Jump to content

Low GPA, Informal/DIY post bacc to boost GPA?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for the past weeks with no success, so hopefully, I can find my answer here.

I recently graduated with my bachelors in Biology. My sGPA is 2.97 (after averaging the retakes) and my cGPA is 3.12

I have been asking around for my options, and one of the most popular response was to do an informal post bacc by taking a couple of UPPER LEVEL science classes at a university or a community college to boost my GPA

I thought I would take a few upper level science classes at a community college because apparently its very popular, and also I cant really afford to pay for university classes. After looking at many community colleges around me, it seems like all the community colleges only offer lower level classes(100s and 200s).

What should I do? Should I just take some 200 level science classes at a community college? If I do this, how different will it look vs if I took 300-400 level science classes(Assuming I get all As).

Or should I just save up some money and take upper level science classes at a university? 

Edited by BlinkVi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My GPA wasn't in the same range as you just slightly higher.  My first time applying I was at a sGPA of 3.19 and a cGPA of 3.20. I did not get in my first round but took a few labs and a  couple lectures at the local CC. Got A's in them and was able to knock up my sGPA to 3.20 and cGPA to 3.22.  Keep in mind I did have about 10-15 credits more than the average graduate so the bumps weren't as significant.  These classes were taken at the lower level as well, but they also included organic chem labs 1+2. Next cycle, I received about 6 interview invites and got in. I think also, psychologically, moving that 3.19 to a 3.2 helped, that or some schools have a 3.2 cutoff.

If it's a budgeting issue take some CC classes, get the GPA over 3.0; apply and see how it goes. My plan was that if I had to apply a 3rd time, then I would have taken an upper division course or two.Thankfully, I was accepted.

I think right now though, I'd focus on getting that GPA in to the 3.0+ range as well as that cGPA in the 3.2 range. It looks like you should be able to get that 3.0 with just one class.

Be prepared to endure multiple cycles and be willing to learn from it if you don't get in the first time, and of course don't give up if this is what you really want.

Edited by JD2012
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/8/2018 at 7:31 AM, JD2012 said:

My GPA wasn't in the same range as you just slightly higher.  My first time applying I was at a sGPA of 3.19 and a cGPA of 3.20. I did not get in my first round but took a few labs and a  couple lectures at the local CC. Got A's in them and was able to knock up my sGPA to 3.20 and cGPA to 3.22.  Keep in mind I did have about 10-15 credits more than the average graduate so the bumps weren't as significant.  These classes were taken at the lower level as well, but they also included organic chem labs 1+2. Next cycle, I received about 6 interview invites and got in. I think also, psychologically, moving that 3.19 to a 3.2 helped, that or some schools have a 3.2 cutoff.

If it's a budgeting issue take some CC classes, get the GPA over 3.0; apply and see how it goes. My plan was that if I had to apply a 3rd time, then I would have taken an upper division course or two.Thankfully, I was accepted.

I think right now though, I'd focus on getting that GPA in to the 3.0+ range as well as that cGPA in the 3.2 range. It looks like you should be able to get that 3.0 with just one class.

Be prepared to endure multiple cycles and be willing to learn from it if you don't get in the first time, and of course don't give up if this is what you really want.

Hi,

Thank you for your response!

Yes, I only need 1 class to get my sGPA to 3.015 if I get an A. If you don't mind me asking, what was your other stats when you applied the first time vs when you got in? Did you not get even a single interview the first round?

Budget is an issue for me since I pretty much pay for everything and I dont get paid much for being a PCT. CC classes are like 4-5 times cheaper than University classes.  I did some research and and I think I am going to take probably 2 classes from a local CC; BIOL 256(Nutrition), and BIOL 252(Pathophysiology). I found 2 400+ level online classes from UC Berkerly Extension, and UC San Diego that I am interested in; Pharmacology and Immunology. Then I was thinking if its worth it to spend about 2 grands to take 1 400+ level class from my unversity. If I get A's in all those classes, this would put my sGPA at 3.166. I would need 4 more credits of classes to put my sGPA over 3.20. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/8/2018 at 1:58 AM, BlinkVi said:

After looking at many community colleges around me, it seems like all the community colleges only offer lower level classes(100s and 200s).

Unfortunately a lot of the CCs are geared towards trades or technical and that is why they are like this.  However, I had virtually the same stats as you and took some lower level science courses and my prerequisites at the CC got only As and that worked out for me.  

On 5/8/2018 at 1:58 AM, BlinkVi said:

What should I do? Should I just take some 200 level science classes at a community college? If I do this, how different will it look vs if I took 300-400 level science classes(Assuming I get all As).

At the time I was applying I was considering taking some higher courses like this at the University of Minnesota, they are cheaper than the private university I went to and offer those higher level courses.  Getting all As in higher level courses would look better, but you can consider taking those extra courses that are considered sciences that are the fluff ones for applications (not always needed but are good to have; nutrition, abnormal/lifespan psychology, men and women biology etc) at a CC to not spend as much.  Very similar to what MT2PA is saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, BlinkVi said:

Hi,

Thank you for your response!

Yes, I only need 1 class to get my sGPA to 3.015 if I get an A. If you don't mind me asking, what was your other stats when you applied the first time vs when you got in? Did you not get even a single interview the first round?

Budget is an issue for me since I pretty much pay for everything and I dont get paid much for being a PCT. CC classes are like 4-5 times cheaper than University classes.  I did some research and and I think I am going to take probably 2 classes from a local CC; BIOL 256(Nutrition), and BIOL 252(Pathophysiology). I found 2 400+ level online classes from UC Berkerly Extension, and UC San Diego that I am interested in; Pharmacology and Immunology. Then I was thinking if its worth it to spend about 2 grands to take 1 400+ level class from my unversity. If I get A's in all those classes, this would put my sGPA at 3.166. I would need 4 more credits of classes to put my sGPA over 3.20. 

 

2 grand for 1 class!? Holy moly! That's crazy. For now I'd try those CC classes. The pathophysiology is perfect. Personally, I would exhaust the ones at the CC first, and then go for upper level. Upper level is ideal but $2k is insane. Applying alone will cost an easy $1000 especially if you are applying to 10+ schools.

You are correct, I did not get one single interview my first cycle.

Main things I changed besides taking a few CC classes:

- Began volunteering at a clinic for the underserved as a Spanish interpreter

- Started my own business/website - www.oneguyonefork.com  

- Had my personal statement edited, not written, by PA Life

- Applied earlier (Mid-May all submitted and verified)

- Sold myself without sounding cocky, I hate talking about myself but this was suggested by my PT Dept Director to boast a tad

- LOR's were "beefed up" by their authors, they genuinely wanted me to succeed. 

- PCE hours went from 1800 to 3900

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Ket131 said:

Unfortunately a lot of the CCs are geared towards trades or technical and that is why they are like this.  However, I had virtually the same stats as you and took some lower level science courses and my prerequisites at the CC got only As and that worked out for me.  

At the time I was applying I was considering taking some higher courses like this at the University of Minnesota, they are cheaper than the private university I went to and offer those higher level courses.  Getting all As in higher level courses would look better, but you can consider taking those extra courses that are considered sciences that are the fluff ones for applications (not always needed but are good to have; nutrition, abnormal/lifespan psychology, men and women biology etc) at a CC to not spend as much.  Very similar to what MT2PA is saying.

Thanks for your reply

So you are saying its fine to take a few sciences lower level classes at CC such as nutrition, lifespan psychology, and ect? MT2PA was saying dont take classes at CC at all, and save up for University classes. However, my financial situation wont allow me to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, JD2012 said:

2 grand for 1 class!? Holy moly! That's crazy. For now I'd try those CC classes. The pathophysiology is perfect. Personally, I would exhaust the ones at the CC first, and then go for upper level. Upper level is ideal but $2k is insane. Applying alone will cost an easy $1000 especially if you are applying to 10+ schools.

You are correct, I did not get one single interview my first cycle.

Main things I changed besides taking a few CC classes:

- Began volunteering at a clinic for the underserved as a Spanish interpreter

- Started my own business/website - www.oneguyonefork.com  

- Had my personal statement edited, not written, by PA Life

- Applied earlier (Mid-May all submitted and verified)

- Sold myself without sounding cocky, I hate talking about myself but this was suggested by my PT Dept Director to boast a tad

- LOR's were "beefed up" by their authors, they genuinely wanted me to succeed. 

- PCE hours went from 1800 to 3900

Ahh, gotcha.

Thanks for your help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@BlinkVi  Another thing I forgot to mention was that after applying the first time I helped lay the framework when we began to take in Schroth therapy (scoliosis) patients. So I had to figure out how to organize the online records for each patient. In that time period I also became the lead rehab aide as well.  So I made sure to mention that in my personal statement and experience portion on CASPA the 2nd time around.

Edited by JD2012
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, BlinkVi said:

Thanks for your reply

So you are saying its fine to take a few sciences lower level classes at CC such as nutrition, lifespan psychology, and ect? MT2PA was saying dont take classes at CC at all, and save up for University classes. However, my financial situation wont allow me to do.

Sorry for late response I have been busy with work the past few days.  I think MT2PA said CC is fine for prerequisites.   Nutrition and lifespan psychology are prerequisite courses for certain schools, but not every school, which is why I listed those ones in particular.  I was in the same boat as you and I couldn't afford otherwise and it worked out fine for me to take courses at CC to boost GPA.  I did a few redo classes because it had been a decade since those classes in college.  However, those upper science courses, like the 300/400 level ones that I think MT2PA was talking about would probably be best taken at a University if affordable.  I don't really remember seeing too many 300/400 level courses that were part of the CC system where I live. I wanted to avoid too many transcripts and spending too much money.  I think I got lucky on that part not needing to spend more money on University courses.  Lucky thing is you recently graduated, so you have a lot of time to get things ready (early 20s?, that is a guess) by taking some of those classes, working and doing other stuff to help you get into school.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/11/2018 at 10:41 PM, Ket131 said:

Sorry for late response I have been busy with work the past few days.  I think MT2PA said CC is fine for prerequisites.   Nutrition and lifespan psychology are prerequisite courses for certain schools, but not every school, which is why I listed those ones in particular.  I was in the same boat as you and I couldn't afford otherwise and it worked out fine for me to take courses at CC to boost GPA.  I did a few redo classes because it had been a decade since those classes in college.  However, those upper science courses, like the 300/400 level ones that I think MT2PA was talking about would probably be best taken at a University if affordable.  I don't really remember seeing too many 300/400 level courses that were part of the CC system where I live. I wanted to avoid too many transcripts and spending too much money.  I think I got lucky on that part not needing to spend more money on University courses.  Lucky thing is you recently graduated, so you have a lot of time to get things ready (early 20s?, that is a guess) by taking some of those classes, working and doing other stuff to help you get into school.  

I am planning on taking a few classes at different community colleges, depending on if they offer them or not. Then a few online classes, and then maybe 1-2 upper level classes at a university. So, I will be all over the place. 

When I have to send transcripts, do I have to pay to send transcripts from every colleges to every PA programs that I am applying to? Or do I just send it to CASPA?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/11/2018 at 8:26 AM, JD2012 said:

@BlinkVi  Another thing I forgot to mention was that after applying the first time I helped lay the framework when we began to take in Schroth therapy (scoliosis) patients. So I had to figure out how to organize the online records for each patient. In that time period I also became the lead rehab aide as well.  So I made sure to mention that in my personal statement and experience portion on CASPA the 2nd time around.

I have about 1000+ hours as a Nursing aid at a few home care places.. I know these hours are not the most desirable PCE. So, I started working as a Patient care tech at a hospital 3 months ago. I can probably get 1500-1700 hours at the hospital as a tech by the time I apply in 2019, which will put me at around 2500-2700 PCE hours. Do you think working at the same job for PCE is fine? or should PCE come from more varieties of jobs. It seems like you worked all over the place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, BlinkVi said:

When I have to send transcripts, do I have to pay to send transcripts from every colleges to every PA programs that I am applying to? Or do I just send it to CASPA?

Should be just to CASPA, from what I remember.  That said you have to send transcripts again if you have a class in progress and   plan to send those as well.  CASPA then has to update and resend info I believe.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/15/2018 at 4:06 AM, BlinkVi said:

I have about 1000+ hours as a Nursing aid at a few home care places.. I know these hours are not the most desirable PCE. So, I started working as a Patient care tech at a hospital 3 months ago. I can probably get 1500-1700 hours at the hospital as a tech by the time I apply in 2019, which will put me at around 2500-2700 PCE hours. Do you think working at the same job for PCE is fine? or should PCE come from more varieties of jobs. It seems like you worked all over the place.

It is best to have a variety of PCE, BUT, if you can only work one job do it. For my PCE I only had one job. Where I got some extra variety was in my volunteering.  My PCE job was PT Aide, while volunteer work was as a mountain bike patrol with 1st aid certification and last but not least, volunteering at the free clinic gave exposure to primary care as an interpreter.  

As a PA you are kind of the jack of all trades, and you should try to have your application reflect that. Since you plan on applying next year, there is only so much can do in so little time, so don't run around going for everything you can get. If you find something that is giving you quality experience, stick with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, JD2012 said:

It is best to have a variety of PCE, BUT, if you can only work one job do it. For my PCE I only had one job. Where I got some extra variety was in my volunteering.  My PCE job was PT Aide, while volunteer work was as a mountain bike patrol with 1st aid certification and last but not least, volunteering at the free clinic gave exposure to primary care as an interpreter.  

As a PA you are kind of the jack of all trades, and you should try to have your application reflect that. Since you plan on applying next year, there is only so much can do in so little time, so don't run around going for everything you can get. If you find something that is giving you quality experience, stick with it.

Thank you for replying and all the advice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/8/2018 at 1:58 AM, BlinkVi said:

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for the past weeks with no success, so hopefully, I can find my answer here.

I recently graduated with my bachelors in Biology. My sGPA is 2.97 (after averaging the retakes) and my cGPA is 3.12

I have been asking around for my options, and one of the most popular response was to do an informal post bacc by taking a couple of UPPER LEVEL science classes at a university or a community college to boost my GPA

I thought I would take a few upper level science classes at a community college because apparently its very popular, and also I cant really afford to pay for university classes. After looking at many community colleges around me, it seems like all the community colleges only offer lower level classes(100s and 200s).

What should I do? Should I just take some 200 level science classes at a community college? If I do this, how different will it look vs if I took 300-400 level science classes(Assuming I get all As).

Or should I just save up some money and take upper level science classes at a university? 

What schools did you apply to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/8/2018 at 6:31 AM, JD2012 said:

My GPA wasn't in the same range as you just slightly higher.  My first time applying I was at a sGPA of 3.19 and a cGPA of 3.20. I did not get in my first round but took a few labs and a  couple lectures at the local CC. Got A's in them and was able to knock up my sGPA to 3.20 and cGPA to 3.22.  Keep in mind I did have about 10-15 credits more than the average graduate so the bumps weren't as significant.  These classes were taken at the lower level as well, but they also included organic chem labs 1+2. Next cycle, I received about 6 interview invites and got in. I think also, psychologically, moving that 3.19 to a 3.2 helped, that or some schools have a 3.2 cutoff.

If it's a budgeting issue take some CC classes, get the GPA over 3.0; apply and see how it goes. My plan was that if I had to apply a 3rd time, then I would have taken an upper division course or two.Thankfully, I was accepted.

I think right now though, I'd focus on getting that GPA in to the 3.0+ range as well as that cGPA in the 3.2 range. It looks like you should be able to get that 3.0 with just one class.

Be prepared to endure multiple cycles and be willing to learn from it if you don't get in the first time, and of course don't give up if this is what you really want.

what schools did you apply to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/30/2018 at 8:31 PM, ramonaweber said:

what schools did you apply to?

Sorry for the late reply, but this is the first night I have free since I do not have classes tomorrow, although I did spend 12 hours today at school with classes and studying ? . It is our 3rd week of PA school and things have really begun to speed up.

I applied to every school in Florida, except for Adventist in Orlando. The only school I applied to outside of Florida was South university in Savannah...because I love Savannah and it is still somewhat near to my family in South Florida.  It was a total of 11 schools if I remember. I also received an interview to UF which was my reach school. UF's interview invite was a huge surprise as well as Nova Fort Lauderdale since Nova tends to accept people with high GPA's, and I was told by the admissions director at Nova the prior year, my GPA was too low. So take that for what it is, but goes to show that with some dedication and grit it will happen.

Edited by JD2012
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/18/2018 at 1:46 AM, EMEDPA said:

you could also consider an online upper division course from a reputable university extension program, like UC Berkeley or University of New England. 

I am currently taking PPT315: Human Pharmacology through a self-paced course with proctored exams from University of North Dakota. 

Also will be taking Nutrition from a local community college in the Fall. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More