A New College Admissions Landscape: What High School Juniors Need to Know

A New College Admissions Landscape: What High School Juniors Need to Know

This week is decision time for many Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities!  COVID-19 has closed down many K-12 school districts around the world for the rest of the school year.  If you’ve been following the directions of well-known books and/or chats, by now you must realize that your current college admissions “playbook” or plan may be ineffectual.  What will high school juniors need to do as they continue their admissions journey and prepare for their senior year?

1. Plan, plan and plan.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else” – Yogi Berra

As the world around you changes daily, you will need to formulate a new plan, create a timeline and meet your goals.  Deadlines are a crucial aspect of the college admissions process.

2. Make a balanced preliminary college list. Start your search by familiarizing yourself with many different colleges and universities and facilitate your research on the different options that are available. Visit the websites of the schools you are considering.

3. “Visit” colleges. Start to “visit” campuses. Review college websites, take a virtual tour, and learn more about student life by reading the student blogs linked there.

4. Begin to consider letters of recommendation. It’s not who is writing or what they are writing. It’s how they are writing about you in a meaningful way.  Choose your recommenders wisely.

5. Standardized Tests. Plan your SAT and/or ACT timelines. Even though standardized tests are cancelled through June you should still plan for the future!

6. Grades. Colleges view grades with the utmost importance. Remember, your grades should come first.  Colleges look at junior year grades to understand the academic abilities of a student.  Junior year grades are the last full year of grades for admissions committees to look at in determining a student’s acceptance.  A recent survey by the National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC) found that admissions officers gave “considerable importance” to grades in students’ college-prep classes.  Even though your school is now providing online courses, take them seriously.  From my discussions with admissions officers at several of the Ivies and highly competitive colleges, they will be closely reviewing your performance in these courses.

7. For BS/MD applicants. For many students, their internships and research projects have been cancelled.  From my discussion with BS/MD program admissions officers, they “will be seeking bright students who, in these unprecedented times, show a commitment to the BS/MD track and want to be a doctor”.

8. Seek expert admissions advice. With the disruption in school schedules and so many schools closed, the challenge for high school guidance or college counselors to provide students with adequate college counseling has dramatically increased.  In many private as well as public high schools, remote/online learning does not apply to college counseling, leaving many students to navigate the college admissions process on their own in a competitive admissions environment fraught with minefields.  High school juniors and their parents need valuable advice from experts who understand the competitive admission process, as well as those who have long-standing professional relationships with college admissions officers.

My recent conversations with admissions officers have been informative and valuable.  As an admissions officer stated; “The current COVID-19 pandemic will NOT negatively impact how we review applications this fall”.  Another mentioned to me, “We still want students who are involved, academically motivated, who have demonstrated success and are willing to contribute to the future vibrancy of our campus community.”

 

 

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advicekey-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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 College Admissions: What You Need to Know

coronovirus effect on college admissions what you need to know Dr Paul Lowe

“To see the world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower;

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.”

     – William Blake

Understanding facts of any situation is essential to one’s ability to analyze that situation for a positive outcome.  So before getting into the ramifications of “the coronavirus” in college admissions, we’ll look at the pertinent facts.  Let’s first define the name of the virus:  The new virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2.  The disease caused by the new virus has been designated COVID -19 (COrona VIrus Disease 19 – because the year it emerged was 2019).  It’s known to infect humans causing respiratory tract illness (upper respiratory, as well as lower respiratory illness which could be fatal), and to date there is no vaccine to protect people from COVID-19.

This virus has not been seen in humans before and scientists are still learning specifics about the disease.  It has been found to be highly contagious, spreading by small droplets and contact, and is potentially particularly virulent in certain demographics.  Thus, the reactions we see in the news regarding the attempts to control the spread the disease.  We find ourselves in a place where the world is attempting to slow the spread of the disease as scientists attempt to develop vaccines and treatments.  Current efforts in effect in the United States and other parts of the world are an attempt to control community spread.  Because of these attempts, educational institutions and facilities have taken drastic steps in order to help control of the spread.

Current effects:

  • Public high schools as well as private high schools are closed, making it difficult for students to meet with guidance counselors for college planning.
  • For students applying to BSMD programs, it’s a whole NEW competitive admissions environment!
  • Colleges are cancelling in-person classes and shifting to online platforms or learning management systems.
  • Students are being asked to leave campuses and dormitories are being closed.  Some colleges have already cancelled or postponed graduation ceremonies.
  • Many colleges have moved classes online and some have directed students not to return after spring break.
  • Most institutions have barred staff from college-related travel as the coronavirus spreads.
  • May 1, the national deposit deadline for applicants, has been pushed back by a month.
  • SAT’s (Scholastic Assessment Tests) are cancelled through May.
  • National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) has made the decision to cancel all Spring National College Fairs.
  • International high school students who wish to study in the U.S. are facing numerous challenges regarding school closures, cancellation of testing dates, and more. The biggest impact may be on students’ abilities to get a visa for the fall semester because of delays in visa interviews or border closures.
  • TOEFL testing dates have been canceled or postponed in several countries.

Despite these drastic changes, it should be understood that colleges and universities plan to continue their missions to provide the best education possible for their students.  Furthermore, even in the face of a pandemic, college admissions will continue.  Based on my experience, extensive historical research, along with emails and Skype discussions with admissions officers, the college admissions process is continuing.  High school seniors are and will still be receiving decisions throughout March and early April.

Many of my clients have emailed us to request additional advice in this environment of online classes, extended school vacations and online test assessments.  We advise our clients accordingly as they continue their college admission preparation.  For many students (and parents), there is uncertainty, anxiety and fear as they shift to distance learning.  Evaluation of scholastic achievements through distance learning is not a novel experience for college admissions personnel or my firm.  We have advised and continue to advise international as well as U.S. home-schooled clients.  I can assure you, with certainty, that there are unique opportunities, educational benefits and admissions advantages to online learning.  All of our home-schooled clients have been admitted to their top-choices colleges, including the Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities.

For our current clients, we continue to develop new strategies.

  • For high school seniors, no senioritis – schools can still rescind your decisions, so even with online courses, you must continue to do well.
  • For juniors, most in their third quarter or beginning their third trimester, with regard to your college admissions profile, you must still develop ways to stand out.

In addition to home consultations, we have always complemented our personalized service by communicating with our clients remotely via Skype or Zoom.  COVID-19 has not disrupted our long-standing routine.   For our international as well as U.S. families, it’s business as usual.  We continue to communicate remotely.

This new situation makes high school students and their parents anxious or unnerved.  The reality still exists that you are still COMPETING with other students for those coveted spots at Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities.

For our part, we will continue to use our experience, admissions strategies and analytics to review all the nuances and consequences of COVID-19 in the college admissions process.  Given the ever-changing nature of the conditions surrounding the virus, we prepare our clients for all possible scenarios.  We focus on positive results and outcomes.  We continue, as we always have, to plan for the unexpected.  We use our team’s diverse background and collective effort to navigate uncertainties.  We problem-search as well as problem-solve.

We advise our clients that COVID-19 has not stopped college admissions, especially to the Ivies and highly competitive college and universities.  Understanding that school closures may impact college counseling and support (at public as well as private boarding and day high schools) during the application process, we have implemented more college counseling support services to help our students.  By doing all of the above, students will be successfully prepared for the college admissions process as we overcome the COVID-19.

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advicekey-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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.

 

Brown University Midyear and Transfer Admissions

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On January 21, Brown University had its ceremonial procession through the Van Wickle Gates.

This unique procession involved 51 transfer and 6 visiting students who started their classes at Brown, become a part of the Brown community and enjoy the Brown academic and social experiences.

The Mid-Year Transfer Program is designed specifically for incoming sophomores.  To be eligible for transfer admission to Brown, a student must have completed at least one full year of college study (or its equivalent) before their planned matriculation at Brown.

This year, all of our clients who applied to Brown’s Midyear transfer program were accepted!

Congratulations to students and their parents!

Our parents-clients are happy, overjoyed and excited that they can now call their sons and daughters – Brown University students and future alumni!

“Year after year, I hear the horror stories from parents whose kids got in nowhere because they thought the college admissions race was just about grades, SAT scores, their perceived  ‘unique’ applications, generic essays and perfect connections.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advice

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.   Its medical school admissions affiliate: Medical School Admissions Advisors. 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 Application – Rejection Assured

BS MD Application Rejection Assured

It’s summer, and parents are calling us about BS/MD admissions for their children. But  the children are rising seniors!

Many parents wait until the rising senior year, or senior year to inquire about BS/MD programs and application help.  Some have already hired independent educational consultants who are generalist and have discovered that they now need to hire a BS/MD Admissions specialist.  Some have attempted the process without guidance.

In our initial discussion, these parents reveal that their child usually has a 4.5/4.0 weighted GPA (indicating that they aced several AP classes), shadowed multiple doctors, are involved in research, volunteered to help the poor, plays violin or piano, dance, achieved high SAT or ACT scores and have a 2-3 page resume.

On paper, the child sounds astonishing and amazing, and they are….on paper!  But in reality, the applicant sounds just like the 97% of students who have a high probability of being rejected!  Yes!  It’s that competitive.  In our experience (we have been BS/MD Admissions experts for 21 years), many of the parents inquiring are from similar cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  At this point, since BS/MD programs are seeking socio-economical and ethnic diversity – this further adds to the hyper-competition.

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“Waiting until the senior year for help is counterproductive and increases the probability of rejection in BS/MD Admissions.” Dr. Paul Lowe

In our experience, the fact that these parents have intentionally procrastinated to seek an expert increases the probability of rejection or in other words increase their chances of NOT standing out.

As a physician-scientist who understands and has studied statistics and probability, I wonder why these highly-educated parents who are scientists, doctors, engineers, bankers, entrepreneurs, accountants, financial advisors, technologist (after their hard work and their child’s sacrifice) would wait until the last minute to hire an admissions specialist, thereby increasing the risk of rejection.  Scientifically and “parentally” it’s illogical.

Here are my 5 assumptions as to why these highly educated parents make the mistake of waiting until the senior year to hire a BS/MD admissions expert/specialist:

  1. Parents assume that they understand the BS/MD admissions process.
  2. Parents who call us, at that time, believe that that have the same collective expertise as a team of full-time BS MD advisors with 21 years of experience.
  3. Parents believe that their professional skill sets make them experts.  After all, anyone can be a BS/MD admissions advisor!
  4. Parents honestly believe that their children standout (with the above-mentioned criteria) after they review the same information as everyone else.
  5. Parents honestly believe that by waiting until the senior year, a BS/MD advisor will charge less. There is a cost to unravel mistakes and to help a student who sounds just like everyone else to stand out – in 2-4 months!

We hear about the disasters from many of these parents in the Spring: BS/MD applicants who were rejected from BS/MD programs, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and yes, their perceived “safety schools”.  A common statement that we hear: “Our daughter (or son) is a gifted and talented student.  We can’t understand why they were rejected from most of their top-choice colleges and all BS/MD programs”

If you are considering hiring a team of BS/MD Admissions Advisors for your child, don’t wait until the last minute.  Your timely decision statistically and mathematically INCREASES the probability of acceptance by having time to avoid costly mistakes that will result in rejections.

Of course, there are many roads to obtaining an MD.  But with a BS/MD application, you have just one chance to achieve this goal.  It seems logical and prudent to receive the best guidance to achieve that goal.

“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 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.  Summer Camp:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp

We Are The Best – Let Us Prove It

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Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group at its affiliate firms have created a new campaign:  “Are the Best – Let Us  Prove It.”

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Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group affiliates:  Ivy League Admissions Advisors, Boarding School Admissions Consultants, Private School Admissions Advisors, BS MD Admissions Advisors, Medical School Admission Advisors and location affiliates help their clients successfully navigate the competitive admissions process to top private day and boarding schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities BS/MD programs and graduate schools.

Year after year, we receive calls from disappointed parents (and students) who either tried the competitive admissions process on their own or hired inexperienced educational consultants who are not specialized in the hyper-competitive admissions process.  The result: admissions disaster and catastrophe – rejection from all their top day and boarding schools, colleges and universities and acceptance into “good fit” safety schools!

We have been in business for over 21 years and take pride in our unmatched admissions success and results.

“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.

7-Year BS/MD Programs

High school students with a strong science background, high GPA, relevant extracurricular activities, volunteer or work experience in the medical field, and a strong commitment to going to medical school should consider applying for combined BS/MD or combined BA/MD programs.  Many of our clients prefer seven-year BS/MD programs.   

Here is a partial list of several 7-year BS/MD programs: 

  • Boston University (BA/MD program)
  • California Northstate University
  • City College of New York School of Medicine
  • Drexel University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida State University College of Medicine  
  • George Washington University
  • Northwestern University/Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/Albany Medical College 
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Temple University 
  • University of Nevada
  • University of South Florida

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

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.  Summer Camp:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp.

Hiring An Educational Consultant: What’s Your Price?

From time to time, parents who inquire about our services first ask:  “What’s your price?” before even asking what we do and our success rate.

It’s obvious from this question that they are shopping for the cheapest price, not the best service.  I imagine that these parents would ask the same question, considering the cheapest price and not quality service, to a pediatric surgeon, a tax attorney, a financial advisor or perhaps a vendor in an open market place.

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Hiring an independent private admissions advisor is an academic investment in a child’s future, not an expense – It’s priceless.

If a parent is willing to make the choice to shop for the cheapest price then they should be willing to accept that this choice is the reason why their child was REJECTED from their top choice private/boarding school or college.  Remember the adage: “You get what you pay for”.

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. 

Dr Lowe Visits Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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In June, Dr. Lowe visited The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors visit Ivy League, prestigious and elite colleges several times annually, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

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Dr. Lowe with Katherine Sharkey, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Women In Medicine and Science at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (also known as PLME) combines the undergraduate education and medical school in a single 8-year program.

At BS/MD Admissions Advisors, our co-managing director, Dr. Nadine Cartwright-Lowe is a graduate of the Brown PLME program and a licensed internist.

Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME): Of the 2,641 applicants, 94 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.

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Dr. Lowe in the lobby of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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

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.  Summer Camp:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp.

5 Reasons Why International Students are Rejected from BS/MD Programs

I receive calls and emails from parents whose children desire entrance into U.S. BS/MD Programs.  Their children have high GPAs, top standardize test scores;  they have completed research or produced biotechnology projects; they have a resume that’s 3-pages long and attended top high schools in their country with IB programs or challenging courses.

Even with these accolades, the admissions process is competitive and there are a limited number of U.S. BS/MD programs.  Here are 5 reasons why I feel international students INCREASE their chances of being REJECTED from BS/MD programs:

  1. Lack of meaningful extracirricular activities: It’s not all about research and shadowing!
  2. Poorly communicating through applications and essays:  Bad writing leads to instant rejections. Poorly constructed essays, regardless of your achievements, result in instant rejections.
  3. Weak letters of recommendations:  A glowing letter of recommendation does not necessarily guarantee admissions.  In many cases, it’s not what the recommender writes it’s how it’s written.
  4. Poor interview skills:  Interviewers have to like you.  They have to want you in their program.  It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are.  You have to understand U.S. cultural norms.  Remember, you are applying to BS/MD programs in the U.S.!
  5. Not hiring a BS/MD expert:  What makes you believe that you know more than a BS/MD expert who visits colleges with BS/MD programs and has more than 20 years of experience and know-how?

After years of preparation, why make mistakes that will increase your child’s chances of being REJECTED?

We know the value of our services because when our clients are admitted to BS/MD programs, it’s and indicator for guaranteed income in their future.

 

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

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.  Summer Camp:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp.

College Admissions: How will You Differentiate Yourself from the Crowd

I am often asked the question by parents during my seminars how can my child differentiate themselves in the competitive admissions process to get admitted to their dream school.

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There are 7 factors that you can control to this end:

  1. Common Application
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Supplemental Essays
  4. Letters of Recommendations
  5. Extracurricular Activities
  6. WOW Factor
  7. Hire a college admissions expert who knows the changing policies, politics and diplomacy in admissions.

If you don’t differentiate yourself from the crowd, you will be among 41,350 students who were rejected from Harvard (43,330 applied, 1950 accepted), or, the 36, 123 students rejected from Brown (38,674  applied, 2,551 accepted) or rejected (34,665 rejected from Yale (36,843 applied, 2,178 accepted.

It’s actually that simple!

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You need to hire a high-end college admissions expert who understands the holistic approach and review process and the committee-based review process when evaluating applicants for admissions. And an expert who knows the changing policies, politics and diplomacy in admissions.

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.