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I'm just curious about how to select schools to apply for. My GPA is 3.78 (science GPA is about same) and my GRE score is 319 (I'm retaking in April). I've been a CNA for four years and now work in clinical research. I'm from the Midwest, but I'm looking at local and non-local schools, private vs non-private schools, which schools offer early clinical experience, which offer rotations in things I'm interested, programs that offer medical Spanish, etc - There are so many things to consider when looking at what I want from a school vs how much of a reach it is for me to get in. Does anyone have any advice on the range of program ranking / competitiveness I should be applying for, and any opinions on the other 500 things I'm weighing? How did you choose your schools?

Bless your souls!

Thanks 🙂

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Rank doesn't matter.

Where do you want to work/live after school?  After that, cost, PANCE scores, cost.  Then everything else you're worried about.

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Agree with above comments. No need to retake the GRE. When it all boils down, just any program that is accredited, has a high (95+%) PANCE pass rate (which means they are teaching pretty well), retention rate (which means they aren't failing people a lot; no one should fail PA school barring extenuating circumstances, everyone is already a good student), location, and cost.

Rankings are pointless, and university name recognition only goes so far. 

GRE, GPA, and PCE hours are the big hurdles for most people, you seem to be fine in all of them. Apply broadly, have a couple backups, and you should be good to go. When you start having to pick from acceptances, go with the best fit for you, the vibe you get, the location, and the cost. I have seen people walk away from top 10's (including top 1 and 2) just because they didn't like the atmosphere of the program, and they probably made the right decision for them. 

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Hello all,

I'm re-taking the GRE because I took it in 2016 (and graduated in 2017) and thought it would be beneficial to demonstrate that I am still academically competent. Perhaps still unnecessary though? I appreciate all of your input; I'll calm down and just stick with the schools I've researched! Thank you. :) 

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@Tortor  GRE scores are good for 5 years.  As far as choosing a school.  Decide where you want to be.  Do you want to move?  Do you want something close?  Then start reading about the programs in the areas you want to be/move.  Most programs have a "special something" they try to have that sets them apart.  Do you desire a cadaver lab?  Rural health?  Inner city?  Surgery?  Decide those things and start perusing websites and see what speaks to you. 

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5 hours ago, Tortor said:

Hello all,

I'm re-taking the GRE because I took it in 2016 (and graduated in 2017) and thought it would be beneficial to demonstrate that I am still academically competent. Perhaps still unnecessary though? I appreciate all of your input; I'll calm down and just stick with the schools I've researched! Thank you. 🙂

I still think it’s unnecessay to retake it. Your score is competitive, and you surpass the minimum requirement, so schools likely won’t care when you took it as long as it was within 5 years. Save your time and money for CASPA and supplemental applications 🙂 

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I agree with @Bubbles. It is just a very basic (probably completely electronic) filter (pass/fail ; decline immediately/go to next stage of admissions) kinda thing, I have never heard any different, and I haven't heard of anyone even talking about the GRE during interviews. I HAVE heard a PhD department chair joking about what might happen if faculty had to take the GRE again and remarking that they "just have to have a minimum" but that they really didn't care about it.

In general, 300 meets everyone's minimums, 310 and you should have no problems anywhere.

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