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Yale vs. Penn State


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Hi everyone! I have been fortunate enough to receive acceptances at both Yale and Penn State.  I loved both of them and am completely torn by which one to attend.  The largest factors for me are that Penn State graduates 6 months earlier than Yale and is significantly less expensive.  However Yale is able to offer a full dissection cadaver lab (rather than prosection at Penn State) and 4 elective rotations.  Since Penn State is a newer program, I’m worried their clinical rotations will not be as high of quality as Yale’s, but I think I prefer their didactic curriculum.  I’ve seen on the forum that some people have said attending a PA program with a strong name will give you a boost when applying to jobs right out of school, plus the opportunity to do 4 elective rotations and research, but will these aspects help my career so much that it is worth the much higher cost of attendance? Any insight is greatly appreciated! 

Yale

Pros

-4 elective rotations

-Students seemed less stressed because of cumulative exams about every month rather than multiple exams every week

-Full dissection cadaver lab

-Research component, which I may be able to put on my resume to help with finding a job?

 

Cons

-Would end in December 2020, which is 6 months later than Penn State

-I’m concerned about the online program possibly hurting the reputation. It may even limit their available resources as they will be taking on almost 50 additional online students who will attend immersion weeks in the cadaver lab and may do clinical rotations in New Haven

-Tuition is about $20,000 higher, plus cost of living in New Haven is higher

-Total estimated cost of attendance (living expenses, tuition, food, fees etc) is $160,000

 

Penn State

Pros

-Ends in May 2020

-Team-based learning approach

-Total estimated cost of attendance (living expenses, tuition, food, fees etc) is $120,000

-got a slightly better vibe from the current students and the faculty

-offers shadowing opportunities to supplement the fact that they only have one elective

 

Cons

-Only 1 elective rotation

-Newer program, but all the classes that have graduated so far have had a 100% PANCE pass rate. It does have continuing accreditation and the program director is amazing, she was at DeSales for a long time and you can tell she really cares about the success of her students

-Cadaver lab is mostly prosection

 

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What is your heart telling you? I applied to PSU but I haven’t heard anything back from them :/. Hershey is a great town hat offers a lot to do in terms of living and it’s not too big.

You can always invite your family to Hershey park haha. In the end, every one takes the same exam regardless of what program you attended. I would rather take the lower tuition amount/debt accumulated than the prestige of Yale. PSU is a pretty new program, yes, but they have veteran faculty. The only problem I see with PSU is their lab. I’m not sure what the differences are between dissection lab and prosection lab but it sounds like you’re taking that into heavy consideration. How do you think that will affect your academics as a student? You ultimately want the best education you can get BUT you learn the most though your rotations as long as you’re proactive. I don’t know much about Yale so I digress comparing PSU to Yale’s program. On a different note, one of the PAs that I work with at the hospital graduated from DeSale when the current head of PSU’s program was still at DeSale and he said that she’s awesome! To conclude, you should make a list on what’s most important to you in a program. Do you want a lower cost of living? What state to you want to practice? How important is choosing your clinical rotations?

 

 

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I spent a week during college shadowing at Penn State Hershey Med Center and it was one of the most incredible experiences. The faculty and doctors were all incredible, since it is a teaching hospital. I toured the med and sat in on classes as well and the experience was amazing.
I would not say no to a program just because it is prosection. Dissection takes a long time and you can spend more time focusing on anatomy on prosected models. It just depends if you’d want to dissect and if you prefer that sort of experience. I think both offer wonderful learning environments.
I cannot speak for Yale’s program so of course my response is biased but at the end, you will take the same exam and it all just matters on the connections you make and if you pass or not.


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1 minute ago, PrePA886 said:

sure, I had cGPA 3.73, sGPA 3.60, 160 verbal, 159 quant, 4.5 writing and applied with 900 hours of experience as a CNA but updated that in September with an additional 300 hours

Awesome. Yale is my dream school, I can't give you advice 'cause I'm pretty biased! Whatever you choose I wish you the best!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would choose Penn State. I interviewed last cycle and was waitlisted sadly. I ended up going elsewhere, but it seemed like a phenomenal program. I believe team based learning should be implemented at every PA school, it is a very effective method of learning. The fact that it will also mean less debt should not be overlooked, $20,000 is a lot of money. 

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