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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews


May 22, 2018

A Top-5 Pharmacy School Loses almost 40% of its applications in a single year according to recent data put out by AACP. I talk about what the pharmacy school application drop means and probably doesn't mean. Is it the application process (jumping on early admission) or a genuine disinterest in the profession as a career? I'm not sure. 

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice on building your professional
network brand and a purposeful second
income from students residents and
innovative professionals hey welcome to
the pharmacy leaders podcast you know
again take a little bit of a break in
terms of doing some interviews I've got
a couple that'll be coming up soon but I
wanted to talk about something that came
out from pharmacy week they talked a bit
about the ACP applications from the last
cycle so this cycle is just ending
although I think you can still apply to
pharmacy school by June 1st for this
fall I've seen many schools extend their
deadlines and you'll see why in a little
bit but I want to talk about the the
article that he has and the numbers that
kevin has and then all I'll talk about
what I did with an excel file and
compare this year's numbers to last year
know last year's numbers and you'll be a
little surprised who's at the at the
bottom and who's at the top as well okay
so first thing this is all from the ACP
website they publish the numbers of how
many students are applying how many
students are getting in and all that
stuff a big thing to take away before we
even start is to know that this in no
way represents the actual number of
applicants so it used to be like you
apply to five schools and
it's down to like four schools and it
may be even less than that because so
many students are going in and doing
that early decision which i think is an
absolutely horrible thing to do early
decision locks you into a school
regardless and you wouldn't be able to
apply to the next cycle if you were in a
situation of high demand and low supply
where we make sure I got that right if
you were in yeah low demand so days
pharmacy schools want pharmacy students
so there is a high demand for pharmacy
students and a low supply but you're
locking yourself in early and saying
okay I'm gonna go to the school because
of fear that you know maybe you won't
get accepted after all if you go into
the pool and it's nice to know ahead of
time that you're gonna get in but what
that does is it also reduces
applications because if you're only
applying to one school then that's going
to apply that's going to reduce the
applications and if that's the case and
all the schools are doing this then
these numbers don't really tell us a ton
about what's going on with pharmacy
schools so but let's look at it it was a
few let's see in terms of enrollment
enrollment went down slightly from sixty
four thousand three hundred to sixty
three thousand eight hundred so doing
the math that's only so only five
hundred fewer students enrolled in
pharmacy school in 2017 so although
we're seeing precipitous drops in
applications that doesn't seem to gel
with what's actually happening in terms
of the people going to school they're
still about an equal number going to
school and it's actually higher than it
was in 2012
so as applications are diving somehow
the number of students has actually gone
up by thirteen hundred and yes I get it
there's other schools there are new
schools and that that would mean there's
more students but I'm just saying that
the dive that that applications are take
in no way seems to correlate to this
number of students that are enrolled so
enrollment is actually flat right now
though I here at individual schools that
are some declined in the enrollment
looking at the fall enrollments so up
down a little bit
barely you know 300 or 400 from 2016 to
2017 so again the enrollments are not
dropping as these applications are
dropping so there might be another cause
for it again I really think it's got to
be that people are just saying I want to
go to this school and now that there's a
school much closer to me I can do that
so for example California Health
Sciences University is in Fresno and
prior to that you either had to go to LA
or San Fran and California is a
ginormous state and then somebody said
well let's put a pharmacy school in the
middle in the Central Valley in the
Central Valley for those of you that
aren't familiar with it is much more
like the Midwest to be honest it's a
very agricultural and people are
responding to that and I think see Hsu
was one of the schools that either got a
few more applicants or let me check let
me check my spreadsheet that I did I
want to say yes so they actually gained
6% because of their positioning and so
if I am a pharmacy school Dean I would
actually expand and I'm talking and I'm
thinking about my alma mater and I do
love Maryland but they just said that
they were shutting down or it was an
email and somebody reported it they were
shutting down their Shady Grove campus
and then everything was moving to
Baltimore I would have actually done the
opposite I would have reduced the size
of Baltimore and I would have kept Shady
Grove because what students are saying
by these applications and what they're
doing and I'll get into it is that these
students are saying we're going to apply
to these new schools and we're gonna go
to these new schools because these new
schools are closer to us and I don't
know why this is any
to pharmacy schools I mean you when you
ask students why they picked which a P
they're like well that's where I had
housing or that's close to where I live
so it makes sense that if they're gonna
spend you know five weeks somewhere and
that's how they do it well then it might
be how they spend four years somewhere
and it's gonna be close so generally we
we see students applying regionally
rather than nationally and I'll talk a
little bit about that later too so we
are up from twenty twelve hundred and
twenty nine colleges up to a hundred and
forty-two yeah anyway I don't want to go
into that that's we belabor that too
much and Kevin likes to use red and
capitals and bold and I thought it was
because you know red if you're in the
red you're you know not profitable and
if you're in the black then you are but
I think it's just a highlight because
that wouldn't make sense to do it the
other way here but anyway so over last
year there were six thousand fewer
applications but I don't know if that
necessarily means there are fewer
students applying to the schools I just
don't know the numbers will come out or
they do a really good job of explaining
the numbers at a ACP and I think it's in
Boston this year in July so if you
really really are tied to applications
and tied to pharmacy schools that's the
meeting you would definitely want to go
to now obviously if we've gone from one
hundred and twelve thousand and twenty
eleven to seventy two thousand and lost
you know that many applications sure
there are fewer people applying but I
just don't know how many and what they
did and I don't know why you would stop
will actually know exactly why you'd
stop doing this they used to say how
many applications were per student so in
2012 a 6 point 4 2013 5 point 6 2014 5
point 5 and then they stopped publishing
how many applications per student but if
you have if that was continuing to
decline we may be looking at a hundred
percent or moving towards a hundred
percent acceptance to pharmacy school
which is crazy
though that's how they used to do it the
the accepting they would accept many
more than they would graduate and that's
not the case now right now attrition is
around twelve percent so eighty eight
percent of the time you're gonna make it
to the end you know talking nationally
obviously it different schools it's
different but anyway so going to the
applications we see that there's you
know this decrease massive decrease from
2011 to 2017 and there are a number of
things to explain that but in terms of
enrollment we saw eleven thousand nine
hundred and thirty one and twenty eleven
and then we're at fourteen five oh two
and so we did lose a little bit of
enrollment but that's only fifty four
people so what's happening is is that
either were leveling off or students are
but students are just saying you know
I'm gonna go to a pharmacy school if
there's one near me and so if pharmacist
if pharmacy schools want to do something
too he'll continue to get students they
should be expanding not contracting
there was this movie back in oh gosh I
don't know if it was late 80s or early
90s it had to be late eighties secret of
my success and it was Michael J Fox and
the big kind of crux of the business
deal that they were making within the
the movie was you know well someone's
trying to take us over so we should sell
our stock create a war chest of cash and
then that'll then we'll buy our stock
and we'll protect it but what Michael J
Fox is character thought was that no no
we need to expand we need to expand so
that we're so strong we can't get taken
over by someone else and what I'm making
a huge prediction here but I actually
think that it would make more sense for
schools to start taking other schools
over and the reason I say that is
because if you've already got a school
especially if you've already got your
set up for online or you've got your set
up for you know delivering content
to multiple campuses then it's just a
matter of becoming that region's campus
rather than that
state's campus and we've always kind of
done it by state so if I was Dean a
pharmacy school I would actually look to
acquire another pharmacy school that
maybe was quality pharmacy school but
was having a bit of trouble with
enrollment and I've never seen this
before where you know this many pharmacy
schools have under 100 applications so
that's just that's just crazy talk to me
so anyway the attrition rate so Trish
Android continues to go up and that's
understandable the more expensive school
is the more difficult it is to make it
all the way to the end and I know that
many people say well you know they're
letting anybody in but the data from
last year or the last year's ACP I don't
think showed that I mean the grades went
down like marginally like from like
three point four is like three point
three four or something like that but it
doesn't show that although I am seeing
peek at scores that are really
questionable across the board but anyway
but in terms of attrition rate we're
still seeing that students are finishing
and that you know the attrition rate was
near zero you know around the 2000s and
now we're closer to 12% but I know a lot
of people want to blame that on the
quality of student that's coming in but
the data don't show that that it's the
quality of the student it's just that if
you try to charge someone a hundred and
you know sixty thousand dollars which is
the average now for school versus what
about it back then it's just a lot
harder to finish because you just don't
have the money and the other thing is is
I think that the bigger the number the
more likely you're gonna turn around and
just not make it to the end and again
that's that's just my own opinion so the
number of back post back farm bees well
well Florida stopped its program or or I
think that they're done taking new
people so that makes sense
really there just aren't that many
bachelors around anymore that I know of
that are interested in this farm D
anymore so because now they created a
situation where it's really it's gotta
be farmed en residency and you can't
offer farm D residency as part of a
program let's see
masters okay and then first professional
degrees in terms of percentage of women
versus men so this was a little bit
interesting I mean it seems like less
men are going into the profession as a
percentage so not just we know that you
know women are going there are more
women in pharmacy than men by about two
to one but it looks like men are
choosing other fields rather than go
into pharmacy so just kind of an
interesting thing there and then from my
spreadsheet so what I did was I took the
data from this cycle which was the
2016-2017 cycle and matched it to the
2015-2016 cycle and said okay well which
schools lost the most students and I bet
you can't guess which one lost the most
it is absolutely and and I double check
the numbers so the numbers are right so
the only thing I could think is that
maybe a a CP miss reported them I I just
that this school had this happen I just
can't it just boggles my mind but they
did make a huge change which wouldn't
make it make sense but it doesn't make
sense it went down I should have gone up
so at the very bottom the school that
lost the most students is the University
of California San Francisco according to
u.s. News from World Report it is the
number three school in the country now
let's kind of unpack of that that's just
craziness so the University of
California San Francisco announced that
they're going from the four-year to the
three-year because then that
in four years you can get to residency
and of all the cities in the country San
Francisco would be a city that you only
want to live in for three years based on
the price of housing and things like
that but that number is just enormous
that you could go down to five hundred
and forty one and still I mean they they
have a very small class size if I
remember right around 90 or something
like that so they're still getting
plenty of applications per spot and I
assume that you know I got accepted to
UCSF you know number three school in the
country they would take it Puerto Rico
took a huge hit as well going from 160
to 97 applications for the next school
year and that's understandable I mean it
had that tragedy last year with the
hurricane and and obviously hopefully
though they'll be able to bounce back
and then a Campbell I think is in North
Carolina they took a hit down 36 percent
down 286 applications and then Finley I
think that is another one of the Ohio
ones because I think there ton of
Ohioans I could be wrong I want to make
sure I get this right
pharmacy school there's a map but it's
kind of confusing where everything is
yeah so it's in Findlay Ohio and then
Cedarville went under a hundred as well
losing 33 percent and I feel like that
is also on Ohio school let's check
senior Gulf University yeah yep Ohio
so Campbell in North Carolina
Finley's Cedarville in is Campbell North
Carolina I think so
pretty sure pharmacy all these privates
makes it so much harder
no not Campbell's pharmacy came yeah
it's North Carolina okay
um I don't know how to pronounce the hu
sson one they lost 30 percent Regis lost
30 percent or 29 28 % Regis 28 percent
in Colorado Notre Dame lost a ton down
30 percent there was that job available
for a recruiter for Notre Dame and
that's the one in Maryland
Oregon State lost about a quarter
Charleston lost a quarter Oklahoma lost
a quarter here's another surprise
University of Washington which is ranked
number well I don't know how they did
this but there is I feel like they just
there's no way this couldn't have
happened on purpose there's a seven way
tie for ninth like that's just weird
but Washington number nine school in the
country lost 25% of its applications and
I'm wondering if a lot of them were
Californians that had to come out for
Washington pay out-of-state tuition and
know that private school tuition and
that tuitions about the same
Appalachians down 24.3 Shenandoah down
23 Idaho State down 22% Georgia down 22%
Incarnate Word
New England Toro New York become Georgia
Midwestern Downers Grove Houston
Xavier Palm Beach Atlantic and Rhode
Island all down between 19 and 20
percent so the numbers are really really
a lot of them have gone you know there's
a lot of fewer applications but you know
that says okay well people aren't
interested in pharmacy anymore but kind
of going back to the data again well the
same number of students are enrolling so
kind of going back to my whole point of
the whole thing is that I don't
necessarily know that fewer people are
gonna go to pharmacy school I think
they're going to take just as many and
what they're doing is they're taking
them on one application and done rather
than having the much larger
you know competition that we used to
have you know you have you know a ton of
different applications you've got to do
six seven eight applications how to make
sure you get in pharmacy school no kind
of last point I wanted to make was you
know who are the big winners as you
could say you know and and the thing is
is that the way that this works is if
you had a dip and then you came back up
then it would look like you know oh my
gosh you've got so many more students
than you had last year but Marshall B
Ketchum I think that's one of the new
schools so I don't think that really
counts because obviously they're gonna
have a huge huge increase because they
didn't have them before and that's is
that another California one I feel like
that's the Fullerton California one and
then Larkin gained a hundred and forty
two so I'm not sure where they are C
school is it Miami I feel like yeah so
another one of the new ones I think I
don't know should do some research
before I start talking yeah yeah it's in
North Miami so big competition for all
the Florida schools but I didn't see the
Florida was really losing a ton actually
it's the other way around more people
are trying to go to school in Florida so
kind of round out University Colorado
I've got a ton of new students st.
John's got an hour applications st.
John's got the applications Hawaii
Florida A&M Illinois Chicago North
Dakota State Sanford Philadelphia
Michigan Buffalo Butler and then
anything else is kind of less than 10%
of an increase or it is a decrease so
anyway um wanted to kind of just talk
about that and that although we're
seeing you know this this number is
saying we're getting fewer applications
I just don't know what that says because
we're not necessarily changing the way
that people go to school is changing
they're choosing to pay for once
which i think is is
Pennywise and pound-foolish it makes
sense that you only want to pay one
application fee and if your grades are
high enough I think they even waive it
and they you know give it to you for
free but what you've done is you've just
said okay well instead of having a
competitive market for you know me as a
great student I'm just gonna take the
first one that takes me and I get it
there's fear that you're not going to
get accepted but the play in this
environment is to apply to many schools
then see if you can find equally matched
schools and then see which one will
provide you with the best financial
resources because the average students
graduating with 160 right now and the
way to combat that is to the way to
succeed in this market is to do the best
job on the way in of securing the
financial aid you need to get you
through school because it'll also make
sure that you know the less you're gonna
owe the more chance you're gonna make it
through so anyway that's my two cents
but don't feel like there's going to be
this huge drop in students coming out of
pharmacy schools it's I think it's just
there's this huge number of pharmacy
students that are getting in on the
first try and they're just not having to
put a lot of more applications in their
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