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Financing additional prereqs?


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Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and I want to ask a question that's been bugging me for a while.

I recently graduated with a bachelor's in Neuroscience and Music, and my final GPA is pretty low (cumulative 2.85, science is much lower than that, unfortunately). I went through some incredibly rough times in college, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'll need to retake a bunch of classes (probably at a CUNY or something) to really improve my chances of getting into PA school. I'm determined, I'm way more focused, and I'm not giving up on this dream, so I'll do what it takes!

My only concern, though, is how I'll pay for the extra classes. Since I'm currently working part-time, I'm technically not a dependent anymore, so my parents definitely won't be contributing anything. For anyone out there who took classes after graduating, can you tell me how you paid for those classes? Did you use any scholarships, save up money from PCE-related jobs, financed entirely with federal loans, etc.? Thanks in advance!

P.S. On a related side note, how many classes did you decide to take a semester? How long did it take for you to finish all of your prerequisites? Thanks again!

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Community College is good on your pocketbook and its a great learning environment, smaller classes under 40, cool professors, they have  fee waivers that will cover you if you are over 24 years of age and qualify if you meet the income requirements or under 24 and still a dependent. Night classes are available so you can retake your prerequisites and bringing up your gpas to atleast a 3.0 while accumulating direct patient health experience. I started this journey in 2014 doing this, like yourself my undergraduate gpa was blemished due to full time work obligations, parents needed my help financially.  Saved up a bunch of $$$ from years of working as a sales manager/acct executive. Left all that to become a volunteer. Volunteered a lot, made connections and a major paycut as an emt. First cycle was waitlisted and applied to too few schools, second cycle so far with many more schools to apply to and hoping for just 1 acceptance cause all it takes is just one. 

 

Good luck to you, don't let anyone tell you its impossible because if you have grit and time commitment anything is possible. Feel free to msg me with any questions 

 

 

 

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Things to know:

If you are not degree seeking, I'm pretty sure you don't qualify for federal aid.  You may be able to take out a private loan, though.  On that same note, I can't imagine you will qualify for any scholarships.

Perhaps you could consider working full time...you likely need to.  If it means you can only take 1 class at a time, then that's what you do.  Money doesn't appear out of nowhere so as nice as it would be to hurry up and take all the classes quickly, it might just not logistically be an option.

A rare but additional option may be to consider returning to pursue a second bachelors degree - if you need a lot of classes (and you might to bring up your GPAs) and I *think* you'll qualify for aid.

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I'm finishing all but one of my prereqs at a couple of community colleges near me. It is definitely WAY more affordable and I have been loving my classes; the professors/instructors are great, and I still feel like I'm learning the material I need to learn (meaning, it's still challenging). You also have to take into account fees for parking permits, textbooks, supplies - all of that stuff quickly adds up. I am also working part-time (by choice) because there are just more options to take the classes I need during the day. However, I have only been able to take two classes at most during a semester ( all I can afford at one time), which works out best for me - allows me to work 20-30 hours a week, plus be able to dedicate at least 20 hours a week for classes + studying. I also schedule time to volunteer (usually 4 hours per week). As far as financial aid, I think you have to keep taking a certain number of units to qualify, and since I already have a bachelor's degree, most of it would be loans anyway, don't think I qualify for grants. I did not want to accrue any more student loans (unless it's for PA school) on top of what I already have from my undergraduate. So just going to community college and paying straight from my pocket as I go!

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Hello, 

I have been doing post-bacc pre-reqs for the last 4 years, about 4-6 credits a semester, I'm am done now. Up until this last year I was able to get federal aide. For two of the universities I went to I was able to be approved for aide for up to like 12 credits as long as I had approval from a PA school showing that the classes I was taking were required to apply to their program. I would look into that for your university! Make sure you check with your top PA schools about their views on community college credits. My top program provides more consideration to classes taken at a University so I figured it was worth paying more. My husband is also in pharmacy school so when needed we borrowed more money through his aide to help pay for my school. I'm also working 12-30 hrs a wk and have 2 small children so that brings added expenses. The struggle is real, but stick with it! Do all that you can to avoid more than necessary debt but its not worth it to drive yourself crazy with having too much on your plate! 

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I'll agree with everything said above. Also worth noting is when you work at certain hospitals or health organizations, they have programs set up where they can help pay for their employees further education (usually somewhere around 500 to 1k, but greatly depends and any bit can help).

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, britrae said:

I'll agree with everything said above. Also worth noting is when you work at certain hospitals or health organizations, they have programs set up where they can help pay for their employees further education (usually somewhere around 500 to 1k, but greatly depends and any bit can help).

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

Read all the details about these programs, though.  Usually you have to be working towards a degree in a career and commit to using that degree for a minimum # of years (ex: You're working as an LPN, they may help pay for classes if you are trying to get your RN but you also must A: work while you take the courses and B: work for 2 years as an RN once you're qualified).

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