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Press Release

May 6, 2023

Kaplan Survey: Medical Schools Keep COVID-Era Admissions Policies to Keep Application Process More Flexible


New York, NY (May 5, 2023) ⁠— Changes to the medical school admissions process made three years ago to mitigate hardships for prospective students during the COVID-19 pandemic may be here to stay, finds Kaplan’s most recent medical school admissions officers survey*. Among the findings:

  • A Whole Zoom World: 42 of the 48 admissions officers surveyed say they allow prospective students to opt for an online interview in lieu of an in-person interview, something that only became widely accepted at the start of the pandemic because of the hazards of traveling and close personal contact.

  • Finding the Right Students: 14 of the 50 admissions officers say that the pandemic has made it harder to recruit the kinds of applicants they are looking for. This expressed difficulty among some comes at a time when applicant volume has come back down to earth after a pandemic high. Applicants to medical school in 2022-23 numbered 55,188 — nearly 12 percent fewer than in 2021-2022, but 4 percent more than in 2020-2021, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

  • It’s a Dealbreaker: While much has changed in medical school admissions due to the pandemic, there’s one constant: a low MCAT score remains “the biggest application dealbreaker,” outpacing other factors like a low undergraduate GPA and letters of recommendation.

“We’re pleased to see that most medical schools have decided to keep in place some pandemic-driven policies, which we see as both applicant-friendly and efficient, like online interviews. Taking the interview directly to where prospective students are can save aspiring doctors thousands of dollars in travel costs,” said Petros Minasi, senior director, pre-health programs, Kaplan. “It’s important for pre-meds to keep in mind that although applicant volume is down from its recent sky high numbers, it’s still significantly higher than it was pre-pandemic, which means an elevated level of competition to get in. Start putting together the strongest application possible, beginning as early as freshman year, by getting in your pre-reqs and then taking the MCAT your junior or senior year.”

To schedule an interview with a Kaplan expert, contact Russell Schaffer at or 917.822.8190.

*Admissions officers from accredited medical schools across North America were polled by phone and e-mail between September and November 2022. 

MCAT® is a registered trademark of the AAMC. Test names are the property of the respective trademark holders, none of whom endorse or are affiliated with Kaplan.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. is a global educational services company that helps individuals and institutions advance their goals in an ever-changing world. Our broad portfolio of solutions help students and professionals further their education and careers, universities and educational institutions attract and support students, and businesses maximize employee recruitment, retainment, and development. Stanley Kaplan founded our company in 1938 with a mission to expand educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds. Today, our thousands of employees working in 26 countries continue Stanley’s mission as they serve about 1.2 million students and professionals, 13,000 corporate clients, and 4,000 schools, school districts, colleges, and universities worldwide. Kaplan is a subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Learn more at

Press Contact

Russell Schaffer
(917) 822-8190
Twitter: @KaplanEdNews

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