HSAC NEW APPLICANTS

NEW APPLICANT COMMITTEE LETTER ELIGIBILITY

In order for a committee letter to be written for a new applicant (i.e., an applicant who has never received a committee letter), the following criteria must be met: 

  1. The applicant must have graduated no more than four years prior to expected professional school matriculation (e.g., class of 2019 for 2023 matriculation). 
  2. The applicant must secure and have at least three letters of recommendation sent to HSAC for inclusion in the Committee Letter.
    • If you are a currently enrolled student, at least 2 letters should be from college faculty.  One of these two letters must be from a K faculty member who taught you in science class (please note that HSAC members are exempt).   
    •  If you are an alum, at least one letter of recommendation must be from a K faculty member who taught you in science class (please note that HSAC members are exempt). 
  3. The applicant must sign up for and participate in a preapplication interview (PAI). 
  4. The applicant must attend all HSAC information sessions and meet all paperwork deadlines:  
    • April 1st: Deadline for submitting HSAC preapplication interview materials (preapplication profile, personal and short essays, activities overview and list, transcripts, SIP summary or abstract, and photo) and scheduling the PAI. 
    • June 1st: Deadline for submitting letters of recommendation to HSAC for inclusion in the Committee Letter. 
    • August 1st: Deadline for AMCAS submission (ideal submission is in June) 
  5. The applicant must provide HSAC a copy of a submitted primary application(s) and CAS letter request form. 

Applicants who do not meet the first two criteria should reach out to the Careers in Health and Medicine Office to discuss your options. If you have attended graduate school or a post-baccalaureate program, then a HSAC Committee Letter may not be in your best interest. Instead, you might have your graduate program or post-baccalaureate program write a letter on your behalf, as they will be better able to describe your recent achievements and promise.

There are no GPA or MCAT cut-offs to receive a committee letter of recommendation; however, HSAC strongly encourages students to engage in the committee letter process when they feel confident that they are competitive applicants. A committee letter will provide an honest evaluation of academic performance and readiness for success in the rigorous professional school curriculum, as well as experiences and understanding of the profession, and motivation for the chosen profession. 

For K students and alumni who are ineligible for a committee letter because they have missed deadlines or have “aged out” of the committee letter process, HSAC will collect individual letters of recommendation on their behalf, and send a packet of the individual letters to the CAS with a brief cover letter. See Letter Collection Service for more details. 

Please note that the committee letter is written only after the applicant attends all the HSAC information sessions, completes all HSAC application requirements and/or assignments, conducts an HSAC preapplication interview, and submits the HSAC file completion form.


NEW APPLICANT HSAC TIMELINE AND PREAPPLICATION PROCESS

Effective fall 2021, the HSAC preapplication process will begin in the fall term, two years before you hope to start professional school. 

Prospective applicants work with HSAC through a preapplication process to receive the HSAC committee letter of recommendation. This process serves two purposes: 

  1. It helps applicants reflect on their experiences and craft their narrative prior to the application.
  2. It helps HSAC provide a unique, detailed letter that will present the applicant in a positive, personalized light to admissions committees.  

The preapplication process includes submitting a number of forms, essays, and other materials, and participating in a Preapplication Interview. The process is outlined briefly below and in more detail in the Applicant Information Session to be held in the fall. All forms and instructions will be made available to prospective applicants via a Moodle course site following the two sessions in the fall. If you have questions, please Contact the Careers in Health and Medicine Office for more details.

NEW APPLICANT HSAC TIMELINE

1. Attend an Applicant Information Session

This session provides an overview of the application process — both how to work with HSAC and how to prepare to apply — is required of all applicants who are requesting a committee letter of recommendation.

Timing: October

2. Attend Choosing Who to Interview Session

This session will provide provide prospective applicants with mock applications to aid in evaluating their candidacy for this cycle.

This session is required of all applicants who are requesting a committee letter of recommendation.

Timing: November

3. Submit the HSAC Intent to Apply Form

Any student or alum who may apply to medical or dental school in the application cycle should complete this form. It will provide HSAC with some background information about each potential applicant and provides some reflection questions to help the applicant begin to develop their narrative as a future health professional.

Timing: After attending the Applicant Information and Choosing Who to Interview Sessions. 

Deadline: December 31st

4. Attend a Finding Your Fit Session

This session will provide provide prospective applicants with resources to narrow down your list or begin your research on different pre-professional schools, by asking the all important questions of: “What am I looking for in a program?” and “Is this school the right fit for me?”

This session is required of all applicants who are requesting a committee letter of recommendation.

Timing:  January

5. Attend a Composing the Personal Statement Session

In this session, applicants will be provided with some tips to help prepare an effective personal statement that is genuine, reflects who they are, and tells their story.

This session is required of all applicants who are requesting a committee letter of recommendation.

Timing:  February

6. Request Letters of Recommendation

Applicants requesting a committee letter of recommendation should gather at least 3 individual letters of recommendation from faculty, staff, supervisors, and mentors who know them well.

If you are a currently enrolled students your letters must meet the criteria below:

  • One letter from a Kalamazoo College faculty member who has taught the applicant in a science class and can speak to their readiness for the science curriculum in professional school (required)
  • One letter from a faculty member who can speak to the applicant’s pre-professional competencies (required)
  • One from someone whose letter will complement the above letters and speak to the pre-professional competencies (required)
  • Additional letters (optional)

Alumni applicants must have:

  • One letter from a Kalamazoo College faculty member who has taught the applicant in a science class and can speak to their readiness for the science curriculum in professional school (required)

Timing:  Ask for letters in the winter/early spring term. Provide writers with at least a month’s notice to produce the letter (but the more notice they have, the better).

Deadline: To meet the HSAC deadline to receive a committee letter of recommendation, letters should be received by June 1st.

7. Attend Interviewing 101 Session

This session aims to help prepare applicants for the various types of interviews you may experience throughout the professional school application process. This session is required of all applicants who are requesting a committee letter of recommendation.

Timing: April

8. Participate in HSAC Preapplication Interview (PAI)

This 30-40 minute interview is required for any student or alum requesting a committee letter of recommendation. A number of written materials must be submitted by April 1st.

The following written materials are due by April 1st:

  • Preapplication Profile
  • Personal & Short essays
  • Activities overview & activities list
  • Transcripts
  • SIP summary or abstract (due April 1st for Alums and June 1st for current students)
  • Photo

Timing: mid-April through mid-May

Deadline: Interviews are scheduled on a first come, first served basis in late March.

9. HSAC Completing the Application Information Session

This session is designed to provide applicants with an in depth overview of the online CAS application as well as tips for completing the application.

Timing: April

10. Take Standardized Test

Medical school applicants will take the MCAT and dental school applicants will take the DAT. Other tests are required for other professions.

Timing: For MCAT, ideally by May of the application year. For DAT, ideally by July of the application year.

11. Submit Primary Application

The primary application is the “Common App” — all schools to which you apply will receive your primary application.

Timing: Applications open for preparation in May and may be submitted in late May/early June. Submitting early is optimal.

Deadline: To receive a committee letter of recommendation, the applicants must submit the file completion form by August 1.

12. Submit Secondary Applications

Individual professional schools will require an additional secondary or supplementary application that is unique to that school.

Timing: Summer, ideally within two weeks of being invited to complete the secondary application.

Deadline: Varies by school.

13. Interviews

Interviews are required by every health professions school.

Timing: Interview invitations are released between July and April with the majority in August through October.

14. Get accepted!

After the interview, admissions committees will deliberate and extend acceptances. 

Timing: For medical school, October through April for regular decisions; before the first day of classes for wait list decisions. For dental school, regular decisions begin in December.

We enjoy guiding you through this process and supporting your applications, and we hope that you will keep us informed of all developments and decisions throughout your application cycle.