It’s Getting Tougher To Get Into the Ivies

On Wednesday, March 28th, the Ivies notified high school seniors of their admissions decisions.  Thousands of students were disappointed.

Here is a list of the acceptance rates, number of students admitted, total number of applicants and rejection rates:

  • Brown: 7.2%; admitted 2,566 of 35,438  Rejection: 92.8%
  • Columbia: 5.5%; admitted 2,214 of 40,203  Rejection: 94.5% 
  • Cornell: 10.3%; admitted 5,288 out of 51,328  Rejection: 89.7%
  • Dartmouth: 8.7%; admitted 1,925 of 22,033  Rejection: 91.3%
  • Harvard: 4.6%; admitted 1,962 of 42,749  Rejection: 95.4%
  • Penn: 8.4%; admitted 3,731 of 44,491  Rejection: 91.6%
  • Princeton: 5.5%; admitted 1,941 of 35,370  Rejection: 94.5%
  • Yale: 6.3%; admitted 2,229 of 35,306  Rejection: 93.7%

Many of the applicants “looked” perfect on paper. Princeton reported that more than 14,200 of the 35,370 applicants had a 4.0 grade point average. Brown reported that 96% of its admitted students are in the top 10% of their high school classes, while at Dartmouth that rate hit 97%.

So why were so many qualified and paper perfect applicants rejected?  They sounded unique just like all the other applicants who were rejected – High SAT’s, high GPA, top class rank, outstanding volunteer, skilled musician and/or athlete, leader in extracirricular activities, “amazing” letters of recommendations, perceived “unique” application essays and the “perfect” connections.

In my firm, I emphasize your “Personal WOW-Factor“, your character and being different (based on your personal characteristics, accomplishments and achievements).  I spend countless hours with my team analyzing how to spotlight my client. This arduous process works because, this year, 98% of our clients who applied to the Ivies were accepted. My associates and I must be doing something right!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges.  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.  Summer camp:  Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

Disappointed That You’ve Been Rejected From Your Top Choice Colleges? Find Out What Your Next Step Should Be!

Based on my over 20 years experience as a college admissions advisor and admissions strategist, I thought I would share some advice with students who have been receiving disappointing decision results.

Admissions committees give careful, individual attention to each applicant.  They review each applicant with a magnifying glass and compare each applicant to other qualified applicants.  They accept applicants who will inspire those around them during their college years and beyond.

My firm’s strategies involve widening the lens through which our applicant-clients are viewed, recognizing and valuing the different dimensions that shape each student.  We understand, in real-time, how an admissions committee at a particular college may view each dimension separately and collectively in comparison to other students during the selection process by visiting schools and talking with admissions officers.  As an alternative to settling for a rejection decision (which most students do) to a student’s first choice school, I posit this possible solution:

The student may consider reapplying as a transfer student.  It is not too early for a high school senior to consider this.  I call it our Admissions Second Chance Program.  I review and investigate what went wrong, because,  in all cases of rejection decisions, something wasn’t right!  Usually I find innumerable mistakes or homogeneity on the Common Application and/or school-specific supplemental essays.  Many times I have discovered that no matter how “amazing” the student sounds on paper (top grades, high GPA and SATs, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, recommendations, ESE (Expensive Summer Experiences), to me, they were unconvincing to the admissions committee at a specific school for many reasons.  In these cases, we make recommendations to improve the student’s profile and properly connect the dots within their application and beyond.  In unique cases, we have been retained by clients who were initially rejected and after our review and intervention the student’s application was reconsidered and ultimately accepted for admission.

By visiting the Ivies and highly selective schools, understanding the dynamic changes and nuances in individual colleges, and knowing what to do to make a student stand out amongst other applicants, my team and I gain an insightful perspective of each school and develop strategies to help our clients get accepted.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Wait-listed at Top Boarding Schools

It’s the last week in March, and my firm is receiving continuous inquires (phone calls and emails) from stunned and stressed-out parents that their children are wait-listed!  We have been receiving many inquiries from parents whose children have been wait-listed from ALL schools to which they applied.

The top U.S. boarding schools have the most competitive admissions process because they actually are stepping stones to the Ivy League colleges and universities (See: Top Private High Schools with the Highest Percentage of Graduates Accepted to Ivy League Universities).  Therefore, their non-acceptance rates are high (even for high achieving students).

WAIT-LISTED means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”.  Two factors are important here:

  1.  SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT in your child’s application process.
  2. In many cases, wait-listed may mean “perhaps never”.

With regard to SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT:  Parents make a lot of mistakes on their child’s application. (See: Common Mistakes Parents Make When Applying to Private Schools).  With regard to WAIT-LISTED:  Top schools rarely reject students outright.  They would rather state – wait-listed rather than wait-listed perhaps never!

Many parents are mistakenly drawing from their skills as corporate executives, tiger moms, financiers, etc. to match my professional skills and years of experience in private admissions diplomacy and understanding real-time nuances and changes needed in private school admissions to top schools.  Many parents also fail to fully appreciate and understand the human element of diplomacy in the selection process and decisions in private school admissions.

When parents call our firm to inquire about our services the first thing they ask is what is your price?  Your fees?

It’s amazing that 95% of parents who are willing to spend $240,000 or more over 4 years on private high school education for their children waste time attempting to haggle fees for an exclusive advisory service that will guarantee that education!  I have discovered that parents who are shopping for services based on price, have already made the decision to not invest in expert advice that will help their children.  They ultimately end up saving $240,000 in private high school tuition or worse pay $240,000 for a third-tier school education. Our market is specifically the 5%, parents who hire us and their children get into top schools! 

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.

Ivy League Application Boot Camp 2018

Pinnacle Educational Center/Admissions Advisors Group (PECAAG) announces the launch of its 2018 Ivy League Application Boot Camp.  The 2-day comprehensive, intensive and informative application boot camps, held during the summer, are specifically for high school rising seniors (current juniors) who have decided to apply to Ivy League colleges and universities. (see Dr. Lowe’s blog: Why Your Child Should Apply to Ivy League College or University?)

The camp is also for current college students who are interested in transferring and current high school seniors who were rejected the first time around and interested in reapplying to the Ivies.  Camp activities include: Application (including essay) brainstorming, review, editing during the camp, followed by an application consultation prior to submission of application.  The fee is $8,500.

The rejection rate for Ivy League schools is as high as 95%.  On average 35,000 applicants apply to each school.  That means that on average 25,000 to 33,000 students are REJECTED each year from each school. “Schools like Harvard Yale and Princeton could pick everyone with 4.0s, perfect SAT scores (and top violinist and pianist) and they could fill an entire class 10 times over,” said camp coordinator, Dr. Diana Alexandrova, the camp’s coordinator and Pinnacle’s International Student Advisory’s managing director.  “Our camp is also beneficial to international students who attend U.S. boarding schools or schools in their respective countries who want a competitive edge in the Ivy League application process.”

“The numbers are staggering and speak to the value and worth of an Ivy League degree” said Dr. Paul R. Lowe, Pinnacle’s CEO and president and the camp’s director.  “It is enjoyable to help students in this way.  Our camp attendees benefit from our discovery of mistakes they could have made on their applications.”

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

BS MD Programs That Accept International Students

It’s  pretty difficult for U.S. high school students to be admitted to BS/MD programs (or medical school-from-high school programs).  It’s even more competitive and extremely difficult for international students from non-U.S.-based high schools or U.S. based-top boarding schools to be accepted to these programs.

From my professional experience as a BS/MD admissions advisor, visiting and touring colleges and talking with admissions officers and administrators, here is a current list of BS/MD programs that will consider reviewing applications of international students:

  • Boston University Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program
  • Brown University Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)
  • Case Western Reserve University Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology/American University of Antigua
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology/St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • Northwestern University Honor Program In Medical Education (HPME)
  • Pennsylvania State University Accelerated Premedical-Medical Program
  • Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program (MSP)
  • University of Connecticut Special Program in Medicine
  • University Rochester – Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS)
  • Washington University in St. Louis University Scholars Program in Medicine

Working with international high school students who desire to matriculate to BS/MD programs is a very involved, comprehensive and long-term process.  My team and I must clearly understand student goals, continuously help students with their applications and develop successful admissions strategies.

Of course, after this long and arduous admissions process one of the major benefits that I observe with our international BS/MD clients is that in their senior year in high school they (and their parents) are happy to know that they can be called “Dr”.  They also know that the next step in their medical career is matching to a U.S. medical residency program!

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.  Many of Dr. Lowe’s BS/MD Admissions client are international students want to attend medical school from high school and then entire U.S. medical residency sub-specialties.

Rejected or Waitlisted from Boarding School? Something Wasn’t Right

March 10th, the date designated for boarding school notifications this year, has come and gone.  My firm’s regional offices in Manhattan, Greenwich, CT, Woodbridge, CT, White Plains, NY, Fort Lee, NJ, Princeton, NJ, Boston and Los Angeles are inundated with numerous phone calls from disappointed, unhappy and anxious parents (who were not our clients).  International parents, from Moscow, another from London, another from Lagos, another from Guangdong Province and another from São Paulo have already scheduled meetings to fly over and meet me in our Manhattan offices.  All understand the importance of continuing the process in pursuit of the goal:  admissions to a top private school for their children.   Their next mission in pursuit of this goal is to determine what to do next.

If your child was REJECTED (or WAIT-LISTED, which means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”), what can you do at this stage in the process?  SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT!

From my observation, there are six crucial potential missteps during the application process:   (1) Parents assume that it’s all about connections.  (2) Parents and students don’t prepare enough for the interviews.  (3) Parents start too late in the admissions planning process.  (4) Parents assume that their skill sets and/or titles give them an admissions edge.  (5) Parents and students listen to incorrect advice from chat rooms and online communities.  (6) Parents make the mistake of retaining an inexperienced educational consultant who is not versed in the admissions policies, diplomacy and politics of top boarding school admissions or does not even visit schools.

In all cases, after careful research, I endeavor to discover the details as to why and how a student was rejected (or wait-listed) and what mistakes were made.  I use the information I gather in conjunction with the current admissions policies of each school and the long-term working relationships that I have established with schools to re-energize a student’s application, make recommendations to improve the student’s profile and properly connect the dots within their application and beyond.  By careful navigation, it is possible for students to be reconsidered and admitted.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.

Regular Decision Notification Dates: 2018

It’s March 8, 2018! That means that within 20 days high school seniors will begin to discover, after all their hard work, where they will be accepted, wait-listed or rejected

Based on our research and discussions with directors of admissions, many colleges  regular admission decisions ready by March 31 or April 1.

Here are regular decision notification dates (and approximate times) for Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities:

  • Barnard College:  Late March
  • Brown University:  March 28, 2018
  • Cal Tech:  Mid March – TBA
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  Mid April
  • Columbia University:  March 28, 2018
  • Cornell University:  March 29, 2018
  • Dartmouth University:  March 28, 2018
  • Duke University:  April 1, 2018
  • Georgetown University:  April 1, 2018
  • Georgia Institute of Technology:  March 10, 2018
  • Hamilton College:  Late March
  • Harvard University:  March 28, 2018
  • Johns Hopkins University:  March 16, 2018
  • Lehigh University:  Late March
  • MIT:  March 14, 2018 (Pi Day)
  • Northwestern University: Late March
  • Purdue University: (Jan 15 – March 15, 2018
  • Princeton University: March 28, 2018
  • Stanford University:  April 1, 2018
  • Swarthmore College: April 1, 2018
  • Tufts University:  April 1, 2018
  • University of Chicago:  Late March
  • University of Michigan: Late March
  • University of Notre Dame:  Late March
  • University of Pennsylvania:  March 28, 2018
  • University of Virginia:  Late March
  • Vanderbilt University:  April 1, 2018
  • Vassar College:  Late March
  • Villanova University:  Late March
  • Wesleyan University:  Late March
  • Yale University:  March 28, 2018

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Top Colleges Enhance Efforts To Enroll Low-Income Students

As the cost of college continues to rise, college enrollment is becoming out of reach for low-income students.   According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Launched in December 2016, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, was founded with a national goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025.

Based on the most recent federal data available, there are approximately 430,000 lower-income students enrolled at these 270 institutions.  ATI aims to increase and sustain the total number of lower-income students attending these top-performing colleges to about 480,000 by 2025. To reach this ambitious goal, ATI will work to support its members’ work while adding more top-performing colleges to its membership in the coming months and years. 

ATI now has 97 member colleges that are taking the steps toward socio-economic diversity in colleges. Each ATI member institution has started to enhance its own efforts to recruit, enroll, and support lower-income students, learn from each other, and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve lower-income students

Educators, college administrators and legislature recognize that America’s top-performing colleges have an important role to play in this effort.  Research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend high-performing institutions, they graduate at higher rates, and have a greater chance of attaining leadership positions and other opportunities throughout their lives.  Yet in each graduating high school class, there are at least 12,500 lower-income young people with outstanding academic credentials who do not enroll at institutions where they have the greatest likelihood of graduating…

ATI currently represents many of the country’s most elite colleges and universities.  To date, all the Ivy League schools are ATI members.   Here is a direct effect of ATI:  After 28 years without transfer students, Princeton University will begin accepting students from community colleges in fall 2018.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Why Dr Paul Lowe Visits Private Schools

Not all private schools are created equally!  The choices and options can be confusing.  And, like most important decisions, the choice of a school should be the result of careful and thoughtful planning.   That’s why I make the effort in to visit private schools.  My team and I spend 25% or more of our time visiting schools.

By performing visits, I get to know schools and what will be the best fit for our client’s children as well as understanding the real-time missions and admissions policies.  I look beyond the brochures, websites. virtual tours, videos, and the fast-and-furious independent school fair meetups.  A school visit is imperative!  I talk with faculty, students, parents, and yes, even the maintenance crew.  What a school promises and what it delivers may be different.  I get to understand the nuances in each school and get a chance to talk with admissions officers, enrollment officers, headmasters, parents and board members.  We also develop established longstanding relationships with schools.  My team and I visit the top day and boarding schools 4 times annually.

In addition to experiencing the school hardscape, by visiting schools, I discover  the true vibe of the school and the presence of the “Happy Factor”: Are the students (and faculty) happy?  What is the happy vibe or rhythm on the school campus?  Student happiness matters when it comes to learning.

With regard to school facilities: How well is the school maintained?  Are the facilities outdated?  Are the facilities student-friendly?  Do the school’s facilities accommodate your child’s interests?

When I visit a school as a consultant, I ask questions as to the real year-to-date college matriculation numbers, not  just numbers over the last 5 years. After all, you are paying for your child’s high school experience, as well as adequate college preparation to meet their (and your) college admissions goals.  After all of your child’s hard work and your monetary investment, you don’t want your child to just get into safety schools!

Other consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  Alternatively, by my physically visiting schools and actively interacting with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students, my clients are placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’ happiness.  Our approach will ensure your child’s best possible start for a successful future by placing them in their top-choice schools.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.