Jump to content
sdebar

Getting in with a low GPA

Recommended Posts

Hey y’all! First time applicant here. Just got my first rejection letter (first school I’ve heard from) so I’m feeling a little down right now. I’m applying to PA school with a lower gpa and wanted to make a support/advice forum for other people in my situation.

I’m just starting my senior year of undergrad and I have a cumulative CASPA gpa of 3.22. My sGPA is a 3.18, nsGPA of 3.36. My BCP total was a 3.07 because Orgo and biochemistry killed my GPA (I got a C+ and C respectively). However my other science gpa is a 3.46.

As far as other stats go, I got a 300 cumulative on the GRE (148 verbal, 153 quant and 5.0 on writing)  I have about 800-900 hours of HCE/PCE, 500 as a PCT and another 300-400 as a dental technician. I just accepted a scribe position and will be doing about 20 hours a week this and next semester. I also have about 150 volunteer hours and 400 leadership hours through clubs and executive boards I’ve been on.  I was also a coxswain on my university division 1 rowing team for a year and a half (which is about 1200 hours of practice time and I was the leader of the boat)

I would appreciate any advice/support of people who are in or have been in this situation!

 

 

Edited by sdebar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To make up for a weak spot in your application it’s best to have some other category that’s stronger. The best way to offset a low GPA is larger quantities of high quality PCE. 

Looking at your application as a whole, both cGPA and sGPA are on the weak side. You’ve listed a few other GPAs but cumulative and science are the most important. It also doesn’t sound like there’s much of an upward trend here unless you’ve left that info out. 

Clinical experience is also on the weaker side. Average applicant has 3000 or so. Sub 1000 hours is definitely on the low end. 

Overall I would recommend continuing to take science coursework to raise your GPA and finding other clinical experience besides scribing. Scribing is a GREAT way to learn about medicine and the medical decision making process, but it’s considered lower tier clinical experience by most programs and isn’t accepted at all at some programs. You’ll need something that’s higher quality to compensate for your GPA. 

Keep working at things and strengthening your application! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It kind of makes sense.  You are just starting senior year and there are harder classes to take other than Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, which you probably would be taking around this time.  I similarly had a lower GPA and had to retake courses I had lower than a B in to increase GPA.  I did this about 8-9 years after college when I became interested in medicine.  Getting only As, 12 credits average per semester, while working full time hopefully showed I was serious about school.  

Your PCE hours are on the low side.  I was a medical scribe for a little while and it was a cool experience and it is important to learn how to takes notes etc, but it is considered low level PCE.  This is when I switched to working as a CCHT.  You need a lot more PCE hours, unless you are targeting schools that require about 500 or so.  Most tend to be about 2000+ and most accept 10,000.  The amount of hours in my cohort is somewhere in 8,000 range.  Mine being around 5,000+ with 6000 hours working in research and development in pathogenics.

Volunteer hours are good, tend to be better if it is volunteer hours that are dedicated to a specific thing over a long period of time, rather than 20 different things.  I started volunteering before I was interested in medicine.  Spent 3-4 hours per week at the VA doing the MyHealtheVet stuff for about 2-3 years.  I did this while working etc.  If you are still volunteering never hurts to continue if you can maintain good GPA etc.  The people I talked to seems to like that.

I can only assume you are younger just because you are in senior year.  That doesn't mean much though because there are plenty of people that start college at an older age.  However, being that is not typically the case, if I correctly assume you are between 20-22 for are also on the young side.  I am right in the middle for my cohort at almost 30.  I would just take some time and get more/better dPCE and take some classes get only As.

 

 

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compared to my GPA yours is stellar and I was just accepted. Work on your PCE, get great LoRs and take extra classes post-bac for A’s. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ket131 said:

It kind of makes sense.  You are just starting senior year and there are harder classes to take other than Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, which you probably would be taking around this time.  I similarly had a lower GPA and had to retake courses I had lower than a B in to increase GPA.  I did this about 8-9 years after college when I became interested in medicine.  Getting only As, 12 credits average per semester, while working full time hopefully showed I was serious about school.  

Your PCE hours are on the low side.  I was a medical scribe for a little while and it was a cool experience and it is important to learn how to takes notes etc, but it is considered low level PCE.  This is when I switched to working as a CCHT.  You need a lot more PCE hours, unless you are targeting schools that require about 500 or so.  Most tend to be about 2000+ and most accept 10,000.  The amount of hours in my cohort is somewhere in 8,000 range.  Mine being around 5,000+ with 6000 hours working in research and development in pathogenics.

Volunteer hours are good, tend to be better if it is volunteer hours that are dedicated to a specific thing over a long period of time, rather than 20 different things.  I started volunteering before I was interested in medicine.  Spent 3-4 hours per week at the VA doing the MyHealtheVet stuff for about 2-3 years.  I did this while working etc.  If you are still volunteering never hurts to continue if you can maintain good GPA etc.  The people I talked to seems to like that.

I can only assume you are younger just because you are in senior year.  That doesn't mean much though because there are plenty of people that start college at an older age.  However, being that is not typically the case, if I correctly assume you are between 20-22 for are also on the young side.  I am right in the middle for my cohort at almost 30.  I would just take some time and get more/better dPCE and take some classes get only As.

 

 

 

Thank you for your response! Entering my senior year I am taking classes such as immunohematology, med micro, heme, clin chem, etc. I know I am younger so I am unable to have clinical hours due to pure lack of time (I will be 21 next month). As far as my volunteer hours go, I typically do 3-4 hours per week with Canine Companions for Independence, and organization that helps provide service dogs for children and adults with disabilities. 

I have heard of people applying to schools with GPAs around 3.0, so I still did apply this cycle, but I am going to continue to strengthen my application for next cycle if I don't get accepted ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 4:57 PM, Rodzm said:

Compared to my GPA yours is stellar and I was just accepted. Work on your PCE, get great LoRs and take extra classes post-bac for A’s. 

Hi Rodzm, congrats on your acceptance. Do you mind sharing the school that you got accepted and your stats please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don’t lose hope. I have no advice to give that hasn’t already been given. But, I can tell you that acceptance will come with time if you’re willing to put in the work. Start by retaking all non-As for core requirements, especially the sciences. Even if these classes are at different institutions, and only minimally affect your gpa, they will outshine your gpa by showing a change in your academic discipline and maturity.

I was accepted with around a 3.1 cumulative (including post-bacc) undergraduate gpa, but made up for it by doing this, and then some more. I retook all core-requirement undergrad classes, and got my last-64 credit hour post-bacc gpa to around a 4.0, got a masters with around a 3.7 gpa, worked in a hospital for 6 years, got ACLS and PALS certifications, volunteered a couple hundred hours, got around a 60th percentile score on the GRE, and made sure to get some solid reference letters. I did this to make up for a few years of slacking in my early college years. It’s quite unlikely that all of those things were necessary for me to gain admission, but they did help to make up for my obvious weakness. It took several years, but it payed off. I applied to one school, got an interview, and received an early acceptance phone call five days later. Currently finishing my second semester in a class that had an average cumulative undergraduate gpa of 3.7. 

Another important thing to note is the value of the interview. It’s important to be prepared to discuss your weaknesses transparently. This shows self-awareness and maturity. Retaking classes and doing more than the minimum hours required for admission shows perseverance. Try to imagine how they will view you. Why should they take a chance on you over hundreds, or possibly thousands, of other applicants? Make sure that you’re giving them a reason to take that chance.  

Best of luck. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, STUDENT001 said:

 I retook all core-requirement undergrad classes, and got my last-64 credit hour post-bacc gpa to around a 4.0

Could you provide a couple details on doing this? I'm currently in undergrad (looking to transfer to 4-Year from a jr. college) and my counselor says course repetition is not permitted if you originally earned a C or better on the first attempt. Surely you didn't have lower than a C on all those undergrad classes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Zayv1 said:

Could you provide a couple details on doing this? I'm currently in undergrad (looking to transfer to 4-Year from a jr. college) and my counselor says course repetition is not permitted if you originally earned a C or better on the first attempt. Surely you didn't have lower than a C on all those undergrad classes?

This is true for many universities, including most of the ones I’ve attended. I retook many courses at different colleges/universities (I’ve attended seven). This is largely the result of relocating, studying abroad, and transferring transcripts from a few different community colleges. This is also why my cumulative undergraduate gpa is so low, regardless of good performances in post-bacc (and grad school) classes. If you retake a class at the same school, then the lowest grade is dropped from your gpa calculation. This is not the case if you repeat a course at a different university. I originally graduated in five years (undergrad) with around a 2.96-2.97. It took a lot of work to bump that up to 3.1, since all of the retaken courses were completed elsewhere. I retook organic chem 1 and 2, human a&p 1 and 2, general chem 2, pre-calculus, calculus 1, statistics, and a few more, plus did some extras that were medically oriented, like medical terminology, an EMT certification course, a class on healthcare records, and pathophysiology. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your GPA isn't horrible, but getting it up to a ~3.4 would make you a solid competitive applicant. I would suggest you take ~20-25 units post bacc in courses that effect your sGPA at your local community college while still racking up your hours. I guarantee you will get interviews after doing this. 

Share this post


Link to post
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.




  • Similar Content

    • By murphy2020
      I am applying to a school that has an August 1st deadline, so I want to submit my application by July 1st to make sure it has time to clear. I have yet to take the GRE. I called CASPA and they said I am able to submit my application to the school but just insert the date and number of the verification code of the GRE I am signed up for. Has anyone submitted an application and had their GRE score uploaded during the clearing process?
    • By Mhodson014
      Hey guys!!!
      So I am so excited to be applying to PA school this round! 
      I am working on my supplemental essays and one of the schools I am applying to wants an essay based off of my life experiences. They specifically state that this is different from the personal statement and that it should be based on my life history and experiences in 3200 characters.
      I am kind of confused on where to begin..
      Is it okay to include things from high school and my childhood?
      Also good luck to everyone applying this round!!!
    • By Nrm1010
      Hi everyone!
       
      This is my first post in this forum. So glad I found it! Anyways, I am currently applying to PA programs, and I have a question regarding my patient care experience. I work as a medical technician at a nursing home. Up until this point, I have about 800 hours. However, some of the schools I am applying to require 1000+ hours. I will easily get these hours done by the end of the summer. Should I put my "end date" on the CASPA as (ex) August 31st, 2019? That way, I can approximate the amount of hours I work a week to put myself over 1000 (and so the schools won't immediately throw out my application)!
      I have a 4.0 major GPA (Biology) and 3.96 overall GPA, 50+ hours shadowing a PA, 100+ volunteer hours, and scored above the 60th percentile on all sections of my GRE. Do you think this bare minimum of hours will hurt my chances into getting into PA programs? Right now, I am planning on applying to DeSales, Arcadia, Chatham, and Yale (as well as a few others).
       
      Thanks!
    • By agwebster
      On the licenses and certifications section, CASPA acts for the issuing organization. I am not sure what would be the issuing organization for my CNA certification - would it be the school I attended for my certification or my state's department of health professions which lists online my license number...?
    • By Naisphan
      Hey! If anyone has any questions regarding PA school or their application please don't hesitate to let me know!
      I applied to 9 schools, got accepted to 1, waitlisted at 4 schools and denied to 4 schools.
      When I was applying there were not many resources to find other students who were accepted with low GPAs to see what they have done, so I just want to help out as much as possible. This is a very stressful part of an individual's life and having someone to relate to can definitely help out.
      If anyone feels uncomfortable commenting their questions on here or need a super fast response, feel free to message me on my instagram as well: Naisphan
      Right now, I'm a volunteer pre-pa mentor for two community colleges in my neighborhood.
       
      I don't want to make this a super long post but a quick overview of my statistics:
      cGPA: 3.1
      sGPA: 3.01
      Last 60 credit hours: 3.8
      PCE: 2600
      HCE: 1500
      Shadowing Hours: 144
      GRE: Did not take
       
      There is so so so much more than just the numbers. I really mean that. I have spoken with a whole bunch of PA admissions committee members directly at multiple schools about my application and also what they're looking for in potential applicants. I've also spoken to many students and pre-pa mentors as well to help me throughout the process.
      With my low GPA, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it into school but with the help of my mentors I was able to craft a great application.
      Don't be discouraged at all, there are so many things to do to make your application much better!!! It really is a holistic application and as long as you reach the minimums, anything is possible from there. Again, AMA either here or on my instagram page!!!
×
×
  • 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