Gaining admission to medical school has always been difficult, but with each passing year, it becomes still more so as the number of applicants to American medical schools continues to rise, while increases in incoming class seats have been slow and modest. Consequently, every year there are qualified applicants who may be denied admission to medical school.
To apply to medical school and be denied admission can be a great disappointment to premeds after all the effort they have devoted to their academic studies and fieldwork, not to mention to the application process itself. Though no one will feel it as keenly as the applicant, the Premedical Committee shares in the disappointment of an unsuccessful application.
At the same time, the Committee remains steadfast in its faith in our students' potential to gain admission to pursue study in their professions of choice. It will, however, require careful thought and further hard work by these students to compile a successful reapplication. The purpose of the reapplicant toolkit is to guide prospective reapplicants toward this end.
A student who applies to medical school with the support of the Premedical Committee, but is not offered admission, normally retains that support upon reapplication. However, the Committee will support no more than two reapplications (i.e., three application cycles—or four, if the student initially applied via linkage).
The Premedical Committee recommends that students planning to reapply wait until they are confident they have addressed any weaknesses in their initial applications. The goal is for applicants to come across as “new and improved,” rather than as the same applicant one year later. Students must not assume that reapplying immediately is in their best interest. Mere persistence yields nothing and might cost the reapplicant a lot. Therefore, the Committee recommends that prospective reapplicants discuss their plans with their advisors.
The Reapplicant Toolkit is designed to guide prospective reapplicants through a comprehensive and honest assessment of themselves as applicants and thereby prepare them to submit strong and compelling reapplications, should they choose to do so. Well-prepared, thoughtful Premed students who submit their reapplications in a timely manner tend to succeed in gaining admission to medical school.
Maintenance of Status
Reapplicants are required to be enrolled in a second year of Maintenance of Status (unless they are otherwise enrolled in courses at Columbia); however, they won’t incur a fee.