“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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
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.