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Rosalind Franklin vs Seton Hall vs Cornell

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Hi all! I currently am having a fork in the road moment, which is not a bad thing. I got into Rosalind Franklin and Seton Hall so far and am waiting to hear back from Cornell in the next couple days (would still like to entertain the possibility though). I grew up in NJ, went to college in Miami, and now I'm back because I love NJ and the surround NYC area so much. I definitely see my career and life here, so I would like to make sure I will be able to come back with a job. Upside is that the company I currently work for hire back a lot of PAs that started out in my position. Please help me decide and add in any pros/cons!

Rosalind Franklin

Pros: 24 months, cheaper housing, cheaper tuition, same strong beliefs (diversity and support for women in medicine), faculty was all very welcoming and genuine, friend who goes there, facility, associated with a medical school, PANCE pass rate average 98%, interdisciplinary practice

Cons: rotations mainly in Illinois (not really Chicago though), Wisconsin, and Indiana, no out of state rotations really

Seton Hall

Pros: home in NJ, brand new facility/campus that just opened this year that is AH-MAZING, I'm close friends with alums of the program who can attest to its integrity, network within NJ, hospital affiliation, PANCE pass rate average 99%, faculty also super nice and genuine, rotations out of the country

Cons: 33 months with summer breaks, 110K just for tuition (compared to 70-80K), living costs in NJ generally, starts in August


Pros: reputation with the network, amazing clinical rotation sites, full dissection cadaver lab, familiarity with all the sites and having housing with family in each borough of NYC, surgically focused (if I decide surgery is for me), 26 months, 90K tuition (30K for 3 years even though 26 months is not even close to 3 years), own hospital and medical school, PANCE pass rate average 98%, starts in March

Cons: students' gripes about fighting for resources with med students, space, and organization of the program; cost of living in NYC, almost none of the core faculty are PAs, commute between PA classroom and the medical school (add up costs for transportation via subway), some pretentious people, slightly dimmer vibe than with the other two



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First off, congratulations on your acceptances! I think your decision comes down to your timeline on becoming a PA and where you want to be post-grad.  If you're set on working in the NJ/NY area, I would personally choose a school in that area so you can make connections with preceptors during your clinical rotations and potentially find a job straight out of school.  To me, that crosses Rosalind Franklin off the list.  There doesn't seem like a whole lot of advantages to RF over the other two other than cost, but you'll ultimately end up having to relocate there and then back to NJ after graduation, which adds cost on its own.  And although Seton Hall is more expensive, having summers off means you can have some income if you choose to work during that time.

If you narrow it to Seton Hall vs. Cornell, the biggest difference is the timeline.  If you attend Cornell, you'll be out an entire year sooner than Seton Hall when you factor the start date and program length.  That translates an extra year working and income to pay back loans.  Does your age play a factor here at all?  If you're an older, non-traditional student like me, a shorter program that starts sooner is more desirable.  From an outsider's perspective, Cornell seems like the better bet because of its lower cost, shorter timeline, and the fact that you will have housing covered with family members in the city.  Yes, the subway will set you back about $120 for a monthly unlimited MetroCard, but you also won't be paying for car insurance, parking, or gas. 

However, it seems that you have some genuine concerns about the program at Cornell and your overall feel of Seton Hall was more positive.  I get the impression that your gut is telling you Seton Hall, and I think if you're okay with the longer time period there, it's worth the extra ~20k tuition in the long run.  Ultimately, you need to be in an environment where you're comfortable and a place that you feel you'll be most happy during the stressful process of PA school.

I don't know if that helps or not, but hopefully it provides a little perspective from an outside standpoint.  Best of luck in your decision!

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