Application form shown on laptop symbolizing the AACOMAS application

How To Fill Out Your AACOMAS Application

June 11, 2021
Part 1. Introduction Part 2. Understanding AACOMASPart 3. Overview of the AACOMAS Medical School ApplicationPart 4. AACOMAS—Section By SectionPart 5. Tips for Making your Application Stand OutPart 6. Common Mistakes to AvoidPart 7. FAQsPart 8. Conclusion

Introduction

You might find yourself intimidated by the numerous medical school application procedures, as different fields require different kinds of applications. For instance, if you choose to apply to any osteopathic medical school, you need to focus on the AACOMAS application.

This application differs from the AMCAS because it requires you to have certain qualities and qualifications different from AMCAS. If you are wondering how to fill out your AACOMAS application, you are in the right place. This guide will help you understand all the steps involved and how you can make your AACOMAS application stand out.

Understanding AACOMAS

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine was established in 1898 to assist all osteopathic medical schools in the United States. It stands as a united association for osteopathic medical schools by supporting applicants with their admission procedures, education, funding, and communication. 

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) is the centralized application service for all osteopathic medical schools based in the United States.

The primary purpose of AACOMAS is to ensure that you can easily apply to osteopathic medical schools; you just need to fill out one application and send across the necessary information to the centralized service.

The information you provide is then verified and forwarded to the osteopathic medical schools of your choice. The process enables you to save a lot of time on your application forms, procedures, and fees. Thus, you must fill out the AACOMAS application correctly because, with just one application, you can apply to several schools. 

Overview of the AACOMAS Medical School Application

AACOMAS opens in May, but you will have to wait until June to submit the application. Keep in mind that the submission deadline varies from school to school.

Before you submit your application, be mindful of the fact that there are only a few changes that you can make once you have submitted your application. The Editing Your Application section lets you know which parts of the application can be edited after submission.

Remember that you can apply even before you receive your transcripts, but your application will only be reviewed once they are submitted. Ensure you set aside enough time to fill out your AACOMAS application correctly. To do so, carefully read each section and fill in all the required information.

Make sure that you do not miss the deadline by waiting until the last minute to apply. The deadline is at 11:59 PM ET of the declared date. You need to ensure that your payment has successfully gone through and you have clicked the submit button by this time.

You might be faced with errors while loading the page, or the pages might be lagging since a lot of people will be using the same page at that time, which is why you shouldn't wait until the end to submit your application. 

AACOMAS—Section By Section

The AACOMAS has the following sections that you need to fill out:

Section 1- Personal Information

The first section of the AACOMAS application requires you to fill in your biographical information, citizenship, race, contact information, family information, influences, and other information. 

Biographical Information

This section contains your name, any alternate names you have used, your sex, gender identity, and your birthday. If any of your documentation has any alternate name, make sure to select Yes in the Alternate name section and fill in the alternate information.

Choosing this will ensure that all the documents and test scores match your application. Make sure to add any nicknames you might have used in your records (for example, “Beth” for Bethany). Also, choose this option if any of your documents have a misspelling of your name. 

For your birthday, you need to use the MM/DD/YYYY format. Enter all the other information like your country, state, county of birth accurately. Any incorrect information will result in the delay of your application. 

AACOMAS Release Statement

The first section also requires you to sign an agreement with AACOMAS. You will need to accept the terms and conditions to be able to apply.

This statement is a contractual agreement that clarifies that you agree with all the AACOMAS Applicant Help Center information. Make sure to read and understand all the information and before you agree with the terms. 

Contact Information

Under this section, you need to fill in your current address, your permanent address (if your current address is different), your email id, and your phone number. Also, always keep this section up-to-date. 

Citizenship Information

You need to provide your citizenship status under this section; you need to say if you are a US citizen, a Permanent or temporary US resident, or a Non-Resident. You will need to provide proof of your legal state of residence.

If you are a dual citizen, make sure you mention your other country of citizenship. In case you have a US Visa, select Yes and fill in all your visa information. Make sure that all the information you enter is to the best of your knowledge. 

Race and Ethnicity

This section is optional as you do not have to state your race and ethnicity.

Family Information

In this section, you need to enter information about your parents or guardians. You have to state their area of residence, occupation, level of education, and role in your household. 

Influences

If you have any relatives in this career (both DO or MD), you can mention them in this section. You can say if you have any prior career experience.

Other Information

You need to fill in all additional information about you in this section, like your military status, languages you know, social security number, background information, and any convictions against you. 

Section 2 - Academic History

In this section, you need to add in the colleges you attended. You will also need to fill in the information on any tests you have taken or will take in the future, like the MCAT. 

High School Attended

This section requires you to fill in the details of the high school(s) you attended, the graduation date, and the school’s location. 

College Attended

In this section, you need to mention all the colleges or institutions you have attended, even if they are not related to your current program. You only need to fill this in once, even if you earned several degrees from the same institution.

Make sure you include all institutions as, if you do not do this, your application can be undelivered, causing a delay in processing. Include any summer courses or US military academies. You will also need to send an official transcript for each institution you attended. 

Transcript Entry

In this section, you need to fill in all the coursework you have done at all the US and English Canadian colleges/universities that you attended. You will need to mention all the courses, not just prerequisites. You will also need to include any classes that you repeated, official transcript for all the courses. 

Professional Transcript Entry Service (PTE)

If you feel that you can not enter all your coursework by yourself, the PTE specialist can do that for additional fees. However, this is only possible if you have completed your coursework from accredited schools. Otherwise, all other coursework has to be filled in by you. 

AACOMAS Course Subjects

This section contains a standardized list of course subjects that the AACOM created. You will need to select your course subjects from the list. These courses help to calculate several GPAs.

Continuing Education Courses

In this section, you can fill (if any) Continuing Education Units you have received. You will have to upload a copy of the course certificate for each course. 

Standardized Tests

In this section, you can submit any standardized test reports or any tests you plan to take. 

Section 3 - Supporting Information

In this section, you need to provide all the supporting information regarding your application.

Evaluation

This section includes all Letters of Recommendation, Letters of Evaluation, or Letters of Reference. All evaluations have to be submitted by the evaluators electronically using the official Recommender Portal.

Applicants cannot submit this on their own. You need to take into consideration the requirements regarding the relationship of the evaluator before adding any. You can add up to six evaluations. 

Experience

Use this section to add all your professional experiences. Keeping in mind your duties, you can choose the best fit category. The four category types are Extracurricular Activities, Non-Healthcare Employment, Non-Healthcare Volunteer, and Healthcare Experience.

You can add all relevant experience but primarily focus on your experiences within the last ten years. 

Personal Statement

In this section, write a personal statement to be sent to all the osteopathic medical schools of your choice. Keep your writing general, simple, original, and within the word and character limit. 

Achievements

Use this section to add all your achievements—awards, presentations, scholarships, honors, and publications. You can add all relevant achievements but focus mainly on acquired in the last ten years. 

Section 4 - Program Materials

If your program has any additional application requirements, you can use this section to add all the other information needed. You can also see any vital information, such as deadlines, under this section. 

AACOMAS Program Material

Every program has different requirements, so use this section to learn about your program’s requirements. Some programs require you to answer some vital questions before submitting your application. You can fill in these questions under these sections.

If you have taken, or plan to take, any courses that meet your program’s prerequisites, you should use this action to provide the information. The school will review your courses and decide if you meet the prerequisite requirements. 

Tips for Making your Application Stand Out

The admission world today is quite a competitive one. You could have an excellent MCAT score and still face issues getting admitted into their dream school because schools are looking for students who will do wonders in this field. So, your application should stand out and convince the committee that you have what it takes to succeed in this field. 

Highlight your Experience

As discussed above, the admissions committee is always looking for candidates who can prove that they possess the essential skills and qualities required to be an influential doctor. Knowing the information, theoretically, is not enough. You should highlight all your experiences so that schools know that you have practical knowledge as well.

Add in all the relevant experience in your application, be it volunteering at clinics, hospitals, or any setting. You should include any part-time experience only if you can demonstrate that you've learned something out of it. Remember, focus on quality instead of quantity.

If you do not have enough experience, you should go out and get some experience. For example, you can do a preceptorship where you have the chance to shadow a doctor. The more experiences you have in your application, the better chances of your application standing out. 

Perfect your Personal Statement

Your personal statement is the first way to make your impression on the admissions committee. Show them your qualities instead of just telling them. You can do this by discussing how you’ve used these qualities in the past.

Focus on the AACOMAS application personal statement requirements and make your personal statement accordingly rather than just repeating the AMCAS statement. Make it positive and active by using examples and showing your keenness towards this field. 

Pay attention to your Letters of Recommendation

For your application to stand out, you should include at least one letter of recommendation from an osteopath. Doing so will give the committee proof that you have in-depth knowledge and experience in this field. Try to convince your recommenders to write strong letters that highlight your skills. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid 

Grammatical Errors

Submitting an application with grammar and spelling mistakes is arguably the most common mistake that students make. You should always proofread your application before submitting it. Make sure that anything you submit is entirely free of errors as spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can give a negative first impression. 

Quantity over Quality

It is excellent to have numerous years of experience in the working industry. You should include only relevant experience from the last ten years in your application; pay attention to the quality of your experience rather than the quantity. 

Being Repetitive

It might seem like a few sections of the application are similar, and you may end up filling in the same information for several of them. Remember, all areas are different from each other. Avoid overlapping of information in any two sections and try to group similar activities rather than taking unnecessary space in the application. 

How to fill out your AACOMAS application


FAQs

1. What is the deadline for the AACOMAS application?

Different colleges have different deadlines, so you should check the deadlines of the individual schools. The deadline is at 11:59 pm ET on the specified date. The applications open in May and close the following April.

2. How much will the AACOMAS application cost?

The first program you wish to apply to will cost you $196, and all additional programs will cost you $46 each.

3. Does AACOMAS have any Fees Waiver?

Yes, the AACOMAS has a fee waiver program. If you are qualified for the program, you will not need to pay the $196 fees. However, if you want to apply to any additional programs, you will still have to pay the $46. 

4. Can I edit my application after I have submitted it?

You can edit a few sections of the application form after submitting them. Keep in mind not all sections can be edited. Make sure you check each section carefully before submitting it.

5. Does AACOMAS update me on my status of the application?

Yes, AACOMAS updates you on your application status. You get notified when they receive your transcripts and evaluations and also when your application is verified. 

6. What will happen if I miss the deadline?

If you miss the deadline, there is nothing that AACOMAS can do. AACOMAS does not provide any kind of deadlines. However, under certain exceptions, you could try contacting the school. If the school approves, they will get in touch with AACOMAS and take the necessary steps. 

Conclusion

It is common for students to feel worried while filling out the AACOMAS application. There are many questions that you need to answer, and some are very detailed. With that in mind, you should be careful while submitting your application as it is sent to all of your preferred schools.

Make sure you fill each piece of information to the best of your knowledge and put in some extra effort for your personal statement – it’ll pay off in the long run! Always recheck everything you fill in and proofread endlessly.

You have already come a long way if you are ready to fill the AACOMAS application. Focus while filling out the application, and you will soon see success coming your way.


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