Help me understand University of St. Augustine

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by DesertPT, Apr 20, 2015.

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  1. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    Strictly out of my own curiosity, I'd appreciate it if somebody who knows could answer a couple of questions for me and verify for me that all of this is correct:

    3 campuses, each takes a total of 3 cohorts of 50 students each per year. So assuming there isn't a significant number of dropouts/dismissals, then somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 DPTs will graduate from this school each year. Does this number include the flex DPT students and the MOT/DPT combined students, or do those programs have their own additional cohorts?

    Roughly 9,000 DPTs will graduate this year, meaning that 5% of the PTs currently entering the workforce will have gone to USA. That boggles my mind. Also, my understanding is that USA is a for-profit business.

    Also, as USA does not use PTCAS (presumably decreasing the number of applications submitted), and they admit such a large number of students every year, is this a relatively easy school to get in to? Is is a school we should be recommending to people who are struggling to get accepted, based on the hypothesis that their chances may be higher at USA than they are elsewhere?

    Please don't anyone think I'm bashing on the school or its graduates in any way. I just got really curious about this because I see so many threads on here of people struggling to get accepted, and realize that a pretty large proportion of my future colleagues will have gone to school here, so I want to make sure I have my facts straight.
     
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  3. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    It is baffling to me. From the outside uninformed perspective it looks like a diploma mill, but it is not. The graduates have a reputation for great professionalism and work alongside graduates from top schools. Direct contact with those in the program has told me that it is just incredibly intense. Perhaps they found the formula to pump out professionals in an efficient but ethical manner. Not to mention the school is raved about for manual therapy.

    As an aside, you say 9,000 grads....I believe the BLS predicted +70,000 new jobs by 2022 can't remember, 7 years from now. Anyone please correct me if these numbers are incorrect but I just would like to point out how bright that job growth to new grad ratio is. Do those numbers sound about right? That is beautiful if it is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
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  4. jblil

    jblil 5+ Year Member

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    The BLS numbers are always optimistic. Just look up what it says about the job outlook for pharmacists, then come back to SDN and read the posts on the "Pharmacy" section. I have at least half a dozen pharmacists in my extended family and they all tell me it's not a very good job market for new grads. I think the BLS folks are caught in some kind of time warp.
     
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  5. DPTinFL

    DPTinFL 7+ Year Member

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    USA grad here. Yes the school cranks out a lot of PTs but it does not sacrifice quality for quantity. Professionalism is emphasized from day one. Great first time pass rate for boards when I was there. I know all schools train you to be a generalist but USA is known for ortho and neuro, sucks at pediatrics. It does not pump out a whole lot of research so more clinically oriented rather than academic research. Clinical rotations are shorter so program is 1-2 semester shorter than others. Admissions looks at the whole student and will admit a lower GPA student if they are non-traditional. They don't want a class full of biology/exercise science majors with 3.5 GPA. When I was there, my professor told me 900 applicants for 50 spots. If you get wait listed, your chances of getting in the next semester are pretty high. Small and private school so it is efficient and all resources go to PT, OT. Only bad thing about the school is that it gets hectic when placement for clinical rotations comes around due to the high amount of students. I didn't have any trouble but some of my classmates got stuck on last minute placements. Not sure how bad it is at other schools.
     
  6. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    There was nothing odd or red flaglike really.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
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  7. Mr. Dunkle

    Mr. Dunkle

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    I was actually curious about the accelerated program at USA. A program that is 2 years and 3 months long seems like a significantly shorter time than a 3 year program. Is the education at USA compromised at all by having such an accelerated program?

    I also was curious about the emphasis on ortho/manual therapy. Since USA is extremely renowned for it's manual therapy, does the program take a hit in regards to the amount of experience SPT's get working inpatient? @DPTinFL mentioned USA isn't the best with pediatrics, I just didn't know if the program emphasis is uneven for inpatient as well. Along with the stronger clinical vs. research emphasis, I just wondered if that worried any others with the fact that a degree from USA may not be the most "well rounded," if you will.

    I also heard a rumor that there will be a new campus opening in Miami in the near future? If so, that would make 600 some grads from USA per year. Pretty wild.
     
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  8. ptlover

    ptlover 2+ Year Member

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    I've heard interesting things about USA. But two stand out the most to me :
    1. No Grad PLUS loan
    2. Students are graduating from there with lots of debt due to the burden of private loans instead of the Grad PLUS loan.


    Is this true? Should future applicants worry. It was what stopped me from going to the interview. BUT I have no doubt its a good school, who produces wonderful professionals. Just financially for me it wasn't ideal.
     
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  9. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    That is really frightening.....but it makes sense. The current loans are very specific in the amounts per year that can be taken out by the government. The grad plus is already a large 7.2%

    More and more talk has been going about with Elizabeth Warren proposing a bill that would allow refinance of student loans at a much lower interest rate. I am not sure if grad loans will be given as much help as undergrad. Although if you peel the layer back, you see that 40% of debt is from grad but let's stop the monetary/debt discussion here I guess and let other talk of the school come up. I always drift to this topic....
     
  10. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    Do you have a source? FIU as well as UM are both down there. Florida already has 9-10 programs which is ridiculous but at the same time has a state with a large population in need of pt. I cannot possibly imagine another popping up.
     
  11. okramango

    okramango 5+ Year Member

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    Yes, they are opening a new Miami campus with a target start of Fall 2015.
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/university-of-st-augustine-new-miami-fl-campus.1119176/
    https://chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000867750-01

    They opened a campus in Austin a few years ago, also in a state with 9-10 well-established PT programs. It seems to be their business model to start programs in highly desirable locations and then charge mega tuition for it.

    I almost applied there, and even started the application, until I heard about the Grad Plus loan thing, and also stories about how unorganized their clinical placement process was. I also didn't want to change clothes 3 times a day for their strict dress codes (business casual for lecture, shirts tucked in, specific clothes for lab and anatomy lab).
     
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  12. DPTinFL

    DPTinFL 7+ Year Member

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    @Mr. Dunkle USA's inpatient training is adequate. The program is intense but I don't believe the education is compromised, I was fully prepare for my clinicals. The deal is USA doesn't spend 1/2 of a semester on teaching you how to use crutches and writing a paper on it like some school I read here did or other useless courses that extends the curriculum like ie "Professionalism I, II, III..." You actually have electives on the last semester to pick what you want to focus on.
     
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  13. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    That is absolutely bs. Business at its finest. Do you know how expensive Miami is as well???

    At least St. Augustine has been around and is affordable COL.
     
  14. blewis15

    blewis15 5+ Year Member

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    USA grad here. Someone mentioned Grad Plus Loan rate was > 7%. My Sallie Mae private loan is 6%. Not sure what Sallie Mae loans are offering right now, but either way, it's expensive. Also, the dress codes are not strict. Only time it is enforced is when there is a guest lecturer present that day (professional attire). Otherwise jeans and a polo are acceptable for lecture and white t-shirt and athletic shorts are for lab. They try to scare you first day, but you realize after 1 week that it isn't really followed by the upperclassmen.

    Very strong in manual therapy. I've gone on clinicals where my outpatient neuro C.I. wanted me to teach the staff a couple techniques that I thought were pretty basic. My ortho rotation was very pleased with the techniques I went in knowing. In the final term you have the option for 5 additional manual therapy courses/seminars to really boost your repertoire.

    I believe the main reason for the shorter length of the program is due to shorter clinical rotations. 1st is 7 week in-patient, 2nd/3rd are 8 weeks long (1 ortho/1-non-ortho). I hear that may be changing to include more clinical hours to meet new CAPTE requirements. Not positive though.
     
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  15. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    The curriculum is going to change soon because CAPTE requires 30 weeks of clinical rotations, and USA currently offers 24 weeks for the DPT's. Soon all the rotations will be after all the coursework. This is a good thing because students can move out of their homes and not come back. This will also allow the Clin Ed Department to find more rotations, since most CI's want 10-12 week rotations. Right now the first rotation is the middle of the curriculum, which forces students to pay double rent, or move out and find another place to live at the end of the first rotation. This is challenging logistically.

    Everything else you said about the program is right. It's efficient, rigorous, professional, and like all private schools, expensive. The most competitive campus is Florida, which gets something like 800-1000 applicants for the summer and fall terms. The spring term doesn't receive as many applicants. The graduation rate is 97% I believe, and the first time pass rate is about 85%, but that's an old number. The new exit exam is almost identical to the board exam so that number might increase. Laureate International took over the school last summer and I'm already seeing tremendous investment and changes in the school.

    Postscript: the first-time pass rate for the April 2015 class was 90%.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
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  16. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks @NewTestament and others who have clarified my questions for me.
     
  17. DPTinFL

    DPTinFL 7+ Year Member

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    @NewTestament what type of changes since they sold?
    Those exit exams are tough but one of the best preparations for the board exam. If you pass the exit exams, chances are you can pass the board.
     
  18. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    Some of the old professors have retired, but I suspect they were asked to retire so the school could hire new ones. The infrastructure is constantly improving. Students have more options for clinical rotations. The curriculum is changing.

    The new exit exam is exactly like the board exam and is designed to help students pass. The old exit exam was based on the USA curriculum. In contrast the new exit exam is based on the O'Sullivan book.
     
  19. kmaster26

    kmaster26

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    It is a very useful topic
     
  20. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer 5+ Year Member

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    Too bad they were bought out by a for-profit organization.
     
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  21. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    I don't know why there's a bias against for-profit institutions. Making a profit from education isn't wrong. In fact, I wish all schools were private. USA was a private school to begin with and it was in the business of making money. State schools are just as guilty of raising tuition as private schools.

    Since Laureate bought out USA last summer I've seen a number of positive changes and quite a bit of investment into infrastructure.
     
  22. BlueBlue8

    BlueBlue8 5+ Year Member

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    I was curious about the exit exam format.USA grad here. I felt prepared for the boards. The people I know who didn't pass were the people with severe test anxiety and/or tried to work while studying.
     
  23. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    The exit exam is two parts. Part I is the OSCE (organized structured clinical examination, I think). It consists of four stations. Two stations are practical and two are oral. The second part is the written exam. It's similar to the board exam. It consists of 200 questions. I thought the exit exam was equally difficult as the board exam and I think it helps students prepare better than the old exit exam.
     
  24. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    The "best"....LOL.....school in the country is doing a phenomenal job of creating indentured servants to government debt that they will never pay off with some of the most pathetic online marketing and sales pitches on their website that almost anyone with a thought of looking for bias would never buy.
     
  25. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    ^I'm not hating on your school here just so you know. Just a byproduct of the private for profit monster.
     
  26. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer 5+ Year Member

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    For-profit and private are not the same thing. There are reasons for a 501(c)(3). If you look up their corporate structures, you'd see why there is a negative connotation with for-profits.
     
  27. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    School is a racket for sure but if students want to pay $100k for a degree in political science, that's their choice. But they shouldn't ask somebody else to pay for that debt. Students need to be skeptical consumers when they choose a degree and a school.
     
  28. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    ^that was supposed to refer to the best dpt school. I wasn't referencing the students that get a degree for a job that doesn't exist.
     
  29. Dogluver375

    Dogluver375

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    Hello. I am currently applying for DPT schools and am not sure what to put in a resume required for the school. Just anyone had an example of a resume they used or can give me some pointers on how to create one?

    Thank you.
     
  30. wanderpt

    wanderpt 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with OP 100%.

    This should NOT be allowed by CAPTE. They are saturating the market in a field with literally NO room to saturate. This field is already underpaid compared to the education level.
     
  31. wanderpt

    wanderpt 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with you, but to play Devil's advocate I don't know that an 18 year old should be held responsible for such a huge decision. A lot of people this day and age aren't even mature by 18, and society shouldn't promote a culture where such huge life decisions are incentivized to be made at such a young age. Perhaps we should promote some sort of gap-year(s) or sabbatical, so people don't make stupid decisions when their brain hasn't even fully developed.
     
  32. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    If I were 18 today, I would work a year after high school. We need to tell young adults that they have options other than college: work, entrepreneurship, sales, vocation school, etc. Instead politicians keep promising "free college" and keep saying everyone needs a college degree, and middle-income parents and their children see college as a status symbol ("I put both my kids through college").
     
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  33. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    THIS. The cost of education has now made the path predatory. It is disgusting.
     
  34. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer 5+ Year Member

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    They do say that the amygdala does not mature until age 25, thus pre-quarter centurions are prone to risky decision making and behaviors, lol.
     
  35. DrEvil518

    DrEvil518 10+ Year Member

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    I went to the San Diego campus when it was brand new and had pretty much the exact same experience. It was really intense, got hectic around clinicals, and focused primarily on ortho. I applied ONLY to USA bc I didn't want to leave SD, so I had all my eggs in one basket. I had no idea what to expect but took a chance. There were the normal growing pains of a new program, from a program and admin standpoint, but I thought we got a really good education overall. I thought I wanted to do ortho, and I definitely felt very prepared coming out. Passed the boards on the first try and all that jazz. I will say: one area we were very weak was in acute care. I felt completely inadequately prepared for that particular setting as a new grad. Part of the reason is I never got an acute care rotation b/c my clinicals got so messed up. I'm one of those people who got stuck with those last minute placements that DPTinFL mentioned :) It sucked, honestly, because I had already found housing both times. I definitely think the program prepares you for ortho and neuro, but I wound up liking acute care best. I'm out of patient care altogether now, though :) But if I could change anything about USA, I'd add a good acute care class.
     
  36. DrEvil518

    DrEvil518 10+ Year Member

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    I forgot to mention that the cost seemed staggering at the time, but I had a scholarship, so it was marginally better than it would have been otherwise. I hear the cost has skyrocketed in the years since I graduated, but that seems to be standard for higher education :(

    Regarding "for-profit", I will say that I work part time for a for-profit hospital, and it's the best job I've ever had. I enjoyed working for non-profit ones, but they had much more of an "all-business" vibe, vs the one now, where all the employees are truly treated like family.

    That said, I'm not making any political statement about for-profit vs. non-profit schools! :D
     
  37. kawtason9

    kawtason9

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    Am I reading the tuition correctly?! $100,000?! You could get two MDs for that! HA
    Man, I was really interested, but I may need to rethink this one.
     
  38. Phyline

    Phyline 2+ Year Member

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    Pretty sure that's total cost of the program. MD is hella more expensive than $100K.
     
  39. kawtason9

    kawtason9

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    The other state programs in TX are $30k for three years...I just meant that 100 is crazy!
     
  40. TheIron

    TheIron 2+ Year Member

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    That doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about TX tuition to dispute it.
     
  41. Phyline

    Phyline 2+ Year Member

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    I've heard TX schools are very cheap, so I'm actually not surprised. But 100K seems to be the norm for private universities, no?
     
  42. kawtason9

    kawtason9

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    After doing some more research, and math, I guess most private schools are 80-100+. That just seems crazy considering the salary range for PTs.
    Just for prospective, UTMB is about 30K and Texas State is 45K.


    PA school (my original plan) is cheaper and they make more, so I guess I was expecting a lower cost when I changed my mind and decided to take the PT route.

    YAY DEBT! haha
     
  43. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    MD is 200k+ and 3-7 yrs of slavery following it. Enjoy.
     
  44. ishadpt

    ishadpt

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    It's true-ish. Just the tuition though. Schools in TX can get away with saying $30,000 tuition for whole program because if u take my tuition and multiply by 8 semesters it's around $30,000- but with fees and living expenses it's more than that. After all is said and done I think it's still a good deal. All the OOS students in my class got some waiver or something to pay in-state rate. I copy and pasted my E-Bill for Fall 2015. I go to TWU Dallas by the way. Hope this helps.

    ITEMIZED CHARGES:
    TUITION 3649.80
    TECHNOLOGY FEE 337.50
    FITNESS & RECREATION FEE 73.00
    ID FEE 11.00
    INTL EDUCATION FEE 3.00
    MEDICAL SERVICE FEE 47.00
    PUBLICATION FEE 2.00
    STUDENT CENTER FEE 150.00
    STUDENT SERVICE FEE 250.00
    INSTRUCT ENHANCE FEE 165.00
    LIBRARY ACCESS FEE 135.00
    MALPRACTICE INS FEE 16.00
    PROGRAM FEE 375.00
    TOTAL COURSE LAB FEE 36.00
    TOTAL ITEMIZED CHARGES..........$ 5250.30
     
  45. Ctinct

    Ctinct 2+ Year Member

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    Texas schools are a gigantic bargain if you can get instate tuition. Just as a comparison,the state that my daughter and I live in the pt tuition was approximately $70,000, and that does not include the cost of two summer sessions. My daughter's next cheapest option after TWU would have been Drexel. I think after her scholarship it would have been about $50,000, but the cost of living in Philly is pretty high. Cost of living is another important consideration. While rent in Dallas is high, gas, food, and especially electricity are much cheaper in a Texas than here (CT). I about fell over when my daughter told me what her electric bill was last month. Here I pay more just as a fee, before the cost of any electricity, than her total bill was.

    Side note: ishadpt, are you a first year? If so, my daughter is in your class.
     
  46. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    That's exactly what I tell pre-med students. Not to mention the high insurance, high liability, high stress, long hours, and small chance of building wealth.
     
  47. ishadpt

    ishadpt

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    It's a small world. Yes I am a 1st year :)
     
  48. kawtason9

    kawtason9

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    Oh I have no intention of going to med school, believe me... also, nobody seems to read sarcasm well. I'm not an idiot, I know you cannot get two actual MDs for that much.
     
  49. okramango

    okramango 5+ Year Member

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    Yup, it's true. $30k total tuition is the reason I moved to Texas for PT school.

    Just wait until Texas summer hits. That's when you'll see real electric bills! :dead:

    I'm a 3rd year at TWU Dallas, and my tuition + fees have still added up to around $30k-$35k throughout the program. They charge different tuition each semester, with the first year being the most expensive, so you can't just multiply the first semester tuition by 8 semesters. By the third year, we're paying significantly less per semester. Welcome to TWU by they way! And sorry to hijack this thread that's supposed to be about U of St. Augustine!
     
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  50. steveyk

    steveyk 5+ Year Member

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    This is true. I'm a GA resident and I applied to one of the smaller Texas schools. This particular program waives OOS tuition, which makes it cheaper than the most affordable program in GA. That's a bargain!
     
  51. engmedpt

    engmedpt

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    Wut.


    Ill have double your debt and thought I was in a decent position. and your in Texas...................youll be banking.
     

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