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joshuatree

CASPA's mysterious GPA calculator?

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Preface: I had a bit of a hiccup with attendance 11 years ago in undergrad.  Ended up going back and retaking all classes, but CASPA doesn't honor grade replacement....

 

2015 cycle:  Cumulative GPA: 3.09

 

Coursework taken since:
Pathophys - A

Developmental Psych - A

Microbio w/ lab (5 cr) - A

Advanced EMT (comm. college) - A

Orgo I w/ Lab (5 cr) - B/A

Medical Terminology - A

 

2016 calculated cumulative GPA: 3.05

 

 

What the even what?!?!?!  Anyone know what kind of maths these chaps are using?

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It's not hard to put your grades, credits, etc. into a spreadsheet and figure out what your GPA would be at any point in the past using CASPAs rules.  The question, then, is did they goof something up last year, or this year?

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Rev Ronin's advice re: the spreadsheet is good.

I can only speak for the program I am affiliated with, so don't take the following as "the truth" - just my personal experience working for one program.

CASPA has been known to make the occasional GPA calculating errors or other application reporting errors. In fact, when I was applying for PA school, my GPA was calculated incorrectly. I wasn't savvy enough to use a spreadsheet but I was able to re-calculate it out and got CASPA to fix it by (then) faxing them a lot of supporting evidence. Necessary? No, and I would advise my former self not to do this. But I was in that crazy anxious applicant mode and at the time it made me feel better.

 

Most admissions committees do a weed-out review (minimum GPA, GRE, HCE, etc).  Then, once you make that first cut, a faculty or admissions committee member reviews the application and verifies you have the prerequisites (and grades) that apply to and meet that program's requirements. So, if you're applying to a school with a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement, chances are someone's actual, human eyes are going to look at your application and will see that you had a hiccup, retook classes, etc.  This is why the personal statement and letters of recommendation are so important - if I get an application like this, I see the academic pattern and then I immediately go to the essay and LOR. I'm looking for specific evidence the applicant has the grit to get through PA school, ability to pass the PANCE, and something in the application that fits in with our program's mission statement.

 

I also think it's worth pointing out that many programs subscribe to the concept of "freshman forgiveness" - meaning a hiccup isn't necessarily a disqualifier. Programs have lots of different missions - to recruit from underserved populations, to have well-rounded cohorts representing different strengths / weaknesses, diversity, etc.

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