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iamplanetjanet

Questions About Schools

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Hey guys! I just joined this forum and have a question about schools. Currently, I am planning to apply to about 13 PA schools. What are the most important factors that you guys considered when choosing which schools to apply to, though? I am applying to 6 in my home state, 4 in the state that I go to undergraduate school, and 3 out of state schools that I picked based on ideal locations and program focuses. But sometimes I feel like there are SO many PA programs that I can apply to, I'm not sure which ones to definitely keep (especially the ones out of state). Any thoughts/tips/advice? Is 12-13 a good number?

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Also, I am taking a gap year. However, I'll be applying to PA schools right before I actually take the gap year, and I probably won't have 1000 HCE hours yet (around 700 currently). Will I be able to update the schools with my accumulated hours before matriculation, or at least make a note that I will be getting more before matriculating?

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10 hours ago, iamplanetjanet said:

Also, I am taking a gap year. However, I'll be applying to PA schools right before I actually take the gap year, and I probably won't have 1000 HCE hours yet (around 700 currently).

I did this and was not accepted the first time because my school of choice did not consider scribe hours as dPCE.  Applied with 200 hours as a dialysis technician and was not given any thought.  Applied with 2000 the next cycle and was interviewed and accepted.  If the schools you are applying to have requirements for dPCE in the lower end, like 500, then you could apply, but you are going to get rejected if they require more.  These schools take the hours as is, not as you would have by time starting school.  This is likely because you could stop working after being accepted and not gain any hours at all.

10 hours ago, iamplanetjanet said:

Will I be able to update the schools with my accumulated hours before matriculation, or at least make a note that I will be getting more before matriculating?

Nope, like I said above.  

10 hours ago, iamplanetjanet said:

Any thoughts/tips/advice? Is 12-13 a good number?

Apply to programs you like based on their statistics, clinical opportunities and cost etc.  You don't want to be in a program with a low PANCE pass rate with lower GPA requirements or something like that, at least I wouldn't.  Then see if your statistics match their prerequisites.  

To me 12-13 is a lot, but I applied with 7, then withdrew from 4 after being accepted.  Some people do a lot more, like 30, which is a waste of money.  

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1. Apply to schools where you're profile matches at least  their average accepted class. (so If you got a 3.3 cumulative, 3.4 science, you shouldn't apply to a school with a 3.9 average in both)

2. COST OF ATTENDANCE. At the end of the day you're gonna be a PA, doesn't matter where you go. But down the line you're gonna regret taking huge loans for no reason. 

3. Newer School? Might mean lower quality rotations since they don't really have any networking and competing with other more established schools.

4. Attend Info sessions and or read through School's website. Try to see what kind of students they're looking for. Do they focus on rural or urban care or both? Are they cut throat? One failed exam and you're out? What do current/former students say about it? How is their curriculum? Are you smashing Anatomy in 12 weeks or is it a year long class  etc.

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For your situation I think not having 1000 PCE hours will remove some of the schools from your list. Most schools who wants 1000 PCE hours have their class profile average to be around 3000+ hrs. So you'll have to keep that into consideration as well. I think 12-13 is a good number since half of yours are in home schools.

I have applied this cycle and I based my decision on if I met their prerequisites, the PANCE pass rate, and length of the program. I don't mind moving to another state for school so location wasn't as big of a factor.

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