Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan: Extracurricular Activities

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When considering a BS/MD program, we advise our clients to successfully  PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and then re-PLAN.  Early planning and goal setting are important for long-term success!

“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.

Here is what we advise our clients regarding extracurricular activities:

  • Extracurricular Activities demonstrate your passion, character and personality.
  • Extracurricular activities must be profound, meaningful and innovative.
  • Extracurricular activities must have a direct relationship with who you are.
  • Extracurricular activities must foster positive relationships and true interconnections.
  • BS/MD admissions officers are looking for highly motivated BS/MD candidates (high school seniors) who invest their time and effort in their passions, not just students who do extracurricular activities just because they’ll look good on college and BS/MD applications.

CORONAVIRUS EFFECT:   Even with pandemic, the foundations for college admissions specifically with regard to extracurricular activities still apply and remain unchanged.  With regard to extracurricular activities: commitment, achievement, depth, impact still matter.  There are still ways to achieve the above, but it has to unique to the YOU!  Making the most of the opportunity available to you, what is the specialty best for you what makes you stand out.  We always ask our clients: “How does an extracurricular activity apply to your unique student profile?”

Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and specifically BS/MD programs are seeking a diverse student body made up of specialists who can share their passions and achievements collaboratively.   They are not looking for the typical BS/MD candidate who has the sort of Jack-of-all-activities or or have the typical fluff BS/MD I want to be a doctor from high school activities. Quality trumps quantity!  The quality has to be student-specific. We encourage and guide our clients to pursue something meaningful way.

There are lots of “how-to” and book guides to getting into BS/MD programs out there but all were published pre-COVID and their strategies are obsolete and outdated.  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 BS/MD Admissions 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 Acceptances.  Parents who chose to use our services can now call their son or daughter – “Doctor”.

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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. 

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Taking a Gap Year: Covid-19

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As speculation and uncertainty continue to dominate course and outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on colleges opening this fall, many students, both here and from abroad, are considering taking a gap year and then enrolling next year.

If you are in the minority of high school senior students who are considering a gap year (and your deferral request is approved by your college or university), remember that planning is the essential component of a successful gap year.  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.

What are the factors you should consider in planning to have a productive and meaningful gap year?  You can simplify your planning by answering these few questions:

  • 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.

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 your 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.

When considering a gap year, we advise our clients to PLAN, PLAN and PLAN to successfully accomplish their personal goals as well as to have a memorable experience!

 

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_AdviceWe-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School

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”.

Coronavirus Effect on High School Counseling

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The Coronavirus pandemic continues to cause unprecedented changes in college admissions.  Because schools remain shuttered, high schoolers now lack the in-person help they traditionally could receive from high school counselors to meet critical admissions deadlines and requirements. This situation is exacerbating the already difficult role that school counselors face in providing adequate help with college admissions.

There are many high schoolers who have not met with their school counselors and their school counselors don’t really know them.  High school counselors in public schools spend the majority of their time on school activities unrelated to college admissions.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC) 2019 State of College Admissions (using data from NACAC’s 2018–19 Counseling Trends Survey and the US Department of Education) reported: “that on average, public high school counselors spend only 19 percent of their time on college admissions counseling.  On the other hand, the counseling staff at private schools spent an average of 31 percent of their time on college counseling.  The results of NACAC’s 2018–19 Counseling Trends Survey indicated the average overall student-to-counselor ratio for public secondary schools (ending in grade 12) was 263-to-1. Data regarding the extent to which college advising is part of counselors’ job responsibilities showed the average student-to-college counselor ratio was 309-to-1. Public institutions assigned substantially more students to counselor.”

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends a maximum 250-to-1 ratio.  Most states are significantly higher than this. The most recent student-school counselor data (2018-2019) available from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.  The student-to-college counselor ratio is based on both the total number of counselors who exclusively provide college counseling for students and the total number who provide college counseling among other services for students.

High school counselors are tasked with a multitude of duties.  It is a well-documented fact that public school systems burden counselors with many duties unrelated to college counseling including but not limited to, testing, scheduling, crisis counseling, social/emotional counseling, occupational counseling/job placement, etc.  Now they must do all of this without the benefit of personal contact with their students.

With the heavy workload of most high school counselors, few are able to know their students well or have the time to provide the personalized attention needed during the college admissions process.  Now add to this mix the new and unfamiliar challenges of closed schools, distance learning, cancelled standardized testing, alterations in traditional student evaluations, limited ability to visit colleges, cancelled summer activities, cancelled internships, cancelled sports, changes in extracurricular activities, etc.  Welcome to the new era of college admissions!

Many high school parents who call us are anxious over the fact that their children currently aren’t in school and they are focused very much on day-to-day living.  Some parents are aware of the differences in methods of providing education between independent schools, which provide remote active classroom interactions with student participation, as well as assignments and projects vs public schools, requiring parental home-schooling for completion of assignments.  Furthermore, they have not been planning ahead and are not keeping up to date with various changes in admissions deadlines, test cancellations and other issues that usually require multiple in-person school counselor meetings.

Given the level of uncertainty and the timing of the pandemic at a point when high school juniors are on the verge of college application planning, it’s important to understand the impact on student (and parental) planning.

Many parents are concerned with how the COVID-19 pandemic has and will affect their children’s chances of acceptance to colleges, especially to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs.

In our recent webinar: “Navigating the College Admissions Process: COVID-19”, many parents stated that they have a very hard time keeping up with college admissions.  Parents are frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed and at times confused as they try to understand the competitive process, because they rely on books, algorithms and unreliable third-party advice about college admissions.  From these antiquated and outdated sources, many parents believed that they knew all there was to know about competitive college admissions.  However, they are now in new and unfamiliar territory.

Navigating this new frontier requires expert admissions advice, insight, foresight, specialized predictive analysis, research and the experience to spot pitfalls and avoid irrevocable mistakes that may result in rejections letters.

 

 

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advice     We-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School

 

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.

BS/MD Admissions Advisors-2020 Acceptance Rates

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This year was an amazing year for us!!!

All of our BS/MD Admissions clients including international students were accepted to BS/MD programs!

Our parents of the below students are happy, overjoyed and excited that they can now call their sons and daughters Doctors

  • Boston University – 2
  • Brown University PLME – 3
  • ​CUNY/Sophia – 1
  • Drexel University – 2
  • Northwestern University – 2
  • NJIT/Albert Dorman Honors College – 1
  • Penn State/Jefferson Medical College – 2
  • RPI/Albany Medical College – 1
  • ​Rice/Baylor – 1
  • Rutgers/New Jersey Medical – 2
  • Siena College/Albany Medical College – 1
  • Stony Brook University – 2
  • SUNY – Downstate – 2
  • SUNY – Upstate – 2
  • Temple University – 1
  • TCNJ/New Jersey Medical
  • Union College/Albany Medical College – 2​
  • University of Cincinnati UCD – 1
  • University of Rochester – 2
  • Washington University in St. Louis USPM – 2

Our BS/MD Admissions practice is specialized: Dr. Lowe and his team only work with parents who understand that the 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.

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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. 

Hiring An Admissions Expert – One Less Thing To Worry About

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It’s April and we are receiving calls and emails from parents whose children were rejected or placed on the or wait-list (which means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”) for Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and top private day and boarding schools.

When I ask the question: “Did you hire an admissions expert?”  The answer is always No!

It is surprising to me that these same parents may hire the best tutor for academic subjects, the best building experts for house repairs, the best soccer or lacrosse coach or the best hairstylist.  However, when it comes to their children’s educational future, which ultimately affects their future, they choose to make the decision that an admissions expert is unnecessary.

Benjamin Franklin famously advised “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  For those of you who tend to worry, here are the reasons why you should hire an admissions expert so that you don’t develop irreversible worry wrinkles or “the dreaded elevens”:

  • Admissions experts have personal and current specialized knowledge of what is happening at educational institutions because of their long-standing professional relationships with admissions departments and officers.
  • Admissions experts know that the devil is in the details; research, due diligence and thorough assessment are par for the course.
  • Admissions experts understand how to use an application as personal branding and marketing tool for your child’s admissions success.
  • Admissions experts understand the diplomacy, advocacy and strategic game plan are needed for admissions success.
  • Admissions experts understand and embrace the competitive nature of admissions process.
  • Admissions experts understand that valuable advice is investment in your child’s future, not an expense.
  • Admissions experts view admissions as a non-formulaic, competitive endeavor.  Admissions experts help your child achieve the goal they’ve worked on since childhood – acceptance into their top choice school.

The question that parents who are about to enter the admissions process should ask themselves:  Why worry?

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

We provide our clients access to our specialized knowledge! – Dr. Paul Lowe

We-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School      key-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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.   

 

 

Class of 2024 Total Admissions Rates

It’s April and all the Ivies and highly competitive colleges and universities have notified applicants of their decisions.  Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, college admissions offices are in operation.  For some of the Ivies and selective colleges the admissions rates have slightly increased.  The reality is that even with these small increases, it’s still hyper-competitive to gain admissions to these schools.  For example, Harvard’s admit rate was 4.9%, up from 4.6% last year.  However, the 4.9% indicates that 1,980 applicants were admitted of the 40,248 who applied or 38,368 (95.4%) applicants were rejected!  Yale’s admit rate was 6.54% up from 5.91% last year.  Therefore, the 5.1% represents 2,304 accepted applicants of the 35,220 who applied or 32,916 (94.8%) applicants who were rejected.

The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted college tours, SAT test dates, and high school in-person classes, but not college admissions activity! The fundamentals of college committee assessment and selection are the same: they will be selecting the best students who will be contributing to their individual college communities and mission.

If you are a high school junior and will start the application process in 6 months, admissions committees will be evaluating your applications! You should prepare accordingly!

Here are this year’s total admissions rates for Ivy League and some of the highly selective colleges and universities (last year’s rates are in red):

  • Boston College:  24% | 27.1%
  • Boston University:  18.5% | 18%
  • Bowdoin College:  8.3% | 8.9%
  • Brown University:  6.9% | 6.6%
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  TBA
  • Colby College: 9.4% | 9.6%
  • Columbia University:  6.1% | 5.3%
  • Cornell University:  TBA
  • Dartmouth College:  8.8% | 7.9%
  • Duke University:  7.7% | 7.4%
  • Harvard University:  4.92% | 4.6%
  • Johns Hopkins University:  8.8% | 9.1%
  • MIT:  7.2% | 6.6%
  • New York University:  15% | 16%
  • Princeton University:  5.55% | 5.8%
  • Swarthmore College:  8.8% | 8.7%
  • University of Chicago:  TBA | 5.9%
  • University of Pennsylvania:  8.0% | 7.4%
  • University of Southern California: 16% | 11%
  • University of Virginia:  20.5% | 24.3%
  • Yale University:  6.54% | 5.91%

This year, all of our clients were accepted into their top-choice colleges including Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities.  In fact, several of our clients were accepted to two or more Ivies!

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_AdviceWe-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School

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.

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 BS/MD programs, it’s a whole NEW competitive admissions environment!  Books about BS/MD process and BS/MD programs do not show you how to navigate the BS/MD admissions process during the current coronovirus pandemic!
  • 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.

 

College Admissions Officers Are Checking Applicants’ Social Media Profiles

So you thought that your Instagram, tweet or Facebook Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch were safe?  Think again!  What about the posts of your friends?

According to a recent Kaplan Test survey that polled nearly 300 college admissions officers, 36% of them looked at applicants’ social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to learn more about the applicant.  When my team and I visit schools and have discussions with admissions they do admit that they review applicants’ social media platforms.

So, do colleges look at social media? Yes. In fact, what students post on social media can greatly affect not only acceptance odds but they can get acceptances revoked if unsuitable and offensive materials are found. When Harvard discovered offensive material being posted to a group chat by incoming freshman, it rescinded acceptance  letters to 10 accepted applicants!

Because Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities receive so many qualified applications, they’re typically looking at social media to see if it tips the scales in anyone’s favor.  So be careful!

So the question you need to ask is does my social media profile affect college decision outcomes?  What do you think?

We provide a social media review and analysis (SMRA) for our clients.

“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        key-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.   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.