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Low GPA? It CAN be done


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I know there are a lot of threads on this topic already, but I decided to share this for those who don't have the best stats but truly want to be PAs. I just got accepted this 2015-2016 cycle, and I'll be starting PA school in the fall!

It can be done, but you have to work extra hard to prove that you really have what it takes.

 

Undergrad Major: Biology

 

CASPA CGPA (undergrad): 2.80

 

CASPA SGPA: 2.97

 

Post-Baccalaureate: 4.0 (17 credits)

 

GRE: 149V, 153Q, 4.0A

 

LORs: 3 MDs, 1 PA

 

Age: 29

 

Attempt: 1st

 

HCE: Approximately 6000 (paid, volunteer, etc)

 

Shadowing: MDs, PAs, 1 NP

 

Applied: 10 + schools too many to list

 

Interview invitations: 5 (declined 1)

 

Acceptances: 2

 

Waitlisted: 1

 

Denied: Who cares?

 

 

Nobody likes rejection, but you simply can't win them all. If you're meant to be a PA, you'll become one.

 

It took me 4 years to prepare and apply, and I got in on my first attempt. This is not something you can rush; shadow PAs, take health/science classes, help your community, be very familiar with the profession, and most importantly: do it for the right reasons. Be honest, genuine, and enjoy the process. If they say no, someone will see in you what others don't. However, you also have to be realistic; if you can't honestly explain  why your grades are low, why they should pick you vs. a 4.0 applicant, and why you really want to be a PA, then you're not ready. Take your time, explore other professions.. stay motivated!

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Undergrad:  Colorado College (2010), University of Alaska Anchorage, UNE

 

Cumulative GPA:  3.0

Cumulative Science GPA:  3.06

 

CASPA Submitted: June 2015

CASPA Verified:  June 2015

 

Age: 28  

 

GRE: V166, Q154, W 4.5

 

HCE: 5 years as Pilates Instructor. 1 year medical scribe

 

Shadowing: 30 hours+ with PMR MD, DPT, DO FP. 

 

Volunteer: 300+ as volunteer EMS and youth mountain bike coach. 

 

LOR:  FP DO, FP PA, 2 x EM MD

 

Schools Applied: UW Medex, OHSU, Pacific, UC Davis, Marshall KetchumHeritage U, Idaho State U, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, Rocky Mountain College,Rocky Mountain University, Stanford University, Touro California, Franklin Pierce, Southern California, University of the Pacific

 

Interviews:  UW Medex- Anchorage, UNC Chapel Hill, Idaho State U

 

Interview Waitlist:  Pacific U

 

Rejected:  UNC 

 

Accepted:  UW Medex- Anchorage, Idaho State

Attending:  UW MEDEX- Anchorage

 

Attempt:  2nd-ish (1st only applied to MEDEX to get a feel for the process). 

 

So excited to be starting this promising career and am looking forward to participating in my local medical community (Alaska). For those who are low GPA. Last year I had a 2.7 GPA! With hard work, introspection, and smart application skills you too can be a PA-S.

 

 

Pulled from my post on the app stats page! Similar experience. Your best bet is to apply broadly, have a mission, and know the application process inside and out!. 

 
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It took me 4 years to prepare and apply, and I got in on my first attempt. This is not something you can rush; shadow PAs, take health/science classes, help your community, be very familiar with the profession, and most importantly: do it for the right reasons. Be honest, genuine, and enjoy the process. If they say no, someone will see in you what others don't. However, you also have to be realistic; if you can't honestly explain  why your grades are low, why they should pick you vs. a 4.0 applicant, and why you really want to be a PA, then you're not ready. Take your time, explore other professions.. stay motivated!

 

 

Do you mind listing or PMing the names of the schools in which you got interview invites / acceptances? Thanks. 

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I figure I'll add to this thread. Here's mine from 3 years ago. As an update to three years ago: PA Foundation IMPACT Grant Recipient, Touro Nevada Service to the Institution Award Recipient, Tony Hsieh Downtown Project Scholarship winner, two articles in the PA Professional, and successfully passed the PANCE on my first attempt now working in Family Medicine.

 

Undergrad Ed School: California State University Fullerton

Major: Communications, emphasis in Advertising

Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 2.31 (Fresh 2.05, Soph 2.09, Jr 2.46, Sr 2.70)

Science Undergrad. GPA: 1.75

 

Graduate Ed School: University of Phoenix (South Coast Campus)

Major: MBA, emphasis in Marketing

Cumulative Graduate GPA: 3.69

Science Graduate GPA: N/A

 

Post Bach School: UOP and Southern California University of Health Science

Cumulative Graduate GPA: 4.0

Science Graduate GPA: 4.0

 

Total cGPA: 2.93

Total sGPA: 3.56

 

 

Age at application time : 32 (31 first time applying)

 

1st GRE: N/A

2nd GRE: (if applicable)

 

Direct Patient Care : 414 hours - ER Tech (Nearly 3K at time of matriculation)

Other Health Care :400 Hours Primary Secondary Care (CPR) instructor / Rescue Diver Instructor (OWSI), Certifications / Licenses as 12 Lead EKG Tech (NCCT), Phlebotomy (ASCP), ACLS, PALS, NRP and some other scuba diving emergency first responder certifications

 

Extracurricular/Research Activities: 530 Hours PA Shadowing, 768 hours of various volunteering, Sigma Pi Fraternity - Leadership School, IFC President, VP Programs, & VP Recruitment, Various Committee Chairs. Honors and Awards from previous work experience.

 

Schools Applied: Touro University Nevada & Western University (2nd attempt), [1st attempt I didn't know what I was doing: Western U, LLU, Touro CA, SJVC, UC Davis, Samuel Merritt] 

 

Application Submitted Date: 06/28/2012

 

Schools Received Application Date: 07/15/2012

 

Interview Invites: Touro Nevada

 

Denied: Western University

 

Withdrew Application: None

 

Waitlisted: None

 

Accepted: Touro University Nevada!!! 

 

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  • 2 years later...
I figure I'll add to this thread. Here's mine from 3 years ago. As an update to three years ago: PA Foundation IMPACT Grant Recipient, Touro Nevada Service to the Institution Award Recipient, Tony Hsieh Downtown Project Scholarship winner, two articles in the PA Professional, and successfully passed the PANCE on my first attempt now working in Family Medicine.
 
Undergrad Ed School: California State University Fullerton
Major: Communications, emphasis in Advertising
Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 2.31 (Fresh 2.05, Soph 2.09, Jr 2.46, Sr 2.70)
Science Undergrad. GPA: 1.75
 
Graduate Ed School: University of Phoenix (South Coast Campus)
Major: MBA, emphasis in Marketing
Cumulative Graduate GPA: 3.69
Science Graduate GPA: N/A
 
Post Bach School: UOP and Southern California University of Health Science
Cumulative Graduate GPA: 4.0
Science Graduate GPA: 4.0
 
Total cGPA: 2.93
Total sGPA: 3.56
 
 
Age at application time : 32 (31 first time applying)
 
1st GRE: N/A
2nd GRE: (if applicable)
 
Direct Patient Care : 414 hours - ER Tech (Nearly 3K at time of matriculation)
Other Health Care :400 Hours Primary Secondary Care (CPR) instructor / Rescue Diver Instructor (OWSI), Certifications / Licenses as 12 Lead EKG Tech (NCCT), Phlebotomy (ASCP), ACLS, PALS, NRP and some other scuba diving emergency first responder certifications
 
Extracurricular/Research Activities: 530 Hours PA Shadowing, 768 hours of various volunteering, Sigma Pi Fraternity - Leadership School, IFC President, VP Programs, & VP Recruitment, Various Committee Chairs. Honors and Awards from previous work experience.
 
Schools Applied: Touro University Nevada & Western University (2nd attempt), [1st attempt I didn't know what I was doing: Western U, LLU, Touro CA, SJVC, UC Davis, Samuel Merritt] 
 
Application Submitted Date: 06/28/2012
 
Schools Received Application Date: 07/15/2012
 
Interview Invites: Touro Nevada
 
Denied: Western University
 
Withdrew Application: None
 
Waitlisted: None
 
Accepted: Touro University Nevada!!! 
 



Hey Timon!

I know it’s been a while since you’ve replied to this, but i just stumbled upon your response. I’m in the exact-ish boat as our were in 3/4 years ago (minus the post-bac). I’m also about to graduate from CSUF this spring. Just was curious as to why you took on a graduate MBA program instead of something science related? Also, I’m wondering if doing a post-bacc or just taking JC classes would be the better way to go to help my GPA? I’d really really love to know and talk more if possible!
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  • 5 months later...
On 4/11/2018 at 1:57 AM, Hillary said:

 

 


Hey Timon!

I know it’s been a while since you’ve replied to this, but i just stumbled upon your response. I’m in the exact-ish boat as our were in 3/4 years ago (minus the post-bac). I’m also about to graduate from CSUF this spring. Just was curious as to why you took on a graduate MBA program instead of something science related? Also, I’m wondering if doing a post-bacc or just taking JC classes would be the better way to go to help my GPA? I’d really really love to know and talk more if possible!

 

 

Hi Hilary,

 

When I graduated from CSUF, it was right after 9/11 so I had no job. I started working in the business field so naturally I got my MBA with emphasis in marketing due to the industry I was in. It wasn't until after I got out and then ENRON and Lehman Brothers happened as the housing bubble and market crash that I decided to pursue medicine. 

 

In regarding to going to JC or post-bach, GPA is GPA. It doesn't matter where you went to so long as its accepted by the school's you're applying to and you're performing well in those classes. 

 

Best of luck fellow Titan!

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