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Mricca1

GPA Questions!

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Hey everyone, 

 

I am curious to know what the lowest GPAs you have heard of being accepted are. I am trying to gauge whether or not I have a chance. As they are for just about everyone, my finances are tight and I don't know if I should wait another year to apply to raise my GPA or not. PLEASE HELP!

 

Mricca1 

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Guest MedLib42

This changes year to year as the applicant pool gets more and more competitive (and larger - one of the schools I applied to in 2011 had 3000 applicants for 15 seats). I used to hear about applicants getting accepted with GPAs in the 2.75 - 3.0 range (right at the minimum), but now I've mostly only come across applicants that are getting in with GPAs that are at least 3.4. Although, this will often depend on the school, too.

 

A good thing to do would be to look at the schools you're interested in more closely - find out the minimum GPA requirements and look at the accepted applicant profiles (most school will publish the stats - including GPA - for the most recently accepted class on their website, or will provide it if asked). 

 

This thread on applicant stats might also be helpful to you, as some of these students have posted their GPAs and if/where they got in: http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/index.php?/topic/18-pa-applicant-stats-page/page-43

 

Something else to look through might be the annual PAEA report. That basically takes the data from most PA schools in the U.S. and analyzes average GPAs, HCE hours, and so on for accepted applicants across the U.S. (GPAs are on page 45): http://www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/156969

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Guest MedLib42

MedLib42, 

 

Thank you so much, this was really helpful! 

 

No problem, glad to help!

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A higher GPA/GRE will tend to indicate that the student is hard working and will most likely succeed in school.  These programs want to make sure they graduate their students, so they look good to the profession at large.  They want to make sure you won't drop out - they're not necessarily concerned about you being a great clinician as much as you not reflecting poorly on their institution.  They have to indicate minimums for GPA so they don't exclude most applicants, but realistically many have high standards for acceptance, and you'll notice once you get in most other matriculates will be sitting at 3.5+ GPAs (for competitive programs).  That's why I think most programs are shifting away from people with lots of clinical experience to those who simply have phenomenal grades.  I don't know if that's good or not, but it seems to be happening.  As programs become more competitive, so will the GPAs and impressiveness of applicants.

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This is a difficult question to even answer unless you are asking for anecdotes from those who have been accepted with lower GPAs. Each program will know the answer to this question but likely won't share data on an individual basis. Acceptance is much more than high GPA. While it is very helpful to have a strong GPA, that alone will not get you accepted into a PA program. If your GPA is less than desirable, focus on the courses you can re-take if that's possible, but if not, focus on other areas, like having a diverse background in extracurriculars, volunteer, and healthcare experiences. This will help boost a less than stellar GPA...and while it may not be the case for all programs, it can definitely help. You just need to make sure you are meeting minimum requirements at the very least. 

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Hi everyone, can you help me gauge what my chances at acceptance may be? My overall gpa is a 3.6, but my science gpa is a 3.24 (with 2 W's on my transcript after withdrawing from anatomy twice because my course load was too large. I also have 3 Cs. Otherwise, everything is fine). My GRE verbal is in the 84th percentile, quantitative is 78th, and writing is 4.5. I have 2000 hours as a volunteer EMT and paid medical assistant. Should my science gpa discourage me from applying? 

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EMT123, I would apply if I were you. You might not get in everywhere, but you might somewhere.

 

You have to make the minimums (which you probably do) and then have a standout application in other areas. Good HCE (which it sounds like you might have), good recommendations, and a solid personal statement. 

 

If you are waiting for someone to tell you that you'll definitely get in, that won't happen. You've pulled the train this far down the track -- now just go ahead and apply. The average applicant applies to about 6 schools per the last PAEA report I've seen.

 

Good luck!

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