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chicitygrl08

Low GPA. What are my chances?

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I was wondering if anyone can help me/guide me through how to get to PA school regarding my situation and less than stellar GPA.

 

I just graduated with a B.S. in Biology. In my first 2 years of college, I went through and dealt with a difficult situation that lead me into not focusing on school as much. No, it's not the typical situation where I had fun, drank and focused on a social life. It was far from it. I talked to other women who went through it, which helped me cope over the situation. I left the university, did community college and transferred to another university. In my 1st year at the new university, I had dealt with a death in my family where I spent most of the first semester in the hospital after classes, and leaving classes in the middle of lectures due to emergencies and meetings with doctors. There's really no excuse for my grades, but in the last school year, I took microbiology, biochemistry, and biology 2 in the fall and ended up with a 3.2 GPA. In the spring semester, I took immunology, a writing social justice class (university requirement), and retook physics II (past grade was a D) which included a calc-based physics discussion I had to take since I had already taken calc II. My GPA was a 3.35 for the semeser. I'm currently doing research in biology with a professor that is worth 4 credits. I'll also mention that I have worked 3 jobs in the last year while taking all these classes, my jobs included registry receptionist at an assisted living, home care aid (20 hrs a week), and a physical therapy aide (10 hrs a week).

 

Here's a quick rundown of my grades:
Overall GPA: 2.77

C's in organism & ecological biology lect, gen chem 1 lect (retake, past grade was a D), gen chem II lect (retake, past grade was a D), trigonometry (retake), physics I, speech, orgo 1 & 2, and calc II, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry and immunology.

I already know my science GPA is so low due to my C's, D's/retakes. On CASPA, I know it will be even lower!

 

My HCE includes 2 years home care aide, 1 year physical therapy aide/medical assistant (uncertified), and now just started biofeedback tech/medical assistant at a hospital for one of the largest clinics (will not name).

I have no shadowing hours, but a PA I worked with said I did as I worked directly with them. 

Volunteer hrs include 30 hrs at a nursing home, 30 hrs for 5k/10k races and a semester with youth from lower income and gang affected families.

 

LOR's include department chair of biological science at my university, 2 professors, PA, DON... Also an MD I work with offered to write a LOR for me as well, and with my new job, I'm hoping to build on a good work relationship with a very well-known doctor (patients come from all over the world as there are very few practices that focus on this particular matter).

 

In the fall I will be taking A&P and a GRE prep class (spring, I will take A&P II) as well... 

 

What's the best route to take considering a low gpa? I was considering doing an accelerated BSN to boost my gpa, build HCE and even have something to fall back on, would that be a good path? No one in my family is a PA so I dont have much guidance here. I know I won't get into PA school with this! Please help!

 

 

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You should post this in the "Ask a PA Admissions Director" forum and call a few schools to talk it out.  Many schools have an absolute minimum of 3.0 cumulative average to even be considered.  You don't want to waste your time applying to schools that will bar your application before even getting past this number.  But some schools utilize RECENT (45-60 credit) GPA instead of cumulative GPA.  Would that help your chances considerably?  Otherwise, many students (myself included) take years of post-baccalaureate coursework (either a masters program like an MPH or MS) or just basic sciences to boost GPA.  A long but proven road to rehabilitating a lower GPA.  Good luck!

 

PS- If you end up doing the BSN and become a certified RN, you might as well start looking at NP programs as well/instead.  They have equal or greater scope of practice and salary compared with PAs, and there are quite a few direct entry NP programs out there.  Just a thought...

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Thanks! My cGPA from the university was 2.93, but the overall including past transcripts transferred make it a 2.77. I have thought about NP and debated between PA and NP. Is there any programs that take a year to complete that I can get done that will boost my GPA and be able to use career-wise if PA doesn't work out?

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Thanks! My cGPA from the university was 2.93, but the overall including past transcripts transferred make it a 2.77. I have thought about NP and debated between PA and NP. Is there any programs that take a year to complete that I can get done that will boost my GPA and be able to use career-wise if PA doesn't work out?

Nutritionist, Medical Assistant, MPH, Certified Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomist, EMT/Paramedic, Accelerated Nursing Program (RN), Naturopath, Acupucture, Psychotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, Surgical Technician.  Not all 1-year, but some ideas.  Just make sure the program gives letter grades and not pass/fail, or new courses won't be factored into your GPA.  

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Its unfortunate that PA school is so competitive, because you did take really rigorous courses.. I was denied to about 10 schools because my science/math GPA was a 2.97 (the first time i applied). It was a total waste of money. I'm sure they didn't even look at my application. So it is a good idea to raise your GPA + invest in a career (in my opinion)..

 

Phlebotomist (most programs aren't college credit), accelerated nursing (i would question whether or not these would raise your GPA... most nursing students are just trying to pass), OT/RT/Speech therapy (most require shadowing), Physical therapy (you already have experience + pre-reqs right?), Surgical technician (most 2 years), Histology Tech, Med Tech, Diagnostic Sonography, LVN, etc. Look at your local community college or university and see what you can do with your degree

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Its unfortunate that PA school is so competitive, because you did take really rigorous courses.. I was denied to about 10 schools because my science/math GPA was a 2.97 (the first time i applied). It was a total waste of money. I'm sure they didn't even look at my application. So it is a good idea to raise your GPA + invest in a career (in my opinion)..

 

Phlebotomist (most programs aren't college credit), accelerated nursing (i would question whether or not these would raise your GPA... most nursing students are just trying to pass), OT/RT/Speech therapy (most require shadowing), Physical therapy (you already have experience + pre-reqs right?), Surgical technician (most 2 years), Histology Tech, Med Tech, Diagnostic Sonography, LVN, etc. Look at your local community college or university and see what you can do with your degree

Thanks! What did you end up doing to get into PA school?

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Your chance right now is virtually zero.  Your GPA is low, you have lots of Cs even in retakes, and you don't have a supportive trend.  You need to get into(if you can with your grades) a program for nursing, paramedic, or allied health to improve your GPA and develop a stronger route for HCE.  It will also give you a good fall-back career.  Otherwise you need to take 30-60 more credit hours and make all As.

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"Its unfortunate that PA school is so competitive, because you did take really rigorous courses"

 

I disgaree. It IS FORTUNATE that it is so competitive. Its medicine. No disrespect inteneded but this isnt a game of how to get around all the requirements in order to navigate into a field. You must be able to do whats required. If people are struggling to make the minimum, maybe its the wrong field. Working as hard as you can under ideal circumstances even to be fairly competitive concerns me as well.

 

If people are young they have time to recover. But the job requires the ability to operate under circumstances that are almost always..not ideal. You have to be able to think in this way and adapt quickly. Msotly bc of the speed at which you need to work. Not just memorize things very well.

 

I work with some people who struggled to get into to PA school. Struggled during PA school, and honestly struggle constantly and need disproportionate amt of support. (im not talking about a newbie PA who just needs to get wet....and get familiar)......im developing an opinion on potential applicants bc of the weight I must absorb due to some people requiring constantly support. One must have the talent to do a certain amount of "figuring things out". When PAs are under pressure to go fast, it seems some find it easier just to keep asking for the answers bc the time they require to solve the pronlem isnt available. In the beginning its completley expected but over time it should eveolve. And some of them just .....well, arent!

 

This is not directed specifically at the OP but is just an opinion based on so many similar posts. Its concerning. Amd something to think about.

 

Ps why do my quotes never show up properly? There is only one quote button for me to choose! Pppffft!

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I have a question: I just graduated college this May with a B.S. BiologyMAJOR and psychology MINOR with cum laude honors and an over all gpa of a 3.30. In knowing that  the PA field is so competitive I get anxiety that my gpa is too low and I wont stand a chance. I was planning on taking 2 year off before applying to PA school in order to complete my shadowing/ volunteer/ direct patient hours... I am hesitant on starting those hours because I do not want to work so hard at collecting hundreds possibly thousands of hours and then to be rejected because of my low gpa... I know not everyone gets accepted on their first try and some people even get rejected by several schools- which I am prepaired for; But I would just like to know if I even stand a chance in the competition... Thank you for reading and thank you for your response

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OP, you are in a tough position b/c you've taken all of the sciences and received so many C's. I'm sure you could get in somewhere if you retook most of them and got A's, but would that be worth it? Anything less than top notch grades will be a step back and a waste of time. I'd investigate alternative careers unless you think you're capable of a unbelievable turnaround.

 

 

Ps why do my quotes never show up properly? There is only one quote button for me to choose! Pppffft!

 

 

Not sure why, but the post you quoted is missing the . Put that after whatever you're quoting if it doesn't post correctly.

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Tough crowd in here...

 

OP: figure out what how many science units you need at a 4.0 to raise all of your GPAs to a 3.0. Find schools / programs that will help you achieve that. Added bonus if you take classes that raise your science GPA and count towards a higher scope of practice paid direct patient contact job. Throw some structured / exclusive shadowing hours in there and community service and you're golden. You keep doing your thing and give it your best. Don't spread yourself too thin, so prioritize your time appropriately as if you already were in PA school and treat grades at if anything at or below an 89% as if they are F's. Your hard work and sacrifice will pay off in the end. It did for me..

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