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Tricky situation.. I feel so lucky to have a problem such as this, so hopefully this doesn't come off wrong. 

 

I have been accepted to a program that begins in January, but it is not my top choice. I have also been placed on the wait list at my top program, which unfortunately for me and my situation, begins in May. 

 

I spoke with the advisor at the top school, who states I am "mid-high" on the list.

 

Last year, they had 30 seats, and he stated they accepted their entire wait list of 11, when all was said and done. AKA 100% acceptance rate. However, he also said they had double the applicants this year (they are new program).

 

SO, I don't know what to do. Socially and pyschologically, I know I would do better at the top program, as my support system is there and I have a lot of emotional stressors in January (when my accepted school begins). However, I'm afraid of giving up my seat, not getting off the waitlist, and not going anywhere. I know this is a gamble. 

 

Any advice..? 

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I'm basically in this exact situation. Wait listed at my top choice which starts in July while accepted at another school across the country which starts in January in a high cost of living area. I'm preparing to attend the program I'm accepted at since that is the only door open to me. I'm not worrying about the school I'm waitlisted at unless something changes. This is my second year applying so I know I can't afford the risk of losing out again. If you choose to wait for your top choice, you have to be willing to assume the risk of not being pulled from the waitlist and having to maybe reapply if those end up being your only two choices for this cycle. Otherwise, maybe plan on attending the January program and you'll graduate 6 months sooner and get started!

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Tricky situation.. I feel so lucky to have a problem such as this, so hopefully this doesn't come off wrong.

 

I have been accepted to a program that begins in January, but it is not my top choice. I have also been placed on the wait list at my top program, which unfortunately for me and my situation, begins in May.

 

I spoke with the advisor at the top school, who states that they have completed 75 of 110 interviews, and have offered some acceptances (I am unsure of how many, I am assuming proportional to the % interviewed to the 35 seats available thus far). They have also compiled a wait list of 12 seats, and he stated I am "mid-high" on the list (unsure of exact rank, will know Wednesday), though the number and place may change as the interviews go on.

 

Last year, they had 30 seats, and he stated they accepted their entire wait list of 11, when all was said and done. AKA 100% acceptance rate. However, he also said they had double the applicants this year (they are new program), but regardless, it still seems as if they are keeping the waitlist smaller.

 

SO, I don't know what to do. Socially and pyschologically, I know I would do better at the top program, as my support system is there and I have a lot of emotional stressors in January (when my accepted school begins). However, I'm afraid of giving up my seat, not getting off the waitlist, and not going anywhere. I know this is a gamble.

 

Any advice..?

I was in a similar situation to yours last year. I was accepted to a program that required me to move and leave my support system and comfort of home behind for a few years. At the same time I was waitlisted at a program very close to home. To make a long story short, I didn't take that acceptance and was forced to reapply since I didn't make it off the wait list. I strongly advise you to take the certainty over an uncertainty. I regretted my decision but its something I will have to live with. When it comes to PA programs it's getting more difficult each cycle to gain an acceptance.
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I have also been accepted into a newly accredited program that starts in January and I'm wait listed at 2 programs that start in summer/fall and I would much rather attend to. 

If I decided to start in January, would it be unethical to drop out while I'm in the program if I get pulled from another wait list? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been accepted into a PA program in the first place; I realize how difficult and competitive it is to even get offered an interview. But I was very impressed by some of these programs and I will find it hard to turn down an offer if it ever comes by.

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I have also been accepted into a newly accredited program that starts in January and I'm wait listed at 2 programs that start in summer/fall and I would much rather attend to.

 

If I decided to start in January, would it be unethical to drop out while I'm in the program if I get pulled from another wait list?

 

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been accepted into a PA program in the first place; I realize how difficult and competitive it is to even get offered an interview. But I was very impressed by some of these programs and I will find it hard to turn down an offer if it ever comes by.

That seems not only unethical but also financially irresponsible. You would be putting in a semesters work and tuition to just start from scratch. If I were you and really wasn't sure about attending the new program in January, then don't. Wait it out for the other two, you still have a couple of months to hear back from them.

The other alternative is to suck it up and go to the program you have an acceptance at. I wish I had the luxury of a program close to home, both my acceptances are cross country.

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I have also been accepted into a newly accredited program that starts in January and I'm wait listed at 2 programs that start in summer/fall and I would much rather attend to. 

 

If I decided to start in January, would it be unethical to drop out while I'm in the program if I get pulled from another wait list? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been accepted into a PA program in the first place; I realize how difficult and competitive it is to even get offered an interview. But I was very impressed by some of these programs and I will find it hard to turn down an offer if it ever comes by.

 

 

I would not label it unethical.  Life happens and we have to make decisions with all the information we have at the time.  If you consider this unethical, you'd have to consider it unethical to go on subsequent interviews after you paid a deposit at another; after all, you're taking up an interview slot that could go to someone else.  You'll find other threads about new grads (and experienced PAs) who have take a job with the intention of staying, but chose to leave when they realized they'd made a mistake or when a more ideal opportunity presented.  

 

One of the students that started at a program I know left at the end of the 1st summer.  He had applications in at a med school and when they offered him a slot, he reconsidered his choice.  I know of another student in a different program 2 years ago that started at one program in the summer and then was offered a seat in another PA program that started in the fall.  He made the choice to leave the first program and start again in the 2nd.  I am familiar with his reasons, but they are not mine to share.  

 

There is most definitely a financial consideration that shouldn't be disregarded (as has also been commented).  Depending on how you are funding your education, if it's loans, don't discount the hard $ costs of loans, plus interest, for the 4-6 months additional you'd still have to pay depending on when you withdrew from program #1.  A massive student loan balance can be painful for many years post-grad (depending - lots of variables).  

 

Also, consider your perspective on your support system.  I don't need specifics, but if it's because it's more cost effective and/or you have obligations outside of PA school that need support, that's big.  I have (4 children 4 and under), I understand needing support!  If it's because it's close to home and your friends and family, that's less big, and could be a negative in some respects.  While you'll need to keep some balance in your life, I see many many stories of challenges when nearby friends and family just don't understand why you can't just take off for a long weekend for your grandmother's birthday (just a random example).  :)

 

Good luck with your decision.  

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I'm basically in this exact situation. Wait listed at my top choice which starts in July while accepted at another school across the country which starts in January in a high cost of living area. I'm preparing to attend the program I'm accepted at since that is the only door open to me. I'm not worrying about the school I'm waitlisted at unless something changes. This is my second year applying so I know I can't afford the risk of losing out again. If you choose to wait for your top choice, you have to be willing to assume the risk of not being pulled from the waitlist and having to maybe reapply if those end up being your only two choices for this cycle. Otherwise, maybe plan on attending the January program and you'll graduate 6 months sooner and get started!

 

A tough decision indeed! I think my main draw towards the January program is A) certainty and B) being out in the work force earlier. Good luck with your decision!

 

I was in a similar situation to yours last year. I was accepted to a program that required me to move and leave my support system and comfort of home behind for a few years. At the same time I was waitlisted at a program very close to home. To make a long story short, I didn't take that acceptance and was forced to reapply since I didn't make it off the wait list. I strongly advise you to take the certainty over an uncertainty. I regretted my decision but its something I will have to live with. When it comes to PA programs it's getting more difficult each cycle to gain an acceptance.

 

I am so sorry this happened to you. It definitely is my worst fear. Thank you for sharing your story.

 

I have also been accepted into a newly accredited program that starts in January and I'm wait listed at 2 programs that start in summer/fall and I would much rather attend to. 

 

If I decided to start in January, would it be unethical to drop out while I'm in the program if I get pulled from another wait list? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been accepted into a PA program in the first place; I realize how difficult and competitive it is to even get offered an interview. But I was very impressed by some of these programs and I will find it hard to turn down an offer if it ever comes by.

 

I thought of this too, but am unsure about the finances of this, plus the potential to "waste" my time and a seat that someone else may have been able to have. Good luck with your decision!

 

That seems not only unethical but also financially irresponsible. You would be putting in a semesters work and tuition to just start from scratch. If I were you and really wasn't sure about attending the new program in January, then don't. Wait it out for the other two, you still have a couple of months to hear back from them.

The other alternative is to suck it up and go to the program you have an acceptance at. I wish I had the luxury of a program close to home, both my acceptances are cross country.

 

Tough decisions! Thanks for your input, and good luck with your decision!

 

I would not label it unethical.  Life happens and we have to make decisions with all the information we have at the time.  If you consider this unethical, you'd have to consider it unethical to go on subsequent interviews after you paid a deposit at another; after all, you're taking up an interview slot that could go to someone else.  You'll find other threads about new grads (and experienced PAs) who have take a job with the intention of staying, but chose to leave when they realized they'd made a mistake or when a more ideal opportunity presented.  

 

One of the students that started at a program I know left at the end of the 1st summer.  He had applications in at a med school and when they offered him a slot, he reconsidered his choice.  I know of another student in a different program 2 years ago that started at one program in the summer and then was offered a seat in another PA program that started in the fall.  He made the choice to leave the first program and start again in the 2nd.  I am familiar with his reasons, but they are not mine to share.  

 

There is most definitely a financial consideration that shouldn't be disregarded (as has also been commented).  Depending on how you are funding your education, if it's loans, don't discount the hard $ costs of loans, plus interest, for the 4-6 months additional you'd still have to pay depending on when you withdrew from program #1.  A massive student loan balance can be painful for many years post-grad (depending - lots of variables).  

 

Also, consider your perspective on your support system.  I don't need specifics, but if it's because it's more cost effective and/or you have obligations outside of PA school that need support, that's big.  I have (4 children 4 and under), I understand needing support!  If it's because it's close to home and your friends and family, that's less big, and could be a negative in some respects.  While you'll need to keep some balance in your life, I see many many stories of challenges when nearby friends and family just don't understand why you can't just take off for a long weekend for your grandmother's birthday (just a random example).  :)

 

Good luck with your decision.  

 

Great points. Like I mentioned above, I have briefly considered taking the seat, starting the program, and dropping out if I got off the waitlist. However, like you said, it may not make sense financially. I also would feel bad "wasting a seat" that someone else could have had. Something to think more on, I suppose. 

 

The support system - my husband's job makes us move often, so we have no trouble being far from our parents/siblings and friends. However, the second school would allow me to live with my husband and kids, which is a huge difference (as you know).

 

Basically, the decision I am making: is the certainty of attending PA school worth being away from my family for 27 months or would I be okay not getting in (potentially) and having to reapply, in exchange for being with my family. I know this is a deeply personal decision that I need to make with my family, but I wanted to run it by peers as well :)

 

Thanks for the input!! I appreciate it :)

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