May 6, 2020
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hello All: I am new to this forum. I have been fascinated by all the discussions on here from DPT students and professionals. Please let me provide some background to eventually get to my point. I am currently in a state of confusion/anxiety with regards on what to do based on a few factors. I feel it is my own doing because I never found this forum before, and I did not do enough research on my part on schools, tuition and advice from PTs.

My undergrad degree/former career is in public relations and marketing. After the economy went down in 2008, I decided to temporarily work as a fitness trainer at my local gym. It was here where I fell in love with helping others. The gym was tied to a hospital so I was able to help people from all walks of life, of all ages. After a couple of years, I decided to go back to school and pursue physical therapy. However, since I didn't have any science courses, I would need to fulfill all the prerequisites to submit an application. My job as a fitness trainer gave me the schedule flexibility to take classes during the morning, and work afternoons and evenings (full time). Of course during this time as a fitness trainer, I have been making low pay with some commission (yet still not enough to live a stable long term life). I took out student loans to complete the prerequisites; which of course, it helped me stay afloat financially (blindly taking them).

During this time, I also took the GRE a couple of times but only to reach the minimum score or right under the minimum that was good enough for certain schools. I went through PTCAS in 2018 but only to realize a few months after that most of the 10 applications I sent were never verified (and a lot of money gone down the drain). The in-state school I wanted to attend denied me because my GRE did not meet the minimum. This past year I ended up applying only to two schools. One is a brand new school that is in-state (and still awaiting accreditation; with a tuition cost of over $90K), and the other in another major city (with tuition of over $130K). Fortunately and FINALLY, the private in-state school has invited me for an interview.

However, after years of hustling with work and finances, my main focus had always been to finish the prerequisites, finish the prerequisites....(and decided to take one additional course this semester (MedTerm) that was needed for one of the schools). Now this pandemic has hit, I am not working currently because the gym is closed. I am finally able to THINK clearly. I've realized that my undergrad/prerequisites student loan amounts now sit at nearly $80K (they've been on forbearance). I am invited to this interview for a private in-state school which is $95K. After I am done with this education, I will have $200K in student loan debt. The income-to-debt ratio is something I never truly thought about until now (unfortunately). After reading how most PTs start at $65K (especially in my state) and may go to $80K, it is very disheartening to see. I have spoken to some PTs that I work with through the hospital, and they also tell me the same. If I were to make more to pay off my debt, I could just work 60-80 plus hours, travel PT or climb the ladder to eventually be a manager or clinic director. However, most PTs tell me the pay usually caps off at $100K.

Another major factor I am considering is my age - I am 43, yes...I decided to switch my career late in age. I look rather young for my age, but by the time I am done with PT school I will be in my late 40s. I start thinking of paying back $200K in debt, and to be able to live a quality of life (house, car, have a relationship, start a family which I have not done so) and not be able to especially at my age or being able to handle the physical aspects of the job. Yes, I workout regularly but I am thinking ahead now. An additional factor and fear is entering PT school and not being able to handle the program. So as you can read, I am full of anxiety. I could kick myself for my naive journey and not doing my research (so yes, this is my fault). It feels like I have been driving full speed ahead and not paying attention to what's in front of me. So now I can finally think. It's been a long journey and an overwhelming one for the last several years.

Therefore, I am here to ask for your advice. Here are some of my options: I could take the GRE again and do my best to get a better score to apply for the in-state cheaper school (with a tuition of $68K) or even a cheaper out-of-state school to wait another year (if they accept me), or just deal with the $200K debt and go to the private in-state school ($95K) this August (if they accept me), or possibly consider an entirely different route (PA school, Master's in something that will make these prerequisites worthwhile, etc). Yes, I have always been passionate about helping others - exercise was the main thing and thought PT was a good way to mix exercise movements, rehab with helping others and live a financially stable life. Perhaps though I am not seeing the bigger picture or other worthwhile degrees/options to help people.

Thank you all for any suggestions or advice.
 
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ya1

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2019
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Definitely do NOT go to school that is not accredited! No guarantee that they will get accreditation and you may end up with >$90K debt and no degree.
Regarding physical aspect of PT job: It depends on a setting and what you do. It can be not physical at all. Just an extreme example: if you work mainly with people's hands, all you do is sitting in a chair working with people's hands which does not require much physical endurance. I've seen PTs in their 60s (average physical health, strength, etc) who are working in inpatient settings and have no physical issues. It is NOT a hard physical work in most cases, you just need to be able to move around to be a PT.
handling PT program: If you were working and being at school full time taking pre-reques, I would say there is 99% probability that you will be able to handle PT school. If you still doubt yourself, there are extended PT programs which take longer to complete but you are taking less units per semester. If it turns out to be easy for you, you can always work in your free time and make some money while still at school.

There are some questions you may want to answer to help yourself to decide whether or not to pursue PT education/career:

-How many hours a week are you willing to work while having a HEALTHY (!!!) work/life balance? How much money will you make doing that? (Check hourly rates for PTs in your state and setting you are willing to work at.) Will you have enough money to pay for rent, other expenses, and your student loan? How much will you be able to save and if you are ok with that amount?

-A clinic manager or director makes maybe $10-30K more than a PT and likely to have much more headaches with managing people, clinic, and taking care of paperwork which has very little to do with hands-on patient care. Many directors stop working with patients completely and just do management/paperwork. Some people like it, others are not a good fit for it. Is it something that you would like to do? Is it worth making extra $10-30K?
 
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wiseOldPT

2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
142
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I'd suggest looking into PTA school. You can do it part time while still working, not go into the debt, and still make a pretty decent salary. Remember the sunk cost fallacy and don't let the money and time already spent sway your decision!
 
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AP191

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2013
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  1. Physical Therapist
I'd suggest looking into PTA school.
With the way insurances are playing out, this may not be a good idea. When I used to do PRN at a SNF, I've had PTAs ask me if I had any openings even in out-patient. Even during my internships, seasoned PTs would be wary of recommending prospective students to attend PTA school. With the pending cuts to PTA reimbursement in 2022, it's hard-pressed to recommend anyone pursue this field until there is a clear picture moving forward.
 
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kdubz7w7

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
192
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  1. Physical Therapist
Definitely do NOT go to school that is not accredited! No guarantee that they will get accreditation and you may end up with >$90K debt and no degree.
Regarding physical aspect of PT job: It depends on a setting and what you do. It can be not physical at all. Just an extreme example: if you work mainly with people's hands, all you do is sitting in a chair working with people's hands which does not require much physical endurance. I've seen PTs in their 60s (average physical health, strength, etc) who are working in inpatient settings and have no physical issues. It is NOT a hard physical work in most cases, you just need to be able to move around to be a PT.
handling PT program: If you were working and being at school full time taking pre-reques, I would say there is 99% probability that you will be able to handle PT school. If you still doubt yourself, there are extended PT programs which take longer to complete but you are taking less units per semester. If it turns out to be easy for you, you can always work in your free time and make some money while still at school.

There are some questions you may want to answer to help yourself to decide whether or not to pursue PT education/career:

-How many hours a week are you willing to work while having a HEALTHY (!!!) work/life balance? How much money will you make doing that? (Check hourly rates for PTs in your state and setting you are willing to work at.) Will you have enough money to pay for rent, other expenses, and your student loan? How much will you be able to save and if you are ok with that amount?

-A clinic manager or director makes maybe $10-30K more than a PT and likely to have much more headaches with managing people, clinic, and taking care of paperwork which has very little to do with hands-on patient care. Many directors stop working with patients completely and just do management/paperwork. Some people like it, others are not a good fit for it. Is it something that you would like to do? Is it worth making extra $10-30K?
somewhat off-topic: I attend a brand new program that is not accredited yet (I'm in the very first cohort). I am set to graduate in December, and we are set to be accredited in October. Every new program has to start somewhere. I suppose it is a bit of a risk, but I made my decision based on the reputation of the college (I grew up ten minutes from it so know it quite well) and the reputation of the director, who has been a DPT program director for many years and knows what she is doing. I would be more concerned if the school had lost their accreditation and were attempting to get it back. Once a school gains candidacy, which is the hardest part, CAPTE carefully walks the school through the requirements, changes necessary, etc. It isn't as high-risk as it sounds, if you trust the school and you trust the team in charge of the program. Just respectfully sharing another perspective.
 
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kdubz7w7

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
192
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  1. Physical Therapist
Hello All: I am new to this forum. I have been fascinated by all the discussions on here from DPT students and professionals. Please let me provide some background to eventually get to my point. I am currently in a state of confusion/anxiety with regards on what to do based on a few factors. I feel it is my own doing because I never found this forum before, and I did not do enough research on my part on schools, tuition and advice from PTs.

My undergrad degree/former career is in public relations and marketing. After the economy went down in 2008, I decided to temporarily work as a fitness trainer at my local gym. It was here where I fell in love with helping others. The gym was tied to a hospital so I was able to help people from all walks of life, of all ages. After a couple of years, I decided to go back to school and pursue physical therapy. However, since I didn't have any science courses, I would need to fulfill all the prerequisites to submit an application. My job as a fitness trainer gave me the schedule flexibility to take classes during the morning, and work afternoons and evenings (full time). Of course during this time as a fitness trainer, I have been making low pay with some commission (yet still not enough to live a stable long term life). I took out student loans to complete the prerequisites; which of course, it helped me stay afloat financially (blindly taking them).

During this time, I also took the GRE a couple of times but only to reach the minimum score or right under the minimum that was good enough for certain schools. I went through PTCAS in 2018 but only to realize a few months after that most of the 10 applications I sent were never verified (and a lot of money gone down the drain). The in-state school I wanted to attend denied me because my GRE did not meet the minimum. This past year I ended up applying only to two schools. One is a brand new school that is in-state (and still awaiting accreditation; with a tuition cost of over $90K), and the other in another major city (with tuition of over $130K). Fortunately and FINALLY, the private in-state school has invited me for an interview.

However, after years of hustling with work and finances, my main focus had always been to finish the prerequisites, finish the prerequisites....(and decided to take one additional course this semester (MedTerm) that was needed for one of the schools). Now this pandemic has hit, I am not working currently because the gym is closed. I am finally able to THINK clearly. I've realized that my undergrad/prerequisites student loan amounts now sit at nearly $80K (they've been on forbearance). I am invited to this interview for a private in-state school which is $95K. After I am done with this education, I will have $200K in student loan debt. The income-to-debt ratio is something I never truly thought about until now (unfortunately). After reading how most PTs start at $65K (especially in my state) and may go to $80K, it is very disheartening to see. I have spoken to some PTs that I work with through the hospital, and they also tell me the same. If I were to make more to pay off my debt, I could just work 60-80 plus hours, travel PT or climb the ladder to eventually be a manager or clinic director. However, most PTs tell me the pay usually caps off at $100K.

Another major factor I am considering is my age - I am 43, yes...I decided to switch my career late in age. I look rather young for my age, but by the time I am done with PT school I will be in my late 40s. I start thinking of paying back $200K in debt, and to be able to live a quality of life (house, car, have a relationship, start a family which I have not done so) and not be able to especially at my age or being able to handle the physical aspects of the job. Yes, I workout regularly but I am thinking ahead now. An additional factor and fear is entering PT school and not being able to handle the program. So as you can read, I am full of anxiety. I could kick myself for my naive journey and not doing my research (so yes, this is my fault). It feels like I have been driving full speed ahead and not paying attention to what's in front of me. So now I can finally think. It's been a long journey and an overwhelming one for the last several years.

Therefore, I am here to ask for your advice. Here are some of my options: I could take the GRE again and do my best to get a better score to apply for the in-state cheaper school (with a tuition of $68K) or even a cheaper out-of-state school to wait another year (if they accept me), or just deal with the $200K debt and go to the private in-state school ($95K) this August (if they accept me), or possibly consider an entirely different route (PA school, Master's in something that will make these prerequisites worthwhile, etc). Yes, I have always been passionate about helping others - exercise was the main thing and thought PT was a good way to mix exercise movements, rehab with helping others and live a financially stable life. Perhaps though I am not seeing the bigger picture or other worthwhile degrees/options to help people.

Thank you all for any suggestions or advice.
I was in your boat - I am 40 and am graduating my DPT this coming December, so this was also a career-change move for me (albeit not as drastic; I have always worked in fitness/strength & conditioning/fitness). My school is private, expensive as hell, and is also not yet accredited due to being a brand-new program. I already have a master's degree so I think I will be something like $270k in the hole by the time I finish. Incredibly stupid at my age, or indeed any age? Probably. But I had finally tapped out the entire fitness field and nothing was clicking for me. I was not interested in PTA because given my professional background, preferences and experiences, I was not interested in being an assistant - I wanted to be a primary caregiver.

Why am I at a stupidly expensive school that isn't accredited yet? #1 reason is that it is local to me - ten minutes down the road. The next two closest DPT programs are about an hour of crappy commute away, one I hated and the other I loved but was a weekend format. Moving was not an option to me as my boyfriend owns his house and his practice and I wasn't going to attempt something long-distance. Plus I love where I live. Also, my school accepted older science pre-reqs and only looked at the written part of the GRE - this saved me having to retake classes and having to deal with the GRE, as my old scores had expired.

I wrestled with the decision to go back for a good year and a half. My boyfriend is a chiropractor and we kicked around endless ideas of what I could do that was literally anything but DPT due to the time and money and every time, what I really wanted to do circled back to DPT, so here I am. (side note, DC degrees are twice as much money as DPT degrees, so the price tag wasn't as scary to me since it more or less equals his...good thing neither of us want kids! lol)

- Massage: His favorite alternative idea for me was to go to massage school and combine massage with my strength & conditioning qualifications...so that I could be hands-on with people more and be a sort of elevated trainer, I suppose. I disliked this idea for many reasons, but it is a great option and a great combo. You would be helping people and have an additional trade that seems to always be in demand. I really did come close to deciding on this combination. After massage you would be legally qualified to do a bunch of manual certs and you could really carve yourself an awesome niche.

- PA: We share our building with a PA program and from what I know about it - it's a year shorter, therefore a year cheaper, and they sadly make way more money than we do (good for them! just sad for us). Their didactic year is an absolute madhouse of stress, I personally wouldn't be able to handle it. You have to have a ton of working hours to be accepted, so maybe see if you can shadow a PA or interview one to see if you are interested?

- Possibly look into exercise physiology. You could do a MS in ex phys or ex sci, and there are advanced qualifications you can get in ex phys. I am not certain if you need the MS to be an exercise physiologist but it would certainly strengthen your credentials and educate you in ex sci, since your undergrad was in something else entirely. Also with an MS in ex sci - before DPT, I taught at a local college for about 8 years. If you enjoy teaching, getting an MS qualifies you to teach at a community college. It is a very fun and rewarding job. It is almost impossible to find something full-time/tenured with only a master's but teaching a few classes brings in a decent amount of money and is so much fun. I taught in the ex sci department - our students were aspiring PTs, personal trainers, and so on.

- DPT: if you think you can strengthen your GRE, retake it. Take a GRE course if you can. 68k vs 95k is worth fussing over the GRE. Or, look for schools that don't require it. Personally, at our age, I would bite the bullet and do the 95k school this August vs waiting another year (***do your research about the school, the director, where they stand with their progress toward getting accredited).

- Handling the program: it's hard. It's demanding. And honestly, while it would be just as hard academically at 22 years old, it's just more draining when you're in your late 30s. Our spring semester ended a couple of weeks ago and I basically slept for a week. My GPA is a 3.6 so I have been able to successfully handle the workload, but it is draining. I do still have a life, I coach at a local gym, spend time with my boyfriend, cook, see friends, but it is way less than if I "just" had a job. So you can handle it.....but it will make you vividly aware that you aren't in your 20s anymore.

I apologize that this is so long but our stories are so similar, I wanted to share as much as I could of what I learned on my own journey, given how much I fumbled around. Feel free to message me. Good luck!!!! I know how difficult this is.
 
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May 6, 2020
6
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Definitely do NOT go to school that is not accredited! No guarantee that they will get accreditation and you may end up with >$90K debt and no degree.
Regarding physical aspect of PT job: It depends on a setting and what you do. It can be not physical at all. Just an extreme example: if you work mainly with people's hands, all you do is sitting in a chair working with people's hands which does not require much physical endurance. I've seen PTs in their 60s (average physical health, strength, etc) who are working in inpatient settings and have no physical issues. It is NOT a hard physical work in most cases, you just need to be able to move around to be a PT.
handling PT program: If you were working and being at school full time taking pre-reques, I would say there is 99% probability that you will be able to handle PT school. If you still doubt yourself, there are extended PT programs which take longer to complete but you are taking less units per semester. If it turns out to be easy for you, you can always work in your free time and make some money while still at school.

There are some questions you may want to answer to help yourself to decide whether or not to pursue PT education/career:

-How many hours a week are you willing to work while having a HEALTHY (!!!) work/life balance? How much money will you make doing that? (Check hourly rates for PTs in your state and setting you are willing to work at.) Will you have enough money to pay for rent, other expenses, and your student loan? How much will you be able to save and if you are ok with that amount?

-A clinic manager or director makes maybe $10-30K more than a PT and likely to have much more headaches with managing people, clinic, and taking care of paperwork which has very little to do with hands-on patient care. Many directors stop working with patients completely and just do management/paperwork. Some people like it, others are not a good fit for it. Is it something that you would like to do? Is it worth making extra $10-30K?
Thank you sooooo very much for your response. Everyone who responded to me truly helped me make this big decision. I have worked full time throughout my entire prerequisites. So I sometime think (and hope!) that PT school will be tough but manageable since I won't be working.

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been in PT school? and how did you prepare for it?
 
May 6, 2020
6
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
With the way insurances are playing out, this may not be a good idea. When I used to do PRN at a SNF, I've had PTAs ask me if I had any openings even in out-patient. Even during my internships, seasoned PTs would be wary of recommending prospective students to attend PTA school. With the pending cuts to PTA reimbursement in 2022, it's hard-pressed to recommend anyone pursue this field until there is a clear picture moving forward.
Thank you for your response! PTA or OT was always a plan B. Since it's a career switch and spend years doing prerequisites while working full time, my thought is - I've wasted too much time and money already - go for the goal.
 
May 6, 2020
6
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
I was in your boat - I am 40 and am graduating my DPT this coming December, so this was also a career-change move for me (albeit not as drastic; I have always worked in fitness/strength & conditioning/fitness). My school is private, expensive as hell, and is also not yet accredited due to being a brand-new program. I already have a master's degree so I think I will be something like $270k in the hole by the time I finish. Incredibly stupid at my age, or indeed any age? Probably. But I had finally tapped out the entire fitness field and nothing was clicking for me. I was not interested in PTA because given my professional background, preferences and experiences, I was not interested in being an assistant - I wanted to be a primary caregiver.

Why am I at a stupidly expensive school that isn't accredited yet? #1 reason is that it is local to me - ten minutes down the road. The next two closest DPT programs are about an hour of crappy commute away, one I hated and the other I loved but was a weekend format. Moving was not an option to me as my boyfriend owns his house and his practice and I wasn't going to attempt something long-distance. Plus I love where I live. Also, my school accepted older science pre-reqs and only looked at the written part of the GRE - this saved me having to retake classes and having to deal with the GRE, as my old scores had expired.

I wrestled with the decision to go back for a good year and a half. My boyfriend is a chiropractor and we kicked around endless ideas of what I could do that was literally anything but DPT due to the time and money and every time, what I really wanted to do circled back to DPT, so here I am. (side note, DC degrees are twice as much money as DPT degrees, so the price tag wasn't as scary to me since it more or less equals his...good thing neither of us want kids! lol)

- Massage: His favorite alternative idea for me was to go to massage school and combine massage with my strength & conditioning qualifications...so that I could be hands-on with people more and be a sort of elevated trainer, I suppose. I disliked this idea for many reasons, but it is a great option and a great combo. You would be helping people and have an additional trade that seems to always be in demand. I really did come close to deciding on this combination. After massage you would be legally qualified to do a bunch of manual certs and you could really carve yourself an awesome niche.

- PA: We share our building with a PA program and from what I know about it - it's a year shorter, therefore a year cheaper, and they sadly make way more money than we do (good for them! just sad for us). Their didactic year is an absolute madhouse of stress, I personally wouldn't be able to handle it. You have to have a ton of working hours to be accepted, so maybe see if you can shadow a PA or interview one to see if you are interested?

- Possibly look into exercise physiology. You could do a MS in ex phys or ex sci, and there are advanced qualifications you can get in ex phys. I am not certain if you need the MS to be an exercise physiologist but it would certainly strengthen your credentials and educate you in ex sci, since your undergrad was in something else entirely. Also with an MS in ex sci - before DPT, I taught at a local college for about 8 years. If you enjoy teaching, getting an MS qualifies you to teach at a community college. It is a very fun and rewarding job. It is almost impossible to find something full-time/tenured with only a master's but teaching a few classes brings in a decent amount of money and is so much fun. I taught in the ex sci department - our students were aspiring PTs, personal trainers, and so on.

- DPT: if you think you can strengthen your GRE, retake it. Take a GRE course if you can. 68k vs 95k is worth fussing over the GRE. Or, look for schools that don't require it. Personally, at our age, I would bite the bullet and do the 95k school this August vs waiting another year (***do your research about the school, the director, where they stand with their progress toward getting accredited).

- Handling the program: it's hard. It's demanding. And honestly, while it would be just as hard academically at 22 years old, it's just more draining when you're in your late 30s. Our spring semester ended a couple of weeks ago and I basically slept for a week. My GPA is a 3.6 so I have been able to successfully handle the workload, but it is draining. I do still have a life, I coach at a local gym, spend time with my boyfriend, cook, see friends, but it is way less than if I "just" had a job. So you can handle it.....but it will make you vividly aware that you aren't in your 20s anymore.

I apologize that this is so long but our stories are so similar, I wanted to share as much as I could of what I learned on my own journey, given how much I fumbled around. Feel free to message me. Good luck!!!! I know how difficult this is.
I can't thank you enough for your in-depth and thoughtful response! I truly appreciate it. The last week or two I've been full of anxiety, going back and forth in my mind if I am making the right decision, or if God is telling me to steer a different direction. The goal has always been DPT, and now that I am close to it, I am realizing the reality of it.

After carefully looking at both schools, the 68K is well established and an in-state public school - but I have to retake the GRE (and this would be my third time - mentally worn out with the algebra/geometry part of it). If I were to go the route of the $68K school, I risk being denied and wasting 2020 and 2021 years. I'm getting old lol - time is NOT on my side. I can't waste any more time. The $95K private school's DPT Program (also in-state but an hour away) is a new program and gaining momentum from what I am hearing. The school is tied to a hospital system as well - so even better. Therefore, the more I think about the accreditation status, the more I believe they will gain this official status once they graduate their first cohort next May.

The difference between both schools in terms of tuition is relatively $25K - yes still a lot, BUT after weighing other considerations that were also important (time, location), this $25K difference isn't that bad. I started looking at loan payment options after graduation - income-driven plan, public service forgiveness plan. My talk with the FASFA representative surprisingly put me at ease that I have these options. I also never thought about scholarships - while I'm sure they are competitive but I didn't realize they have scholarships throughout the 3 years in the DPT Program that I can apply to.

I also was basing my decision on my current situation - I am in debt already with a poor paying job just waiting for a better opportunity. I started realizing, I can be in debt (yes a bigger one) but in a better position as a DPT - with more access to opportunities (travel DPT, home health, climb to administrative/management/director positions). After spending so many years working in the fitness industry and the same drill of taking prerequisites, I lost sight of the end game and became complacent and frustrated. Now that it is here - finally - the decision is daunting but also exciting.

As I am writing this, I do want to provide an UPDATE to you and all who responded to me - I did interview for the $95K private school and got accepted (quick response)! Now I have a week to decide.

If you don't mind, I may DM you about any other questions I might have! Thank you so very much.
 
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kdubz7w7

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
192
137
Status (Visible)
  1. Physical Therapist
I can't thank you enough for your in-depth and thoughtful response! I truly appreciate it. The last week or two I've been full of anxiety, going back and forth in my mind if I am making the right decision, or if God is telling me to steer a different direction. The goal has always been DPT, and now that I am close to it, I am realizing the reality of it.

After carefully looking at both schools, the 68K is well established and an in-state public school - but I have to retake the GRE (and this would be my third time - mentally worn out with the algebra/geometry part of it). If I were to go the route of the $68K school, I risk being denied and wasting 2020 and 2021 years. I'm getting old lol - time is NOT on my side. I can't waste any more time. The $95K private school's DPT Program (also in-state but an hour away) is a new program and gaining momentum from what I am hearing. The school is tied to a hospital system as well - so even better. Therefore, the more I think about the accreditation status, the more I believe they will gain this official status once they graduate their first cohort next May.

The difference between both schools in terms of tuition is relatively $25K - yes still a lot, BUT after weighing other considerations that were also important (time, location), this $25K difference isn't that bad. I started looking at loan payment options after graduation - income-driven plan, public service forgiveness plan. My talk with the FASFA representative surprisingly put me at ease that I have these options. I also never thought about scholarships - while I'm sure they are competitive but I didn't realize they have scholarships throughout the 3 years in the DPT Program that I can apply to.

I also was basing my decision on my current situation - I am in debt already with a poor paying job just waiting for a better opportunity. I started realizing, I can be in debt (yes a bigger one) but in a better position as a DPT - with more access to opportunities (travel DPT, home health, climb to administrative/management/director positions). After spending so many years working in the fitness industry and the same drill of taking prerequisites, I lost sight of the end game and became complacent and frustrated. Now that it is here - finally - the decision is daunting but also exciting.

As I am writing this, I do want to provide an UPDATE to you and all who responded to me - I did interview for the $95K private school and got accepted (quick response)! Now I have a week to decide.

If you don't mind, I may DM you about any other questions I might have! Thank you so very much.
Congratulations!! That is such a great feeling :)
Not a day went by my first year...and second year....that I thought to myself I must be out of my mind/I'm an idiot/I can't do this. And when I express these thoughts my bf reminds me how much went into my decision, weighing everything you are discussing. So my opinion is biased but knowing I've almost made it and that this will open up a successful career for another 20-3o years...I am okay with it.

I would not be doing this if I had had to wait another year due to GREs or expired sciences or whatever. I really don't think I would be. That's why I said I'd *personally* jump on the 95k school.

My school doesn't have scholarships but that's a great option! And yes, I forgot to mention there are military options that will reimburse you (or just pay for it?) - I forget how it works but I know if you commit like 3-5 years working as a PT for them, they take care of your loans.

My school is also tied to a medical system - even more reason to have faith that we will get accredited. Again, all new programs have to start somewhere!

Yes, feel free to message me! I struggled so much when I started out that I am happy to help or just be a sounding board! And no matter what, congrats again on being accepted, that is a great feeling :)
 

ya1

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2019
417
209
If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been in PT school? and how did you prepare for it?
I graduated from PT school a couple of years ago. I started it when I was in my 30s. I did not really prepare for it other than taking pre-reqs :).
 
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