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PENNSYLVANIA: Penn State PA Program 2016-2017

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Getting the 2016-2017 CASPA admissions group up and running for Penn State College of Medicine PA Program

 

The PA Program at Penn State College of Medicine has three upcoming events (online and on campus) for prospective students. Online Info Sessions are Wed. June 1 and Wed. July 6. On Campus Info Session is Tues. June 21.

 

Find out the details on the Events tab and register online at:

http://med.psu.edu/paprogram

 

Caryn Stopper, M.Ed.

Director of Admissions

Penn State PA Program

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Hi! Thank you for your interest in Penn State! Feel free to post any questions you may have about the program. Several of us current students will be following along and will be happy to answer. I am a second year student and am absolutely LOVING my experience at Penn State! Best of luck to all of you on your journeys to becoming a PA!

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That was me asking and I had a good look at the stats page that you listed. As a student what is your take on the "Personality" of your cohort? I am 30 years old and did terrible my freshman year. I have been working hard over the last couple of years and I have a ton of HCE but my GPA is very slow to respond to much better grades that I have been recently getting. Anyway, Ive got high hopes for an Interview at Penn State and would LOVE to attend the program. Good luck to all the other applicants!

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Hello! I'm a current first year student at Penn State and in your age range. I can tell you that our class wasn't put together by the "numbers" and stats, it was put together by the stories we told about ourselves. So don't worry about your low grades, and don't bank on a high number of HCE either - instead try to focus on what you got out of your HCE and life experiences. Ultimately, your numbers don't make or break you (as long as you fit the minimum required) and I can testify to that - because at least at our program, you, as a person, are more than your numbers. Hopefully this is helpful for you.

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I am working on the Supplemental app right now, I received it later last night. For you current Penn State students, when do they begin sending interview invites? 

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I am working on the Supplemental app right now, I received it later last night. For you current Penn State students, when do they begin sending interview invites?

Usually in July. Interviews begin in August and usually are held twice a month through January or February. Good Luck!!
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I'm also a first year student, would be happy to answer any questions privately for anyone who doesn't want to ask here or wants to discuss more personalized things. I'll also check the thread occasionally.

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Hey guys, 

 

2nd year PSU Student here. Willing to answer any questions you may have! Feel free to post here or shoot me a private message.

 

 

Good Luck!

Samuel

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Thank you all for the offer!

 

Does anyone have any more info on the supplemental? I got an email on June 14 saying they received my CASPA and would send me the supplemental within 2-5 business days. I haven't received it yet!

 

Also, I'm a reapplicant. I'm assuming the questions will be the same so does anyone have insight as to how different the answers should be from last year? The reasons why I want to attend Penn State and what I would add to the class, etc, haven't changed so I'm wondering what to do/say. Any tips would be helpful.

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Thank you all for the offer!

 

Does anyone have any more info on the supplemental? I got an email on June 14 saying they received my CASPA and would send me the supplemental within 2-5 business days. I haven't received it yet!

 

Also, I'm a reapplicant. I'm assuming the questions will be the same so does anyone have insight as to how different the answers should be from last year? The reasons why I want to attend Penn State and what I would add to the class, etc, haven't changed so I'm wondering what to do/say. Any tips would be helpful.

Hi! I was also a re-applicant. My supplemental app questions, except for maybe one, were all different. New opportunities to tell them what is special about YOU!!! Good Luck!!

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Did anyone in the current class attend PSU as an undergrad student?

Hi! I did not but quite a few in our second year class, and I believe the first year class, did. That being said, that by no means gives you any special consideration. So do your best to submit a well-balanced application and highlight all the other strengths you have. Best of luck!!

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Thank you all for the offer!

 

Does anyone have any more info on the supplemental? I got an email on June 14 saying they received my CASPA and would send me the supplemental within 2-5 business days. I haven't received it yet!

 

Also, I'm a reapplicant. I'm assuming the questions will be the same so does anyone have insight as to how different the answers should be from last year? The reasons why I want to attend Penn State and what I would add to the class, etc, haven't changed so I'm wondering what to do/say. Any tips would be helpful.

 

A tip that I would have for all applicants, be it for our secondary app or to any other school (so your CASPA written would be included in this) - it's really easy right now to think that you're going through the motions to get into PA school. A goal you need to make sure you're working on is BEING a PA. The reason you want to go to PA school is you want to become a Pa and schools want to accept candidates who they think will make good PAs. Think about the conversations you would have with your patients - are they going to ask you about the method you used to rock your GRE or will you connect more on what you saw during your volunteer work or health care work? Use your application as an opportunity to start a conversation that you will build upon at your interview.

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Thank you all for the offer!

 

Does anyone have any more info on the supplemental? I got an email on June 14 saying they received my CASPA and would send me the supplemental within 2-5 business days. I haven't received it yet!

 

Also, I'm a reapplicant. I'm assuming the questions will be the same so does anyone have insight as to how different the answers should be from last year? The reasons why I want to attend Penn State and what I would add to the class, etc, haven't changed so I'm wondering what to do/say. Any tips would be helpful.

 

I've never done admissions and have no idea how I got in, so anything I say is really just conjecture. I have no idea if they want your essays to be different. But from strictly a writing mechanics perspective essays can always be improved. Even if you decide to make the same points, now's a good chance to make sure those points are really coming through in a snappy and persuasive manner.

 

If I were you I'd make a list of the major things you think you'd bring to a program and to your patients, then look at your supplemental essays and make sure they're actually making a persuasive case for the most important ones. And particularly look for moments where you're not conveying anything important and cut them. Then run your essays by someone else (or many someones) and ask them to highlight what they think your major points are and tell you how persuasive they find them.

 

And really with so many applicants to PA programs it's totally possible to have really solid essays and applications, but just nothing that makes you stand out. It's definitely worth thinking about how you can apply your unique interests and experiences to being a PA, even if (and perhaps especially if) the link isn't immediately clear.

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I've never done admissions and have no idea how I got in, so anything I say is really just conjecture. I have no idea if they want your essays to be different. But from strictly a writing mechanics perspective essays can always be improved. Even if you decide to make the same points, now's a good chance to make sure those points are really coming through in a snappy and persuasive manner.

 

If I were you I'd make a list of the major things you think you'd bring to a program and to your patients, then look at your supplemental essays and make sure they're actually making a persuasive case for the most important ones. And particularly look for moments where you're not conveying anything important and cut them. Then run your essays by someone else (or many someones) and ask them to highlight what they think your major points are and tell you how persuasive they find them.

 

And really with so many applicants to PA programs it's totally possible to have really solid essays and applications, but just nothing that makes you stand out. It's definitely worth thinking about how you can apply your unique interests and experiences to being a PA, even if (and perhaps especially if) the link isn't immediately clear.

 

Thank you! You all are so nice and helpful :)

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A few great pieces of news to share with prospective applicants considering the Penn State PA Program:

 

1) Our inaugural class graduated in May 2016; 30 students enrolled in May 2014 and 30 students graduated on time with a 100% first time pass rate on PANCE and scored higher than the national average in all content areas and tasks on PANCE! Way to go Class of 2016! To read more, click here

 

2) The University's Board of Trustees just announced the 2016-2017 tuition rates. We are excited to announce a tuition freeze for students in the Physician Assistant program. Tuition rates and student fees will remain at the same rate as 2015-2016. I cannot think of a more fitting way for the administration at our institution to show support of the PA program's goal to attract an academically qualified, diverse student body with special consideration for veterans and those from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (see our homepage for a complete list of program goals and how we are achieving these goal at http://med.psu.edu/paprogram).

 

Happy Friday!

Caryn Stopper, M.Ed.

Director of Admissions

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Hi-

 

I just had question concerning my GPA. My CASPA calculated gpa was 2.9 (but I am currently taking two science courses which will improve my gpa and i will send an updated transcript). My overall gpa currently is 3.431 and it will improve as well! I was wondering if I will still be able to qualify for an interview or will me GPA determine that? I have quality experience of over 200 shadowing hours, over 2000 various hospital departments, and I have work experience - one of them is working as a medical assistant in a cardiology office.

Please let me know! Any advice would be appreciated!

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Has anyone heard anything lately? I was readi ng last year's thread and it seems like if you're going to get an invitation to interview it typically happens soon after you submit your supplemental. Mine went in on 7/12. ×-----×

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Not sure if this question has been answered but I would recommend emailing the program directly. The simplest answer is if you meet the minimum requirements, your application is certain to get looked at. Having a 3.01 GPA absolutely doesn't exclude you from consideration. Im not sure what the difference is between a CASPA calculated GPA and an overall GPA is, and you sound like you're in an in between zone so emailing the program might be your best bet.

 

 

Hi-

 

I just had question concerning my GPA. My CASPA calculated gpa was 2.9 (but I am currently taking two science courses which will improve my gpa and i will send an updated transcript). My overall gpa currently is 3.431 and it will improve as well! I was wondering if I will still be able to qualify for an interview or will me GPA determine that? I have quality experience of over 200 shadowing hours, over 2000 various hospital departments, and I have work experience - one of them is working as a medical assistant in a cardiology office.

Please let me know! Any advice would be appreciated!

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I have a question for Caryn, 

I have completed more classes since submitting my application, what is the best way to update? Should I send the transcript to CASPA and hit the update application button, or would it be better to send the transcript directly to the program? 

 

Thanks

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      Greetings from Hershey, PA and to all those who have gotten a jump start on the CASPA cycle for 2018-2019. 
      As the Director of Admissions for the program, I'll be on this thread as much as possible to help answer any questions about the 18-19 cycle or share  program updates, as I'm sure some of our alum and current students will also join when they are able.
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      Greetings from Hershey, PA and thank you to all the applicants who already have their CASPA applications underway for our May 2018 start!
       
      I wanted to get the 2017-2018 cycle up and running for the program. As the Director of Admissions, I will be on here regularly enough, along with alumni and current students, to help field any questions and keep you informed about the admissions cycle at Penn State College of Medicine. 
       
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