How schools are dealing with non interview cancelations, if at all.

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Aug 16, 2019
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Hi all,

Have a bit of a thought experiment. Currently, schools are likely sending the same amount of interviews as they did last year because its what they know based on many years of data. However, last year, students who had no intentions of ever attending a school when already accepted by their preferred schools just did not attend the interview due to the cost of travel (perhaps). So those spots opened up for other students, who go to the interview and maybe it becomes their one interview. If accepted these students have no choice but to attend that school. So these schools are filled with students who chose the school and those who this is far off from their number one choice but must attend if they want to become a doctor.

So for interviews that occur later in this cycle may have a different representative group. Last year, when students had to travel, students who actually attend an interview likely intended to go to that school but this year people attend because they easily can blocking opportunities from those who would actually enroll.

Based on this muddled thought process, is it possible that when people have to declare their 3 schools come April some schools may be left without enough acceptances because they would have interviewed a high proportion of individuals who never intended to attend but interviewed because its costs nothing?

True or not, I've seen some students have 10+ interviews and attend all of them. Maybe in a regular year, they attend 5, get their acceptance and stop attending. They also could not be very representative of the application pool, so could be one-offs. I recall there being some stats posted on sdn a while ago but not sure if it's going to hold true for this year due to everything going on.

Since the news traffic rules that began last year, schools are blind to students who have acceptances so they possibly could just keep sending invites to people who already have their top choice but don't want to cancel.

Since most schools end interviews in feb/early march they could be unexpectedly hit with this. Maybe skewing their applicant pool or worst case unable to fill a class.

If someone has 10 interviews and chooses to attend all 10, they have every right to do so (although it hurts others). Because we can't rely on people to be altruistic in this process, shouldn't schools be compensating?

So, to compensate for this - if what I have said above makes sense - shouldn't schools be actually interviewing far more students than previous years, creating a bigger than usual waitlist then pulling from this in April at a larger than usual amount? I understand interviewing more people would also be hard because of the manpower needed/ COVID still around/ Interviewers are typically healthcare workers - so time spent battling COVID. But, are there any indications this is happening, or is it just business as usual?

Am I overthinking this? LOL
 
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Jun 24, 2020
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Hi all,

Have a bit of a thought experiment. Currently, schools are likely sending the same amount of interviews as they did last year because its what they know based on many years of data. However, last year, students who had no intentions of ever attending a school when already accepted by their preferred schools just did not attend the interview due to the cost of travel (perhaps). So those spots opened up for other students, who go to the interview and maybe it becomes their one interview. If accepted these students have no choice but to attend that school. So these schools are filled with students who chose the school and those who this is far off from their number one choice but must attend if they want to become a doctor.

So for interviews that occur later in this cycle may have a different representative group. Last year, when students had to travel, students who actually attend an interview likely intended to go to that school but this year people attend because they easily can blocking opportunities from those who would actually enroll.

Based on this muddled thought process, is it possible that when people have to declare their 3 schools come April some schools may be left without enough acceptances because they would have interviewed a high proportion of individuals who never intended to attend but interviewed because its costs nothing?

True or not, I've seen some students have 10+ interviews and attend all of them. Maybe in a regular year, they attend 5, get their acceptance and stop attending. They also could not be very representative of the application pool, so could be one-offs. I recall there being some stats posted on sdn a while ago but not sure if it's going to hold true for this year due to everything going on.

Since the news traffic rules that began last year, schools are blind to students who have acceptances so they possibly could just keep sending invites to people who already have their top choice but don't want to cancel.

Since most schools end interviews in feb/early march they could be unexpectedly hit with this. Maybe skewing their applicant pool or worst case unable to fill a class.

If someone has 10 interviews and chooses to attend all 10, they have every right to do so (although it hurts others). Because we can't rely on people to be altruistic in this process, shouldn't schools be compensating?

So, to compensate for this - if what I have said above makes sense - shouldn't schools be actually interviewing far more students than previous years, creating a bigger than usual waitlist then pulling from this in April at a larger than usual amount? I understand interviewing more people would also be hard because of the manpower needed/ COVID still around/ Interviewers are typically healthcare workers - so time spent battling COVID. But, are there any indications this is happening, or is it just business as usual?

Am I overthinking this? LOL
Very likely that this spring will be chaotic. I know there have been other discussions on SDN about this, but let's wait for some expert opinions. Following.
 
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LizzyM

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Schools should be interviewing applicants who are likely to matriculate if offered. That could mean that some schools will yield protect, some will favor applicants from their geographic area even if there are no specific "in state" "out of state" admission limits with the idea that local students are more likely to matriculate, all else being equal, than someone from far away.
It may mean that schools will be strategic in offering grants and scholarships to get the students they want in the class.
Although interviewing "costs nothing" it still takes time out of your day and time is the one thing that money can't buy. Some applicants who would have interviewed in New York or Chicagao and stayed with a friend or former classmate for a catch-up despite already having a more desirable offer elsewhere will not bother interviewing when there is no trip to a nice city involved in the process. That is the flip side of "everyone will take every interview even if they already have a bunch of offers".
 
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Hi all,

Have a bit of a thought experiment. Currently, schools are likely sending the same amount of interviews as they did last year because its what they know based on many years of data. However, last year, students who had no intentions of ever attending a school when already accepted by their preferred schools just did not attend the interview due to the cost of travel (perhaps). So those spots opened up for other students, who go to the interview and maybe it becomes their one interview. If accepted these students have no choice but to attend that school. So these schools are filled with students who chose the school and those who this is far off from their number one choice but must attend if they want to become a doctor.

So for interviews that occur later in this cycle may have a different representative group. Last year, when students had to travel, students who actually attend an interview likely intended to go to that school but this year people attend because they easily can blocking opportunities from those who would actually enroll.

Based on this muddled thought process, is it possible that when people have to declare their 3 schools come April some schools may be left without enough acceptances because they would have interviewed a high proportion of individuals who never intended to attend but interviewed because its costs nothing?

True or not, I've seen some students have 10+ interviews and attend all of them. Maybe in a regular year, they attend 5, get their acceptance and stop attending. They also could not be very representative of the application pool, so could be one-offs. I recall there being some stats posted on sdn a while ago but not sure if it's going to hold true for this year due to everything going on.

Since the news traffic rules that began last year, schools are blind to students who have acceptances so they possibly could just keep sending invites to people who already have their top choice but don't want to cancel.

Since most schools end interviews in feb/early march they could be unexpectedly hit with this. Maybe skewing their applicant pool or worst case unable to fill a class.

If someone has 10 interviews and chooses to attend all 10, they have every right to do so (although it hurts others). Because we can't rely on people to be altruistic in this process, shouldn't schools be compensating?

So, to compensate for this - if what I have said above makes sense - shouldn't schools be actually interviewing far more students than previous years, creating a bigger than usual waitlist then pulling from this in April at a larger than usual amount? I understand interviewing more people would also be hard because of the manpower needed/ COVID still around/ Interviewers are typically healthcare workers - so time spent battling COVID. But, are there any indications this is happening, or is it just business as usual?

Am I overthinking this? LOL
r2med, I don't think there really are any experts on this --- it's a really unique situation. The above analysis / conjecture makes a lot of sense to me. I've seen folks with 17-18 interviews and 7-8 acceptances and counting. Maybe it won't be as pronounced as proposed above but it seems we will see some of this scenario playing out. I suspect schools will interview more applicants between Jan-April than usual.
 

KnightDoc

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Hi all,

Have a bit of a thought experiment. Currently, schools are likely sending the same amount of interviews as they did last year because its what they know based on many years of data. However, last year, students who had no intentions of ever attending a school when already accepted by their preferred schools just did not attend the interview due to the cost of travel (perhaps). So those spots opened up for other students, who go to the interview and maybe it becomes their one interview. If accepted these students have no choice but to attend that school. So these schools are filled with students who chose the school and those who this is far off from their number one choice but must attend if they want to become a doctor.

So for interviews that occur later in this cycle may have a different representative group. Last year, when students had to travel, students who actually attend an interview likely intended to go to that school but this year people attend because they easily can blocking opportunities from those who would actually enroll.

Based on this muddled thought process, is it possible that when people have to declare their 3 schools come April some schools may be left without enough acceptances because they would have interviewed a high proportion of individuals who never intended to attend but interviewed because its costs nothing?

True or not, I've seen some students have 10+ interviews and attend all of them. Maybe in a regular year, they attend 5, get their acceptance and stop attending. They also could not be very representative of the application pool, so could be one-offs. I recall there being some stats posted on sdn a while ago but not sure if it's going to hold true for this year due to everything going on.

Since the news traffic rules that began last year, schools are blind to students who have acceptances so they possibly could just keep sending invites to people who already have their top choice but don't want to cancel.

Since most schools end interviews in feb/early march they could be unexpectedly hit with this. Maybe skewing their applicant pool or worst case unable to fill a class.

If someone has 10 interviews and chooses to attend all 10, they have every right to do so (although it hurts others). Because we can't rely on people to be altruistic in this process, shouldn't schools be compensating?

So, to compensate for this - if what I have said above makes sense - shouldn't schools be actually interviewing far more students than previous years, creating a bigger than usual waitlist then pulling from this in April at a larger than usual amount? I understand interviewing more people would also be hard because of the manpower needed/ COVID still around/ Interviewers are typically healthcare workers - so time spent battling COVID. But, are there any indications this is happening, or is it just business as usual?

Am I overthinking this? LOL
You are not overthinking it at all, and there have been several posts regarding this very topic. Your observation is spot on, and the possibility was discussed as early as last spring. The bottom line is that some schools have identified the issue, and in light of the huge increase in applications, are extending their interview season to interview more people due to the very real possibility that yields will drop. Others are doing nothing, and will just go deeper into their WLs. It's wishful thinking, though, to believe yields will drop so low that schools will deplete their WLs!
 
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KnightDoc

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r2med, I don't think there really are any experts on this --- it's a really unique situation. The above analysis / conjecture makes a lot of sense to me. I've seen folks with 17-18 interviews and 7-8 acceptances and counting. Maybe it won't be as pronounced as proposed above but it seems we will see some of this scenario playing out. I suspect schools will interview more applicants between Jan-April than usual.
Some will, some won't. "Chaotic" is a very strong word. It is very likely that a version of this scenario will play out, and the result will be more WL movement. Given that most schools build WLs with several hundred people on them, and most schools only have between 100-200 seats, it is HIGHLY unlikely all seats will not be filled at all schools.

What is very likely to happen will be that much higher than usual competition this cycle due to the huge influx in apps will be partially mitigated by more WL movement than usual in the spring. In the end, order will be restored, the earth will maintain its orbit around the sun, and life as we know it will continue, with a vaccine for a deadly pandemic in record time no less! :cool:
 
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KnightDoc

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No offense intended to LIzzyM who posted as I was typing. Just seems like a once in a generation situation.
It totally is, unless schools like the efficiency of virtual interviews and choose to adopt them going forward, leaving in person recruiting to second look days. That would be great for us as applicants, since it would save us a ton of time and money and allow us to accept more IIs, but I get why it is unlikely since I'm sure schools like the ability to make in person evaluations at no additional cost to them (other than lunch! :cool:).
 
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LizzyM

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Schools that want to sell applicants on their school will want to go back to in-person interviews as soon as possible. This includes schools in locations that are less familiar to many applicants and schools with first class facilities. Schools that are dumps in places no one would willingly choose to live if they had any other option and that are difficult and/or expensive to travel to, may continue to do virtual interviews with the reasoning that it broadens the interview pool and makes the process more accessible to lower income students. In truth, they'll just want to keep you in the dark as long as possible. ;)
 
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