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Applying through PharmCAS

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IwantPharmD

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I posted this in the PCAT forum, but got off topic and it's more about applying in general for a first timer. This is where I'm at so far.

I'm working on my PharmCAS application. Never applied before (first time). From what I can see the biggest pain seems to be the letters of reference (for me anyway). I've been out of school since May 2008. Last year I told my 3 references to hold letters they had written for me (they said they would). I guess I'm just going to email them before I put them on my application. I want them to get an email from me with all of our previous correspondences before PharmCAS sends them their automated email, but hoping that they can just copy and paste what they already wrote for me. Easy I hope... is it?

Also I'm still working on my personal statement, but that just takes time, not necessarily hard, just want to get it right. Besides those 2 things, the rest of the application seems to be just busy work filling in biographical information, courses (i just have 1 school i attended so pretty simple) extra curricular and awards. I do wish i could write a little bit more about some research i did, but o well pharmcas limits 175 characters. I already chose the 4 schools I'm applying for. I took the August PCAT so still waiting for score.

Am right to think once my reference letters are in from my teachers and my essay is done then I just have to wait for PCAT score and since the rest is filled out i can e-submit once i get the score. I wanna wait till I get my august PCAT score before I esubmit in case I did terrible and need to retake or whatever the case may be.

After I e-submit it seems to be a waiting game for pharmcas to process all my **** and then they send it to schools. It seems after that it's just waiting to hear back from schools and if there's a supplemental application you do that and if not you just wait to see if you get an interview.

Am I thinking on the right track. Sorry if this is long, just writing what's on my mind. Missing anything or forgetting or should I be thinking about something else?
 

phathead

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You can submit it prior to getting your scores as long as you put in all of your August PCAT info.

Otherwise you seem to have the right idea
 

IwantPharmD

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You can submit it prior to getting your scores as long as you put in all of your August PCAT info.

Otherwise you seem to have the right idea

But doesn't PharmCAS wait till they get your score before they send it to schools or do you mean they wont send it to schools yet but as long as i pay the fee they'll start processing it (like my transcripts and stuff) that way as soon as they get my score they'll send it?

Do you have to wait for the e-letters of reference to arrive to PharmCAS before you submit?
 

SparkLy09

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But doesn't PharmCAS wait till they get your score before they send it to schools or do you mean they wont send it to schools yet but as long as i pay the fee they'll start processing it (like my transcripts and stuff) that way as soon as they get my score they'll send it?

Do you have to wait for the e-letters of reference to arrive to PharmCAS before you submit?


No, you can submit as soon as you're done filling out the application. Generally, you want to at least have your transcripts in so that your GPA can be calculated. PharmCAS does NOT wait for your test scores before sending out the applications - when your scores arrive, they will be forwarded by pharmCAS to your selected schools. This is the same with your LoRs.
 

IwantPharmD

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No, you can submit as soon as you're done filling out the application. Generally, you want to at least have your transcripts in so that your GPA can be calculated. PharmCAS does NOT wait for your test scores before sending out the applications - when your scores arrive, they will be forwarded by pharmCAS to your selected schools. This is the same with your LoRs.

Ok so it seems the slow step is the personal statement, I'm still wokring on it, but according to you since they have my trasncripts already I can do my essay and esubmit it and when pcat scores arrive and my e letters of reference they will be forwarded to the schools I picked. But I believe my references should be in soon so really I'm just submitting without having my PCAT score in which is fine, right? Schools will then add my PCAT score ot my file and once it's complete for them they will consider for interview...?
 

SparkLy09

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Ok so it seems the slow step is the personal statement, I'm still wokring on it, but according to you since they have my trasncripts already I can do my essay and esubmit it and when pcat scores arrive and my e letters of reference they will be forwarded to the schools I picked. But I believe my references should be in soon so really I'm just submitting without having my PCAT score in which is fine, right? Schools will then add my PCAT score ot my file and once it's complete for them they will consider for interview...?


Yes, yes yes... and yes :)
 

mandydp6

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Ok so it seems the slow step is the personal statement, I'm still wokring on it, but according to you since they have my trasncripts already I can do my essay and esubmit it and when pcat scores arrive and my e letters of reference they will be forwarded to the schools I picked. But I believe my references should be in soon so really I'm just submitting without having my PCAT score in which is fine, right? Schools will then add my PCAT score ot my file and once it's complete for them they will consider for interview...?

Yes, and you SHOULD e-submit before those come to allow them time to calculate your GPA. I think it's getting to be the busier time in the application cycle so they may take longer to process all your stuff. Bottom line, get that statement done and e-submit!
 

IwantPharmD

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Yes, and you SHOULD e-submit before those come to allow them time to calculate your GPA. I think it's getting to be the busier time in the application cycle so they may take longer to process all your stuff. Bottom line, get that statement done and e-submit!

And I bet they want you to e-submit cause that's when they make you pay up and that's what they really want. I bet they could care less if you never get your reference letters or pcat scores in- they'll send what they get from you and if your incompete with what the school requires I suppose it doesn't matter to them. Ok today I'm going to email my teachers to tell them to do my reco and then this weekend is all about my personal statement so I can esubmit sunday night. Monday morning pharmcas will have my money and they better start processing those transcripts, yee haw.
 

SparkLy09

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And I bet they want you to e-submit cause that's when they make you pay up and that's what they really want. I bet they could care less if you never get your reference letters or pcat scores in- they'll send what they get from you and if your incompete with what the school requires I suppose it doesn't matter to them. Ok today I'm going to email my teachers to tell them to do my reco and then this weekend is all about my personal statement so I can esubmit sunday night. Monday morning pharmcas will have my money and they better start processing those transcripts, yee haw.


Uh, I don't think pharmCAS CARES if you e-submit now or in five months. The fact is, the earlier you do it, the earlier it will probably be verified, which is just advice people are giving you. Why would PharmCAS care if all your LoRs or PCAT scores are in when not all schools require this? You can't expect them to go through each applicant and check with all the schools to see if you have all of the required materials. By all means, if you don't want to pay up, then don't apply. If you don't want to pay up NOW, then wait until you're more and more disadvantaged... that is entirely up to you.
 

IwantPharmD

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Which schools don't require LORs?
 

SparkLy09

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USN doesn't require LoRs, but then I suppose they're not a pharmCAS school. Either way, there is still no reason why pharmCAS should make sure you have all your requirements - that should be, and IS your responsibility, not theirs. Also, schools have different requirements for LoRs. Would you expect them to go through all your letters and make sure they're only sending it to schools that you qualify for? Of course not, so they'll just forward and send whatever you have given them to send.
 

IwantPharmD

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Yeah, i don't have a letter from a Pharmacist so I gotta watch out for that. The school's I picked didn't mention any having to come from a pharmacist so i think I'm good. I just hope there arent secondaries that ask for reccomendations- I really just have the 3 I'm using for PharmCAS.
 

Project2015

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Either way, there is still no reason why pharmCAS should make sure you have all your requirements - that should be, and IS your responsibility, not theirs. Also, schools have different requirements for LoRs. Would you expect them to go through all your letters and make sure they're only sending it to schools that you qualify for? Of course not, so they'll just forward and send whatever you have given them to send.

There is a reason why they should and that's the application fee in the hundreds of dollars. It's not as hard to check as you make it seem to be. They already have the data in the school pages. All it takes is coding some simple logic to check applicant data against requirement data and the rest is fully automated. Even http://www.pharmapplicants.com/ can filter by attributes...
 

SparkLy09

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There is a reason why they should and that's the application fee in the hundreds of dollars. It's not as hard to check as you make it seem to be. They already have the data in the school pages. All it takes is coding some simple logic to check applicant data against requirement data and the rest is fully automated. Even http://www.pharmapplicants.com/ can filter by attributes...

I guess it depends on how you value your money and how many schools you apply to. Honestly, I would rather pay 50 bucks per school than be forced to apply separately to each school and have to fill out a NEW application each. In which case, you'd have to go through requirements for each school anyway, it'd just be additional money to send transcripts, get new LoRs, write more personal statements etc. Also, I would think it would cause pharmCAS so many problems if they filtered your applications according to requirements and only sent certain ones out and didn't send the ones you didn't qualify for - I'm sure there are going to be people who don't understand why theirs wasn't sent out and complaints would flood in.

Also, maybe it's just me, but with the list of schools that I'm actually interested in, I looked into each and every school and why I wanted to apply there. It really wasn't hard to figure out what they wanted and were looking for. So I absolutely agree with you, it's not hard at all to check what the schools want... It's all listed on that pharmCAS schools page, so why not do it?
 

Project2015

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Honestly, I would rather pay 50 bucks per school than be forced to apply separately to each school and have to fill out a NEW application each. In which case, you'd have to go through requirements for each school anyway, it'd just be additional money to send transcripts, get new LoRs, write more personal statements etc.

That's definitely a positive. On the other hand, I think they may be taking advantage of this fact to justify not providing best-in-class service through the website.

Also, I would think it would cause pharmCAS so many problems if they filtered your applications according to requirements and only sent certain ones out and didn't send the ones you didn't qualify for - I'm sure there are going to be people who don't understand why theirs wasn't sent out and complaints would flood in.

Now that one is the responsibility of the applicant. Still, the site should list what's missing.


Yes, it's not hard to do all of this yourself. But I suppose that it should be easier because you are paying someone to handle the paperwork and it would just be more helpful knowing that at least there were additional checks. In other words, it seems real easy that a competitor can step in to provide more for less and still make a nice profit. All the questions here on SDN regarding PharmCAS suggests that more can be done on their part...
 

SparkLy09

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Now that one is the responsibility of the applicant. Still, the site should list what's missing.


Yes, it's not hard to do all of this yourself. But I suppose that it should be easier because you are paying someone to handle the paperwork and it would just be more helpful knowing that at least there were additional checks. In other words, it seems real easy that a competitor can step in to provide more for less and still make a nice profit. All the questions here on SDN regarding PharmCAS suggests that more can be done on their part...

Haha, that was what I was trying to say... it's the responsibility of the applicant and since the site already tells you what each school requires, it's not too hard to go through it all - especially if you're really interested in that particular school.

And while I agree that PharmCAS can do more, I don't think it should be expected. Yes I do realize that we're paying... but we'd have to pay each school for the primary apps regardless if PharmCAS was available or not. I'm know of a number of schools that aren't PharmCAS that require more than 50 bucks for the primary, so really, I just see no major reason to complain.
 
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