If you’re lucky enough to be accepted to multiple programs and still have a hard time deciding which program you would like to attend, then you’re in the right place. There are a couple factors to consider when deciding on a PA school.
- Cost of Attendance: This is a common deciding factor. Some programs are private while others are public, making most programs range from $60,000 to $140,000. Many programs have out of state fees as well. Keep this in mind, but do not choose a program because of its cost alone.
- PANCE Pass Rate: What is the first time PANCE pass rate? The current average pass rate for 2017 is 97%, which is up 1% from the year prior. This an important factor because not only do you want to pass the PANCE, but you want to feel prepared when you first start working.
- Location: Where is the program located? Is it close to family and friends? Will you have a support system near you? What hospitals are near the program? What about housing surround the area? When you are not studying, what would you do? All very important questions to consider.
- Attendance Policy: This may be important for some students, such as myself. Sometimes I need to take a personal day. Unfortunately, attendance policies can prevent you from doing so. Some programs require students go to class with very few excused absences while other programs’ class attendance is optional.
- Other policies: What are the grade or academic probation policies? I try not to think about performing poorly, but sometimes life happens. It’s a good idea to know the procedures and guidelines for a “just in case.”
- Rotation/affiliations: Does the program have an abundant rotation selection? What hospitals are affiliated with the program? What are the policies regarding away rotations? The last question is especially important if you plan on doing rotations in another state besides your school’s state.
- Special: What do they have to offer? Do they have a simulation center? What about standardized patient? Is there 24/7 library access? Does the program teach ultrasound? Overall, what make the program stand out?