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Non-Academic Prep for Med School

More than GPA

Health Professional schools look at far more than just your academics. Use the resources below to expand your experiences while at PPSC and beyond and plan for how to pay for medical school.
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Two female students

While You Learn

Many medical schools are interested in students who have demonstrated a balanced life as well as how they have shown a commitment to serving others. In fact, you do not have to have a science degree to be considered for medical school! Beginning whole-life involvement early in your career as a student can demonstrate these things. Bottom line—your GPA and entrance exam scores are not everything.

A Balanced Life Experience

It is rare that students flunk out of medical school. Typically students struggle with life and family issues that deter them from continuing to fulfill their goals in the medical profession. Find things on this list that you already participate in or that you would consider viable options in helping you toward becoming a balanced person prior to entering medical school. Brainstorm about other things that might fit your interests and personality as well.

Personal Counseling

The PPSC Counseling Center is available for any student in need of short-term crisis counseling and referrals to community resources to help students adjust to, cope with, and succeed in college.

PPSC Clubs and Organizations

PPSC has a wide variety of clubs and organizations to expand your extracurricular life.

Create a Plan Now!

Keep a journal of your experiences, record of your contacts and outline several priorities for your journey toward medical school while you are at PPSC.

Service Learning, Volunteering and Sustainability Activities

PPSC has many opportunities through classes or volunteering for service-learning. These opportunities can build your experience in service projects which can be added to your Medical School application.

PPSC's Office of Sustainability provides numerous activities throughout the academic year. 

Volunteer and/or work at organizations similar to those listed below to build not only your personal experience, but to build valuable relationships with people who can help you all along the way. 

Volunteer & Work Skills Opportunities

Health Fairs
Inner-City Youth Programs
Senior Services
Animal Rescue/Shelters
Battered Women’s Shelters
Health Research Projects
Global Medical Brigade
Homeless Shelters or Soup Kitchens
Disabilities Services
Local Health Screenings
Cancer, MS, Heart and Diabetes Associations
Rehab Programs Featuring Animals
Children’s Summer Camps
Volunteer Fire Fighting or EMR
Dental Services/Clinics

Certified Nursing Assistant
EMT/Paramedic Certifications
Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP) Membership
Undergraduate Lab Research
Biomedical Research
Involvement in the Arts and/or Outdoor Programs
Alternative Spring Break Projects
Study Abroad
Association Memberships (GEMS, SURF, HOSA, etc.)
Relationship Building / Networking
Foreign Language Development
Interview/Shadow medical practitioners
Service Abroad
Personal Counseling
Activities outside of comfort zones
Stress management skills
Work-Study opportunities
Lab Assisting
Certificate Programs in Allied Health
Professional Fire Fighting

Emergency Services PPSC
Students studying

Paying for Medical School

Seeing the Big Picture

Understand the cost of the entire medical education experience. (UC Denver medical schools grads may get out with $155,000 of debt on top of their AA/AS and BA/BS debt.) Start researching medical school scholarships now. Some scholarships require applications six months to a year or more in advance.

Financial Aid

While you are at PPSC you can make an appointment with a Financial Aid counselor to understand your options both while at PPSC and when you transfer to a four-year college or university. Make an appointment today through your Navigate account or Enrollment Services. (719-502-3000).

Exchange Programs

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education - Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP)


  • Enables students in 10 western states to enroll in selected out-of-state graduate professional healthcare programs and pay reduced tuition. States typically fund students to enroll through PSEP if a professional healthcare program is not available at one of their in-state public institutions.
  • Competitive Applications
  • Home state determines which fields it will support and the number of seats funded
  • Deadline: October 15 of the year prior to application
  • Colorado requires service-payback of 4 years of practice after graduation

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)


  • Allows master’s, graduate certificate, and Ph.D. students who are residents of the WICHE member states to enroll in some 450 high-quality programs at 61 participating institutions outside of their home state and pay resident tuition.
  • In fall 2016, 1,567 students enrolled through WRGP and saved an estimated $23.3 million dollars in tuition, and each student saved an average of $14,900 annually.

Military Opportunities for Med School Funding

The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) offers prospective military physicians, dentists, nurse practitioner