Secondaries Complete Late August

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Holland

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The past month has been absolutely hellish for me (working 7 days a week for as much as ~80 hours) and so it's only been recently that I've been able to make real headway through a lot of my secondaries. the majority of my secondaries are/will be completed during the second half of August.

Have I severely hurt my chances? I know that the general sentiment is that you aren't really LATE at schools until after Labor Day, but given that I'll be complete at most schools only a couple weeks before Labor Day and the cycle gets more and more competitive every year, I'm unsure of how relevant that piece of advice remains. I understand I can't change anything in retrospect and can only prepare for the cycle to run its course, but I also think it would be valuable to know what to expect in the coming months given that I'm on the later end.

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These days, it is possible to sort and screen applications electronically and skim the cream daily. This means identifying the newly complete applications, and selecting those that meet certain minimums (GPA, MCAT, zip code, whatever) for further consideration. So, whereas it used to be a first in, first out arrangement in the application file room where physical paper files were distributed to reviewers who did a batch and returned them and then applicants were slated for interviews, now the cream of the crop can be identified and sent for review leaving earlier applications that were just not as good behind for later consideration. Thus, I do think that it has been less imperative to be early. Better to be good than to be early the way things go these days.
 
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Agreeing with @LizzyM , you are fine, but keep pushing. Some schools are very good at identifying applicants that match their mission.

I also mention that it is not a secret that individuals (as an aggregate) from disadvantaged or marginalized backgrounds tend to delay their applications, so more schools will have a process in place to make sure that individuals with desired characteristics (not race/ethnicity anymore but for ZIP/state of legal residence, socioeconomic status, or other indicators) get as fair as shot as possible. Not all of them have prehealth advising to push the urgency upon them, so many schools do what they can to identify the cream of the crop or the most desired candidates whenever they appear.
 
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Agreeing with @LizzyM , you are fine, but keep pushing. Some schools are very good at identifying applicants that match their mission.

I also mention that it is not a secret that individuals (as an aggregate) from disadvantaged or marginalized backgrounds tend to delay their applications, so more schools will have a process in place to make sure that individuals with desired characteristics (not race/ethnicity anymore but for ZIP/state of legal residence, socioeconomic status, or other indicators) get as fair as shot as possible. Not all of them have prehealth advising to push the urgency upon them, so many schools do what they can to identify the cream of the crop or the most desired candidates whenever they appear.
Yes, this is also true of many non-trads (older career changers) who are unaware of the "day 1" application frenzy and submit the application on their own timeline.
 
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Thank you! That’s reassuring—I’ll still try to finish within August, but that takes a lot of ambient stress off my back. I guess if there’s another silver lining to the situation, it’s that even if I get II’s fairly late, I can at least use the extra wait time on interview prep.
 
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Thank you! That’s reassuring—I’ll still try to finish within August, but that takes a lot of ambient stress off my back. I guess if there’s another silver lining to the situation, it’s that even if I get II’s fairly late, I can at least use the extra wait time on interview prep.
Secondaries are part of your interview prep.
 
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This means identifying the newly complete applications, and selecting those that meet certain minimums (GPA, MCAT, zip code, whatever) for further consideration.
Interesting, I didn't know schools used Zip codes when trying to put certain applicants at the top of the pile. Do schools largely look at the permanent address zip code and/or the primary childhood residence section in AMCAS?
 
Interesting, I didn't know schools used Zip codes when trying to put certain applicants at the top of the pile. Do schools largely look at the permanent address zip code and/or the primary childhood residence section in AMCAS?
Read
 
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Interesting, I didn't know schools used Zip codes when trying to put certain applicants at the top of the pile. Do schools largely look at the permanent address zip code and/or the primary childhood residence section in AMCAS?
They could do either or both. What would you do if you were trying to promote the admission of a diverse student body? They might also prioritize zip codes in rural areas of their state or specific geographic areas that are underserved.
 
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These days, it is possible to sort and screen applications electronically and skim the cream daily. This means identifying the newly complete applications, and selecting those that meet certain minimums (GPA, MCAT, zip code, whatever) for further consideration. So, whereas it used to be a first in, first out arrangement in the application file room where physical paper files were distributed to reviewers who did a batch and returned them and then applicants were slated for interviews, now the cream of the crop can be identified and sent for review leaving earlier applications that were just not as good behind for later consideration. Thus, I do think that it has been less imperative to be early. Better to be good than to be early the way things go these days.
Does this mean it’s possible to get rejected by a computer alone? As in, without a real person looking at our application?
 
Some applicants are going to be prioritized and looked at with the expectation that they are strong contenders for interview. Some will get one pair of eyeballs on them at some point before the cycle ends but might be considered a long shot for interview. This can be the reason why some schools don't "reject" applicants until the end of the cycle. Reviewing thousands of applicants takes a long, long time.
 
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