Taking a Gap Year: Covid-19

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As a result of COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on colleges opening this fall, many students are considering taking a gap year and then enrolling next year.

If you are in the minority of high school seniors students who are considering a gap year (and your deferral request  is approved by your college or university), the essential component of a successful gap year is planning.  There are plenty of resources for students including books and websites to determine what types of programs appeal to you.  Two websites that will help you to research gap year programs: the Gap Year Association and the Gap Year.

Once you have an idea of what opportunities are available, think about the goals you should have for your time off.  There are thousands of options for time off as well as infinite combinations of activities.

Here are common ways to consider spending  gap year:

  • Internships:  Spend time working in a career field that interests you.
  • Volunteer work:  You can find volunteer work both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Academics:  Take online classes at a local college.
  • Work:  Here is where students can become creative.

What are the factors you should consider in planning to have a productive and meaningful gap year?

  • What do I want to learn?
  • How much structure do I want or need?
  • What kinds of things do I want to do?
  • Where in the world do I want to be? (Assuming that in the midst of your gap year travel restrictions are lifted.

With regard  to a gap year , we advise our clients to PLAN PLAN and PLAN to  to successfully accomplish your personal goals as well as have a memorable experience!

 

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

We provide our clients access to our specialized knowledge!” – 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.

Coronavirus Effect on Applying to BS/MD Programs

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Over the past month, our offices have been receiving many phone and email inquiries about BS/MD programs.  Most of these inquiries are from very anxious parents of high school juniors who have read guides or books about BS/MD programs, researched information and talked with their friends whose children are currently attending BS/MD programs.

Their children typically have this type of applicant profile: High GPA, at least 5 AP courses, high SATs (if they were able to take them), musical, artistic and/or athletic extracurricular activities, research/clinical internships, shadowing doctors, helping the poor or starting a not-for-profit organization to help the poor or traveling to a developing country to volunteer; and of course, a two-page resume!  What parents don’t understand or seem to ignore is that their children sound all the same on paper and as a result can be easily thrown in the rejection pool.

What parents are really calling me about is to find out what to do  during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine its impact on their children’s college admissions chances.  Internships, upcoming summer programs, volunteer programs, doctor shadowing and research opportunities have all been cancelled.  In several weeks, their children will be rising seniors and in the throes of the competitive college application process to Ivy League and highly selective colleges, universities and BS/MD programs.

In our recent webcast: Applying to BS/MD Programs – COVID -19,  we discussed our go-to strategies that should be used when applying to BS/MD programs in the COVID-19 pandemic landscape.  The sudden onset of these unprecedented times has brought new changes in applying to BS/MD programs.  Books and guides regarding BS/MD programs (which were published before COVID-19), although informative, do not address the how-to’s and the do’s and dont’s of applying to BS/MD programs during the pandemic.  They do not address the new variables such as lack of availability of test scores, cancellation of internships, summer programs, research projects and gaps in resumes.  Past strategies and guides do not show students how to navigate these changes and what students need to do in order to be strongly considered for these programs. In addition, high school counselors do not specialize in providing advice for BS/MD programs.

Our recent discussions with admissions officers at institutions with BS/MD programs revealed that they anticipate that BS/MD candidates’ applications and resumes will have vacuums/gaps including entire spring quarter or trimester without extracurricular activities volunteer work, sports, and scientific research in addition to new and online classroom experiences and grading systems. The consensus is that students have to be creative and innovative with these gaps and have to explain what they are doing with their time.  Admissions officers are not just looking at resume-building based on online activities.

As one admissions officer stated: “The COVID-19 crisis has reset how we will be evaluating BS/MD applicants this fall.”   Several stated that for qualified candidates they will base college and BS/MD application decisions on the information that is available to them at the time of the application. What they are looking for is an insight into how the student thinks, how they interact, and how well they can articulate a point of view under these unprecedented conditions.  BS/MD programs will be even more competitive!  Even in the COVID -19 admissions environment, BS/MD programs will NOT have a lot of trouble filling their seats.  Especially, when they guarantee admissions to medical school from high school!

With a lot at stake, in a short period of time in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants (and their parents) need a winning game plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of advisory admissions experience and long-standing professional relationships with admissions officers provide us with the tool-kit of strategies and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in the COVID-19 landscape.

Our BS/MD Admissions practice is specialized: Dr. Lowe and his team only work with parents who understand that the BS/MD admissions process is competitive, who desire help from an admissions expert and who see the value and investment in paying for expert advice through a detailed and ongoing comprehensive admissions advisory service for their child’s dream of becoming a doctor.  He also specializes in helping international students in the BS/MD process. BS/MD Admissions Advisors – 2020 AcceptancesParents who chose to use our services can now call their son or daughter – “Doctor”.