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Hello, I am a 20 year old first generation college student currently in a Biology BS program with a minor in Chemistry at a well-known NYS college. Like many of you, I hope to be accepted to a PA program when I graduate but I don't have much guidance throughout the process. The PA that I shadow went through this process many moons ago when it was not so competitive so he doesn't really know how to help me become a more competitive applicant. My stats are: -3.65 cumulative GPA (expected to be a 3.7 by graduation to achieve my goal of Summa Cum Laude) -sGPA: 3.7+ with my best grades being in upper-level chemistry -I will be graduating from the honors college and will spend the next school year working on an Organic Chemistry honors research thesis for 9 hours a week and will be presenting at a convention with my supervisor (and hopefully being published) -I am a TA for Organic Chemistry as well as Microbiology and currently work as a volunteer at a nursing home. -I am taking violin lessons and participating in Sinfonia as a way to relax and to make myself stand out as a person who can do more than science. I still have a year left in school and am planning on taking a year off to work on my HCE. I am trying to get a job as a pharmacy tech right now to start working on HCE and will be taking a course over the summer to receive my CNA. I am well-liked by many of my professors as well as my research advisor and have been offered many LOR's. I come from a relatively poor family so I am feeling discouraged about being accepted to a program due to my lack of opportunities to study abroad and participate in fancy over-seas internships like many of my classmates have done. I would like to know if I have a competitive edge for acceptance and how I can make my healthcare experience stand out since that is what I will be focusing on next in this journey towards PA school. The schools I am looking at are: *Yale (my reach school) *Albany Med (can get an alumni LOR) *U. of New England *U. of Bridgeport CT *Clarkson (long-shot, the program is so small) *U. of Colorado Aurora *Quinnipiac in CT