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Typical "SOS PA SCHOOL PANIC" Blog


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Hi! I am a Junior this semester and am currently sitting at a 3.3 GPA overall and my science GPA is a 2.7. I realize this isn't great and when meeting with my academic adviser, she basically made me feel like with two C's on my science transcript that I was stupid and should give up. I have been having a hard time bringing myself up and believing I can do  it. PA school-wise, I have recently received my CNA and have shadowed ~40 hours and have 325 hours volunteering. I want to believe I have a chance, but am wondering if it is worth re-taking these courses and starting a year behind.

~Also, I have been considering taking courses through a local community college to save money, but my adviser told me it looks bad on applications if I am taking an upper level course at a community college rather the university. What are you opinions on this?

Thank you so much. 

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If you are a junior you still have a chance to bring up your cGPA and sGPA a little. More to the point, you also have the possibility of obtaining excellent grades that you can point to when asked about your earlier grades. Is it possible? Yes. Is it going to happen? Up to you.

I was in a similar position 3 years ago. 2.9 GPA with a 2.8 science GPA. (I dropped out of school for a time after a bad year a while back). I tried to get all A's from that point forward (working full-time, classes part-time), but it just didn't happen, even though my grades did improve. I graduated in Dec with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and science GPA of 3.1. I have over 10,000 hours of quality healthcare/patient care experience, a stellar GRE (323 combined), great LoR's, and volunteering. It's not enough. I was fortunate enough to receive a few interviews in 2 years of applying, but I've been waitlisted and not accepted, and at this point the odds are against my getting in. One of the schools said they liked everything else about me as an applicant, but just couldn't justify accepting me over others with my 3.1 science GPA. 

I'm telling you this so you understand the gravity of your situation. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. And unless your improvement is more significant than mine, it won't happen. The few people I have heard of who have gotten in with a 3.1-3.2 had a 4.0 their last year that they could point to as evidence of recent improvement, and applied to schools that calculated a GPA for the most recent 60 credit hours.

I hope this post doesn't sound too pessimistic. I shot for a very high goal. There are only so many spots, and many competitive applicants. The world doesn't owe me anything. I don't hold a grudge. If I don't get in, I will pursue a career elsewhere in healthcare. You still have a chance, but you need to understand what you need to do to get in, how hard it is, and make your peace now for if it doesn't work out.

EDIT: I don't know close to graduating you are, but it might be worth it to change your major with the goal of becoming something that can give you better quality HCE, like a surgical tech or better yet a respiratory therapist. Don't think of it as slowing you down... think of it as a chance to extend the time period you have to improve your GPA, a way to get very high-quality hours, and something of a backup plan should you not get in. Rushing to graduate with a poor GPA isn't a good idea. The alternative, as explained by another school to me, is to attend a graduate program or at least take graduate-level science classes and do very well in them, and keep applying.

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