It sounds as if you're on the exact same track as me! I'm applying to Glendale CC (1st choice) then Estrella Mountain (2nd choice). I've chosen Ottawa as the university. I spent quite a while going over all the universities, their costs, the programs they offered etc. I ruled out the two that are not part of the financial aid consortium, because I hope to utilize financial aid. ASU was too expensive for me, so that was out. After researching UIU I decided I didn't care for their program as much (personal decision) and it was more expensive than NAU or Ottawa too, so that went. That left me with Ottawa and NAU. I went with Ottawa because NAU had too many additional pre-reqs (IMO) on top of the Maricopa pre-reqs. Price-wise, I weighed it all up and Ottawa wasn't that much more than NAU if you include the cost of getting all those additional pre-reqs. Plus, I liked Ottawa's program. So far, they have been excellent in terms of communication and so forth so I am happy with my choice.
I'm also planning to take the HESI in the next few weeks, because that allows enough time to retake it in the event I fail.
MY GPA at the moment is 3.7, although I have 3 more classes to take (I'm taking them on the accelerated program to get done before the deadline! GULP! Not good planning on my part
so my GPA could go up or down dramatically! I've noticed that if you get a good grade it doesn't change too much but if you get a poor grade, it really impacts your GPA< which is annoying! I really can't fall too much below that because I was told that to remain competitive you have to be 3.5 and above (although that is just hearsay....who knows what the standard is?)