Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to be smart about applying through AADSAS (Apply early!)

AADSAS, short for Associated American Dental Schools Application Service, is a centralized system that sends out applications to U.S. and Canadian dental schools, similar to the Common Application for undergraduate admissions. It is pronounced "add-sass", which may be a fitting name for this convenient system hosted by ADEA. Some schools do not participate in AADSAS: you can find the complete list of AADSAS participating dental schools on ADEA.

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The most important advice I got again and again: Apply early. AADSAS takes some time to verify your information and send your application to dental schools. This year the earliest date to submit AADSAS is June 4, 2012. Often times AADSAS opens before this date, so check a day or two before the announced submission date. You may type in your information before this date.

Follow along on your dental application timeline, and before May is up, complete these tasks:

1. Send out your transcript from all undergraduate institutions. You need to print out a Transcript Matching Form for the registrar’s office. Your entire AADSAS application will be held up until your coursework is verified.

2. Confirm with your letter writers to have your Letters of Reference sent out. (AADSAS will still send out your application as long as other parts are complete)

3. Have your personal statement typed up on Word without fancy formatting. Maximum 4,500 characters (about 750 words). Hopefully your personal statement has been written, proof-read, and camera committee-ready.

4. Put together your academic records. I printed out my transcripts so I could physically check off each course. You’ll need to type in information about each class. AADSAS has a system of calculating GPA’s that may be different from your institution’s.

5. Gather up information on academic enrichment programs, awards, dentistry-related experiences, extracurricular activities, work and research experiences. (Click on those links for specific instructions from ADEA) You will need to describe these activities including average weekly hours, start and end date.

If you gather everything you need early on, all you have to do is type and copy+paste into AADSAS once it opens. Easy pie breezy tie-dye.

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