Last Minute Tips before April 25th - CASPA OPENING DAY
I know this can be a stressful time for pre-pa students and CASPA can be confusing in some aspects and pretty simple in other aspects. I want to give a few words of caution for things to AVOID, I should know because I’ve made some of these same mistakes (second time applicant)!
1. AVOID applying late within the cycle! You may assume you have more time because admissions to the programs you’re applying to aren’t rolling, or maybe you’re waiting to submit one last grade from the spring or summer semester. Admission interviews are OFTEN underway by August/September. Consider applying within the months of May and as late as the end of June for your best chances if you application allows for it! Also! If you apply early, you won’t have to stress as much about program deadline dates! Although you should always be aware of them.
2. Request those transcripts ASAP! Transcripts can take up to weeks to be received by CASPA after you’ve made a request! If you have “planned/in progress” courses, transcripts aren’t required for those specific courses, BUT if you want them calculated in the CASPA GPA then you should wait until those transcripts are available to send to CASPA (end of spring 2019/summer 2019)
3. Ask and notify your LOR writer of a date YOU would like for them to submit their letter to CASPA! This can be such a big delay within the application process and this one happened to me! These are BUSY people, some own their own practices, some have children, spouses, and other responsibilities so make sure to give them a deadline that you both feel comfortable with them submitting by. Offer to give them friendly reminders as the date inches closer. If they lose the CASPA email, you can request another one!
4. Get one final review of your personal statement from a different set of eyes! You can read your own personal statement to death and still miss the same mistakes in grammar or wording. Consider having one last set of eyes to look at and edit your personal statement before CASPA opens and you’re ready for submission. I offer personal statement review services as well as mentorship services if you are interested!
5. Do not neglect the CASPA FAQ’s page! Although I know it’s already an overwhelming and fatiguing process, you NEED to look through the CASPA FAQ’s page. It is so extremely lengthy but it is infinitely worth the time spent perusing it. CASPA entry can be confusing, but chances are that you are not the first person to come across a question. If you do have a unique situation and want to gain more clarity on your options, feel more than welcome to contact CASPA via their customer service department. They now have email AND a phone number! The addition of the phone number is new to me lol.
6. Apply to “enough” programs! The physician assistant career choice is becoming more and more competitive to get involved in as it becomes more popular. You may be 100% confident in the application you bring forward, but you still have to increase your chances by applying to as many programs as your finances and reality allow. This application process can be very expensive so don’t feel bad for staying within your means. BUT if you are considering moving to another state and have the funds for 2-3 more apps, this is the time to do it! On average, candidates apply to 10-12 schools!
7. Keep an eye on your application status! Once you submit your application you should feel a lot of relief! The hard part is over, but the process is not yet over. You must keep an eye on your application status! CASPA will inform you if you need to fix anything but you don’t want this to turn into a time consuming process. Once every supporting document is obtained by CASPA, your account will be labeled as COMPLETE. After the information you’ve given them has been looked over including your courses/transcripts and CASPA GPA calculated, your application will become VERIFIED 🥳 and that’s where you want to be friends!
At this point is where you can breath a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back! Until the obsessive email checking begins for interview invites lol!
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