Hi Edith! Thank you for the question! I am a PT, and based on my experiences with other PT and PTA's I have often found that if you believe strongly that working in the physical therapy field is your calling( have you done shadowing, does the work appeal to many components of your personality; ie- you are an extrovert, you like studying human anatomy, and you pride yourself on your patience, for example), then I highly suggest that you go directly to PT school. A number of PTs who used to be PTAs lament that they had not gone directly into being a PT. This decision impacted them financially, and they also realized that they don't have nearly as much independence in decision-making as PTAs than as PTs. Also there are a number of settings where employers are not looking for PTAs, or that your state has a lot of rules and regulations for PTAs that you would need to abide by, that sometimes can be messy. Also, The courses you take for PTA school would essentially not be relevant for PT school sadly.
I am confused however. When you say that one of your choices would be to get an undergraduate PT, upon graduation, that would not enable you to practice, would it? Everyone who gets a license needs to be a doctorate now. So, if the question becomes, Edith, that upon receiving your undergraduate degree in PT (which wont enable you to practice) then I would want to know if a high percentage of the courses you take at this university are transferable to doctoral PT schools. That is HUGELY important and pragmatic , I believe. Getting a number of classes under your belt in preparation for doctoral school would be a great idea, taking into account your financial situation.