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Best PA Schools for Older PA Applicants

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Back in the 70's and 80's the average age of a PA student was > 35 yrs.  Many post military. Today its <27.  With many Americans looking to retool their careers after the 2008 meltdown, does anyone have a good idea of PA schools that actively recruit older PA students like 45 or even 50.  I know many career focused clinical technologists  with 15-20 years HCE (e.g. OR techs, Pathology techs, Clinical Lab techs) that want to train up to PA careers.  Where are the best programs to apply to?

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My program had students ranging in their 20's to their 50's. There were more younger students, but I think that was a function of the applicant pool than overt recruitment efforts. 


I think the important thing that an older applicant has to prepare for is that they are competing in the same pool. So while their HCE and overall experience will be very valuable, they still need the relatively good grades, courses, and essay to make it to an interview. 10 years of HCE will not offset consistently poor grades or a poor essay, for example. 


I think we have plenty of examples on this board of career changers who didn't fit the usual mold and discovered that interviewers found it refreshing to hear from someone who had lived a life and made the conscious decision to better themselves and seek out more education and training. 

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At 38 when I applied, I actively sought out the programs that stated they did a holistic applicant review. Not, surprisingly, those were the ones that invited me for an interview and offered a seat. From my search, I'd say look at those programs who were in operation in the 70s and 80s, when older applicants were the norm.

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I personally felt no discrimination on age when I applied and I was 57 at the time. (Graduated at 60).


The big concerns of programs with older applicants: (1) are you flexible and (2) are you going to be a problem trying to manage their program for them?


Go for it.

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