The CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants) is without doubt a valuable service that is administered through the Physician Assistant Education Associate (PAEA) to make the application process go faster. This organization allows hopeful PA students to fill out one of their applications and send their information on to as many as 139 different accredited PA programs. Its important that you don’t forget to check with the PA schools you’re applying to make sure in detail whether or not these many programs require a additional application aside from the one that will be given to them by the CASPA.
There is a discount of $40 until 12:00am Eastern Daylight Time on the first of September, and this discount fee is only counted toward the number of programs you decide to apply to. Because of this you need to make sure that you apply early so that you can get this discount. When you are getting your packet of applications for the PA schools you decided on, its important that you confirm the application deadlines for each PA school you decided on and for the ones that you are qualified for academically.
These deadlines aren’t going to be flexible and the CASPA is not going to send your information to the school until you complete the application, and all supporting documents are in places with the application fees already paid in full. You should try and get all your information in place at least six weeks prior to the earliest deadline you have. Make sure you finish any supplemental applications you may have before the earliest deadline as well. Its going to take up to two weeks for your application to be mailed to the physician assistant schools you applied to.
You should put everything in place and mail everything you have at least eight weeks prior to the earliest deadline you have so that you are assured that everything arrives on time. To protect yourself and information, you should make sure that the CASPA gives you a return receipt as confirmation that everything arrived on time. This is because information could get lost while its being mailed, and sending it in eight weeks prior gives you enough time to resend everything. When you are getting references, make sure they you tell them about the deadlines and give an envelope that is already stamped and pre-addressed.
The first thing you need to do is set up an account with the CASPA portal, and then once the account is created you’ll be able to monitor the status of your sent applications. You need to request that your official transcripts be forward to CASPA from all colleges and universities that you have already attended, and you need to request that an official copy of your transcripts for yourself so that you will be able to use them as a reference when completing your application. Your application will have to be submitted electronically. Every application fee is going to need to be paid in full to the CASPA and if you decide to send a check by mail, then you need to wait at least 7 to 10 days for it to arrive.
You will also need to have 2 to 3 completed references to arrive to the CASPA. After the CASPA filters your physician assistant school applications they will then be sent to those schools. Make sure that your applications reflect your academic achievements and your clinical work experience. The most important thing however is to make sure that your personal statement is good because what is really going to show the committee that you are a good candidate for their PA school. Your personal statement is what makes you more than just grades, qualifications and credits. This is the part of each application that is going to be the deciding factor.
These men and women will be receiving hundreds of applications reading hundreds of narratives from different people. So don’t be surprised if you write a poor first paragraph and get declined admission. You got what it takes to be a physician assistant, so good luck. To start submitting your applications, here is the link to the CASPA…