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I'm attending Arizona State University online. I live in Georgia and I'm 24 years old. ASU is a quarter-based system, which means I get college credits on a quarterly basis instead of a semester basis. All PA and AA schools (I'm interested in both) require a certain amount of prerequisite hours, but at ASU, I would be about an hour or two short in a lot of them, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc. So, me getting a degree in biology from ASU is kind of pointless, because I'd have to take some additional prerequisite classes at my local college anyways. I should also mention I have a job (in aviation) that pays pretty well - about $60,000 a year. I am also in the process of getting my Surgical Technician certifications, but this will take a year or so. With this being said, I have two options: A: Get my Surgical Tech school done and take a really low course load at ASU for Biology to ensure I maintain as close to a 4.0 as possible. Get about 60 of 120 credits from ASU (amount needed to transfer), then transfer to the University of Georgia. Finish my degree in biology, but live off loans. Try to find a part-time CST job while in Athens to keep them as low as possible. Continue with a low class load to keep a good GPA. This way, I'm keeping my grades high, but still getting some crucial clinical experience. Eventually graduate from UGA, a highly respected school in Georgia, with a degree in Biology. Then apply to programs. Most will be far away, so if I get accepted into one of those, I'll also probably have to live off loans for the two years of AA or PA school. Lots of debt, but better undergrad, experience (in life and classwork), and higher caliber school. B: Buy a mobile home for a great price ($13k practically brand new) - a home right next to my parent's. In 3 years, it'll be paid off and cost me half as much as renting. Continue my degree at Arizona State University (online) in something like psychology, since my prerequisites won't count the same anyways. Minor in personal health. Get my Surgical Tech school done and work part-time while attending ASU. Finish my psychology degree, then take the right prerequisites at my local college. Don't live off any student loans until I get accepted into AA or PA school. Option A seems nice. I can go to UGA, graduate with a degree in Biology, have that prestigious college (at least for my state) attached to my degree, finish everything on a physical campus, have easier access to volunteering in research studies at the campus, have 100% of my focus on my school and GPA (this is important as grades don't come naturally to me), and pretty much devote my life to making sure my prerequisites and overall GPA are top notch. The bad - I'd live off loans and accumulate a lot more debt and UGA is harder (could be a good thing for preparation) in their expectations. A lot of good, but the two bad are related to more debt and harder to get a good GPA. Option B seems good too, but not as appealing. I'll undergrad in psychology and minor in personal health (biology/chem/etc not available). Take all the right prerequisites at a local college that should be easier to pass versus UGA's standards. Save money by working as a Surgical Tech and paying $500/mo in a mortgage payment versus $1,000/mo for an apartment. SORRY TO RAMBLE. What's your opinion?
I'm curious about the job hunt after graduation (I'll just be starting PA school next summer, but I've got my eye on the prize). I understand the benefit of networking, but others have also mentioned cold-calling. Has anyone here actually received a job offer as a result of a cold-call? At the office where I work, we're pretty good about screening calls and walk-in-reps so they don't waste our/the doctor's time. Also, for those of you who are cold-calling, or just want a feel for the medical entities in your area, the WebMD Little Blue Book might be a good resource...I saw this book in the clinic where I volunteer...it has a list of all the pharmacies and hospitals in a surrounding area, as well as a pretty comprehensive list of Dr.s by specialty. I think this would be a great resource when I do look for a job. http://www.tlbb.com/products_tlbb.aspx
I am finding it a little difficult to sort through all the posts looking for who has been accepted to the class of 2015. That said, I thought why not start a post. I noticed a Facebook link for a 2015 class group, but not sure if anyone of the 2015 accepted are there, looks like the 2014 class. I will try to be better about checking the site. Send me a message if you need anything, I already live in Henderson. And see you in July at orientation. Bob Nydam