Applying early. How important?

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Jan 26, 2009
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How important is it to send in your application the very second VMCAS allows you to? Will it hurt your chances much to send your apps in a week later? What would be the consequences of sending them in the very last minute in around octorber (i think)?

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I haven't been through an application cycle yet but I think there are pros and cons to sending the application in early vs towards the deadline, however I don't think when you send it in has any affect on your chances of getting in -unless you send it in after the Oct deadline. (please someone correct me if I am wrong) but I don't think schools look at applications until after the deadline.

Pros to getting the app in early:

Its done!
Less stress!
Sit back and wait for the interviews to arrive :xf:

Cons to sending the app in early:

You have that much longer to stew about when/if you'll get an invite
You won't get a chance to include information about stuff you did in the summer in your application

Pros to sending the app in later:

You can include all of your experiences
Less time between submission and hearing back from schools

Cons to sending the app in later:

Things not being where they should on time etc
With regard to submitting your VMCAS early- I'm not aware that it gives any sort of advantage in terms of admissions. I think the only school that has rolling admissions (?) is Michigan- I didn't apply there so I might be totally wrong.

Every other school that I know of, however, gets your app. a few days after you submit to VMCAS. They start looking at them once they get them all. So I don't think it's important to try to submit extra-early.

That said, you DO NOT want to wait until the 11th hour to submit- the site starts to malfunction as the deadline draws nearer. I would recommend submitting 1/2 to 1 week before deadline.

Waiting to submit has 1 big advantage: More time to work on that personal statement. :D
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Rolling Admissions is what I'm worried about. I know many medical and dental schools do it. Which vet schools have rolling admissions?
It's not like med school, as others have said. The schools won't get the applications until after the deadline anyhow. I think GellaBella's pros/cons list was right on the mark. If you're doing fun/interesting/cool things over the summer you may want to wait to submit it so that you can put those things on the application.

edit: none of the US schools have truly rolling admissions in the sense that medical/dental schools do where you are completely screwed if you apply in September. Michigan State has rolling admissions but really only skims out the very top and the very bottom at early dates, I think...
I literally sent mine in within 6 hours of the deadling (maybe within 1 hour). It did not hurt me in the slightest. I think it is not wise to submit right away especially because things can change over the summer. You can't edit the VMCAS after submitting it (i.e. you can't change what schools, although this might be flexible not sure). And like what has been said, no rolling admissions so there is no advantage at all.
I sent in my application within just a few days before the deadline (September 27th, I believe) and it didn't cause me any problems whatsoever. You know, except the part where I was in the thick of the fall semester at my undergrad university and splitting time between homework and the application LOL. I had everything finished except my personal statement before the summer ended, and it still took its toll on me when I had to find time to complete it to my satisfaction while balancing everything else. For that reason, I think it's a good idea to finish early, but I wouldn't submit until you knew that you had nothing to add to it, as stated above.

Something else I really didn't consider until I was slammed with it is that many schools have deadlines for supplemental applications within a month or two after the VMCAS application is due (and Illinois' was due the same day the VMCAS application was due this past fall, ugh), so I was burnt out on applying and having to write essays for supplementals less than a week after submitting my main application. Just something to think about ahead of time. Once you figure out which schools you want to apply to, take a look at when their supplementals are due, if they require them, and budget your time to get those done early, too, if you can. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz LOL.
Rolling Admissions is what I'm worried about. I know many medical and dental schools do it. Which vet schools have rolling admissions?

Michigan State University has rolling admissions.
Take time over the summer to perfect your app. I wrote and reworked my personal statement about 20 times over the summer, plus studied for GREs, and was able to bump up my vet hours. Vet Schools don't do rolling, so someone who sends it in on June 1st versus someone who sends it in on October 1st aren't looked at in any sort of order. I would say take your time, don't rush, and don't stress as much as possible, it will make the process a lot more pleasant if you aren't hunting down your recs a week before they're due. I would recommend asking people to write your recs at the beginning of the summer when it opens and get them registered, and then bug them until they do it. Vets especially need that extra long time to complete them i've found :) Also, make sure in the beginning of the semester next year to balance and get ahead on school work, because once the secondaries come in, life gets crazyyyy!
The schools will get your app 1-2 weeks after you submit it, so they don't get all of the apps for the year in October when the deadline rolls around. I submitted my VMCAS end of July/beginning of August and by mid August all of the schools I applied to had my VMCAS. What was most helpful was that certain schools have online status pages, so I was able to see that they had my VMCAS, transcripts, ect and I believe that they only set up these pages once they have your VMCAS.

I was also able to know if there were any problems with required courses (esp. since I thought that I had completed the courses). This gave me time to gather syllabuses and get everything approved well before the deadline and before the admissions offices were crazy busy with other students. I found that the schools were much more response when you were asking questions in August rather than at the end of Sept. Just my .02 cents. Good luck with your application!
I sent mine in in early august once I was finished with my summer classes and knew my letters of recommendation were being worked on/done already. I was very glad I did that because I had the stress of it over before fall semester classes started, and didn't have to scramble around to get things done in september like others I knew who applied. I also avoided the website crashing/being really busy by doing it over the summer.
Thanks for the help :D. Any other advice? Perhaps info on secondary applications?
Some schools will "invite" you to fill out the supplemental once they have accepted your VMCAS (Ohio, Wisconsin, PEI I think - and I;'m sure others I did not apply to). Other schools have supplemental apps online already and you just have to submit them anytime before Oct 1 (some are online, some are by mail). The AAVMC website and the book that they publish each year are great resources for this information. Here is the link to supplemental apps from the AAVMC website:

The only annoying thing about the supplemental apps is, like what was said above, the extra essays AND the extra fees. Boo fees.
Thanks for the link! It appears that not some vet schools are missing from this list. Does that mean that some vet schools don't require a secondary application?
Thanks for the link! It appears that not some vet schools are missing from this list. Does that mean that some vet schools don't require a secondary application?

Yes, and you may be very grateful for those schools later, should you choose to apply to them LOL. :)

I think some clarity would be helpful in this instance. My SO is attending medical school and went through admissions at the same time i was going through the veterinary school process.

So to clarify, rolling admissions can be used in two forms. One form is with the medical school sense, where the more quickly you get your application in, the faster you get an interview and the faster you get an admission.

Veterinary school admissions is NOT like that.

There is no benefit to applying early. For me, there is only a benefit to waiting, but NOT waiting till the very last second. I say that because what if you have an awesome experience during the summer and want to include it on your VMCAS. If that happens, then you are out of luck if you have submitted your VMCAS.

However taking time and reflecting on your application, asking others to review it, will only strengthen your application. Then you can submit in a relatively good time frame and not have to worry about the system crashing on you. Happened a couple of times last year!!

I know you are all out there stressing, but trust me, getting it in on July 1st does you no good as compared to September 29th. There is no difference!!

However once you have submitted your application, and you get supplementals then the time race is on and really there is nothing you can do about it.

Also to clarify, The Ohio State University, and University of Pennsylvania also have rolling admissions. This is in the "true sense" of the word. There once they offer you an interview you should take the earliest date!!

They admit on a rolling basis until they fill your class. If you get an interview too late then you may be out of luck!

So I just wanted to clarify these differences. For those of you worried about applications, please make sure you have additional references together as some schools require more than one veterinary reference (like THE OSU).

Hope this helps!
I agree w/ everyone - def work on your essays asap; I feel these are the most time consuming. I copied and pasted the essay questions on word and just started going down the list answering questions. If given a supp app, most schools generally ask you the same question, maybe worded a little different. But if applying to Western, be prepared to spend some quality time with their supp b/c it's loooong; lots of essays! Also, some schools have additional apps you can fill out if you experienced economic/family hardships during school (Davis is one that comes to mind), so be prepared to answer these types of questions if you qualify.
Good Luck!
THEOSU, so did Ohio State let you pick your interview day? For Penn they picked the days for us.
In the very last two weeks of the VMCAS application cycle, 80% of applicants submit their application. This has a number of undesirable impacts: 1) risk of technical errors that prevent successful submission; 2) No time to correct any application errors that might return your application to you; 3) We are SWAMPED with support calls during the last two weeks, and you risk not being able to get a quick answer from the VMCAS Customer Support Team; and 4) Without three evaluations received & and payment in full received, VMCAS will not send your application to your school -- don't risk evaluators holding up your application!!

I cannot stress the following enough:



~Your VMCAS Staff~
Hey All -

The VMCAS service allows schools access to your application electronically as soon as you submit it (LIVE). All VMCAS schools have access to a portal which allows real-time access to your COMPLETED application. They can download the application & evaluations as soon as you submit them.

Your VMCAS Staff