sgupta656

2+ Year Member
May 24, 2017
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An ACLP from last year posted this! I found it REALLY REALLY helpful! so re-posting it!

Hey everyone.

I'm a current ACLP student who wanted to put together this unofficial guide for any prospective students. Sorry for the long post, but imo it's better to be as informed as possible when choosing an SMP bc it sucks being in that position when in waitlist purgatory. I wish I saw this kind of post before coming to the ACLP last fall. As far as I know, all 17/17 ACLP students who interviewed at Tulane med three weeks ago just got our Tulane med acceptances yesterday. #TYBG #MoreLife

*** DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ALL BASED ON MY EXPERIENCES INTERSPERSED WITH A FEW ANECDOTES FROM OTHER CURRENT ACLP STUDENTS. PLEASE DO TAKE EVERYTHING I SAY WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. ***

To elaborate on the stats Austinerino gave in his prior post

Dr. Rowan - the head of the Tulane Structural and Cell Bio (SCB) Dept and thus the head of the Tulane ACLP since we're students under the SCB dept - led a new ACLP student orientation and said that 38 people applied to the program, which was extremely low for some reason this year and is usually 80-100 people. Also, to my best knowledge, the ratio of MD to DO waitlist letters was 16 to 1 (I'm not sure about the guy who left at the start of the program), and almost all of us went to at least a top 50 USNWR National or top 50 Liberal Arts school. Most of us majored in a hard science too. I'm not saying you won't get in if you don't meet these criteria, but just want to give an accurate picture of our class.

Also, all the ACLP students this year got accepted to TUSOM, but this situation is very rare. From previous years, the acceptance rate has usually been 16/18 people, which is closer to the 87% that was advertised on the website.

ACLP Timeline
May to first week of August
Make sure to submit your application following the instructions on the ACLP website (I can't post links until I reach 10 posts). You'll hear back about a month after the deadline, and if accepted, will have to mail a $250 check to the SCB as a deposit since they don't accept Paypal/credit card/wire transfers. Idk why tho. Just FYI, ACLP DOES NOT QUALIFY for traditional school loans or continuing education loans because you're under the SCB dept and not the school of medicine. Though idk the details, a friend of mine in the ACLP got a bank loan, but please do speak with our secretary Shannon when the time comes. Orientation week starts last week of August where you meet the SCB staff and give your $16K tuition in check form for the same reasons as the deposit. You also sign an agreement that states you will TA Gross anatomy if you get accepted and ultimately attend Tulane med in the fall.
Rest of August to early November
You take Gross, Developmental, and Radiological Anatomy, where you learn gross anatomy, pertinent embryology topics, and how to read X Ray, CT, and MRI scans. There are daily 8 AM lectures, which are optional, but they might help you with the day's dissection. Daily dissections are mandatory from 9 AM to 11 AM-12 PM ish depending on your lab director. The amount of information you have to learn throughout anatomy is similar to that in 11 weeks of an accelerated Organic chem I/II or Biochem I/II class plus the respective labs. Like in orgo or biochem where you have to know more than just chemical structure, there's more than memorizing structures to excel in gross anatomy. To get above average, it would do you well to memorize origins/insertions, actions of all the muscles, clinical correlations, spatial organization, and a touch of physiology as well. Reading the first few chapters one or two weeks before class starts will help, but anything more than that will be a waste of your time. However, there are high yield things that you should be focusing on, so you not only have to study hard, but study smart. You have to score at or above the T1 (Tulane's version of M1) average to have a good shot at an interview. Also, don't disrespect anyone - students, faculty, staff, or anyone. T1's write peer evals of you and lab directors speak about you individually in TA meetings, so having the reputation of being creepy, childish, socially inept, annoying, etc. will hurt your chances of admission.
Rest of November to late March
You'll only be taking Medical Histology, which is far less rigorous and has a significantly smaller time commitment than gross anatomy. This grade really doesn't play a role in your admission unless you fail it. Thus, there will be a lot of free time to pursue other interests. During that time, you could get involved with research within the SCB dept/Tulane SOM/LSU's University Medical Center (UMC), various jobs, volunteering at various events, or something else productive - you just want to have something to talk about during potential interviews (Tulane's will be in March). The interview day is pretty low stress; it consists of an intro presentation about Tulane, a standardized patient (SP) exercise with the SP being a current T1/T2 who you probably already know, a faculty interview, a student interview during lunch, and finally a tour of the medical school campus. This year, all 17 of us got interviews and there was one other non-ACLP student who interviewed alongside us. You'll probably get your decision letters soon after Histology ends in late March and then the program will be done.
Resubmitting AMCAS
You have to submit another AMCAS for the upcoming cycle, but it's up to you whether or not to submit to other schools or just Tulane. For Tulane, just submit your AMCAS and secondary before any deadlines and you'll be fine. You can either use the same AMCAS app as last time or change it. However, people have gotten accepted from the ACLP by using the same AMCAS and secondaries as the previous year or sending completely new ones.
Applying to Other Med Schools
About half of us applied to other MD/DO schools while about half just applied to Tulane. Out of those 9 or so people who applied to other schools, there were about 7 interviews that led to 5 waitlists, 1 acceptance, and 1 acceptance from the waitlist. Thus, only two people got into med schools other than Tulane. I only applied to Tulane, so this is all I can say about the process.
Degree
After completion of the ACLP, you will be getting a certificate of completion as opposed to a Master's in Anatomy.

Life in NOLA
Weather
The nice part about NOLA is the warm, tropical weather. However, it did get as cold as 30º F and flooding does occur in certain parts of the city (my friend parked his newly leased car in from of his house only to find water up to the hood during a crazy flash flood from a tropical storm). Winters are nice (60º to 70º F), but summers are brutal with 80ºF with 90% humidity.

Housing
Central Business District (CBD)

Deming is the Tulane grad student housing connected to the Tulane hospital in the CBD. The major pro is that it's super convenient for getting to class. The major con is that it looks a lot like a typical undergrad dorm. However, if you do choose Deming, do make sure to pay month-by-month and not to sign a year's lease just in case you want to travel home after the ACLP ends. Rent is about $900/mo for a single room I think, but do check the website since I didn't live there. Apartments in the CBD such as Elk Place, the California Building, 925 Common, 930 Poydras, and Four Winds are other options. They're all within half a mile to the Tulane hospital and most of them are super nice. Rent is a little on the pricey side for NOLA with $1200 for a studio at the cheapest. People do bring their cars and live in the CBD, but it's totally possible to get away without one if you live here, which is another major pro. Though there is a risk everywhere of getting mugged/shot in NOLA, I just want to warn you that the CBD isn't a safe area at night. However, there's adequate security around to curb most crime. You'll thus probs be hearing police sirens and people yelling in the streets at odd hours of the night depending on where in the CBD you live (I hang out at my friend's place in the CBD a lot and I can confirm that the CBD is loud). Finally, you're going to be super close to Mardi Gras parades which is both awesome and a pain due to drunk tourists and traffic.

Uptown
A decent number people live in the Broadmoor neighborhood (including me) within a mile from the Tulane undergrad campus. The main pros are that it's quiet and rent is cheaper ($300-$900 per month depending on where you live). The main con is that you will definitely need a car here to get groceries and to get to school, but you can walk/bike 15 min to the undergrad football stadium, where a Tulane bus can shuttle you to and from the downtown med school campus. 10-15 min drive to the med school. Also we didn't get any flooding during the tropical storm and we still had water when it got shut off in the CBD/Lower Garden District.

Lower Garden District (LGD)
A lot of med students live here - especially in an apt complex called The Saulet. There are other options such as The Georgian, but I can't recall any more from the top of my head. Rent is similar to the CBD, and you'll probs need a car here depending where you live; however, a car will make life a lot easier. The Tulane bus to and from the med school campus also stops nearby the Georgian if you don't have a car. 10-15 min drive to the med school.

Mid-City
Rent is very similar to Uptown and you'll need to have a car if you live here. I don't think the Tulane bus stops in mid city though. The main con is flooding - I mentioned my friend's car being totalled in a tropical storm and it was parked in mid city when the flood happened. However, there are a lot of great restaurants in Mid-City and you're close to City Park, which is super nice. About 5-15 min drive to Tulane med

Marigny
Very few med students live here, but rent is similar to Uptown/Mid City. You're also super close to Frenchman Street, which is the party street for locals. Marigny is super hipster too. However, it's a 20-25 min ish commute to the med school so you'll def need a car here. Can't really say too much since I haven't spent as much time in friend's houses here as the other places.

French Quarter
Idk anyone who lives here bc rent is mad expensive and the area is loud af and filled with tourists all the time. Probs not the best for someone serious about school.
Mardi Gras
Lots of parades and revelry. Tulane med's spring break also corresponds to the Mardi Gras week. Get ready for lots of traffic due to road closings.
To give a personal testimony of the program -
Tl;dr:
I wanted to get into any allopathic med school as I reapplied. I also wanted to go to Tulane med and TA gross anatomy if given the chance. The ACLP is NOT A SCAM and is a legit post-bacc with a linkage - though not guaranteed - to Tulane med. Anatomy can get pretty gnarly bc you have to give up all your free time to studying, but prior preparation prevents poor performance and leads to your eventual acceptance unless you piss off people at Tulane med and/or have a felony or serious misdemeanor. The T1 class and Tulane professors are very supportive and want to see you succeed. Be prepared to have relationship problems if you are going to make it long-distance. If given the choice among a bunch of the SMP's, I would do this program 100% of the time, every time because it helped me get into med school. Idk what to say about the other SMP's bc I have never experienced them.

My goal was to get in medical school no matter what. If that is your goal, then the ACLP is your best choice if you are confident that you can hustle like you never have before and push through the anatomy portion. Tbh the ACLP is an unspoken conditional acceptance unless you bomb anatomy, have or get a felony or misdemeanor (more than MIP on your record), disrespect or annoy someone at Tulane, or have the grossest of your character flaws come out during your interview. So it's up to you to stay vigilant during the year and you'll see the good news come March.

Also, my parents and I were super sketched out about me coming to Tulane because of the lack of info about the ACLP and not being able to pay tuition electronically. Most ACLP students felt the same way. I know that I'm an internet stranger with Sanic the Hedgehog as my prof pic (Gotta go fast), but this program is NOT A SCAM and is meant to help you get into medical school - particularly Tulane since they get to have more gross anatomy TA's for the incoming T1 class.

I'm gonna keep it real here - the anatomy portion of the ACLP is best described as the summer camp from hell, but it'll be worth it once you get the acceptance in the spring. You'll have to go through about 200+ pages of anatomy (Gray's anatomy plus the dissection manual) with 8 hours ish of lectures a week. I'd also like to mention hours of extra lab time you'll be spending every day to elucidate all the structures. You will be sleeping late from studying and waking up early to go to dissection. Even so, you might not even be caught up with the topics for the day. If you go out to party one weekend or get lazy and decide not to get ahead in the reading, be prepared to see your exam grades in the dumpster - even taking one weekend off and not getting ahead, I scored 5 points less than my other tests. Also be ready to explain to your significant other that you need to prioritize school and then see that relationship just go sour just because they don't understand that you're too stressed, tired, and under so much pressure to devote time to them. Breaking up with your bf/gf will seriously affect your studying. However, the T1 class and the fellow ACLP students are very supportive and will help you push through this difficult time. Though you're not technically part of Tulane med, you're integrated into the T1 class and I met some of my best friends from my lab room. The students and professors want to see you succeed and will help you out if needed. In the end, the ACLP's purpose is for students to prove that they can overcome past and present obstacles in order to excel in medical school. Excellent performance in gross anatomy comes from persistence and preparation.

There were 3 people who teetering at the average and were below at some point. All respect and no shade to them, but based on my observations, they scored poorly due to a mix of long-term relationship issues and/or procrastination when it came to studying. I'm ecstatic they'll be joining me next year since they're my friends, but geez, if you can save all that grief by staying ahead on material and working hard during the anatomy portion of the ACLP, then the post-anatomy part will be a lot more bearable. You don't want to waste your parent's money, your time, or the opportunity for a serious student to do the ACLP by slacking, scoring below average, and not getting interviewed by Tulane med.
Hope this guide helps. Please DM me for more info or questions, but tbh I won't know anything about your chances of admission to the ACLP or chances of med school admission from other SMP's since I didn't do them.
 
Jan 28, 2019
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Best of luck to everyone on their waitlists or those who were accepted into the program! It feels like the opportunity I need to break through so I have my fingers crossed something falls into my favor.
 

saratonin

2+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2016
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Still haven't heard yet.. I can't help but not feel too optimistic.
So I’m in the same boat but if you look at past years, it seems like they only gave out some of the answers and then finished a few days later. The ones who came later were acceptances, waitlists, and rejections.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Congratulations to all those who have been accepted! To those who are still waiting be patient you’ll hear back soon and if you’ve been waitlisted stay optimistic because spots always open up! At this time if you’ve been accepted feel free to join our Facebook group that we created for all former acps and current students. Here is the link:

 
Jun 7, 2019
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Did anyone else not get a confirmation that they received your application? I submitted a week before the deadline and haven’t heard anything back
 

memdoctobe

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Did anyone else not get a confirmation that they received your application? I submitted a week before the deadline and haven’t heard anything back
Did you check your spam and sent to make sure you sent it? I would definitely email them ASAP.
 
Jun 7, 2019
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Pre-Medical
Did you check your spam and sent to make sure you sent it? I would definitely email them ASAP.
Ahh yeah I even emailed them a follow up a few days later asking for confirmation and they never got back to me :/
@Bruin99 any insight on this?
 
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Mar 12, 2019
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Ahh yeah I even emailed them a follow up a few days later asking for confirmation and they never got back to me :/
@Bruin99 any insight on this?

I haven’t heard of this happening but if I were you I would call on Monday to confirm everything. Sorry that’s the best I can say.
 

memdoctobe

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
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I emailed the program to accept and ask about possible lenders for private loans, but if anyone on here has experience with paying for this program with private loans, please PM me! I know a previous poster mentioned that most people have had family pay for the program but unfortunately that isn’t an option for me.
 
May 13, 2019
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What do you mean by secondary waitlist? Is that just the alternate list?
I'm unsure how they are running the admissions. But I'm assuming the following via this thread.

Friday 6/7 Sent out acceptances + primary waitlist

Monday 6/10 Sent out secondary waitlist at this time...
 
Jun 20, 2017
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I'm unsure how they are running the admissions. But I'm assuming the following via this thread.

Friday 6/7 Sent out acceptances + primary waitlist

Monday 6/10 Sent out secondary waitlist at this time...
I see. Thanks for the clarification
 

memdoctobe

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Trying to figure out how I can afford this program as it’s my top choice by far. How long does anatomy last and what is the weekly schedule like after it end? When/how often is histology and how much a week did you all spend studying? Trying to gauge how many hours a week I can work.
 
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May 13, 2019
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Trying to figure out how I can afford this program as it’s my top choice by far. How long does anatomy last and what is the weekly schedule like after it end? When/how often is histology and how much a week did you all spend studying? Trying to gauge how many hours a week I can work.
From my understanding working during anatomy is impossible. I have spoken to some lenders and basically all the options are pretty bad for personal loan IMO. I have a great credit score and no debt as a non-trad applicant. Going to be draining my 401K and IRA if I get accepted.
 
Sep 4, 2018
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Would the people on the "secondary waitlist" mind sharing the wording of your waitlist email? I think this is the first year this program has done something like this.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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What do you mean by secondary waitlist? Is that just the alternate list?
They must have gotten a lot of applications this year. They used to waitlist people but tell them they were in the top 5 of the waitlist which would essentially be the primary waitlist. I’m guessing secondary is after the top 5.

Trying to figure out how I can afford this program as it’s my top choice by far. How long does anatomy last and what is the weekly schedule like after it end? When/how often is histology and how much a week did you all spend studying? Trying to gauge how many hours a week I can work.
Anatomy runs from beginning of August to the middle of October. The schedule after that is basically one or two recorded lectures a week which are not mandatory and can be watched in your free time. There will be a tbl at least once every two weeks which will be mandatory however. In all honestly, you won’t be spending too much time studying for histology. Once January starts, you will have leadership which is twice a week and mandatory attendance usually on Monday and Wednesday.
 
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Hildace

7+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2012
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Rejected today. Good luck to those on the waitlist, and congratulations to those who have been accepted!

Best wishes,

Hildace
 
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May 13, 2019
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So is it better to be on secondary waitlist or the alternate list?
I'm assuming alternate list is the primary list (per Bruin99) this would be the next 5 after the accepted. Then the secondary list is the next 5 after. But I haven't s/w Sharron about this to confirm my theory.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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I'm assuming alternate list is the primary list (per Bruin99) this would be the next 5 after the accepted. Then the secondary list is the next 5 after. But I haven't s/w Sharron about this to confirm my theory.
Yeah just want to clarify that what I said is pure speculation based on what they did in previous years. I would definitely recommend emailing Shannon about clarification or any questions. She is very responsive.
 
May 13, 2019
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Yeah just want to clarify that what I said is pure speculation based on what they did in previous years. I would definitely recommend emailing Shannon about clarification or any questions. She is very responsive.
I emailed Shannon, trying to get some further clarification.
 
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memdoctobe

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
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I emailed Shannon about personal loans and she just confirmed that students have used them in the past and that educational loans aren’t available for the program. If one of y’all or your friend has used a personal loan could you please PM me? The personal loans I found require immediate monthly payments which obviously isn’t feasible if I’m using the loan for living expenses. They also would require monthly payments during medical school which again isn’t doable when I’m living off more loans in medical school.
 
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Mar 12, 2019
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I emailed Shannon about personal loans and she just confirmed that students have used them in the past and that educational loans aren’t available for the program. If one of y’all or your friend has used a personal loan could you please PM me? The personal loans I found require immediate monthly payments which obviously isn’t feasible if I’m using the loan for living expenses. They also would require monthly payments during medical school which again isn’t doable when I’m living off more loans in medical school.
In the past I think people have used what are called continuing educational loans which I think if you ask Shannon about she might be able to tell you a few companies that offer them. An example is this one by Sallie Mae:


Basically it has the option to defer payments and is eligible for people in certificate granting programs which aclp is. Sorry this is the best I can do to help out because I don’t know anyone in my class that used private bank loans or in the previous class.
 
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May 13, 2019
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In the past I think people have used what are called continuing educational loans which I think if you ask Shannon about she might be able to tell you a few companies that offer them. An example is this one by Sallie Mae:


Basically it has the option to defer payments and is eligible for people in certificate granting programs which aclp is. Sorry this is the best I can do to help out because I don’t know anyone in my class that used private bank loans or in the previous class.
My input from the financial standpoint is you will be digging a deep whole with a private loan and I have s/w a few credit unions plus lenders.
 
May 13, 2019
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@Bruin99 and @Austinerino any thoughts on my current plan on taking out a 13k loan, managing the payments on it along with living costs (parental assistance too), and using loan money from federal loans after acceptance to pay it off? Biggest "idk anything about this" point is the part where I'm planning on using med school loans to pay off the ACLP loan at the start of August next year. Is that feasible?
@potatoyam
Hey in my previous careers I worked and managed a few companies and dealt with some loans.

Send me a PM and we can run through some statistics and I can try to help you out.
 

memdoctobe

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Just wanted to give an update on loans to any future applicants or people who have been accepted this year. The Sallie Mae loan posted earlier in this thread is unfortunately not an option. Sallie Mae disperses the loan money directly to Tulane University, where we are not registered as students and therefore cannot access the money. I emailed Shannon who was extremely helpful with explaining this and even said that Sallie Mae has not worked in the past when students have tried it. I called Sallie Mae and they confirmed this as well.

Every lender that I have found unfortunately falls into one of two categories: 1) they allow deferment of loans while in school (including medical school after the program) but will only send money to recognized degree-granting institutions (of which the SCB department is not) or 2) they will give loans to non-degree granting institutions but do not allow deferment after the program has ended i.e. you would have to start paying hundreds of dollars a month in repayments in medical school.

I am still trying to look into other options but it is not looking great, even with planning to work full-time after anatomy ends.
 
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May 13, 2019
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Just wanted to give an update on loans to any future applicants or people who have been accepted this year. The Sallie Mae loan posted earlier in this thread is unfortunately not an option. Sallie Mae disperses the loan money directly to Tulane University, where we are not registered as students and therefore cannot access the money. I emailed Shannon who was extremely helpful with explaining this and even said that Sallie Mae has not worked in the past when students have tried it. I called Sallie Mae and they confirmed this as well.

Every lender that I have found unfortunately falls into one of two categories: 1) they allow deferment of loans while in school (including medical school after the program) but will only send money to recognized degree-granting institutions (of which the SCB department is not) or 2) they will give loans to non-degree granting institutions but do not allow deferment after the program has ended i.e. you would have to start paying hundreds of dollars a month in repayments in medical school.

I am still trying to look into other options but it is not looking great, even with planning to work full-time after anatomy ends.
Hi Memdoctobe, we spoke briefly about this but and I agree with you completely. After our last conversation I spoke with a close friend who is in finance and the biggest setback he advised me was how the personal loan will affect my credit report when I go to take our loans for medical school, this may place a higher interest rate category on me due to debt/income ratio.

Keep me posted if you have any break through! At least you have another option ;)
 
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Jun 20, 2017
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I received an email from Shannon but it was nothing to do with the question. I asked the question again and pending response.
From Shannon: I have forwarded your email to the Director of ACLP. This is the first year we have two groups. I am not informed of the criteria for the two separate groups. Once I hear back from her, I will let you know.

I'll let you guys know once she get's back to me
 
Sep 4, 2018
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From Shannon: I have forwarded your email to the Director of ACLP. This is the first year we have two groups. I am not informed of the criteria for the two separate groups. Once I hear back from her, I will let you know.

I'll let you guys know once she get's back to me
Nothing, huh?? Crazy how the waitlist misery from this cycle has trickled all the way down to programs like this one.
 
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