The much-anticipated CASPA 3.0 application launched Wednesday, April 22. CASPA 3.0 is easier for users to navigate and, for the first time, gives programs customizable features. Nearly 200 programs will be participating in the 2015-2016 application cycle.
Here are seven things you need to know about CASPA 3.0:
1. Brand New User Interface
It was time for a facelift. The CASPA application interface had not been updated in more than 10 years, so the 2015-2016 application is launching on a brand-new platform that’s more intuitive to users.
2. Application Fees
A fee increase will be implemented in the new cycle. An applicant’s first program designation will remain $175, and each additional designation will be $50 (up from $45).
3. “Smart” Question & Messaging
The application’s smart question design clears up the clutter on each page of the application because only certain answers will prompt follow-up questions.
4. Program Selections
Once an applicant creates their account, before starting the application, they must select at least one program. This designation — and any others — may be removed at any point before they submit the application.
Katayoun Moini, program director at developing PA program Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, has reviewed CASPA 3.0. “As a new program director with previous CASPA experience, I think the CASPA 3.0 is extremely user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and inviting to students,” said Moini. “Some of my favorite features include the ability for applicants to easily upload documents and supplemental information and to monitor prerequisite requirements.”
5. Family Information Block
A “Family Information” block has been added to the “Personal Information” section of the application. This block will collect data on an applicant’s parents/guardians, including occupation, residency, education, and household. The data in this section is optional and can be used as supplemental information for disadvantaged applicants.
6. Evaluations & Essay
You will see two section name changes on the application — “Evaluations” and “Essay” — formerly called “Letters of Reference” and “Narrative or Personal Statement.” These are simply name changes; the functionality of these sections has not changed.
7. Custom Features
The biggest addition to the new application is the custom features for programs. Each program can elect to activate custom questions, request documents for upload, or require applicants to match prerequisite coursework.
With CASPA 3.0 comes an increase in efficiency. Because programs can collect any supplemental data through CASPA directly, all of the data is in one place for the review process, requiring less paperwork and separate processing.
Not only do these new features benefit programs, but they make the entire process a lot more efficient for applicants, too. There is less concern about how and where to submit materials that are collected by programs separately.
“I believe the customizable improvements to CASPA 3.0 allow programs to consolidate multiple applications into one submission, which definitely has the best interests of the applicants in mind,’ said Kevin Zalanowski, admissions and student affairs coordinator at Northwestern University PA Program.
View the application questions (PDF), and watch a short demo video below.
Questions? Contact Danielle Di Silvestro at ddisilvestro@PAEAonline.org.