The process of applying to Physician Assistant school is rigorous. First you have to accumulate the credits you need to graduate from your college program. Next, there’s the specific prerequisite courses different schools require, which you may or may not have taken during your undergraduate studies. Then there’s the experience piece, something that simply takes time to build up. Letters of recommendation, clocking hours of patient care, consolidating credits and grades, writing a captivating essay, it just requires so much attention to detail! Staying on top of all the details takes a tremendous amount of organization and control.
What’s the process?
Once you’ve submitted your application to CASPA and thy have received your transcripts, many portions are locked so you cannot update them. Allow us to repeat, it’s best to check and double check the accuracy of your application before you submit. You don’t want to be kicking yourself for silly misspellings or typos.
If you complete a course, or if you have a big update to make in patient care hours, you may be able to update these; however, these updates will take place after your application has been verified. You will need to contact the schools you applied to and alert them to the changes.
The next step is to wait.
Yes, it’s painful.
It may take anywhere from two to four weeks just for your application to be verified, and that’s not saying anything about the schools reaching out to applicants for supplemental essay opportunities or interviews.
How to stay up to date
Your schools will contact you via email or via snail mail letter if they want to invite you to complete a supplemental essay, if they require any. They will also reach out for invitations to interview. And it is to the specific school you should go if you want to check on their application decisions; CASPA does not handle that information.
How to stay sane
Once you’ve taken care of making your application as thorough and accurate as possible, let it go. Release it and trust yourself and the quality of your experiences, your grades, your essay, the relationships you’ve cultivated with people in leadership who write your letters of recommendation. In short, trust yourself.
Even though it can be hard not to obsessively press “refresh” or set up a chair by the mailbox, stressing out about hearing from schools does not make them reply any faster.
One of our coaches advised a client, “Enjoy your summer because very soon, your free time is going to be at a premium,” meaning your free time will be extremely limited once you get into PA school. Turn your attention towards enjoying time with family and friends, especially if you’ve applied to programs that require you to relocate. Get outside, find a hobby, exercise, and learn to enjoy the moments of in-between. You have done everything in your control, and now its time to trust the process.