How Much Does it Cost to Apply to PA School

PA School • May 25, 2023

This video provides a breakdown of the average cost to apply to PA school. It covers application fees, exam fees, and other associated costs. This information is important for any pre-PA student who is planning on applying to PA school in the near future.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply to PA School

Applying to physician assistant (PA) school is an exciting and crucial step in pursuing a career in healthcare. However, it’s important to factor in the cost to apply to PA school, as it can significantly impact your finances. From application fees to standardized tests and interview expenses, each component adds up, requiring careful budgeting and planning. In this article, we will break down the cost to apply to PA school, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the financial commitment involved.

Centralized Application System (CASPA) Fees

The first expense to consider is the application fee associated with the centralized application system, known as CASPA. For the initial school you apply to, the fee is $179, while each additional program incurs a fee of $56. It’s worth noting that CASPA offers fee waiver assistance for the $179 application fee. However, the number of waivers is limited, and if you qualify, you must apply within two weeks. Applying to multiple programs can quickly escalate the costs, reaching up to $775 for eight applications. This is a serious cost to apply to PA school.

Supplemental Application Fees

In addition to the CASPA fees, many PA programs require applicants to complete supplemental applications. These applications often come with additional fees ranging from $25 to $100 per program. Considering an average fee of $55, the cumulative costs of eight supplemental applications can further increase the financial burden.

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are a crucial component of the PA school application process. Tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), CASPA, and PA-CAT may be required by certain programs. The cost of these exams varies, ranging from $99 to $228, depending on the specific test. It’s worth noting that some applicants may need to take multiple exams, further increasing the cost to apply to PA school. For instance, the GRE alone can cost over $200, while the Casper test is typically priced at $100. Therefore, budgeting a few hundred dollars for standardized test fees is essential.

Interview Costs

Securing an interview is a significant milestone for PA school applicants. However, it’s important to anticipate additional expenses associated with in-person interviews, especially if programs have transitioned back to face-to-face interviews. Travel costs, including flights, transportation, accommodations, and meals, must be taken into account. While some interviews may be local, flying to an interview can easily exceed $1,000 or more when factoring in various expenses and this increases the cost to apply to PA school. It’s worth mentioning that virtual interviews have become more common, alleviating some of the financial burdens.

Seat Deposits

Once accepted into a PA program, applicants often need to pay a seat deposit to secure their spot. Seat deposits typically range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the program’s policies. It’s important to note that these deposits are often non-refundable, and applicants may continue to interview at other programs while holding their seat. Considering this financial commitment is crucial when deciding on the number of programs to apply to.

Pre-PA Services

Many applicants invest in pre-PA services to enhance their application and improve their chances of acceptance. These services include personal statement reviews, mock interviews, and Casper test preparation, among others. Prices for pre-PA services vary, ranging from $40 to $300, depending on the specific service and provider. While these services may entail additional costs, they can be invaluable in ensuring a strong and competitive application.

Planning and Alternative Income Streams

With the accumulation of these expenses, the cost of applying to PA school can easily surpass a thousand dollars, pushing applicants to carefully budget and explore alternative income streams. Balancing the demands of gaining clinical experience and earning an income can be challenging. However, there are ways to supplement your finances. Consider seeking part-time work or exploring alternative income sources to help offset the application costs.

Seeking guidance from professionals who specialize in PA school admissions can also prove beneficial. They can help you navigate the application process effectively, select the most suitable programs, and provide budgeting advice. Many consultants offer services at various price points, allowing you to find an option that fits your budget.

In conclusion, applying to PA school comes with financial commitments that extend beyond the application fees. Understanding the costs associated with standardized tests, interviews, and supplemental applications is essential for effective financial planning. By considering these expenses and seeking professional guidance, you can approach the application process strategically while minimizing the financial burden. Remember, thoughtful budgeting and exploring alternative income streams can make your journey toward becoming a PA more manageable and fulfilling.

Also read: How to Increase Your Chances to get into PA School

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!