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Am I competitive for this cycle 2016?

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This will be my second year applying to PA school. I want to get some opinions on if you think I am competitive for this coming cycle that is about to open up. I have done a lot with my time off this past year.

Cumulative GPA 3.51

Science GPA 3.4

I have taken a couple extra higher level bio to increase my science GPA which is not accounted in this GPA

Healthcare Experience: 502 hours Cardiopulmonary Rehab Intern

1,540 hours as an Electrocardiograph Tech

GRE Math 153 Verbal 147 Writing 4.0. (Will probably take this over to improve my verbal score)

I have three strong letters of recommendation from a PA, the charge NP in the department I work at, and a college professor.

Volunteer Experience

I volunteer delivering meals for Meals on Wheels (55 hours)

I will also be going on a Medical Mission Trip in July volunteering at a medical clinic in Uganda for three weeks

Shadowing a PA 16 hours Cardiovascular PA, Primary Care-40 hours


Any advice I would greatly appreciate it!!!!

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You sound competitive to me. Did you get interviews your first time around? If so, did you get feedback? Do you need to work on your interview skills? Or work on your personal statement? Apply to more programs?


Without more background info about your 1st time applying, I would just generally say look hard at the differences between this year and last. Write a great personal statement as to why you're more prepared this time around, and what you've learned - how you got over the rejection and used it as a learning experience, looked to where you could improve, and the steps you took to make sure you're 137% ready to become a PA.

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I did not receive interviews the first time around. I applied in September which was late, applied to five schools, and had a decent personal statement. I received feedback from some of the schools that they said I was competitive, but other applicants were better suited. So I wa a little confused where to go for here.

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I echo the above. On paper, you fit the average student who gets accepted into PA school. 


The medical mission trip is a huge plus. Make sure your personal statement is stellar because it is a make or break component (a part from the interview).


Good luck :P

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How did you select your schools? Maybe look into a more diverse school selection, or look for schools that make specific statements about preferring parts of your application. Your HCE hours are higher than some (2000ish), so applying to schools that require 1000 or more hours will eliminate some of your competition. Also, some schools really like medical volunteering trips (Northwestern makes a specific statement about this on their website), so look for programs that show preferences for that kind of work. I'm applying this cycle too, so take my advice with a grain of salt. That said, good luck!

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Agree with the above. If you applied only to Duke, Baylor, Emory, Oregon, Utah, etc. at the end of the cycle in Sept, no wonder you got cast aside!!! It's crazy competitive. I remember meeting an interviewee who had his doctorate in neuroscience - talk about steep competition!


The earlier the better. The earlier the better! THE EARLIER THE BETTER!!!!! My stats weren't crazy great last year when I applied, but I turned it in early enough (end of July) to get an interviews with 5 of the 6 programs I applied to, including UTSW (which I'm still pretty proud of, despite ultimately getting rejected. no surprise from totally bombing the interview).


Anyway, if I were you, I'd even work on a personal statement now, leave a spot in to drop in details about your med mission trip, so you can hit submit pretty much on the flight back from Uganda. Or if any of the programs you plan to reapply to have essay prompts, take this time to work on that, too. Call programs to see what their average GRE of accepted applicants is; by retaking the test to meet that average could also show commitment not just to the PA program, but to their program in particular. 


Oh, and I did I mention applying early??? Cuz you should if you could.

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Unless your personal statement is subpar, you should get interview invites this time! Good luck! I'm not so sure I would retake the GRE if I were you, considering your GPA and HCE are competitive. 

If you aren't getting interview invites this round, I'd definitely look into changing your personal statement and possibly getting different LORs

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