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Dealing with acceptance to multiple schools

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Hey there everybody!


So I have been debating and trying to arrange the schools I applied to in order of which I would most like to attend. My question is what to do if you get an interview and acceptance offer at one of the lower schools on your list before you hear back from one of the more preferential schools. From what I understand, it is typical to have 10 calendar days to accept the offer and put the 1000ish dollars down to reserve your spot. I don't want to take the offer when I could get into one of the better schools. But I also don't want to pass on the offer only to find out I haven't made it into any of the other schools. If I find myself in this situation, what is the best way to handle it? (Also, I am unsure how strong my application is. I feel like it is fairly average from what I have seen of class profiles from matriculating classes. So I have no idea how likely it would be that I can get into the upper tier schools.)

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This is a typical problem. I put down two deposits to hold a slot in the first school I was accepted to, which had its interviews on a rolling schedule and thus were quite a bit earlier than the other schools I had applied to. I considered it money well-spent because I knew a couple of months early that I was going somewhere and could plan accordingly. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I put down a deposit on the first school that accepted me, and later backed out.   It's worth the money even just for the piece of mind that you will be attending PA school somewhere.  But don't have a hard and fast arrangement of your preference of PA schools yet, for me a lot changed during the interviews on which schools I preferred.  There are some things you can't get the feeling for just reading their websites

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School is school; presumably, you're applying to accredited schools, they all have PANCE pass rates which are acceptable to you, and they are schools which you want to attend.  Therefore, why not just take the first acceptance you get and withdraw all the others?  What is most important to you in choosing between two schools?


Here is my strategy: I am not a stellar applicant, I have average grades and decent HCE.  There are certainly more compelling candidates out there.  I am applying to schools at which I have a competitive application, of which most are over 1000 miles away on the east coast.  One school is only half the distance away here in the Midwest.


I will take the first acceptance I get (if I am that lucky!), and withdraw my application to all other schools except the closer school.  If I am accepted at the closer school then I will give up my other deposit and go to the closer school.  I've got a family to feed, I'm trying to keep my credit card as low as possible throughout this process and I don't want to burn up most of my paid leave at work on interviews.


Best of luck to you.

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  • 4 years later...
  • 1 month later...

Just to add cause I'm in your exact situation.   I had two acceptances come in 3 days apart yet I still have interviews coming up.

Here is what I doing...

1 - Decide from what you have in your hand.  If you only have 1 put the money down.

2 - Rank the other schools to see if they are higher or lower than the accepted school TO YOU (this includes distance, costs, location, and other attributes you want from PA school).

3 - If you know the school falls below the accepted school, you can either decline the interview or if already interviewed, decline any offered

4 - Continue going to the other schools as long as you have time for a decision 

I have a Jan acceptance...One of my interviews is mid Nov and I'm debating on if I should even go.  Its a higher ranked choice, however I may not hear back until its too late and I've already started at the other school.

So have a drop dead date on acceptances, offers and interviews.

Good Luck!

Edited by PA-Candidate
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I had a number of acceptances and ended up paying the initial deposit at my top two. The second deposit isn't due for both until 4/1 and at that time I'll make a final decision. It gives me more time to get a feel for both programs and an additional $500 is worth it to me in the grand scheme of where I'll be the happiest for the next two years. I like having each school as a Plan B in case something develops over the next 5 months with either program.  

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