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druppel

Cumulative GPA is being dragged down by past college experience.

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Hi everybody, I have a few issues regarding my GPA and lack of HCE. First, I am 31 years old now and deciding that I want to finally pursue a medicine degree in the form of a physician assistant. My first run at college out of high school back in 2003 was less than stellar. I was young and very undecided in exactly what I wanted to do, although I have always loved medicine. So that being said I ended up dropping out in my spring semester and instead of withdrawing I just left, thus a massive hole in my GPA started. I now have a 1.26 GPA from my first college and a 2.63 from my second college which I did obtain an associates degree in electronics. Since going back last year I have taken A&P I and II, Microbiology, Statistics, Gen Psych, Developmental Psych, Med Term and English. I finished this year with a 3.97, my only A- was in med term. I have been shadowing a pediatrician for around 6 months and have around 250 hours with hospice for DPC time. I am also volunteering at the local women and children's hospital in the E.R. and PICU departments, which will give me an additional 80 hours of DPC for when I apply. All of this is happening while I work 45 to 50 hours a week and try to spend as much time as I can with my kids and wife. Will programs look beyond my academic past? What might my chances of getting into a school be?

 

Thanks a lot everyone!!!!!

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Druppel,

 

The fact is many schools may filter out your application before anyone even sees it. That is if you science and cumulative GPA do not meet the minimum requirements. It sounds like you are on the right track with HCE, although paid experience is generally viewed more favorably. My advice would be to figure out where your GPA is and what you would need to do in order to get it above a 3.0. This may take a year or so but will also give you time to build HCE.

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This may take a year or so several but will also give you time to build HCE.

Fixed that for you.

 

Fact is, the more credits you already have, the harder it is to change your cGPA.

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It's possible.. Do a search on low gpa on this forum and scan through those posts. And several years is accurate as Rev has pointed out.

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Yep you need to calculate your cGPA and sGPA as CASPA would to see where you are at in that respect.  And you need to ramp up the HCE game significantly.  If you only have the 250+80 hrs of HCE, in addition to bare minimum grades, you should not apply yet.  Your app will likely not get looked at anywhere.  Typically applicants who get accepted with little to no HCE (which is what you have), they have near 4.0 GPAs.  The applicants who get accepted with subpar grades (at LEAST 3.0 cGPA) have thousands of hours of HCE.  

 

As it is, I would highly recommend that you are not ready to apply yet.  Even if schools look beyond your academic past, what are they finding?  10 courses at a near 4.0 and <400 hours of HCE?  Not enough to warrant an interview, unfortunately.

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You'll need your CASPA cGPA and sGPA above minimums (there are other threads on here to accurately calculate this). From experience, I had a 1.6 over 63 credits over 20 years ago and a 3.97 over 56 credits when I applied to 10 schools with over 20,000 hours as a paramedic and only got 2 interviews (and acceptances). Good luck.

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I was asked to leave my first attempt at undergrad with a 0.8, and my community college work didn't help me much (2.6).  Once I got serious about PA school I graduated with a 3.69, but my previous work dragged my CASPA GPA down to around 3.01.  This significantly limited my school options as I couldn't get passed the most cursory review, so I had to find schools that view GPA differently

 

The school I am in now takes your last 60 hours and calculates a GPA then uses the higher of the two GPA (60 hr vs cGPA) for determining which students get passed the first review.  There are a many schools that will take a 60 hr or 45 hr GPA into consideration, so start searching for them.

 

 

That being said, you are a compromised candidate with so little HCE and a weak GPA.  You need more HCE and there is just no way around it.  Once you have 3000 hours at a minimum you will start being competitive.  Keep your grades up, keep working and start searching for schools that will look at alternate GPA calculations (there should be a list on here somewhere, but Campbell University in NC is one)

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I am also an applicant, not a student or PA.... so take my advice with a grain of salt....If PA is really your passion, then I'd recommend taking an EMT / Paramedic course.... one of the most respectable pre-pa experience is military corpsman, but I doubt with your kids this is an option and the fact that military corpsman is a really big deal.... a career in itself... and life changing experience.  I have two friends in PA school that worked as corpsman, and they were taken very seriously even though their GPAs were subpar....  But next to corpsman... look for EMT / Paramedic, and look for positions that are real hands on... not transporter.  You have an uphill battle... if I were you, I'd work 1 - 2 years after getting your certification before applying.

 

Good Luck

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