Podcast Episodes

Podcast Episode 23: Admissions Decisions

Renee is here today to talk about admissions decisions. At this point in the admissions cycle (November 2018), most people have started interviewing or have heard about other students getting interviews. Some people still haven’t interviewed, and that’s normal too. Interviews for each cycle usually start in September and can continue all the way up until May. Renee has even seen some in June and doesn’t start to get worried for applicants until February or March.

Renee discusses people that have interviewed and are now awaiting or hearing from admissions decisions. She goes over what getting rejected, waitlisted, or accepted entails and what you can do in each situation.

[1:49] Getting rejected.

Though having an interview is a good sign, you can still be rejected after one. That’s okay. Don’t expect to get an acceptance at every school you interview with. Renee usually sees about half of students get accepted after an interview, but it can range from 80% down to 0%.

There is not much you can do if you get rejected. Sometimes schools do offer an appeal, but these are for extreme cases such as unfair interview circumstances. Even so, Renee rarely sees anyone get accepted after an appeal.

[3:45] Getting put on a waitlist.

Early in the application cycle (like now in November), being on a waitlist is great. It can be disappointing to not get accepted right away, but a lot of schools will conduct more interviews and start offering acceptances to candidates on the waitlist. Some schools say that they accept 50% of their students from the waitlist.

There’s not too much you can do if you are put on the waitlist, but it’s important to send a message to the school expressing your thankfulness and stay updated. The only other thing you can do to help your chances is to write a letter or interest. You can talk about your interview, what you like about the school, and any additional information about yourself that has occurred since the interview. These letters should be short, concise, and written one time; after, you can check in via email every couple of months. Make sure you check the school’s website to see if they allow letters of interest and/or any correspondence.

[7:40] Getting accepted.

If this is your first acceptance during the application cycle, Renee absolutely recommends that you take it. Each school has a slightly different policy, but you will have to formally accept their invitation along with submitting a deposit to hold your place. Most schools will offer a refund of the deposit within a certain time period, allowing you to accept other offers while possibly getting a full or partial refund of your deposit. Even if you can’t get a refund, the deposit is just a drop in the bucket of the cost of a medical education.

You can receive and hold multiple acceptances at one time. However, the AMC does ask you to withdraw any acceptances at a school you know you will not attend. It is a courtesy to the school and to other applicants. For this cycle, the AMC stipulates that after April 30, 2019, you can only hold one acceptance. Prioritize which schools you would like to attend and plan accordingly.

Renee often gets asked by students if they can cancel their other interviews once they get an acceptance. Even if you’ve confirmed your seat with a school, you can still cancel. However, it is a nice courtesy to look at each school’s guidelines: some of them do not want you to cancel after a set date.

[12:44] Closing thoughts.

More than likely, you won’t receive an acceptance at all the schools you interview with. You will likely get waitlisted at some and receive a rejection from others. This is a long process, and you can still hear decisions up to the end of spring. Be patient, check your emails frequently, check your spam folder, answer your phone if you see a strange number, and keep in contact with the school appropriately.

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