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AADSAS – Transcript Entry

Wow! Double blog posts today, I must really like doing this. Or something. Happy June 1st!

So originally, I prewrote all of my AADSAS-related blog posts and was planning on publishing them one at a time over the course of the next few weeks, but as with all great things, nothing ever goes as planned. I opened up the AADSAS on today just like thousands of excited and anxious dental student-hopefuls across the country and was smacked in the face with a brand new interface and webpage made over to match the century we currently live in. (I’m really okay with it, the old website was kind of an Internet Explorer-worthy eyesore.) The one year I start blogging the darn application has to change on me, rendering all of my ugly screenshots obsolete. As I stated in my previous blog post on the Professional Experience section of the application, I’m working on getting everything updated so it’s good to go for pre-dentals in the upcoming years.

To be as honest as possible, transcript entry is tedious busy work. No, it’s nothing hard or painfully difficult, but it is a lot of typing and redundant entry. It’s easy, but I wouldn’t suggest you go at it with a bottle glass of wine on hand. Frankly, you cannot make any errors, or you run the risk of holding up your entire application after eSubmitting and AADSAS finds your alcohol-fueled errors. Be careful, attention to detail is so prime here.

Here’s a link to the video AADSAS had made for transcript entry. It’s actually rather helpful. In fact, I think it’s so good, I’m going to keep my writing to a minimum and direct you to the source themselves. But my brief synopsis with screenshots will be below.

For transcript entry, you’ll need copies of all of your transcripts from all of your colleges that you plan to sent to AADSAS (which needs to be all of them, even the community college you took classes from in high school). Settle yourself in begin working.

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Follow the directions presented to you. If you successfully entered all of your Colleges Attended in the “Academic History” section, they will pop up under Transcript Entry. AADSAS will ask you to open a semester and enter in all classes that you took during that time period (Fall XXXX, Spring XXXX, Summer XXXX, etc.):
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You’ll be able to enter in all of the information requested. If you’re still in college and entered all of your information up to your junior year info, you must enter in your expected courses and denote their status as “In Progress/Planned” since you haven’t actually taken the class yet. This will gray out the grades boxes and you can update those during the AADSAS’s fall academic update (more info to come).

There are seriously a million different subject options to categorize your classes, so even if you went to a liberal arts college like me, you’ll find a way to categorize your “Sociology and Neurophilosophy of Counterculture and Free Will in the Southwest, with a focus on Third Wave Feminism” class. Options, we like options.
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This is new for the 2017-18 cycle, but if you scroll to the very bottom of the page, your designated dental schools’ prerequisite information will follow you. This actually helps categorize your classes, as you can ensure that the classes you took actually line up with the dental school’s categorization of it. Nifty.
Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 3.13.01 PM.pngFinally, I thought I’d talk about the Professional Transcript Entry service that the ADEA offers. Personally, I didn’t use it and instead just spent a June afternoon completing the steps I outlined above, if I guess if you’re really pressed for time and/or have many different transcripts to enter (i.e. you went abroad, switched undergrad institutions multiple times, or any other scenario in which you’d have an abundance of paperwork following you), it costs $65 for up to three transcripts, $90 for 4-6 transcripts, or $140 for 7 or more transcripts – it’s not cheap whatsoever. Basically, what happens is that Professional Transcript Entry begins as soon as you submit your application and AADSAS receives all of your official transcripts (with transcript matching forms as well!). Once your application is submitted and AADSAS receives all of your official transcripts, they can still take up to ten business days to complete the Professional Transcript Entry order (which sounds like more time than it’s worth IMHO). Your call.

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~ Colleen

*This post is sponsored by Colorado ASDA

Follow us on Instagram @carpedentumblog

Contact Colleen

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AADSAS Education Section – Transcript Matching

Submitting the AADSAS application and designating which dental schools will be lucky enough to read your application is a game of time. Admissions are rolling so applications submitted earlier will be read ahead of those submitted later. Though it varies by school, I’ve called around and confirmed that many schools read applications in waves, though the exact timeframe of each wave cannot be divulged – so APPLY EARLY.

I recognize this post is coming late, but I hope those of you that are reading and following along might benefit.

My suggestion: When the AADSAS opens (like tomorrow!), immediately print off your transcript matching forms. They should look very similar to the photo I have of the TMDSAS transcript matching form below. Remember, you cannot do this in advance of June 1st, as you will not have your AADSAS or TMDSAS ID – sorry, you cannot use my sample! Colleges/universities differ on how official transcripts must be obtained. I suggest you research this before June 1st and BUDGET for the minor costs associated with obtaining and sending official transcripts.

When submitting your request to your college’s Registrar’s or Academic Affair’s office for an official transcript, you MUST give them a copy of your completed transcript request form to be included in the envelope in which they send your transcript in! Transcripts submitted to the AADSAS must be accompanied with a matching transcript request form that details the applicant’s information. This helps AADSAS or TMDSAS correctly match each applicant’s transcript with their corresponding application. Please make sure your registrar knows this! All transcripts submitted to the AADSAS must be accompanied with a transcript request form (containing applicant’s information, ID, etc.).
Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 4.05.03 PM.pngTMDSAS transcript-matching form example. Not to be reproduced and used. 

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Update: I was able to snag a copy of the AADSAS transcript-matching form on June 1st when the AADSAS opened. You’re welcome.

This is almost verbatim to what I added to the end of my post on the general AADSAS application, but it needs to be repeated because it is so important. It can take up to six weeks for your transcripts and DAT scores to be processed. SIX WEEKS. If you submitted your application on June 1st, your transcripts and DAT scores might finally be processed mid-July. Hence, it is important to apply early AND submit your transcripts and DAT scores as soon as possible. You do not need to wait until your transcripts and DAT scores are processed before you can eSubmit your application. Once all components are sent in, AADSAS processes items on their own and forwards all application components to the schools when it is has been prepared. If your DAT scores are submitted late, AADSAS will send your application to your designated schools without the DAT scores and then forward an updated application to schools when your scores arrive to them.

When I inquired at a few dental schools, several of them actually told me that while they still read applications without all components of the application (since you should theoretically already have imported your classes and grades into the AADSAS application’s Education section and self-report your DAT scores as well), they will not invite you for an interview until your application is “completed,” meaning all official transcripts and DAT score reports have been forwarded to them by AADSAS.

*This post is sponsored by Colorado ASDA

~ Colleen

Follow us on Instagram @carpedentumblog

Contact Colleen

Where the $&*% should I go to school?

^^ It’s a great question. (This post was updated on 01/01/17 to include screenshots from the new AADSAS interface.)

First of all, I’d recommend you purchase a copy of the 2017-2018 (or -insert year here-) ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools here. No, like really, STOP. DROP. And buy the book. Both a print and online (usually) version are available for a pretty nominal sum compared to the information you’ll ultimately get out of it. Or, better yet, ask your pre-health advisor if he/she has it in their office and if not, try to convince them to purchase a shareable copy for everyone! The Guide is a pretty comprehensive resource that profiles all American and Canadian dental schools, providing demographic information, average DAT scores and GPA of matriculating class, in-state vs. out-of-state tuition information, and will overall streamline your school selection. Even getting your grubby hands on one that’s a year or two old will be immensely helpful.

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Applying to professional school, especially medical or dental school, is vastly different from applying to college. At least when I applied to undergrad, I applied to schools that fell into one of three categories: Safety Schools, Middle Ground Schools, and Reach Schools. Unfortunately, dental school doesn’t quite work out in this same way, as with dental school, only about 50% of applicants are actually invited to enroll. Certain assets of an applicant will make them more attractive to one school over another. For example, a brief glance at the Official Guide reveals that state schools tend to enroll higher numbers of in-state residents compared to out-of-state residents, largely due to state government education grants and state-specific statutes of residency. However, for certain states without public dental schools, programs like WICHE exist to help subsidize out-of-state tuition costs for students that reside in a state without a public dental school. I can post separately on that later.

Think about it – where might you see yourself living for the next four years? Where might you want to practice after dental school is all said and done? Geographic location matters, as does living in an urban or rural environment and the patient bases in each of those places. Consider rising rent costs and the cost of living around each dental school, not to even mention the sheer price of tuition and fees alone. What are equipment rental fees? Does the school offer scholarships? All are factors to ponder when the cost of a four-year dental education can easily topple a quarter-million dollars.

Think about what type of dentistry you’d like to do – is community service a pillar by which you live your life? What is the school’s focus – clinical skills, research, etc.? What is the school’s teaching style? What type of technologies exist at individual schools and how are those technologies integrated into the curriculum? When are Part I and II* (this will change soon with the integrated NBDE written exam) of the NBDE taken? Think about continuing education, the student:faculty ratio, and the alumni network that exists.

The search for a best fit school is a lengthy process involving extensive research: scour the website, talk to students and alumni to see what they liked about the school they attended, contact the admission committee, and tour the campus.

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A school everyone should apply to:
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Edit 06/01/17: AADSAS does something really cool now; when you select the schools you wish to apply to, they link to a sweet little webpage that integrates the school’s values, goals, and prerequisites on a single page – basically, a nice comprehensive information sheet that explains what the school is about. Wish we had that when I was applying, would’ve made school research (hey!) infinitely easier. Another tip is if you’re reading this blog and you’re a pre-dental who won’t be applying to d school for another  couple of years, go ahead and make an ADEA AADSAS account and open an application. You’re under no obligation to submit it and you can use this “fake” account to familiarize yourself with the application and, with this new feature, with specific dental schools and their programs.

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Do you see those three beautiful faces in the header? Those are my classmates (Matthew, Kasey, and Clarke, from left to right), they’re achieving next-level fame!

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*This post is sponsored by Colorado ASDA

~ Colleen

Follow us on Instagram @carpedentumblog

Contact Colleen

The AADSAS Application – General

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog without knowing me or what I do, there’s a pretty safe bet that you’re a pre-dental looking into how to apply to dental school and/or researching dental schools themselves. All of the above apply. Today’s (actual) post details the ADEA AADSAS (which I’ll be calling the AADSAS from here on out) application, the centralized application system used by all* American dental schools (*except for Texas, they think they’re their own country and I can say that since I’m from Houston). I’ll be making a separate post to tackle the TMDSAS, aka the Texas AADSAS.

If you’re currently a junior in college and wanting to matriculate the fall after you graduate, you need to apply RIGHT NOW. If you’re a junior in college and want to take a gap year, matriculating the fall following your graduation, you will complete the AADSAS next year, during the 2018-2019 cycle. For a better understanding of this, see the graphic below:Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 6.31.43 PM.png

The American Dental Education Association’s Associated American Dental School Application System is the application in which you, the pre-dental, will consolidate all of your transcripts, DAT score, personal statement, letter of recommendations, and experience/shadowing/etc. It is one application that is sent to all schools that you select, therefore, you shouldn’t tailor your personal statement or application to just one school. The AADSAS application for the 2017-2018 cycle opens on June 1st, 2017 (nifty countdown timer here) and I can imagine that some of you are already itching to submit. The application fee is $245 for the first school, with each addition school being $98. As you might imagine, this adds up fast, not even accounting for the money you will inevitably spend on secondary applications and traveling for interviews. There is a minimal fee assistance program available, but most everyone I’ve talked to has said it is more trouble than it is worth (you must submit the FAP application before e-submitting your application – this can delay your submission).

The AADSAS application is rolling. This means you should apply ASAP, as applicants submitting their materials earlier will be evaluated first. Listen up – you want to be first. The opening of the AADSAS application should be the end – have all your materials, letters of recommendation, transcripts with transcript matching forms, description of activities, etc. READY TO GO. The AADSAS application instructions can be found here, see below for the basic jist, and see directly below for a TL;DR if you cannot be bothered with reading.

TL;DR: Save your DENTPIN from your DAT registration or you’re gonna be in a world of hurt. Make an AADSAS account on June 1st and finish that sucker ASAP. eSubmit and sign away your retirement fund.

4 Steps to Apply (*5 as of 06/06/17):

1. DENTPIN
The DENTPIN is used for DAT registration, the AADSAS registration, and NBDE Part I/II. In other words, if you’ve already taken the DAT, you should have this. Do not lose it! Make sure the email connected to your DENTPIN is an email you can access forever, so perhaps not your undergraduate college email or the middle school one with your favorite Neopet in it.
Register for a DENTPIN here

2. AADSAS
Make an account on the ADEA ADEA AADSAS portal as soon as you can (most often beginning June 1st). You will access your application from here.
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Edit 06/01/17: New ADEA AADSAS landing page screenshot below – we have moved into the era of modern font and user-friendly interfaces!
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3. Complete the AADSASScreen Shot 2017-05-25 at 7.40.13 PM.png

Edit 06/01/17: New ADEA AADSAS homepage screenshot below.
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7 parts: application information, education, professional experience, personal statement, letters of evaluation, release statement, dental school designations (stay tuned for updated blog links as posts go up).
Edit 06/06/17: There are now four parts to the AADSAS application, though all seven parts of the previous application are still contained in the new four. Supporting information will contain your letters of evaluation, professional experience (experiences, achievements, licenses), and personal statement.
The newest section is Program Materials; supplemental questions for individual school designations are now included in the primary AADSAS application. Clicking Program Materials will take you to a page in which you can view prerequisites and supplemental questions for each school.

4. eSubmit
Press submit and pay a sizeable sum of ca$$$$h money. Make sure to check each school’s individual deadline, though if you took my first piece of advice (apply EARLY) this wouldn’t even be relevant. You can always add extra schools after eSubmitting and pay the $98 fee.
This is bolded because it is an addendum to the post published earlier: It takes time, in fact, up to six weeks for the AADSAS to receive your transcripts or DAT scores. This further highlights the importance of being EARLY in submitting your AADSAS application. However, you do not need to wait until everything is processed before you can eSubmit. Once everything is sent in and submitted, AADSAS will process and file transcripts and DAT scores on their own time, submitting your comprehensive application to schools as soon as all components are available.
What does this mean? If your DAT scores are holding up your application, once you eSubmit, AADSAS will forward your application to your designed schools sans DAT scores and then send them when they are available later on.
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5. Check Status (Updated 06/06/17)
Now that all of your hard work is done, kick back and wait for the interview requests to start rolling on. But if only it were that easy. You’re not quite done. You still need to monitor the status of your transcripts and evaluations, and you want a place to see the status of your submitted applications, right?
That’s where the Check Status tab at the top of the AADSAS application webpage comes in handy. I don’t recall if this was ever an interface offered to us back when we applied, but it sure does help in localizing all of the components separate from the primary AADSAS you just eSubmitted – I’m looking at transcripts and evaluations especially.
Here, you’ll also be able to check the status of your applications at different schools. This screenshot says “In Progress” because I have yet to submit my *fake* application. Once CU receives it, “In Progress” will change to “Under Review.” If I am invited for an interview, the status will change to “Interview Offer Extended,” and so forth. This is a great way to check up on your individual school designations and where you file stands with them.
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*This post is sponsored by Colorado ASDA

~ Colleen

Follow us on Instagram @carpedentumblog

Contact Colleen