A week ago we announced that the new 2014 ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools has been published. I received my copy yesterday and have spent a bit of time reviewing the contents. Overall the 2014 guide is a welcomed update to the 2013 edition however I will breifly discuss the issues with the 2014 edition below.
The 2013 edition is 208 pages while the 2014 is 226. This is likely due to more information from the recently opened dental schools. Other than statistics, most of the content is identical as expected since much of this information (such as descriptions) does not change from year to year. What I did find disappointing is the number of errors in the book that were immediately noticeable.
As with every edition of the ADEA Official Guide there are misreported statistics or incomplete stats. With a book that has thousands of numbers it is understandable to have a few of these errors. In this edition of the book, I am noticing FAR MORE errors than that in the 2013 guide. Some of these errors are completely obvious to a layperson and should have been caught by anybody reviewing the material before publishing. For example, Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine notes that 62 out of their 67 students from the class entering fall 2013 are over the age of 30; however, their average age is 25 years old. Things like this should have been noticed with a single read through. There is a lot more information lacking in this book relative to the 2013 guide. For example, University of the Pacific did not report origin for out-of-state students other than those accepted internationally. Many schools failed to properly report the numbers between Accepted and Enrolled students. This leads to many schools showing a near perfect yield (students matriculated divided by those offered a spot) which in many cases is realistically 50% or less. These mistakes did occur in the 2013 guide, but they are much more common in the 2014 guide.
I am not sure who is responsible for these inconsistencies. Was the book rushed so that students can have it in time to research potential schools? We won’t ever know; however, 95% of the book is pure gold and outweighs the cons. Please utilize this resource when applying to dental school. I once again recommend purchasing the digital version through the ADEA (Available April 7th, 2014) which is sold at a fraction of the price ($10) compared to the price of the printed book and associated shipping ($45+). Hopefully those with the digital version will also receive updates if schools choose to fix their profiles and stats. Contacting the dental school directly may help in getting more accurate information if something seems off.