Recommendations for Reapplying

Handy Insights From Admissions Representatives

Embarking on the journey to dental school is challenging and competitive, with many aspects seemingly beyond your control. Nationally, programs receive an average of 30 applications for each available spot in advanced standing programs. Many amazing and qualified applicants don’t get accepted to a program in their first round of applications. Additionally, the reapplication process can feel disappointing and confusing.

Applicants who are prepared for the ups and downs of applying and who take responsibility for the elements they can control are often more successful in their subsequent application rounds. Here are some insights to help you navigate the process a second (or third) time.

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Researching Programs and Strategic Approaches

Recognize the Uniqueness of Each Applicant’s Journey. Your strengths may be in your community experience, your clinical experience or your research experience. Invest your time in researching each program’s priorities carefully.

Explore Programs Strategically. There are over 40 advanced standing programs. Spend some time exploring different programs. Use the ADEA CAAPID Program Finder. Match your criteria with program requirements.

Track Information and Conversations. Take notes. You’ll learn a lot about different programs and yourself along the way. Journaling and noting who you’ve talked with can help you make strategic choices in what you emphasize in each application.

Attend Networking Events. Participate in events offered by programs to expand your network.

Review Application Materials Annually. Revisit, review and rework your application annually. The program information in the ADEA CAAPID Program Finder is updated routinely.

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Taking Control of Your Application

Read and Closely Follow the Instructions. Familiarize yourself with requirements, deadlines and timelines. Use the ADEA CAAPID Program Finder for guidance.

Apply Early. Applying early can reduce your stress and get your applications in front of reviewers sooner. Plan ahead to fulfill the requirements. Avoid last-minute application submissions.

Ensure Accuracy and Reliability. Always verify information about schools and the application process. The best sources of information are the schools themselves.

Take Care of Your Well-being. Take care of your well-being. These programs can be extremely competitive. Celebrate your small victories to stay motivated. And, expect a certain amount of unpredictability in the process.

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Understanding the Admissions Process

Let Your Application Speak for Itself. It can be tempting to reach out to the program staff to show your enthusiasm or to ask for updates on the application process. The best you can do is present the strongest application you can and minimize unnecessary contact during the review process.

Recognize Institutional Constraints and Don’t Take Them Personally. Acknowledge the rules, processes, and accreditation requirements that limit admissions staff in their decisions. When someone says no to a request, remind yourself that there is a whole ecosystem of regulations that programs must follow, and no one means to let you down.

Programs Want To See You Succeed. All programs understand applicants apply to multiple programs. That’s encouraged! It is okay to be honest about your interest in applying to more than one program.

There is No Mystical Acceptance Formula. Admissions staff can’t tell you exactly what to do to get accepted to their program. The applicant pool changes every year, as do requirements and school needs.

Seek Feedback. Ask trusted colleagues for constructive feedback. Consider ways you might adjust your application or your interview preparation to draw more attention to your strengths.

Final Comments

Embarking on the path to dental school requires a proactive approach. By leveraging the factors within your control, you can navigate the admissions process with confidence and increase your chances of success.