Advice from admissions officers

Decision Day 2020: What Can I Expect on Dec. 15?

Posted by B. Lamont Lowery, M.A. on November 19, 2020

As a result of COVID-19, ADEA and the ADEA AADSAS® (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) Advisory Group have decided to extend the 2020-21 cycle acceptance notification date from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15. Similarly, all applicant response times will be extended by two weeks. When extending offers, most schools will call you and send you an official letter in the mail, in addition to sending a standard email with your status change through WebAdMit.

Who Makes the Calls?

Schools tend to have admissions committee members, the students’ admissions deans and directors make the calls to accepted applicants.

What Should You Expect?

A hearty congratulations that references something similar to who the committee really thinks you are as a candidate and an acknowledgment that you will be a great new addition to the incoming class.

Tip: Now is a good time to ask the school about the availability of scholarships and how to apply for them. The school’s representative will tell you where to find its offered scholarship applications. 

Schools will also tell you about second-look opportunities. These are generally opportunities for you and your family members or significant others to visit the school and sort of “kick the tires” and take the school for a “test drive.” 

How Do You Handle Multiple Offers?

Some of you will receive multiple offers. If asked, feel free to use the following response: “I have received multiple offers and I am [fill in adjective] about the opportunities in front of me and will take the time given to discuss with my family and determine which offer best aligns with my life’s mission and goals.”

Please note you will have 30 days to decide whether to accept or decline an offer, and it is in poor taste not to communicate your intentions with all schools concerning their offers.

What If I Do Not Receive an Offer?

Some applicants will not receive an offer on “Decision Day” and that’s okay. Most schools will not try to fill their classes completely on the first date of notifications.

Do not hound the admissions offices. Try to relax and be patient as most schools will update you concerning your status with them.

Bear in mind, this is an exciting day, filled with enthusiasm and you may run a full gamut of emotions as all of your hard work has culminated to moving you closer to your dream of being a great oral health practitioner. Please remember that persistence is what pays the invoice for your dreams, so continue the due diligence that your dream requires.

Good luck to you all!

About B. Lamont Lowery, M.A.:

B. Lamont Lowery, M.A._headshot

B. Lamont Lowery, M.A.

Assistant Dean of Student Recruitment and Engagement

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry


B. Lamont Lowery, M.A., is the Assistant Dean of Student Recruitment and Engagement for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry. Mr. Lowery manages all recruitment and pipeline programs in addition to his responsibilities of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

He served as Director of Admissions for the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine (ECU SoDM) from 2010 to 2020. In that position, Mr. Lowery managed and directed the student admissions processes for ECU SoDM, with an emphasis on attracting and admitting academically qualified students from diverse backgrounds who possess the aptitudes and skills to be highly competent, ethical health care professionals who are prepared to assume leadership positions within the underserved communities they serve in North Carolina. His responsibilities extended well beyond the admissions process as he maintained a strong supportive relationship with admitted students throughout their time of enrollment in the school. Mr. Lowery developed, implemented and directed ECU SoDM’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Dentists program, a program that previously received funding through ADEA.

Mr. Lowery has established strong collaborative relationships with the prehealth advisors at colleges and universities across the state of North Carolina, and has particularly strong ties with advisors, faculty and students at North Carolina’s numerous historically black colleges and universities. Mr. Lowery is a co-author of the academic paper, “An Approach to Using Noncognitive Variables in Dental School Admissions,” published in the Journal of Dental Education (JDE) in April 2014.

Mr. Lowery earned an Associate of Arts degree from Randolph Community College in 1997. He subsequently worked as a medical photographer for East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine for 12 years. Mr. Lowery earned a B.A. in Communications from East Carolina University in 2007 and his M.A. in Health Communication in 2018. He and his wife, Allessandra Bennett Lowery, D.D.S., are the parents of four wonderful boys.