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Pre-PA the FI Way: Things to Consider When Applying to PA Programs

financial independence pa school pre-pa Jun 18, 2022

So you’re a junior or senior in college, and are planning on applying to PA programs soon. It’s overwhelming to think of where to start and which schools to consider, much less trying to do so in a cost-effective way. Here are some things to consider when it is time to apply to PA programs. 

Look at All of the Required Prerequisites of Each PA Program That You Are Considering Very Carefully

Unfortunately, many PA programs have many different requirements for prerequisites. Sure, some are standard (such as biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, etc.). However, I recall one PA program that I was considering listed zoology on their website as a prerequisite. I mean, come on! I was applying to PA school, not veterinarian school! Good grief! But I digress… This point is actually twofold: (1) make sure you are taking all of your needed prerequisites in undergrad in an orderly and timely matter, so you aren’t left with one or two extra classes to take for one more final semester, and (2) most importantly, DO NOT WASTE THE TIME AND MONEY on applying to PA programs where you have not completed all of the prerequisites. Pre-PAs apply to PA school through CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants), and they charge a fee for every. single. application. that you submit to each PA program. It is absolutely not worth paying the fee to apply to a PA school if you do not meet the prerequisites as your application would not be considered anyway. 

Research the Cost of Tuition of Each PA Program That You Are Considering 

It is amazing to look at the vast amount of cost variability amongst PA programs throughout the country. Additionally, in-state tuition versus out-of-state tuition at the same PA program can be much cheaper. 

Apply to More scholarships

Some PA programs as well as various organizations have scholarships available for PA students. 

Consider Joining the Military

This is a very fitting idea for a PA, as the origin of the PA profession has roots in the military. In fact, the very first PA class which was Duke University’s PA program was comprised of former military corpsmen. Many subsequent PA classes also had former military corpsmen attend once they returned home from war. If you decide that being a PA in the military is the right path for you, you can get your PA tuition paid for through the military. Something to consider for sure!

The costs of both applying to PA school and completing PA school are pretty high, so hopefully some of these ideas will help you save some money while you continue your journey to being a PA the FI Way. 


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