Top 5 College Essay Mistakes You MUST Avoid

The Common Application 2021-2022 will be ready on August 1. Year after year, when parents call us because their children were rejected from their top-choice schools, the first thing I ask is to see their Common Application main essays. I always find egregious mistakes!

Here are 5 mistakes you must AVOID!

  • Mistake #1:  Not answering the question.  The admissions committee uses certain essay prompts for a specific reason:  They want you to answer it! 
  • Mistake #2:  Trying to impress the essay readers.  Do not try to impress admissions officers or the admissions committee.  They will be able to sense a pretentious, patronizing or even condescending voice beneath descriptions of seemingly philanthropic contributions, grand, earth-shaking events and ontological musings. 
  • Mistake #3:  Making an essay into a resume.  Many times applicants want to impress readers so much that they completely ignore the essay prompt and make the essay into a list of their accomplishments.  Admissions officers and readers dislike redundancy!
  • Mistake #4: Obtaining “ideas” from websites .  Do not copy from other people or download essays!  Many students assume that if they copy directly from other people’s work and sources that no one will find out.  This assumption is definitely wrong!  Don’t you think admissions officers also visit theses websites.
  • Mistake #5:  Picking an inappropriate topic.  In an attempt to be clever, many applicants resort to writing an essay that they believe would be witty, overly serious, or flattering. Admissions officers are unimpressed!

Your college essay is the only part of the college application process over which you have complete control.  Your essay or essays (short answers included) should capture admissions committees’ imagination and make them want you on their campuses.  Missing the opportunity to make this piece of your student profile outstanding is a HUGE mistake and will certainly result in a rejection by top schools.

After years of hard work, you don’t want to make mistakes that can cause you to be rejected!
Successful college acceptance results is not just about essay editing revisions. It involves continuous expert advice. We take a comprehensive approach involving student profile development, interview preparation, letter of recommendation assessments and our long standing networks and relationships in the college admissions industry!
Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Dr. Paul Lowe/BSMD Admissions Advisors: Brown PLME Results – 2021


Last year was one of the most competitive years in college admissions history. COVID-19 caused disruption and uncertainty in college admissions. Our admissions team increased our time with clients and brought in additional supportive staff so that they could stand out. Our efforts were well invested in our clients and we have achieved their desired results!

We are very pleased and happy to announce our final results for Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME): 9 of our clients were accepted to Brown PLME.

According to Brown University, “From a pool of 3,516 applicants — a 39% increase from last year — 82 students were admitted to PLME, an eight-year program leading to both a bachelor’s degree and an M.D. from Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School.”

What does this mean?

  • 10% of the PLME class are our clients!
  • Our clients are accepted into: Brown University PLME: The Best of Both Worlds
  • Dr. Lowe and his team understand that successful admissions results involve more than just a 3-page resume packed with achievements, a high GPA and a high SAT score. It’s about BS/MD Admissions Knowledge.
  • Dr. Paul Lowe and his team provide unparalleled admissions advisory services!
Selectivity: Dr. Lowe only works with qualified students and parents who choose to hire the best!
BS/MD Admissions Advisors: Acceptance Rate – 2021

Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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. Families who are interested in colleges and universities that have superior pre-med undergraduate programs retain our affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors.

Dr. Paul Lowe: Achieving High Acceptance Rates in BS/MD Admissions


Many parents, students, high school counselors and fellow educational consultants ask us: How do you maintain such a high acceptance rate in BS/MD Admissions? What’s your secret sauce? What makes you different? It’s amazing, but how do you do this?

Let’s explain!

  • While high school counselors provide college counseling, based on our information retrieval and interaction with our clients, high school counselors do not specialize in BS/MD admissions advising, nor do they have the school-specific knowledge of BS/MD programs.  Our efforts complement and enhance what high school counselors do so our clients gain a competitive edge in the BS/MD Admissions process.
  • My team and I perform a Mistakes Assessment Analysis of a student’ s academic profile, resume, extracurricular activities and much more! Mistakes are inevitable during this ever-changing/evolving process.  You want to avoid making irrevocable mistakes on your BS/MD program application or even supporting documents!  Because mistakes can cost you!  We GUARANTEE that we will uncover multiple mistakes on your application and in your student profile that would cause you to be REJECTED
  • We help to brainstorm and revise the Common Application main essay, COVID essay, school specific supplementary essays and BS/MD application essays. Our team approach allows us to provide an in-depth analysis and revision of essays.
  • We conduct continuous thought-provoking interview preparation sessions.  Interviewers have to like you.  They have to want you in their program.  It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are.  Brilliance and achievements among BS/MD applicants are the norm.  We have discovered that even top students do not realize that etiquettemanners and body language matter in college admissions.  It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, the etiquette and manners involved, and your personal delivery.   Sometimes what you say and how you say it may be misinterpreted. We help our clients with the proper etiquette, manners and body language in college admissions. If you have stellar GPA and test scores and poor interviewing skills, you will be rejected.
  • BS/MD Knowledge Network: We know exactly what each program is looking for and how they will evaluate a BS/MD applicant. Our clients who are current students at BS/MD programs like Brown PLME, Rice Baylor, Albany Medical College, Drexel, Penn State/Thomas Jefferson, NJIT and more, inform us of up-to-date knowledge that we we can use to give our current clients an admissions edge. Additionally, we know of admissions officers and at many of these institutions.
  • By understanding our student through multiple continuous consultation sessions, we help you to understand how you can stand out and what you MUST do to stand out.
  • We can identify what challenges you may face based on your student profile.
  • We know how to identify elements of your student profile and essentially help you to display what you already have and successfully connect the dots to create your WOW factor.
  • Diversity Competitive Advantage (DCA): We know and understand difference and unconscious bias. Our boutique admissions advisory firm, being different, helps our clients to stand out and be accepted. No other admissions advisory and educational BS/MD firm, with a culturally, ethnically and racially diverse team, can truly appreciate and understand the meaning and value of standing out and successfully apply it to the competitive admissions process. Our DCA translates to successful admissions and results!  The diversity in our firm empowers our clients and gives each of them a competitive admissions edge! See: Dr. Lowe’s blog on diversity.
  • Color:  We add color (Pick your definition; all apply, with the possible exception of its hypothetical application to quarks, including ROYGBIV, vitality, interest, appearance, background information and visual perception.) to your application and essays.  “Colorless” applications are boring to admissions officers and can be easily rejected!  By adding color, we make your application and student profile more interesting.
  • International and H4-visa applicants: We understand the challenges that international and H-4 visa BS/MD applicants will face through our partnerships with immigration law firms. Most importantly, we know how BS/MD programs will evaluate international and H-4 visa students.
  • Dr. Paul Lowe personally discusses multi-level admissions strategies with each client. He personally works with each of his clients face-to-face so that they directly benefit from his expertise, experience, contacts and the collective knowledge of his educational team.  Dr. Paul Lowe is a physician-scientist by training who knows how to prepare BS/MD applicants. Dr. Lowe uses the collective intelligence of his diverse team of experts to strategically design and implement haute couture-type admissions plans for clients. Therefore, you know that you will always communicate directly with a leading BS/MD admissions expert.
  • Public Relations/Personal Branding: Our team collectively focuses on public relations and personal branding within the context of college admissions. Dr. Lowe helps his clients identify and refine their personal image so that they can differentiate themselves from other qualified applicants.  Consequently, Dr. Lowe works with a diverse team of image consultants, character education experts, fashion designers, visual and performing artists, musicians, screenwriters, public relations and personal branding consultants and ethnomusicologists.

Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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.