov 24, '12
I am not sure how it is going to be commuting from NYC, that seems a little rough but as far as you being able to have kids in the program; I have 3 kids who were older while in the program and my husband took care of most of the family stuff while I was in the program. So my advice yes you can do it, but only if you have help with your son. That person has to be reliable and very flexible. The summer is going to be the worst for you as far as seeing your son, not horrible but it is the busiest time and there is so much information and just trying to get used to nursing stuff in general. After the summer your time seems to free up quite a bit. I had a good amount of time with my family almost like a normal job but with wackier hours. As far as a breakdown of the schedule, in the first few weeks, you are in class and lab Monday- Friday. Once clinical starts you will do two 12 hour days and then classes Thursday and Friday 8-5pm. For the whole year class time is Thursday-Friday the difference is the amount of time in that class. Clinical times you will find out a couple of weeks before they start, that's the hardest part with kids. I would suggest letting the professors know you are a single parent but do not be fooled some will not really care but most are sympathetic. If you have any other questions let me know. Sorry, for being all over the place I just got off work and I am a little tired.
Nov 26, '12
That is so nice of you to take the time to respond to my questions. Especially working with three kids!
I actually may not have to commute that summer because my husband's job starts in Sep so I'm glad to hear that that is the toughest part of the program. I'm happy about the 12 hr clinicals too since that means 1 less day away from my son.
I hope you don't mind if I ask more questions. Do we have to drive for the clinicals? I have a fear of driving in the city and am kind of hoping I can get everywhere by train. Or do people carpool ever? That would be very nice. But of course, I will do what ever I have to do to get through the program. I am also wondering if people have trouble finding jobs out of the program. Do they mostly end up working in the Philadelphia area? Thanks so much for answering my first post. I hope you are enjoying your job and that you made it to Alaska..?
Nov 29, '12
Yes there are some areas you will have to drive to, but that depends on where your clinical placement is. For example, I went to Paoli for OB, Delaware for Peds, and had Med/surg, Tele and critical care was at Jeff (so I walked about a block from my house). I was the one that drove most of the time and people car pooled with me. It is usually pretty easy to have someone to ride with but as for driving in the city it isn't as hard as it may seem. I moved to Philly just for the program and I was used to easier driving but I found that I was incredibly nervous the first time I drove in the city but after that it was ok. Plus you have to realize you are leaving the city when it is relatively dead (about 5:30am) so it is a piece of cake. Jobs... I know people from my class that found jobs decently easy, others are still looking as we speak. I think it is really hard to get a job in Philly, you would have to look outside the city to have a better chance. The other thing is get to know the unit managers during clinicals, these people are your in when looking for jobs and also it helps to get an externship, which they will tell you about when you start the program. I personally had a job about 8 months before graduating because I did a scholarship
program through USPHS Commissioned Corps, this helped me because I was getting a salary and housing allowance while in school (this helped not to have to get a part time job) and I owe them time after I graduated which is about 1 month of pay while in school = 2 months time I owe them. So long story short, there are a lot of different avenues to get jobs, you can't get descouraged and hang in there. Thank you my job is different but good and I haven't made it to Alaska yet but I think that is my next duty station, hopefully.
Dec 24, '12
Does anyone know the exact start date for the FACT program? I know it's in May but does anyone know the date or ballpark date?
Dec 26, '12
I don't know the exact date for the 2013 cohort. I started May 2011 and graduated May 2012. We started May 16, 2011, so expect it to be some time around then.
Dec 26, '12
Quote from iridium54
I don't know the exact date for the 2013 cohort. I started May 2011 and graduated May 2012. We started May 16, 2011, so expect it to be some time around then.
Okay thanks so much iridium!