Ferris State University College of Pharmacy began participating this cycle (for Fall, 2013) in the PharmCAS Early Decision Program (EDP).
Be sure to read through our description of the EDP, including a question/answer section. There have been a number of additional questions about the EDP, above and beyond that covered in our description. Here is an excerpt of some of those…
Candidate: So, what is the EDP?
The Drop Off Window: The EDP is basically an early application window with a binding acceptance. Ferris’ “regular cycle” deadline is December 3, 2012. The EDP opens an early application window that runs from September 4, 2012 to October 19, 2012. The EDP early window still applies to the Fall 2013 entering class. It gives applicants who see Ferris as a “first choice” destination for their pharmacy education an opportunity to apply, interview and be evaluated, with a decision rendered by October 19th. If an offer is made, the applicant is bound to an acceptance for Ferris for the Fall, 2013 entering class. Applicants may only apply to one EDP school.
Candidate: What do you mean by “bound”?
The Drop Off Window: Applicants are allowed to apply to one EDP college. If offered admission, then they are obligated to accept and will not be allowed to apply to any other PharmCAS schools for the Fall, 2013 entering class. If an applicant were to turn down the admission, they would not be allowed back into the PharmCAS regular cycle for Fall, 2013.
Candidate: If I am not admitted to an EDP school, can I still apply to other colleges of pharmacy?
The Drop Off Window: Yes. One of three results can occur from an EDP application. 1) Offer of Admission – This would bind the applicant to Ferris for the following Fall semester. 2) Deferral to the regular cycle for Ferris, with the December deadline. The applicant would then be reviewed with the regular cycle pool. 3) Denial. Options 2 and 3 would allow the applicant to designate other college of pharmacy to receive his/her application AFTER the October 19th deadline.
Candidate: Will the EDP program be more selective?
The Drop Off Window: Possibly, from the standpoint of offers only. In some cases, we might be evaluating applications without the benefit of the Fall semester grades. As such, different “cut points” might be established. We provided some suggested guidance to applicants on our EDP page.
Candidate: Does that mean that if I don’t have a 3.5 GPA and a 70th percentile on the PCAT that I shouldn’t apply for the EDP?
The Drop Off Window: No. These are just suggestions. Because this is our first year participating in the EDP, we tried to provide general suggestions. Each applicant pool is a bit different. This will also be the case for the EDP pool.
Candidate: I am worried that if I apply to the EDP, I might have a greater risk of being denied admission to Ferris College of Pharmacy, as compared to applying to the regular cycle…
The Drop Off Window: This is the most common concern we hear. There is NO greater risk of a denial in the EDP pool then there is in the regular cycle pool. Remember, one of the decision options is a deferral to the regular cycle. If we feel it is necessary to review Fall grades as part of an applicant review, we would simply change the candidate status to regular cycle and consider them with that pool.
Candidate: If a decision on my application is deferred to the regular cycle, will I have to pay the PharmCAS fee again?
The Drop Off Window: No, not for Ferris. If the candidate wishes to have other colleges of pharmacy consider their application when deferred or denied, then they would be assessed the PharmCAS fees for the additional schools.
Candidate: I am taking the September PCAT. Will that scores get to you in time?
The Drop Off Window: We don’t know for sure. The October 19 deadline is firm for all EDP schools. We do NOT have a guarantee from PharmCAS that the September PCAT scores will available for the EDP window. PharmCAS is dependent on Pearson for the PCAT scores transmission.
Candidate: If I am offered admission as part of the EDP, does that mean I don’t have to worry about my grades in the Fall or Spring?
The Drop Off Window: Admission to the program is conditional on criminal background check, completion of all immunization requirements, deposit, completion of BLS training, and completion of the remaining pharmacy prerequisites (C or better work). So, those admitted through EDP should continue to focus on good academic performance. All student who enter the pharmacy program comment on the need to improve their study/classroom skills after admission. As a result, successful applicants should continue to focus on their studies and study skills. Finally, the material covered in the later prerequisites (e.g. organic chemistry, anatomy an physiology, microbiology, etc.) features large in the first two years of the Pharm.D. program. Mastery of this information is important to success.
Be sure to review all of the admission policies and the additional information on the Early Decision Program hyperlinked above.