Frequently Asked Questions
All application and deposit fees are non-refundable. ACOM does waive the supplemental application fee for those who have been approved for the AACOMAS fee waiver.
Non-traditional students who have been out of college for more than 2 years and have not taken recent prerequisite or other classes must have letters from their immediate supervisor. A physician letter is also required.
Yes, but it is not encouraged. Any additional letter(s) of recommendation (LOR) should touch on something not mentioned in previous LORs. Additional LORs that repeat the same information are not necessary.
ACOM uses a rolling admissions cycle and schedules applicant interviews August through April of the application year. Applicants are invited to campus for an interview, faculty and staff presentations, and a tour of the facility. The schedule includes a single, open-file interview with basic science faculty, clinical faculty, administrators, and/or community physicians.
ACOM does not accept international or non-permanent residents at this time. Applicants with DACA status also cannot be considered at this time. Undergraduate coursework taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for US-institution equivalence and can be evaluated by any one of several services designated by AACOMAS for this purpose.
For the 2017 cycle, applicants had the following average quality metrics: total GPA average of 3.40; science GPA of 3.3; and MCAT score of 501 (26 on the old exam). ACOM uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Personal characteristics, past accomplishments, how well your future goals align with ACOM’s mission, and other factors are also important in the application process.
No. A physician letter is required, but ACOM will accept a letter of recommendation from either a DO or MD. We strongly recommend that applicants spend time with an osteopathic physician to increase awareness of the osteopathic philosophy and practice. Submitting a letter from a DO is a way of demonstrating the applicant’s understanding of and commitment to the osteopathic medical profession.
Yes. In lieu of a premedical advisor or committee letter, 2 signed letters written by college science professors can be accepted. Letters should be from faculty who instructed you in the required science courses or recommended upper-level science courses (biology, chemistry, or physics). Letters from social science (e.g., psychology, sociology, etc.) or math professors will not count toward this requirement.
ACOM does not usually accept substitutes for the required courses. Equivalent coursework may be considered for prerequisite courses through the review and approval by the Dean of Student Services. Most COM’s follow the AACOMAS definition of science courses to determine science GPA and science hours. See the AACOMAS website for more information.
Prior to matriculation each applicant must meet the following requirements:
- high school diploma or its recognized equivalent
- bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Students with 75% of coursework completed toward a baccalaureate degree may be considered under special circumstances and must be approved by the Dean.
- 8 semester hours of Biology with labs
- 8 semester hours of Physics with labs
- 8 semester hours of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
- 8 semester hours of Organic Chemistry with labs
- 6 semester hours of English Composition and/or Literature
- Official exam scores from the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- Prospective students are urged to take the test as early as possible. The January test date will be the last one accepted for the current cycle. The MCAT must be taken within 4 years of the desired date of matriculation.
A competitive applicant has an MCAT score of 501 (26 on the old exam) and an overall GPA of 3.4 (4.0 scale). The competitive science GPA is 3.3 (4.0 scale).
ACOM only accepts applications through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). This centralized application service opens in May each year for students who wish to apply for the class entering the following year. For more information about AACOMAS, visit www.aacom.org.
ACOM is approved to matriculate up to 210 students each fall. Accepted students come from all 50 states and about 50 percent of the class is made up of students from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Currently, the total number of students enrolled at ACOM is approximately 620.
ACOM was granted full accreditation from COCA on April 6, 2017. ACOM is licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Education and is fully accredited through the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). COCA is the only accrediting body for predoctoral osteopathic medical education and is recognized by the US Department of Education.
There is a projected overall national shortage of 160,000 physicians by 2020. Even though 20 percent of the population lives in rural areas, only 9 percent of all physicians practice there. Fifty-five of Alabama’s 67 counties are considered rural by the Health Resources and Services Administration, and only 7 counties in Alabama have been identified as having enough primary care physicians to provide the minimum of care. More than 1 million Alabamians are without adequate access to a primary care physician. Addressing this shortage is the central focus behind the founding of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The United States Department of Education recognizes two schools of medicine to train physicians to provide health care to the public — colleges of osteopathic medicine leading to a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO) and colleges of medicine leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD). Both types of schools develop completely trained physicians by offering four years of undergraduate medical training which is followed by three to seven years of graduate medical education (residency and fellowship training). Both DOs and MDs must pass examinations that qualify them for unrestricted licenses to practice all the specialties of medicine.
ACOM is a four-year, comprehensive osteopathic medical school located in Dothan, Alabama. As the academic division of the Houston County Health Care Authority, the private, non-profit college was founded in 2010 to help address the primary care physician shortage in Alabama. ACOM is the third medical school in Alabama and the first osteopathic medical school in the state.
ACOM security personnel conduct daily and nightly patrols of the property.
We offer on-site professional management and maintenance. We will be happy to help you with anything that isn’t working properly in your unit. Work orders can be submitted in person, via email to the manager, or directly through your resident portal. We also offer after-hours maintenance service for any emergencies that may arise.
Yes, all of our license agreements are for 12 months. Payments are required all 12 months, regardless of occupancy in the unit.
We know that students stay extremely busy and we try to do everything possible to accommodate this lifestyle. In order to do so, the pool and gym are open 24-hours for our residents. However, key card access is required.
ACOM is a tobacco free campus and therefore not allowed at Summerfield Square. We also do not allow alcohol in any of the common areas including the clubhouse, pool, grill, or fire pit areas. You can have alcohol in your unit pending you are of age and comply with all local, state, and federal ordinances.
Absolutely, again we want this to be your home for at least the next two years. We just ask that you use the “rule of thumb.” Any holes made in the wall that are bigger than the size of your thumb will result in a fee at move-out.
Although, we want your apartment to feel like home we do ask that you do not paint the walls of your unit.
We do not offer any additional storage units. However, the units are extremely spacious and offer several large closets for extra storage.
Of course you can! We offer ample amounts of parking space for our residents. However, we ask that you do not bring any boats, trailers, etc.
Move-in day is the Friday before Orientation.
With limited turnaround time between classes, we cannot accommodate early move-ins.
We do offer a deferment plan. However, this plan must be pre-arranged with management prior to your first month’s housing fee becoming due.
We have a limited number of pet-friendly units that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All pet units are also subject to a pet fee and management approval.
We are the exclusive provider for on-campus housing for ACOM. We offer accommodations to students and their spouse, domestic partner or dependent.
All of our license agreements are for 12 months. We do not offer any short term agreements.
We use the term license agreement, and we do require that all students sign a license to live with us.
We do offer a roommate matching service. If you are interested in this service, please let management know. We can direct you to our online survey that will ask lifestyle questions and provide you with possible matches.
The housing fee covers water, baseline electricity, sewer, trash, cable, WiFi and 24-hour maintenance.
All of our units come with a refrigerator, oven/stove, and washer and dryer. Dishwasher available in some units. Each unit has hardwood floors in the kitchen, living room and hallways and carpet in the bedroom(s). Studio units feature hardwood floors throughout the living room/bedroom space.
We offer studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The one-bedroom unit has one bath. We also offer two different floor plans of two-bedroom units, each with two bathrooms. We allow a student to lease the two-bedroom privately or the option to live with a roommate which allows for separate license agreements.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Willed Body Program:
Phone: (334) 944-4042 or (334) 699-2266
Yes, financial contributions and/or business services may be donated to the Willed Body Program.
Yes, you can withdraw from the program by notifying the Willed Body Program of your decision.
If you move to a state outside of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine servicing area, you may withdraw your participation from the Willed Body Program and choose to donate to an anatomical donation program in your new location.
If you would like to change your donation, contact your current anatomical donation program to withdraw your donation. Then contact the Willed Body Program at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine to become a donor.
The medical school has a servicing radius of 100 miles. If death occurs outside of this servicing area, transportation will be at the expense of the donor or family of the donor. Alternatively, the body may be donated to another anatomical donation program within proximity of the location of death.
Each donor can choose whether his/her donation remains anonymous, or if he/she would like to be recognized for the donation during the annual memorial service.
Yes, each year a memorial ceremony is held for donors.
Because the program needs to be notified within 8 hours of death, a funeral service with the body is not possible. However, funeral services without the body may still be held at the discretion of loved ones.
The Willed Body Program is responsible for ensuring a death certificate has been filed. The death certificate is available 2-3 weeks after death and can be obtained from the public health department (physical location or website) of the state where the death occurred. The program is not responsible for creating an obituary, filing for social security benefits, or any other death related documentation.
If the donor has a disqualifying condition at death, the body may not be accepted for use in the program. If the body is rejected, the next-of-kin or executor or personal representative is responsible for any expenses relating to alternate death arrangements for the donor.
After the program receives your completed application forms, a donor card will be mailed to you to confirm your participation in the program. However, donations may be rejected at death if disqualifying conditions exist.
Yes, the next-of-kin or executor or personal representative may donate the remains if the deceased was not already enrolled in the program.
The next-of-kin/executor/personal representative should be informed about your decision to be a donor.
With permission from the donor, the Willed Body Program may allow your donation to be utilized by other approved medical education institutions.
At the conclusion of the study period, the donor remains are cremated. The ashes are either returned to the family of the donor or placed in a designated memorial location.
No, all medical findings will be kept confidential.
The medical history of the donor is valuable to integrate human anatomy with clinical diagnosis during the course of study.
With donor permission, portions of your donation may be used for medical research. Experiments using specific body parts may be performed in order to make advancements in medical research. Depending on the type of research performed, portions of your donation used for this purpose may be excluded from the donor cremains.
With donor permission, portions of your donation may be retained permanently for educational purposes. Examples may include organs such as the heart or brain or abnormal findings such as tumors that can be used for permanent teaching purposes.
The body will be kept for the duration of the study period which could be up to two years. With donor permission, the body may remain at the medical school for extended or permanent study.
Your donation will be used for educational purposes. With donor permission, your donation may also be used for medical research.
No, payment will not be provided to the donor or family of the donor.
There are no expenses associated with being a donor providing that death occurs within the servicing area of the program. Upon notification of death, the Willed Body Program takes financial responsibility for the transport and preparation of the body for admission into the program.
No, this program is a whole body donation program.
Conditions listed below are some examples that would result in a donor being rejected from the program:
- Infectious disease such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, and/or Creutzfeldt-Jakob
- Morbid obesity or emaciation
- Mutilation or disfigurement
- Missing limbs or major organs
- Facility at capacity
- Not providing proper notification and documentation within 8 hours of death
Yes, a donor must be at least 18 years of age.
To become a donor, complete the donor forms and return the completed forms to the Willed Body Program.
Each donation to the Willed Body Program is a deeply appreciated gift. Your donation will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
The Willed Body Program at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine is a program that provides an opportunity for individuals to make whole body donations to medical education and research.
ACOM has a number of arrangements for students who are called to duty during the academic term. Please review the the Veterans Readmission Policy and contact the office of the Dean of Students for assistance.
ACOM has a number of arrangements for students who are called to duty during the academic term. Please review the the Veterans Readmission Policy and contact the office of the Dean of Students for assistance.
Your monthly housing allowance is paid directly to you at the beginning of each month for the previous month. Possible explanations for varying check amounts include:
- Partial month of attendance
- Rate change between calendar years
- Delay because of re-certification at the start of the term
You will not begin to receive these benefits until ACOM has certified your enrollment. Please note that there may be a delay between ACOM’s certification of your enrollment and the VA’s processing and distribution of your payments. Please ensure that you are prepared to cover your living expenses in the event of a lengthy delay in VA payments. If you are concerned about your ability to do this, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.
If you are concerned, contact the Office of Financial Aid at email@example.com to ensure that your certification request has been processed by the College. If it has, we will provide you with the Certification ID and assist you with contacting the VA to determine your status.
For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs will process tuition and fee payments directly to ACOM. You will need to ensure that all documentation is in place so that ACOM receives payments on your behalf. In the event you learn that you are not entitled to VA payments, you will be responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the College.
For all other VA education benefits programs, you will receive funds directly from the VA and will be responsible for submitting all payments you owe to ACOM.
As with other scholarships, you should anticipate the amount you will receive from the VA and pay only the remaining balance on your student account. You should not pay upfront the amount that you expect to receive from the VA. We will ensure that you are not assessed a late fee for this outstanding balance while VA payment is pending.
Yes. You will need to complete and submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training, VA Form 22-1995 to the VA. The form can be accessed electronically on the VA website. In addition, please email your Certificate of Eligibility and Veterans Request for Certification form to firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to include your full name and student ID number. You may also submit your documentation in person to the Office of Financial Aid.
Please email documentation to email@example.com, and be sure to include your full name and student ID number. You may also submit your documentation in person to the Office of Financial Aid.
Questions about federal benefits should be directed to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or other federal government sponsor. ACOM cannot determine eligibility for VA educational assistance programs nor recommend participation in any particular program. Students are responsible for choosing the program that will best suit their needs.
Students who may be eligible for VA education benefit programs should refer to the GI Bill website or contact the VA for assistance.
Post – 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
Individuals who are eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill may begin using it August 1, 2009. Only active duty service performed after September 10, 2001 may be considered for determining eligibility for this new benefit. To be eligible, a service member or veteran must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty. However, individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001 may also establish eligibility.
The Post – 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377) changes the amount of tuition and fee charges which should be reported to the VA by ACOM. For periods of enrollment beginning on or after August 1, 2011, the school will report the following charges:
“The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the institution for the program of education after the application of any waiver of, or reduction in, tuition and fee; and any scholarship, or other Federal, State, institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and title IV funds)that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees.”
Example: Gross In-State Charges = $4,000
Veteran Discount -400
Tuition Scholarship -2,000
Title IV (2,500)
General Scholarship (1,000)
Net In-State Charges = $1,600
Aid or assistance that is not designated for the sole purpose of reducing a student’s tuition and fee cost should not be excluded from the net in-state charges reported to VA.
Example: The student above also has a $1,000 scholarship form a local Veterans Service Organization. The scholarship is general in nature and may be used to defray school costs such as food, housing, books, etc. Since it is not “specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees,” it is not deducted from the charges submitted to VA.
Post-9/11 GI Bill: Transferability
The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows uniformed service members (officer or enlisted, active duty or Selected Reserve), on or after August 1, 2009, to transfer unused education benefits to immediate family members (spouse and children). The service member must have at least six years of service, and commit to an additional four years of service in order to transfer benefits to a spouse or child. Because of the potential impact of this benefit on recruiting and retention, transferability policy is determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services. For information on policy and rules for transferability of Post-9/11 GIBill benefits, visit the following websites:
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.
Reservists Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 1606)
The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
Reserve Educational Assistance Program – REAP (Chapter 1607)
This program was established as a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program is for reservists who were activated for at least 90 consecutive days after September 11, 2001. Qualified reservists are eligible for increased benefits.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)
Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal. These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and, if needed, medical and dental treatment. Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.
Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Students must report all sources of funding, including outside scholarships, grants, and loans, to the Office of Financial Aid. A Third-Party Financial Aid Reporting Form is available for your use. Per federal regulations, all sources of financial assistance must be considered when awarding federal student aid.
Deadlines vary and are listed on the application for each scholarship. Please refer to Scholarship Opportunities for more information.
No. Funding from Federal Student Aid programs may not be used to cover expenses incurred prior to your enrollment at ACOM such as moving or relocation expenses.
In this context, the term “disburse” refers to the process of crediting funds to a student’s school account, NOT the process of paying a credit balance payment to a student. Per federal regulations, upon receiving funds from the Dept. of Education, ACOM has up to three business days to make disbursements, and up to 14 additional days to make credit balance payments.
You may monitor the status of your credit balance payment via MyACOM.
Financial aid is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid, but it is disbursed by the Student Accounts Office. The term “disbursement” refers to the process of crediting funds to a student’s school account. Per federal regulations, ACOM has up to three business days after receiving funds to make disbursements. Generally, federal student loans will be disbursed in at least two equal installments after the student has attended at least one day of class. Loans will be disbursed at the beginning of each term or at the beginning and midpoint if the student is only attending one term. Projected standard disbursement dates will be determined annually and are subject to change.
A credit balance on a student’s school account is created when the account is funded with disbursements of financial aid which are in excess of the student’s financial obligation to ACOM. Subsequently, the excess funds are paid to the student to be used to cover educationally related expenses. These types of payments, sometimes referred to as refunds, are called “credit balance payments.”
All payments will be sent to your U.S. bank account via direct deposit. If you do not have direct deposit set up with the Bursar’s Office at the time a particular payment is made, a paper check will be mailed to the address that is currently on file with the Registrar’s Office. The Bursar may also permit students to pick up their checks in-person from the Bursar’s Office.
For additional details, please refer to the Student Financial Aid Guide or contact the Office of Financial Aid.
ACOM will begin generating award notices for the upcoming academic year during late spring/early summer. Please monitor your ACOM email account for announcements.
Please allow up to two weeks for processing. Please note that time frame will be dependent upon the volume of applicant activity we are experiencing at the time your documents are received.
Verification is the process by which the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) checks the accuracy of information submitted by the student on his or her FAFSA. It is intended to reduce errors in the financial information that students submit so that eligible applicants can receive the correct amount of financial assistance.
When a student submits the FAFSA to CPS, CPS may send Verification instructions to ACOM via the student’s ISIR. ACOM will review all applications which are selected for Verification by CPS in order to determine whether Verification is required. If Verification is required, the student will be contacted via email and instructed to submit to the Office of Financial Aid additional documentation which may include but is not limited to an IRS tax return transcript and an Independent Verification Worksheet.
All individuals interested in receiving financial aid at ACOM can click “How to Apply” under Financial Aid on the Students menu.
YES! Federal student aid is awarded for one award-year at a time. Students who wish to receive aid in subsequent years must reapply each year and continue to meet applicable eligibility requirements.
Yes. Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans are available to eligible students in attendance at ACOM.
ACOM’s Federal School Code is 042267.