Applying to Medical School Late in the Cycle?
At the time of this post, it isn’t quite considered late in the 2017 application cycle. What is considered late? And is it even worth applying after a certain date?
When you submit your AMCAS is one of the only things that you will have control over in your medical school application. After that, it can feel like luck of the draw to many applicants. However, there are many reasons why some applicants are late to the game: a delayed MCAT, waiting on grades, a hectic work or family life, and even just plain laziness. What should they do?
If you find yourself in this situation at the end of August or even later, should you still apply or wait? The answer to this question depends greatly on yourself. Keep in mind that many schools have rolling admissions, so you are competing with thousands of other applicants for fewer spots. Here are some points to consider when deciding to apply after August:
- See if you are a competitive student. One invaluable for those who think they want to try is the MSAR. Use this to see how your MCAT and GPA compare to other accepted students. Later in the cycle, you will want to be very competitive with those previously accepted.
- Weigh the value of your experiences. As a potential late applicant, you should reflect on your own extracurriculars and experiences. Medical schools are placing more and more emphasis on valuable experiences in order to separate applicants. If your application could use some time for additional experiences, you might be better off applying in the next cycle.
- Can you afford to apply and not get accepted? There is more to lose than your application fees. Although most schools will generously allow you to pay to write their secondary essays, they may not be so forgiving if you decide to apply again the next cycle. Medical schools will expect to see personal development and growth from your previous application. This could push back your eventual acceptance even further.
It is true that every applicant’s situation is different. So, if you find yourself contemplating applying to medical school later in the cycle, make sure you understand the risks. That being said, if you have a strong application and apply to the right schools, you could become a doctor a year or more sooner. People do get accepted with late applications, however, you can give yourself the best odds and potentially save time and money by waiting until the next cycle. If you do apply late, do not quit your extracurriculars or other activities that could boost your application in the unfortunate event of a rejection.
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