Top Colleges and Student Debt

College Financial Aid

Many expensive private non-profit four-year colleges try to keep student borrowing low by giving generous financial aid to undergraduates from lower-income families.  Among highly selective private non-profit colleges, Harvard University was the most successful in keeping federal student-loan debt low for its graduates who took out such loans.  Six Ivy League schools, including Harvard, were among the top 25 on that measure. The list below shows a school and the median debt for its graduates.

1.  Harvard U. – $6,500

2.  Duke U. – $7,500 | Princeton U. – $7,500

4.  Rice U. – $10,228

5.  Pomona College – $11,000

6.  Piedmont International U. – $11,326

7.  Cornell U. – $12,000

8.  Stanford U. – $12,475

9.  Amherst College – $12,975

10.  Haverford College – $13,000

11.  Grinnell College – $13,170

12.  Dartmouth College – $13,462

13.  Yale U. – $13,500

14.  Vanderbilt U. – $14,000

15.  California Institute of Technology – $14,350

16.  Bates College – $14,450

17.  U. of Chicago – $14,500

18.  Williams College – $14,583

19.  Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – $14,710

20.  Claremont McKenna College – $14,968

21.  Brown U. – $15,000 | John Hopkins U. – $15,000

23.  Georgetown U. – $15,500

24.  Hamilton College (NY) – $15,760

25.  Middlebury College – $15,889

Source:  U.S. Department of Education, National Student Loan Data System

Keep this in mind as you make your plans for college admissions!

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities. 

What College Athletic Coaches Are Looking For When Recruiting (Part 3)

Part 3 of a 3-part series.  

You’ve been playing your sport for 5-10 years and you want to be recruited or at best recruited and receive that four year athletic scholarship from your top choice college. Don’t sell yourself short.

My advice after over 20 years in the college admission business and constantly talking college coaches and Athletic Directors are these additional points college coaches are looking for:

  1. Coach Ability: Coaches want someone who wants to be coached. They don’t want someone who questions what they do and insists on doing something else. A coach has a program in which they have developed an elite team; they want someone willing to fit into that mix.
  2. The WOW Factor: What’s your personal athletic “wow factor” that makes you stand out and get recruited. What do I view as a your “wow factor”?  Your charisma, confidence, motivation, initial-impression, appearance, communication skills, attitude, self-esteem, authenticity, presence, harmony and vibe.  What personal characteristic is truly unique, captivating and exciting about you? And how will you contribute and or passively transfer these characteristics to teammates, to your class and to professors.   It’s a factor that coaches look for as well as discuss with the admissions committee as to the reason why they want you at their school on and off the team.

See Part 1 – Points: 1-3 and Part 2 – Points: 4-6.

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What College Athletic Coaches Are Looking For When Recruiting (Part 2)

Part 2 of a 3-part series.  

You’ve been playing your sport for 5-10 years and you want to be recruited or at best recruited and receive that four year athletic scholarship from your top choice college. Don’t sell yourself short.

My advice after over 20 years in the college admission business and constantly talking college coaches and Athletic Directors are these additional points college coaches are looking for:

  1. Mental Toughness and Sportmanship: Beyond your ability, your academic record and your desire to attend and play, coaches want to know how you carry yourself on the court.  Games between evenly matched players often come down to who is mentally the strongest.  Coaches want to know how you think during a match and how well you understand the game. They are looking for those with “true grit”. How you respond when you are down in a match or get a bad call is important.  Do you lose your temper and focus or are you able to remain calm and adjust your strategy?  And while it may be cliche to say so, being able to win and lose with respect for your opponent and the game is very important.
  2. Team Fit: When coaches recruit a player, they are choosing somebody they are going to spend a lot of time with over the next 4 years. They are looking for students who are nice to be with when traveling and eating together as a team.
  3. Reliability:  Coaches look for students who are reliable and who are going to do what they are supposed to and someone who is going to show up on time, everyday, where they need to be. Being punctual is essential in all aspects of life and for some coaches this is very important.

2018 Top 10 Connecticut Private High Schools

As more Connecticut public school districts face budgetary cuts, increase classroom sizes and social issues in high schools, more parents are choosing private high schools as an alternative.  Additionally, the growing number international families choosing Connecticut private high schools as well as families relocating from Manhattan to Connecticut (primarily Fairfield County) has increased the application pool and competition to gain admissions into coveted slots.

If you are looking for top schools based on college admissions acceptance, Niche released its 2018 Best Private High Schools ranking: Connecticut private high schools.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its latest ranking of the best private schools in the US, specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.  By elite colleges, I am referring to colleges parents already know about: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Here are the top 10 private high schools in Connecticut by rank:

  1. Choate Rosemary Hall
  2. The Hotchkiss School
  3. Hopkins School
  4. Kent School
  5. Greenwich Academy
  6. Taft School
  7. Loomis Chaffee School
  8. Brunswick School
  9. Miss Porter’s School
  10. Westminister School

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliates, Greenwich Admissions Advisors and Private School Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to elite private schools in throughout Connecticut.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite schools where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top 10 New Jersey Private High Schools

In New Jersey, the competition to gain admissions to top private high schools is heating up.   As more and more parents discover the major challenges in suburban high schools:  (a) large class sizes, (b) not much flexibility when it comes to cirriculum (c) they are under more bureaucratic red tape when it comes to regulations and rules, (d) larger school counselor-student ratio;  they are willing to forgo public school education (and pay tuition), which increases the application pool and competition to gain admissions into coveted slots.

If you are looking for top schools based on college admissions acceptance, Niche released its 2018 Best Private High Schools ranking: New Jersey private high schools.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its latest ranking of the best private schools in the US, specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.  By elite colleges, I am referring to colleges parents already know about: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Here are the top 10 private high schools in New Jersey by rank:

  1. The Lawrenceville School
  2. Newark Academy
  3. Dwight-Englewood School
  4. Princeton Day School
  5. Peddie School
  6. The Pingry School
  7. Rutgers Preparatory School
  8. Delbarton School
  9. Kent Place School
  10. The Montclair-Kimberly Academy

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliates, New Jersey Admissions Advisors  and Private School Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to elite private schools in Manhattan and surrounding areas.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite schools where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top Ten Westchester County Private High Schools

As a housing crunch continues to grip neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Westchester County is becoming an attractive area to raise families. Additionally, because of large classroom sizes, more Westchester County parents are looking at private high school as an option to public high schools.  If you are looking for top schools based on college admissions acceptance, Niche released its 2018 Best Private High Schools ranking: Westchester County private high schools.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its latest ranking of the best private schools in the US, specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.  By elite colleges, I am referring to colleges parents already know about: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Here are the top 10 private high schools in Westchester County by rank:

  1. Hackley School
  2. Rye Country Day School
  3. The Masters School
  4. French-American School of NY
  5. EF Academy
  6. The Ursuline School
  7. School of the Holy Child
  8. Iona Preparatory School
  9. Thornton-Donovan School
  10. The Harvey School

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliates, Westchester Admissions Advisors  and Private School Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to elite private schools in Westchester County and surrounding areas.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite schools where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top 10 Manhattan Private High Schools

In Manhattan, college admissions planning starts in pre-K.  Parents seek out the best schools because, year after year, many graduates from elite Manhattan high schools gain acceptance into elite colleges.   If you are looking for top schools based on college admissions acceptance, Niche released its 2018 Best Private High Schools ranking: Manhattan private high schools.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its latest ranking of the best private schools in the US, specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.  By elite colleges, I am referring to colleges parents already know about: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Here are the top 10 private high schools in Manhattan by rank:

  1. Horace Mann School
  2. Trinity School
  3. Collegiate School
  4. Regis High School
  5. Riverdale Country School
  6. Dalton School
  7. The Chapin School
  8. Poly Prep Country Day School
  9. Friends Seminary
  10. Packer Collegiate Institute

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliates, Manhattan Private School Admissions Advisors and Private School Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to elite private schools in Manhattan and surrounding areas.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite schools where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking 2017

College Ranking

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Ranking 2017 was just released.  The rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation.  The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four areas:  Outcomes, Resources, Engagement and Environment.   Each school’s overall score is determined by student outcomes (including a measure of graduate salaries), the school’s academic resources, how well it engages students and from the diversity of the students and staff.

THE TOP TEN:  Schools that achieved the highest overall scores in the ranking:

1.  Harvard

2.  Columbia University

3.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Stanford University

5.  Duke University

6.  Yale University

7.  California Institute of Technology

8.  University of Pennsylvania

9.  Princeton University

10  Cornell University

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities. 

College Admissions: The Need to Read

You may ask yourself, why is a college admissions advisor writing about reading?  What does reading have to do with college admissions?  Everything!  One of the first things I ask my clients is what do you like to read outside the required reading at school.  Even the best students have difficulty answering this question.  Why is the need to reed important in the college admissions planning process?  I just provided an example!  There are several other reasons, a few of which are described below.

  1. Common Application supplements, especially ones for the more competitive institutions, ask what types of books have you read or what books influence you. Types of books also demonstrate another character dimension of applicants by which the admissions committee might judge you.  It tells the committee your interests, your passions and most importantly that you are doing something other than the norm, for example, not reading.  Remember, admissions officers read your applications.
  2. Reading helps you to improve your written communication and speech skills. This, of course, will be helpful during college interviews. Remember to use the word “like” as a verb or in a simile, and not as a filler in a spoken sentence.  One admissions officer told me that excessive use of “like” in a conversation is “Valley speak” and sounds cartoonish.   Reading helps you to master the English language, obviating the need to use unnecessary fillers.
  3. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between reading and a student’s ability to grasp math, science and abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. This may translate to better academic performance and even higher standardized test scores.  Most importantly, reading contributes to the possibility of one’s success in all endeavors.
  4. Research has found that when students read extensively they become better writers. Reading a variety of genres helps students learn text structures, language usage and vocabulary that they can then incorporate to their own communication styles.   How does this relate to college admissions?  As you master the English language, you will have less difficulty completing the personal statement and supplemental essays on the Common Application.  You will also express your ideas succinctly, accurately, and convincingly to admissions committees.  When we review our clients’ Common Applications and supplemental essays, we can tell who are the avid bibliophiles.

So as you sea, there is a need to rede. Buy the way, “rede” and “reed” were spelled properly.  They are homonyms of read (four those of ewe who use “spell check” for proofreading yore essays).  Rising seniors, who are filling out their Common Applications, bee careful.

“Reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body.   It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch”…Sir Richard Steele

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities. 

7 Huge Mistakes Parents Make in BS/MD Admissions

“Going it alone” in this vast arena of BS/MD admissions can result in mistakes, as applicants are easily blindsided by obstacles and pitfalls that they don’t even know exist. When parents call our office to provide initial information, as I listen to their children’s BS/MD program profile I can almost predict (using trends, predictive analysis and real-time insider perspective of the BS/MD programs) that their child will be REJECTED based on the sameness of their profile.  Yet when I explain to parents that their children sound exactly like other applicants they are in total disbelief.  I have concluded that the children are merely following the advice of their parents and the parents are making costly mistakes. Try to avoid these common errors:

  1. Parental Hubris:  Many parents assume that their skill sets, professional title or socio-economic status and connections can help their children get accepted in the coveted BS/MD spots.  This is a huge mistake!  Their professional skills sets are helpful in finance, medicine, business, technology or research, but when it comes to BS/MD admissions they should leave it to experts who are involved and understand the ever-changing BS/MD admissions process.  The inability to admit that they don’t know what they don’t know could result in REJECTION!
  2. Group Think:  Many parents read the same websites, same books, and talk with the same people in their respective communities, personal and professional circles.  Most or all of the members of the in-group share an illusion of invulnerability that provides for them some degree of reassurance despite obvious dangers and leads them to become overly-optimistic.  Thinking in a group discourages creativity and non-conformity, resulting in everyone appearing the same on paper.  It causes them to fail to respond to obvious and clear admissions mine fields.  As a group, faulty (and sometime irrational decisions and admissions strategies) are reinforced. The result:  increased probability as a group of REJECTION.
  3. Not understanding or accepting demographics:  Many of my clients are of Asian descent (Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino and Japanese).  This population, as a group, has been responsible for an increase in applicants by 30% to BS/MD program.  Many parents may not be aware of the increased numbers.  Colleges and their BS/MD programs desire classes that are diverse and demographically reflective of the general population.  No matter which admissions method is used (team approach, character assessment or holistic approach), schools will not accept more of one demographic just because of an increase in the number of applications.  The competition becomes hyper-competitive within a particular demographic.
  4. Procrastination: The BS/MD admissions journey begins in high school freshman year, not during the fall of a student’s senior year.  (See: BSMD Programs – Getting In!)  From time to time parents will call us regarding a high school senior in September or October of their senior year requesting help for BS/MD programs.  It may be difficult to undue mistakes that will result in rejection, although not impossible.  But generally, these parents assume that they have done everything right and are calling to see if they can obtain free advice.  Unfortunately, as they discuss their child’s achievements I can almost predict their student profile.  By procrastinating, they have inadvertently increased the probability of REJECTION.
  5. Misunderstanding Investment vs. Cost:  What’s your child’s future worth?  According to the US Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child for a middle-income family born in 2001-2003 through the age of 18, not including college costs is $224,000 to $227,000 for middle income families and $327,000 to $330,000 for higher incomes.  This does not include private school tuition, summer athletic or music camps, or specialized college summer camps.  When a parent calls us to ask “the price” of our BS/MD admissions advisory services for the purpose of negotiating for the cheapest rate, we can already predict the probability of REJECTION.  Consider the worthy investment in your child’s future.
  6. Seeking Advice from the Wrong Advisor: (a) Guidance counselors – public school guidance counselors only spend 26% of their time on college admissions and the average counselor-to-student ratio is 1:250.  Guidance counselors don’t have the expertise in BS/MD program admissions.  (b) Advisors who are journalist or writers who never attended medical school nor understand the highly selective process – no expertise in BS/MD program admissions.  (c) Advisors who advise part-time – self explanatory. There is a major difference between useful knowledge and information.  Parents should hire an advisor who is a full-time admissions advisor who actually visits colleges, BS/MD programs and medical schools, understands BS/MD programs of the various schools, and has insightful knowledge of each program.  “If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll end up somewhere else” – Yogi Berra
  7. Parents want the best for their children.  They read as much as possible, network with others in schools and educational programs, provide extensive extracurricular educational opportunities for their children, research on the web about BS/MD programs…..but somehow when they are just along the last stretch to the finish line they make egregious, irrevocable and calculated mistakes that cause their children to be rejected.  Don’t make these mistakes!

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, BS/MD Admissions Advisors, help high school students get accepted to BS/MD programs.