Alternate Status

While an alternate, the Committee on Admissions encourages the submission of updates to your file. Continued specific interest in our program and any updated accomplishments are of interest to the Committee. Please update via the online application portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How large is the alternate pool? Where do I stand?

The number of students accepted from the alternate pool varies from year to year. We are unable to tell you how many students are included in this pool. Please know that every year alternates are offered acceptances.

We are unable to give you any indication as to where you are in the alternate pool.

What is the timeline for decision-making for those in the alternate pool?

While offers of acceptance from the alternate pool do not occur until spring, the Committee on Admissions will begin review of the pool in late winter. The alternate pool will begin to be reduced in size at this time.

Beginning in January alternates will receive instruction on how to continue their position in the alternate pool, as well as indicate their continued interest in being accepted to the GW MD program. Updates submitted to the portal are welcome at any time.

As per the Traffic Rules for Applicants set out by the AAMC, by April 30, all applicants holding multiple acceptance offers or seats must hold only one acceptance. Most of the movement for alternates takes place in April and may continue until mid-summer.

How will I know if my status has changed?

If your status changes, you will be contacted by phone immediately. Please be sure that your most current contact information (including phone number(s), email and mailing addresses) is on file with AMCAS.

I'm concerned that GW may be unable to reach me via phone for a period of time due to travel or other circumstances, what should I do?

Please notify us of your plans via email at Include the dates when you will be unavailable and, if possible, the contact information for an alternative person who you’ve elected to make the decision on your behalf. Please include in the email, the person’s full name, their relationship to you, their contact information, and a statement saying that you designate this person to make the decision on your behalf.

It’s getting close to the start of the next cycle and I haven’t heard a final decision? Should I reapply?

Submitting an application for the next cycle while in the alternate pool will have absolutely no negative impact on the decision for a possible acceptance. If you are thinking about reapplying, we recommend that you proceed with the application process, as it is very difficult to give you an indication of movement in the alternate pool. Please note that the Committee on Admissions and the Office of Admissions do not provide feedback or counseling to applicants.

Is the class full?

We do not think of the class in those terms.  There will be movement in the alternate pool and the class itself will likely not be "full" until closer to orientation when there is limited or no possibility of any further movement in the alternate pool.  Whenever the possibility of further movement in the alternate pool has stopped, we will communicate that to all who are in the alternate pool at that time.  

Further, at any time in the process, your place in the alternate pool may be permanently withdrawn if we believe the likelihood of the Committee on Admissions extending an offer of admission is so low as to warrant this withdrawal.  Such withdrawal will be always communicated to you by email.   

How can I improve my chances as an alternate?

The alternate pool is ranked, but it is also fluid.  The ranking is never shared.   Using your student portal (not e-mail) to upload updates either in a note or pdf attachment fashion is a way for you to communicate your continued interest in GW.  Such updates go directly into your file and become instantaneously available for review and remain part of your file. Please use the portal for such updates rather than sending them via e-mail or duplicating the submissions by uploading and then sending them in writing through e-mail as well.  The upload is all that you need to do. Any update you wish to make will be accepted. Quality is preferred over quantity, but you will be the sole arbiter of what you choose to submit. 

Will there be a webinar for alternates?

Yes, we will host a webinar for those remaining in the alternate pool on Wednesday, March 20, at noon Eastern time.  Additional information and a link will be provided after March 6.   As March 6 is the deadline for those in the alternate pool to write to us and confirm that they wish to remain under consideration.  

How can I contact admissions? 

   Please use for any questions that you may have.  Do not write directly to individuals within the office of admissions, other offices, or other units at GW, nor carbon copy them on your correspondence to us.  Use alone for your correspondence.  

Likewise, should you have an additional letter of recommendation or support, please have the letter writer send directly to the address.  They may either put their note of support in the body of their e-mail or if they use an attachment, please have them make it a pdf attachment.  

In a couple of business days, if not sooner, we will reply to them directly and confirm receipt of their note.  

Please do not have those offering additional support make phone calls, instead have them use the method described above.  Likewise, your supporters should not write directly to individuals, other offices, or other units at GW, nor carbon copy them on their correspondence to about your candidacy.    

     If your additional recommendation is being uploaded through AMCAS, please send a quick note to to let us know that an additional letter may be found through AMCAS. 

What if I've already sent updates? 

They remain with your file. If you've sent one that is significant before we had asked for additional confirmation of interest, simply go to your portal and write a quick note telling us to please reference that earlier update. 

When will movement in the alternate pool begin?

     Typically, movement begins in the month of April.  In most cycles, the majority of movement takes place in late April and throughout the month of May. 

How will I be contacted?

     Typically, you will be contacted initially by e-mail and sometimes by phone.  There may be requests for additional information or questions about where you are in the process at that time.   Should you know that you will be unreachable for a specific period of time i.e. on wilderness adventure with no phone or e-mail access, you should reach out proactively to us with that information.  Such an update is an exception to the rule of using the portal.  For these updates, please e-mail  

Further, if during such a time, you wish to give us permission to talk to someone else you trust on your behalf, you must spell that out intentionally to us - giving us the person's contact information, the date range that this is acceptable, etc.  Without such explicit permission from you, we may not and will not ever communicate to someone other than you regarding your status.

Can I visit the medical school? 

At this time, there are no opportunities to visit in person and should they become available will only be by advance appointment only.  Please do not ever simply arrive at the medical school without a pre-confirmed appointment.  

When should I consider reapplying for the next cycle? 

Around mid June, you should consider reapplying if you have not heard from us and have no other acceptances.  Reapplying in no way jeopardizes your place in the alternate pool.  

If I wish to leave the alternate pool at GW, how should I communicate that?

Please write to us directly at if you ever wish to leave the alternate pool.  Please do not simply click "commit to enroll" at another school.  By writing to us directly you will be doing the right thing for your peers around the country. 

If I am accepted at other school(s), before April 30 can I still get an offer from the alternate pool at GW?

Yes.  Provided you have not selected "commit to enroll" at any school, you may entertain offers from GW or any other school for which you are in the alternate pool.  Even if you have three admits between April 15 and April 30, you can consider other offer(s) without violating traffic rules.  You will only have one week from GW to consider an offer of admission regardless of what timelines may be extended to you from other schools.  

If I am accepted at one school after April 30, can I still get an offer from the alternate pool at GW?

Yes.  The same as above, provided you have not selected "commit to enroll" at that school.  

If I am offered admission later in the process, will there still be financial aid?  Could I still be eligible for merit aid?

 Yes. You should have your FAFSA ready as well as have pre-filled out GW's institutional forms.  (Do not submit the institutional forms prior to acceptance, nor contact financial aid about receipt of FAFSA etc. but have them ready so that you will be able to do so upon acceptance).Yes, those accepted from the alternate pool are still eligible for merit aid.

If I am offered admission after Second Look takes place, will I still have enough information to prepare to start in the fall? 


Yes.  You will receive access to private websites and Facebook groups as well as receive access to all the important information you will need to be ready.  Every year, those in the alternate pool are accepted well beyond Second Look and still have all the resources they need.  Only accepted students may attend Second Look.  Many documents and presentations during Second Look will be posted so that you will be able to see that information later.