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Before I begin, yes I am still just a senior in high school, and yes I know that my goals can change. However, this is what I want as of now, and because it's extremely important to prepare for what I want my future to be, even though it may change, I need to make plans. So PLEASE don't advise me on going to med school or doing something else, it's not what I'm asking for.

Now, I've been doing my own research, but I would also love different personal perspectives.

As of now, I plan to stay within five hours (maybe more if necessary) away from southern-ish New York because I don't have the money to fly myself and my belongings every time I have to go home and because my parents have very busy work schedules.

Ideally, to save money, I would love to go to a more inexpensive school to save money because financial aid is iffy for me. However, if you come from a similar background and you got financial aid, please tell me because I'm not too sure how the financial aid process works yet lol. So, my dad makes 125K+ a year, but due to the very high taxes, a high mortgage, and other expenses that my family has to pay, money is becoming more and more of a worry now that college applications are coming up fast.  Additionally, my dad works for Verizon and they went on strike for about 6 weeks last year, and I know it doesn't sound like a long time, but this really set us back because my mom doesn't make much. I will also be taking 5 AP exams in May ($470), there will be yearbook and senior picture fees to take care of, etc., and my family has only saved up a little over $10,000 dollars in my college fund. So my question is, other than financial aid, do you know of any scholarships/organizations/etc. that I could look into to help out with this? Or more importantly, good inexpensive/moderately expensive schools? Btw my mom was born in Dominican Republic so I'm 50% hispanic (my father is white), so that could be relevant information regarding scholarships.

To get to the main point, what schools would be good for me knowing this, that I want to become a PA, and that I need to build a strong foundation in what I'll need to know by that time? I will probably major in a biological science - if not biology - unless someone recommends something else. 

Feel free to input any other relevant information. Thank you to all who respond!

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It seems counter-intuitive but it doesn't matter where you go to undergrad-at all. Many people that move on to PA or other graduate degrees complete their general education requirements (basically your whole first 2 years of college) at a community college to save money and then transfer to a 4 year college. Go to a school you can afford where you won't have to take out a ton of loans. In state is ideal.  

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Boli hit it on the head. Go to a local school you can afford for your undergrad. Do the FAFSA or whatever the guidance counselor suggests to see if you can get student aid. Pick a degree that would lead to a job even if somehow you don't end up going to PA school after all (or change your mind). Just make sure you get the standard prerequisites in and do well on them.

Good luck!

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I also really like what UGoLong suggested with getting a degree that is USEFUL. It is so hard to find work even with a Bachelor's. I majored in microbiology and I cannot become a medical scientist or even technician without a certificate and prior work experience and there are so many limited opportunities for biology majors in my area in general. So it really is important to consider job market early on. Come up with a back-up plan such as nursing or another healthcare profession so you can gain employment after graduation and gain PCE for PA school should you choose to pursue this career path later on. I gained my certificate as CNA over the summer, but had I to do it all over again I probably would have pursued an associate in a healthcare profession and then continued on to gain a Bachelor's at a university for PA school. I was lucky that my tuition was covered, but all a Bachelor's has given me is the ability to pursue PA. Good luck to you! 

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I was also a microbiology major. Luckily in my area I was able to get a job as a medical technologist but I really did not like that job for the short time I did it before PA school. I wasn't interested in many of the jobs I could have gotten with my micro degree. I really enjoyed the degree though and felt like it prepared me for PA school. It just didn't give me good back up options if I didn't end up getting into PA school, which I was worried about.

If I were to do things over again, I would have maybe done a bachelor's program in respiratory therapy. Just a thought :)

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