Aug 14, 2016
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hey guys,
Having a minor quarter life crisis as I am finishing up my PTCAS application for the 2016/2017 cycle. I have reasonably below average stats going into this application cycle.
GPA 3.3
Verbal/Quant/Writing: 159/155/5.0
With those stats it is unlikely I will get accepted into an instate school in Ohio, which is leading me to have to apply to private and out of state institutions. Obviously all of this is contingent on me getting accepted to a school in the first place, but I can't help but wonder if it is worth going to one of those schools? Even if I find a school with around 90k tuition, I will still have to take out loans to pay for rent and food.

My back up plan as of recently would have me retaking 1 out of my 3 poor classes this spring semester, one this summer, and one this fall. Take that year to observe more and find a job, with hopes of reapplying and getting accepted to an in state DPT program the 2018-2019 cycle. That puts me back several years career wise. Does it seem reasonable, or should I bite the bullet now and go to a more expensive school. I have read quite a bit about people managing their student loans post college. I would have no problem doing that, as I live on about 14k a year now.


7+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2013
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  1. Physical Therapist
From a purely financial sense, I believe it's only worth it to delay a year for cheaper tuition if:

1. You have a job you can work for that year and make decent income.
2. You're saving more than your expected PT salary in tuition / COL + income from a year of work.
3. You believe the changes you make between now and then would lead to a significantly improved chance of acceptance at a cheaper school.

The nice thing about California is the in-state tuition and COL is already so high I can go out of state and spend a fortune on tuition and still feel like I'm getting an acceptable deal. :rolleyes:

In prior years there was also the consideration that it is getting considerably more competitive every year, but I believe it is leveling off now. We'll see how it is when PTCAS releases the stats
Jul 2, 2016
You're stats can get you into PT school. I would apply now and look for cheaper out-of-state options. Look at it this way:
  • The median PT salary in Colombus, Ohio, is $78,745. Lets say you'd earn $60,000 starting.
  • Currently you make 14k, a difference of $46,000
  • If you retake at a community college, it might cost around 3k, which puts that difference at $49,000
  • Assuming you keep the 14k job for three more years and wait for the 2018-2019 cycle, that's a lost income of $138,000
In other words, delaying yourself 3 years is a lost income of $138,000. That's roughly equal to or greater than the loans you'd be taking out at any reasonably priced out-of-state school.

Debt can be scary, but don't listen to the fear police that make it sound like indentured servitude, painting a picture of you eating crackers and living off 1k a month. That's not how it works. If you were making like 40-80k a year, I'd say delay it and wait. But you're making 14k. You, and me for that matter, are losing more in opportunity cost than we're making in income.
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2+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2015
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
I don't know how hard applying to Ohio schools is but your stats aren't that bad. I wouldn't feel too discouraged yet; I got in my first cycle with similar stats. I would take a chance on a couple instate schools and then find out of state schools that will let you become a resident after a year as your other choices. If you don't get in to one that feels affordable than you haven't lost anything (well a few hundred dollars and some heart ache but thats part of the deal I guess.) My only requirements when I was deciding which schools to apply to were that they were affordable and in a place I would like to live. I know thats not really a conventional way of choosing but quality of life is important to me, more so than prestige of a program. I am going out of state in the end and it is more expensive than I was hoping for, but rent and cost of living are inexpensive here so hopefully I can keep my costs down.


2+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2015
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Do everything you can to avoid debt or minimize it. Your future husband and children will be very grateful. Also never take financial advice from someone with personal debt.

Whatever your decision, you need to make a plan now, on how you will pay it off as quickly as possible.
- After the first semester you can work as a waitress or babysit to pay for living expenses.
- You can live like you are poor, because you are. This means no bars, brown bag food, no shopping, no vacations, no travel.
- You can work 1 extra day a week in home health or some other option to pay off debt as fast as possible.

As far as getting into a state school. I do not see how a bunch of observation hours makes any difference what so ever. It would be far more beneficial to get an actual job in healthcare, even it is on the business side so you can mature and have real work experiences. I would also suggest that grades are probably only going to slightly improve if you take courses over. Maybe you get to a 3.4.
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