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Reapplying to PA school

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i just applied and i had 2 interviews, but only have one waitlist. i am thinking part of my problem was my GPA was only a 3.4 and 3.2 science respectively. but i had a great personal statement and good rec letters. for a reapplicant do i have to use new ones? do i use the same account? i will have more HCE and shadowing as well as research experience to boost my application, tho the GPA will be about the same. 

 

does anyone have any advice and do i need to get new letters of rec and personal statement? 

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Your GPA isn't terrible.  I believe that some aspects of your app carry over to the next year (grades maybe?) but you will have to resubmit LORs and a PS.  I suppose you can choose to submit the same PS - but if you are applying to the same schools I'd recommend you at least update it/revise it/change it a little.  

 

You can't just reapply with the same application the second time and expect different results.

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If you got interviews, you likely made it through the grade, personal statement, references, and HCE wickets. If you have more interviews to go, I'd focus on improving how you came across during the interviews. If they invited you in, they were considering you.

 

If you are going to reapply, I would carefully decide what to reuse. What are you going to do with this year? Get better in some way. Research is the least profitable of your possible endeavors. You might get some feedback from the schools about what you should focus on. Changing your GPA is very hard, especially in short period of time. I would focus on meaningful HCE and maybe a course of two that would better demonstrate your determination (like patho).

 

Good luck!

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I had a very similar GPA as yours, and I was accepted into one program, waitlisted at two and either denied or never heard from the others (presumably they are still interviewing). The difference between waitlist and acceptance for me was talking about my history of service and volunteerism. I talked about how I went in mission trips with my youth group programs, volunteered various places and sort of off-hand mentioned I worked with a rescue dog organization. I connected with the director of the program while talking about how I fostered rescue dogs ( she had rescued animals as well). My only advice would be to make it personal...interviews, essays, anything you resubmit in the future.

 

When I got my acceptance call it was because I "embodied the spirit of the program." Because you got some interviews, your GPA, GRE, patient care experience, etc. checked the boxes for the requirements. I'd put your energy into something that makes you, you. Then make sure your prospective schools know about it!

 

 

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I would definitely re-write the personal statement and get new LOR. Even if it's the same people. They want to see that you're an improved applicant and all of this helps.

 

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I would definitely re-write the personal statement and get new LOR. Even if it's the same people. They want to see that you're an improved applicant and all of this helps.

 

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If last cycle's application didn't get you accepted, it would be short sighted to assume the same application, a year later, will work better. Rework every part of the application, to the extent possible. LORs: I have mentioned this in other posts...have you read them? If they don't say you are superman/girl, find someone else to write one. If they are really good, ask to have them updated, discussing your progress in the past year, or stressing why you would be an excellent candidate and PA.

PS: Definitely rewrite! Discuss improvements you have made to get ready for PA school. This is your chance to get noticed. I would start over fresh. One year later, this is a new and improved you. You need to be able to state that, convincingly. Why are you applying again? What have you learned since last cycle and, specifically, what actions have you taken to improve your application?

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If last cycle's application didn't get you accepted, it would be short sighted to assume the same application, a year later, will work better. Rework every part of the application, to the extent possible. LORs: I have mentioned this in other posts...have you read them? If they don't say you are superman/girl, find someone else to write one. If they are really good, ask to have them updated, discussing your progress in the past year, or stressing why you would be an excellent candidate and PA.

PS: Definitely rewrite! Discuss improvements you have made to get ready for PA school. This is your chance to get noticed. I would start over fresh. One year later, this is a new and improved you. You need to be able to state that, convincingly. Why are you applying again? What have you learned since last cycle and, specifically, what actions have you taken to improve your application?

One problem with this - I had no option to read my LORs.  One person did send me a copy after the fact, but on my app I chose the option of not seeing my LORs (I assume that's still an option in the new CASPA - indicating whether or not you see what your reference submits on your behalf).  I didn't need to reapply, but I don't know that I would have asked to see them anyway.  If I suspected someone wrote a poor LOR (I actually found out from a program that someone did) I just wouldn't ask them again.  Obviously you want to have great LORs, but there's a reason CASPA encourages you to chose NOT to see what your reference submits.  You really should know before you ask someone if they will be an appropriate person to write a LOR.  I guess you could ask after the cycle but it feels a little insulting to your reference - like hey, I didn't get in and I think your LOR is the reason.  If every applicant is hand selecting the letters they use, are schools really getting an objective use out of LORs?  Why even bother?

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One problem with this - I had no option to read my LORs. One person did send me a copy after the fact, but on my app I chose the option of not seeing my LORs (I assume that's still an option in the new CASPA - indicating whether or not you see what your reference submits on your behalf). I didn't need to reapply, but I don't know that I would have asked to see them anyway. If I suspected someone wrote a poor LOR (I actually found out from a program that someone did) I just wouldn't ask them again. Obviously you want to have great LORs, but there's a reason CASPA encourages you to chose NOT to see what your reference submits. You really should know before you ask someone if they will be an appropriate person to write a LOR. I guess you could ask after the cycle but it feels a little insulting to your reference - like hey, I didn't get in and I think your LOR is the reason. If every applicant is hand selecting the letters they use, are schools really getting an objective use out of LORs? Why even bother?

You say that you should really know if someone is appropriate to write an LOR but also say you found out one of your LOR'S wasn't good. You also say that If you got a bad LOR, you wouldn't ask that person again. You can't afford that. You need to be sure. After the fact is too late! Do what you want but I would ask the writer to let me review the LOR and make comments before submission. Or at least provide them with some verbiage to include. Why would you do this? Because you know what your LOR'S need to say to get in! Most likely, they don't. Ask if you can collaborate prior to submission because this is so important to you and your career, and PA school is extremely competitive. If they really want to help you, they shouldn't object. BTW, seeing your LOR'S after submission is also useless.

 

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You say that you should really know if someone is appropriate to write an LOR but also say you found out one of your LOR'S wasn't good. You also say that If you got a bad LOR, you wouldn't ask that person again. You can't afford that. You need to be sure. After the fact is too late! Do what you want but I would ask the writer to let me review the LOR and make comments before submission. Or at least provide them with some verbiage to include. Why would you do this? Because you know what your LOR'S need to say to get in! Most likely, they don't. Ask if you can collaborate prior to submission because this is so important to you and your career, and PA school is extremely competitive. If they really want to help you, they shouldn't object. BTW, seeing your LOR'S after submission is also useless.

 

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Feels like cheating to me.  I know too many people who write their own LORs and have someone else sign their name to it. "Collaborating" on an LOR with the reference writer isn't so far off. Personally, I think that's wrong.  Obviously that's why an applicant would play that game, but it just means schools are getting a bunch of rose painted BS from applicants and wasting time reading LORs that aren't necessarily objective.

 

Yes, I had a bad (less than great) LOR, but it didn't stop me from getting interviews or acceptances.  It was something mentioned to me by an interviewer who, after 5 minutes, could see the flaws in the LOR writers submission.  It didn't hurt me. It was also my 3rd reference, and a stretch/last resort.  I knew it wasn't my best option, but due to circumstances, was my only option.

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Feels like cheating to me. I know too many people who write their own LORs and have someone else sign their name to it. "Collaborating" on an LOR with the reference writer isn't so far off. Personally, I think that's wrong. Obviously that's why an applicant would play that game, but it just means schools are getting a bunch of rose painted BS from applicants and wasting time reading LORs that aren't necessarily objective.

 

Yes, I had a bad (less than great) LOR, but it didn't stop me from getting interviews or acceptances. It was something mentioned to me by an interviewer who, after 5 minutes, could see the flaws in the LOR writers submission. It didn't hurt me.

OMG. I was trying to help you and others and you just keep resisting. Have it your way. It's your life. I don't think you get that the entire application process is about putting your best food forward. Maybe others will get it. Why isn't a collaborative LOR objective? Do you think the writer is going to lie? There is nothing dishonest about it. You are being naive. You say a bad LOR didn't hurt you. OK, were you accepted at that school? I hope so and wish you luck because I think you are misguided.

 

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OMG. I was trying to help you and others and you just keep resisting. Have it your way. It's your life. I don't think you get that the entire application process is about putting your best food forward. Maybe others will get it. Why isn't a collaborative LOR objective? Do you think the writer is going to lie? There is nothing dishonest about it. You are being naive. You say a bad LOR didn't hurt you. OK, were you accepted at that school? I hope so and wish you luck because I think you are misguided.

 

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It's just my opinion.  Like I said...I'm already in school - I don't have any dogs in this fight. If I were providing a reference for someone I would not allow collaboration.  If I knew I could not provide a glowing recommendation, I would decline to participate.  

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I'm going to comment more for the benefit of anyone following this thread.  I saw one of my LORs because the person I asked to write it sent it to me in advance to ask if I felt it covered the things I thought the AdComms wanted to know.  I saw two others because the writer offered/allowed me to (but wasn't asking for feedback).  I didn't see the other two.  

 

If I were writing a letter, I would ask the requestor what the recipient(s) wanted me share.  LORs can come from a variety of perspectives, and if I agreed to write an LOR, I would want to know the expectations.  e.g., for one of the scholarships I applied for, they wanted one letter from my PA program and one letter from someone in medicine with whom I worked previously - both about me, but they were intended to provide two different points of view from two different perspectives.  

 

I did, however, take the following approach for my own CASPA / PA application LORs.  First, I made the initial request in person (if at all possible - two were not because of distance).  Second, I followed up with an email within moments of inputting their contact information into CASPA letting them know that they should have an email with a recommendation request (and if not, check their spam/junk folders) and thanking them again for their willingness to provide a reference.  Third, to aid them, if they wanted to use it, to that email I attached some pages from one of the PA application assistance books I used that included suggestions for PA application references.  Note:  none of my LORs were from PAs!  Like others have said, I think it's a mistake to just assume that the person you ask knows what you want them to write about you, or what you might want them to emphasize about you to the AdComms, or even, in general, what's important.  If they're already a PA, they should know, but anyone else, I'd make it available.  

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You say that you should really know if someone is appropriate to write an LOR but also say you found out one of your LOR'S wasn't good. You also say that If you got a bad LOR, you wouldn't ask that person again. You can't afford that. You need to be sure. After the fact is too late! Do what you want but I would ask the writer to let me review the LOR and make comments before submission. Or at least provide them with some verbiage to include. Why would you do this? Because you know what your LOR'S need to say to get in! Most likely, they don't. Ask if you can collaborate prior to submission because this is so important to you and your career, and PA school is extremely competitive. If they really want to help you, they shouldn't object. BTW, seeing your LOR'S after submission is also useless.

 

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I think he's right in that at least ask to read the last cycles LOR to determine if the person is good to write you one again. Also, if you trust the person and they have nothing but great things to say about you in person than go ahead with not reviewing the LOR's first. But if these are your only options and it's your second cycle, you may want to at least provide some pointers to them on what makes a good LOR, traits they can touch on about you that show you are a strong candidate as well.

 

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If you have used some thought in choosing your LOR writers, you should not need to read the letters!! You should know what qualities you have been able to demonstrate to different people in different settings. 

 

Don't ask people to recommend you if you have never had 1:1 interactions with them. And no- "the chem class had 400 people in it" is not an excuse. Get involved. Go to office hours. Join a club. Start a club. Get a student position in a lab or as a tutor. If you truly do not have a person that can attest to your educational capabilities, or your work ethics or your bedside manner with a patient (even if only as a tech), then take a step back. Maybe these are the weaknesses in your application and remedying this will not only make your app stronger, but it will also make your PS stronger and your LORs more genuine. Too many applicants think that each aspect of the application stands on its own. Its the big picture and no part of the app is independent of the other pieces.

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Here what I did for LOR, and it worked wonderfully.  I wrote a letter and gave it to each person I asked for a LOR from thanking them for taking the time to write the letter and explaining how important the LOR was. I also included the list of characteristics my top school was looking for and said if they thought I fit them to include it along with asking them to talk about how I interacted with co-workers and pts.  By mentioning all of this to the person (in writing so they don't forget) you're being clear about what you want/need in the letter.  At the end I mentioned when I hoped to have it back by and to let me know if they ended up not being able to write it.  I feel most people you would ask to write a LOR think you'd be a great PA and want to see you succeed, but not everyone can write that down and make it come across in a meaningful and believable way.  A little bit of direction (and keywords) can go a long way!  

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Here what I did for LOR, and it worked wonderfully. I wrote a letter and gave it to each person I asked for a LOR from thanking them for taking the time to write the letter and explaining how important the LOR was. I also included the list of characteristics my top school was looking for and said if they thought I fit them to include it along with asking them to talk about how I interacted with co-workers and pts. By mentioning all of this to the person (in writing so they don't forget) you're being clear about what you want/need in the letter. At the end I mentioned when I hoped to have it back by and to let me know if they ended up not being able to write it. I feel most people you would ask to write a LOR think you'd be a great PA and want to see you succeed, but not everyone can write that down and make it come across in a meaningful and believable way. A little bit of direction (and keywords) can go a long way!

Congratulations for taking control of the process! Glad it worked out.

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