Early Decision Program Applications Due August 1st: Is EDP Right For You?

The MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM) is one of the many medical schools that prospective students can apply to via the Early Decision Program (EDP). Those looking to participate in EDP must submit their AMCAS application by Friday, August 1st.

Before applying through EDP, however, applicants need to decide whether this route to medical school is right for you. It's extremely important you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of applying as an EDP candidate.

What is the Early Decision Program and how does it work?

Simply put, the Early Decision Program allows prospective medical students to apply early and be assured of a prompt response.

EDP applicants apply to one U.S. medical school with the full intention of attending if accepted. The school, in turn, agrees to notify an applicant of a decision by October 1st—much earlier than a regular admissions process, which can extend into the following spring.

People go the EDP route when they have a clear first-choice in mind.

"[Applicants] need to be sure they've researched what the school is looking for. Is it a good fit? Additionally, they need to be sure this is a school they genuinely want to attend," said Jay Bryde, CHM admissions officer.

Still, the medical school you wish to attend is just one thing to consider before applying. Take the time to judge how competitive your application is. This shouldn't be taken lightly as EDP is particularly useful for exceptionally strong candidates.

Applicants to CHM who are accepted through EDP typically have favorable trends and parameters on the higher end of national averages. A proven track record of curricular, non-curricular, and community activities that reflect our mission also go a long way while strong letters of evaluation from people who know you well are important too.

CHM encourages students to apply as an EDP applicant only if they see themselves as an excellent fit in all of these areas.

Most schools only admit a small percentage of EDP candidates into their incoming classes, so it is cautioned that only highly qualified applicants consider EDP. 

Rejected EDP applicants may apply to other schools but only after being notified of the decision and subsequently released of their EDP commitment. You can even still apply to the same medical school through their regular admissions process to be reviewed independently from EDP. At CHM, we may choose to automatically place you in the regular applicant pool.

Here's the catch:

As mentioned, rejected EDP applicants will not be allowed to apply to any other schools until notified of their rejection, which can be in October—pretty late in the cycle.

Additionally, applying through EDP may mean giving up the potential for better funding opportunities elsewhere. But if gaining admission into your dream school outweighs your concerns in regards to funding, EDP may be worth it.

The Early Decision Program isn't for everyone but can be advantageous for the right candidates, depending on the situation. Your situation should be analyzed at great length before applying.

If you have your dream school decided, know you're a great fit and believe your profile is strong enough to be competitive at the highest level of potential applicants, EDP may be a very tempting track to take.

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