Most health professions schools use a centralized application service to gather preliminary information about applicants. Demographic, academic, and personal information (including personal essays) are gathered in a standardized format and forwarded to the schools you indicate. The application service will also typically forward standardized test scores to the selected schools. A standard processing fee is charged, with an additional fee added per school to which you apply. (Most application services have fee reduction opportunities available for qualified applicants. Information about these waivers can be found at the application web sites.)
Most of the primary applications are computerized or web-based, a few allow paper applications to be filed. For professions/schools with no application service, application must be made directly to the individual schools to which you wish to apply. The various application services are:
Following receipt of the primary application, admissions committees at the individual schools determine whether they wish to learn more about each applicant. If so, they will often send a secondary application to the applicant. Depending on the school, the secondary application may simply ask for a little more information and clarification of your academic record, or it may require you to submit several topic-specific essays. You will most likely also be asked to submit an additional application fee of $40 - $100 directly to the school.
At this time, the school will also request you to submit your letters of evaluation -- advisory committee letters and individual letters from work supervisors, etc.