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Pre-Admit questions

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I am starting the process to enroll in PA school(s) and after reading these forums am back and forth regarding applying for a variety of reasons. I am assuming that I am somewhat older than most applicants, 36, and already have a masters degree in social work from 2011, which I am also currently paying off. I have several years of direct practice experience, in hospital and correctional settings (ER, rehabilitation, substance abuse, inpatient/outpatient psych) regarding hours and clinical experience it seems as though I have a slight advantage there.  It appears as though prerequisites are often required to be within 5 years of application of a program so I also need to consider that as well, but have factored that into my work schedule and it seems do-able to have them completed by the next application cycle. I am not trying to whine as I am aware that everyone on this forum are grappling with an amalgam of factors that makes this process difficult. But given the vast expense of programs, the difficulty of selection, am essentially wondering where I stand in the running, I thought I would reach out and ask?  My masters GPA was a 3.8, and my undergrad was a 2.9 (completed in 2005), but once I finish prerequisites should be somewhat higher (I estimate 4 classes, and given the time I will have for each class, expect to receive all A's).  I will have very good recs from current MD's, professors, as well as supervisors, but have not taken the GRE's. The school I am looking to apply to in AZ does not require GRE, but has a daunting acceptance rate of 65 spaces with over 2,500 applicants. Any advice regarding increasing acceptance rate, number of schools to apply to, or financing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any reading or replying to this post.

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Yes, the process is long and complicated, and the prospects may seem daunting, but it can be done!! I too was a non-traditional applicant - 39 years old, out of school for a LONG time, working in clinical as a registered dietitian for the last 11 years, had a good GPA and only so-so GRE score. I applied two years in a row, both times applying to 10+ schools. I was accepted at ATSU and start in a few weeks. So, my advice is to do as well as possible in the prerequisite classes, take the GRE and apply to as many schools as you can. It is a challenge to find schools that allow older credits, but they’re out there. Good luck!

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Yes, it's a daunting journey. I have been at it for six years and this coming year (2018-2019) will be my third try at ATSU. My advice is to start a 529 for yourself if you can afford too. The money can be used for PA school and the interest grows tax free. Plus, you may get a credit on your taxes depending on what state you are in. In MN it's $100 (max) on the state filing this year (new tax law). 

I am going to be 33 and also have a master's degree. I would suggest being open to provisional schools as well. I am applying to U of Evansville (IN) and they make applicant take a personality test CASPer which asses professionalism as well as other skills that you may have honed as a working professional. I will be taking mine in mid-June. 

I worked as a medical interpreter, data analyst and a myriad of other healthcare professions, but my passion is to be a provider. I would advise keeping a close support system and keeping your spirits up. Being very organize and reach out to CASPA when you don't see things verify. 


Good luck!

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