EducationHow Does Prioritization Work When Starting a University?

How Does Prioritization Work When Starting a University?

The new admission process for restricted-admission degree programs in the USA has brought some innovations since the summer semester of 2020. However, with these innovations, the same problems and therefore the same questions arise again and again when it comes to applying to study medicine. In this article we would like to clarify some questions that are repeatedly asked about the prioritization of universities.

Can I apply for human medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine at the same time?

Yes, you can! Until now, if you applied, you had to choose one of the three courses of study. However, you can now apply for human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy at the same time.

It is important that you know that you can apply to a maximum of 12 study programs. The above-mentioned study programs each count as one application. Within these applications you can specify all universities in the USA in your wish list.

Example: You are applying for dentistry and human medicine. You have now applied for 2 out of a maximum of 12 courses. Now you can apply for human medicine and dentistry at any university in the USA. The location preferences at that time no longer exist. However, you can only be admitted to one course of study.

Can I really apply to all medical schools in the USA?

Here too, the answer is quite simple: yes! You may be familiar with the old rules regarding location preferences. Some universities have made a kind of pre-selection in which they have required applicants to prioritize their own university and therefore set it to location preference 1 in order to be allowed to take part in the university selection process. The new approval procedure no longer applies to this regulation.

You can and should now specify any university (there is no longer a limit of 6 universities) in the USA that you would like to study at. There is no advantage or disadvantage for you if you specify a university higher or lower in the rankings. Prioritization is only important with regard to the coordination phase. Besides, considering UCAT online course can help manage this according to the prioritization.

What is the coordination phase and how do I correctly prioritize my universities?

As already mentioned, the order in which you wish to study has no influence on your chances of admission. In fact, the respective university doesn’t even know how high you have prioritized it. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to rank your actual desired university as high as possible, since in the event of multiple acceptances during the coordination phase, the so-called coordination rules apply. These actually have an influence on which university you ultimately receive admission from. Below we will explain the rules to you with an example.

To understand: Offer of admission or area eligible for admission means that, in principle, you are high enough up at the respective university and its own personal ranking list to potentially receive admission.

Coordination rule 1

The prerequisite for the first rule to apply is that you have only reached the selection limits at one of your specified universities (i.e. have collected enough points in the selection process to receive a place at university). In this case, you will receive an offer of admission from this university and the application process is over for you.

Coordination rule 2

The prerequisite for the second rule to apply is that you have reached the selection limits at more than one of your specified universities (i.e. have collected enough points in the selection process to receive a place at university). In this case, you will receive an offer of admission to the respective universities. You will then receive admission to your university with the highest priority.

Example: Let’s say you specified 3 universities. Uni 1, Uni 2 and Uni 3 (also prioritized in this order). If you receive an offer of admission for all three universities, the offer for University 1 will automatically be converted into admission, as you have given this the highest priority. If you had only received an offer of admission for universities 2 and 3, you would have received admission for university 2.

Coordination rule 3

The prerequisite for the third rule to apply is that you have applied to several universities. Let’s say you applied to five universities:

Under certain circumstances, for example, you may receive an offer of admission to universities 2, 4 and 5, even though university 1 and university 3 have not yet announced their admission offers. It would therefore be possible that you will now receive an offer of admission to your university 1 (or 3). The following scenarios could now take place:

  1. You will still receive an offer of admission to University 1 and will therefore automatically be admitted to this university.
  2. You may still receive an offer of admission for University 3 (but not one for University 1) and will therefore automatically be admitted to University 2, as any university with a lower priority will be omitted.
  3. You decide early on University 2, 4 or 5 and therefore end the application process early.

In summary, it should be clear to you that in principle you will always receive admission to your highest priority university in your personal ranking and that you may only have a limited time window to accept an offer of admission from a lower priority university in the event of multiple acceptances. However, the prioritization does not change your chances of admission!

The coordination phase is also a very dynamic process! It may well happen that your status at the respective university changes. For example, University A, for which you have not yet received an offer, can change your status to the “eligible area” because other applicants have decided against University A or have received admission to one of their higher priority universities. This means that you will move up one place in the rankings of University A and may fall into the area eligible for admission.

I sent my application by post. After a few days, my status is still not marked as “valid”. Should I be worried?

No. You don’t have to worry for now. Due to the current situation, universities have announced that it can take up to 10 days after receipt by post until your application status is switched to “valid”.

When I apply to study medicine, do I automatically take part in all three quotas (best high school quota, University selection process and additional suitability quota)?

Yes! The new admission process includes three quotas:

  • Best high school rate 30%
  • University selection process 60%
  • Additional suitability quota 10%

All three quotas take different selection criteria into account. Regardless of what qualifications you have, you automatically take part in all three quotas.