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In serious need of advice about prereqs

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Hello everyone! 


I've been having trouble making a decision about when to apply and was hoping some of you can offer some advise. Before I ask my question, here are some of my stats:

Bachelor of Science in Biology from Montclair State University

cGPA: 3.33 sGPA: 3.17

HCE experience:

~ 1200 hours as a pharmacy technician (I've found only one school that accepts this but it is still a plus I believe)

will have about 1500 hours as a CNA if I apply this coming April 

currently shadowing and volunteering at a local hospital 

Schools I'm looking into:

Arcadia, PCOM, Albany, Le Moyne


I have yet to take the GREs. 


Clearly my gpa is not very strong. I earned C+'s in some of my prereqs  (nothing below C+) and I'm thinking whether I should retake some and apply in April 2017. The problem is, it is very expensive to retake courses since I will be paying the graduate student cost of tuition. My plan is to retake psych and gross mammalian anatomy.


I know my credentials meet the requirements of some schools in my area. I think my HCE is decent, but not necessarily competitive. 

So, I'm very torn. I would be investing another year and nearly $5,000 just because I have a few doubts. 


My other option would be to only retake one course and apply in early May 2016 as soon as it is complete, Would that be worth it? Please help and thank you in advance!


Also here are my prereqs. I calculated the GPA from these alone and it's a measly 3.01. 

BIOL 1 B + BIOL 2  B  Chem 1  B + CHEM 2 C + Orgo 1 B Orgo 2 B Gross mammalian anatomy  C + Human Physiology A -  Psychology C +  Statistics  B -  Microbiology A   Medical Terminology  A - 
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I'm not familiar with the programs you're applying to...what are the average GPA's/HCE Hours for those programs?  I haven't been accepted yet either but have done a lot of research and 2,700 hours for a lot of programs would be decent.  Some of the top programs can have much higher averages though, I know Loma Linda University in California averages 6,000-7,000 with some students having 10,000+ hours.  That goes for GPA as well...the average GPA nationwide is around a 3.5, so your cGPA of 3.33 isn't far off.  Your sGPA of 3.17 might be a little low, but not terrible.  What are the averages at the schools?  Did you do significantly better in your last 30-40 units than overall?  A lot of schools will look at your trend...if you have a 3.0ish for your first few years of college but your last 30-40 units you were at a 3.7 and the average happens to be a 3.17, you could still have a good shot as you have a great trend of increasing your grades.

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Junior year was where I slipped up the most and earned most of those C's. My senior year I was on the deans list and took courses in the fall, winter, spring, and two separate semesters in the summer. Those were the most difficult courses I took so I think it still shows that I can manage a difficult course load. I'm only looking into schools that I know will accept my credentials. But like you said, the average gpa of incoming students is typically 3.5 I've never seen lower. I think my plan will be to retake a few prereqs at a community college and apply in 2017. My gpa is what it is and I can't change it at this point. I think I will try to improve my work experience even more because it may be the strongest part of my application. Also I'm not applying to top programs. I look at the Pance pass rate, as long as that is high then I can care less where the school is ranked.

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You aren't all that far off. If it were me (and you're not), I would retake anatomy and also take pathophysiology (both often available in community college) and do very well. The repeat of anatomy won't make a huge impact on your average (since CASPA averages the two grades), but it will cleanse the pallet a bit as to how you have turned things around. Patho is probably the prereq most like much of PA school and doing well on it may increase a school's confidence that you can do well in their environment. 


The pharm tech job probably won't turn a lot of heads as far as HCE. You need time in the trenches. Your CNA strategy seems like a reasonable approach.


Best of luck.

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Something you might also want to look into are the average stats for applicants who get accepted at the schools you are applying to (vs. the bare minimum requirements). This might give you a much more solid idea of where you need to be stat-wise to have a good shot at those programs and may help you make a decision on where to invest more time and money on improving your app.

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