Extension for Missed Special Program Deadline?


I am applying to the University of Rochester and the deadline is in January. The program I want to apply to is a dual bachelor's-MD program. When I was writing my essay, I checked their website for details about the program and noticed that the program (not the school) had a Nov. 15 deadline. I'm freaking out. Is this common for different programs within certain schools to have their own deadlines? And if so, is there anything I can do about it since I missed it?

The college admission process is rife with inconsistencies and you've just encountered one of them. While it's not common for special programs within an institution to have unique deadlines, it's not rare either.

But as a teenager going through the already-confusing, labor-intensive admission process for the first time, it's understandable that you overlooked the Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) application due date since it's well before the regular one. On the other hand, this deadline is clearly stated on the REMS website, so “The Dean" can't predict if you'll be granted an extension due to your oversight. But here's what you can try:

- Telephone the U. of R. office of admission and ask for the name and email address of the staff member who oversees applicants from your high school. Also ask if there is a staff member who serves as the REMS liaison. If so, get his or her contact info as well.

- Send one email to these two recipients and briefly explain your mistake. Apologize for the error and ask if it's too late to apply to REMS if you do so promptly. If you are a first-generation-to-college applicant, if your high school has inadequate (or non-existent) college counseling or if there are other reasons why you are navigating this process with no assistance, you can say so in your message.

Note, however, that admission to REMS is HIGHLY selective. And those capital letters are there for a reason! For instance, one student in my orbit was denied by REMS. He enrolled, instead, at an Ivy League university and later graduated with both an MD and a PhD from Harvard. This should give you a sense of the caliber of the candidates who are turned away. So if your grades and test-scores aren't tip top, if you haven't taken rigorous science and math classes and if your resume doesn't include activities that underscore your commitment to a medical career, then your chances of getting good news from REMS will be slim. Yet if you do feel that you have the qualifications to be a serious contender, then jump on the explanatory email right away, and maybe you'll get an extension. Good luck!


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