If you’ve been looking at medical school websites for their admissions requirements and deadlines, you might have seen the words “rolling admissions.” In today’s article, we’re going to explain what the term means and how it works in the medical school admissions system.
The Different Kinds of Admissions Processes
There are two kinds of admissions: rolling admissions and regular admissions. There’s only one difference between the two, but the difference is enough to impact when you apply.
Rolling admissions means that the admissions committee reviews applications as they come in from AMCAS, AACOMAS or TMDSAS. They do not wait until the application deadline has passed to review applications.
Regular admissions means that the admissions committee waits until the application deadline has passed to review anyof the applications they receive.
Pros of Rolling Admissions
Rolling admissions can be great if tackled the right way. The system works best for ambitious students who send in their applications as soon as admissions open.
Rolling admissions equates to less anxiety because you’ll receive an answer much sooner than you would after regular admissions. As soon as your application comes in, the admissions committee will review it with the next batch.
Rolling admissions gives you breathing room. The only time you’re ever bound to one specific school is if you go through the early decision process and the school accepts you. If you apply to a school that uses the rolling admissions process, you have until the end of the application period to accept your spot.
For example, say one of the applications opens in May and closes in December. If you submit your application in May and you’re accepted in August, you’ll still have until December to take your spot. This gives you a cushion. You can continue sending in applications to other schools and then make a decision in December. Or, if it’s your dream school, you’ll know right away whether you got in!
Rolling admissions also helps with financial aid. Once you know where you’re going, you can create a budget and save money for school. You’ll have a better idea of how much you’ll need to borrow. It also gives you more time to focus on scholarship and grant applications. The less debt you graduate with, the better!
Cons of Rolling Admissions
While rolling admissions is great for ambitious students, it’s not so great for students who take longer to send in applications.
Regular decisions ensure that every application receives an equal chance. Rolling admissions offer no such guarantee. If the class size is small, you’ll need to send in your application as early as possible. Otherwise, the applications will close when the class is full–even if that’s months before the set deadline. If you don’t apply right away, you could lose your chance at a spot.
Not only could you lose your chance at a spot, but you’ll face tougher competition. Say there are only five spots left when you submit your application. If the university has received a dozen other applications, you have a lesser chance of getting in than you did when there were 20 open spots.
If you submit your application late, you’ll receive an answer late. While this is technically fair, it’s a major pain.
Be careful with deadlines. While you might have until December to submit your secondary application, your letters of recommendation or other supporting documents might be due earlier than that. Check deadlines often to make sure you’re not missing anything important. Some universities will accept late documents, but others won’t. Don’t take the chance!
Now that you know the difference between rolling admissions and regular admissions, you can submit your applications accordingly. Each university you apply to should have its admissions guidelines on its website. We recommend making a list of all the universities you’re applying to and taking note of what type of admissions cycles they use. You should also write down the deadlines for each one. This list could be in an Excel spreadsheet, a Word document, or even in a notebook. This will help you stay organized and not miss any important deadlines.
It’s hard enough applying to medical school. That’s why International Medical Aid is here to make the process easier. That’s why we offer medical school admissions consulting. We can review your primary and secondary applications, go over your personal statement and secondary essays, and even conduct a mock interview to give you a sense of what an actual interview might be like.
Now that you understand the rolling admissions process, let’s talk about AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS and our series of definitive guides to medical school. Our blog is full of information and resources to help you on your journey.
If you’re confused about the differences between primary and secondary applications or your personal statement vs. secondary applications, the following guides contain all of that information.
- Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS)
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service(AACOMAS)
- American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
- AMCAS vs. AACOMAS
- Doctor of Medicine vs. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine: The Differences
Are you deciding where to go to medical school? Check out these universities.
- Baylor College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (PA)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (CA)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
Is the school you’re looking for not listed? We add new guides all the time, so check our blog every week.
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please reach out to us. International Medical Aid is here to help. In addition to the free resources on our blog, we also offer medical school admissions consulting. We’re here for you, whenever you need us.