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Hi, everyone. I'm a non-traditional student, wrapping up my associate's degree in psychology from a small state school (not a community college) in Georgia. This college only offers 3 bachelor degrees, which is why I would finish elsewhere. I was a student at Arizona State Online, but transferred to take my prerequisites and labs in person. All my science prerequisites with in-person labs for PA programs will be done prior to transferring to the next college for my bachelor's degree. Now that I'm almost done, I was originally planning to then finish my degree through ASU, but am now considering finishing it at my local university for various reasons. Here's the two options I have: Option A: Finish my bachelor's degree in psychology at my local university. PROS: Graduate with less than $10k in debt. Get hands-on experience in research. More than likely get a stronger letter of recommendation. CONS: It would take longer to finish. I would barely get by, working part-time and living paycheck to paycheck. I would have to devote more time to in-person classes, which would take away from my income and time to do other things. Less volunteer hours. ALL clinical hours will be in private EMS, so my hands-on experience and skills won't be utilized as much, as it's 95% mostly transporting stable patients. Option B: Finish my bachelor's degree in psychology at Arizona State University (online). PROS: Accelerated program and can finish in 1.5 years instead of 2.5 years. Work in 911 EMS, which means better hands-on experience and utilizing my skills more - I think this will also make me a better provider in the future. More time to work, which means more income. More time not in a physical class, which means more time to volunteer, which is less stressful since I also have more money in general. Still get to go graduate in person. CONS: Graduate with around $30k in debt. Weaker letters of recommendation. Little research opportunity. Obvious I finished my degree online because the college is 20+ hours away. Although it would cost more to finish at ASU, I could become a PA faster, which means it would actually be better financially IF I were to get into both at the same cycle.
Hi, everyone. I’m going to attempt becoming a PA and need some advice. I have a good idea on what I’ll be doing to attempt getting into programs, so I’ll go ahead and give you my estimated credentials when applying to a program, sometime in the next 4 years. Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Health Sciences from Arizona State University. 3.6 GPA Standard GRE scores (haven’t taken any yet, but to play it safe, I’ll just say I’ve hypothetically scored average or slightly above average) Surgical Technician degree from a local technical college with ~ 2,000 hours clinical experience with ~ 500 hours of volunteer hospital-related work. Seeking to become a Surgical Physician Assistant. My main concern is that I’ll be attending ASU Online. I live in Georgia, so I’m sure the topic will be brought up and if I moved here, took online classes, etc. I’m completely content with online classes and don’t think they’ll harm my chances. I’ve inquired to PA programs near me, and they have all said they accept online programs like I’m pursuing, but that doesn’t let me know if someone would be deemed more competitive if they had similar credentials as me but in a physical campus. For my labs (required for PA program acceptance), I will actually have to fly out of state and attend those in person in an accelerated fashion specifically designed for out of state online students, so I’m still getting that physical lab presence, and it’s from a highly respected university. With all that being said, I currently have a job in aviation with a Fortune 500 company - I know, totally different world. My point is that I make really good money for my age. I’m 24 and made a little over $60,000 last year, which is very good in Georgia. So I don’t want to leave my current job to pursue school in a more traditional sense. I’m actually attending two colleges simultaneously - the local tech college for my Surgical Technician degree and ASU. I’ve just started on my ST program, which will take about 18 months. In this time, I can continue to go to ASU Online, work towards my bachelor’s, and save up as much money as possible from my job. After I complete the ST program, I’ll leave my current job to gain some clinical experience. I’ll have about 2-3 years left for me to finish my bachelors, which will give me plenty of time to rack up those required clinical hours. Sorry to rant, but I just wanted to get everything out there in a single post. Do you guys think I’m on the right track? How do you feel about me getting an online degree from ASU while simultaneously working for clinical experience? Does getting a degree part-time look less competitive than someone who’s going to college full time? How do you feel about my credentials? Answers to any questions are highly appreciated! Thanks again.