Coronavirus Effect on Back to College

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As students return to campus this fall there has been increased reporting of COVID-19 outbreaks on campus.  Whatever the reasons, the reality is that outbreaks are occurring.

A recent study published in the JAMA Network Open, a monthly open access medical journal published by the American Medical Association stated: “In the midst of the deadliest pandemic since 1918, the question of how to reopen colleges safely after months of lockdown is of great concern. First and foremost, the strategy cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, the best-prepared colleges will use a multifaceted approach that leverages a range of public health strategies best suited to each institution’s resources, location, and culture. Containing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires testing; behavioral interventions to reduce the reproductive number (Rt), such as social distancing, masking, and contact tracing; and limiting the influx of new infections from outside campus.”

A Cornell University study, The Small-World Network of College Classes: Implications for Epidemic Spread on a University Campus revealed “how quickly COVID-19 could spread through ‘small-world’ campus networks if no precautions were taken. Course enrollment networks do not capture the many ways that students are connected outside of the classroom through advisors, friends, parties, athletics and other extra-curricular activities, or living situations.”

Here is a partial list of colleges/universities where significant coronavirus cases have surfaced after classes have recently resumed:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa Campus
  • Central Michigan University – Mt. Pleasant Campus
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas Christian University
  • Baylor University
  • University of Michigan

As a result of the increases, many concerned students and their parents are contacting us to inquire about transferring to colleges.  They have safety concerns where there has been documented outbreaks or where student on-campus and off-campus behavior ignores safety measures like mask-wearing and social distancing. Some are seeking an opportunity to transfer to ivy league and highly selective college and universities (even though they may have online classes) because of their prestigious brands.

Students applying during the 2020-2021 application season and their parents are also considering the consequences of COVID-19, previously accepted students have deferred admission or students may be taking a gap year prior to applying, thus increasing the applicant pool.

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

“Parents hire us because they choose to pay an admissions expert who will help them avoid making mistakes.” – 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.

 

Transfer Acceptance Rates at Top Colleges

As the college application season begins to draw to a close (decisions for competitive schools will be released in late March), one would believe that everything is slowing down.  But actually, we are in the throes of the college transfer season!  Many college freshmen and sophomores, after a semester or so, have already decided that they need to transfer to another college.  Throughout the years, I have encountered many students who wish to transfer.  It is now becoming a growing trend.  In our practice, we are increasingly seeing students who are making the decision to transfer while in their first semester, freshman year.  Here are some of the main reasons why the students I encounter decide to transfer:

  • They are unhappy:  Why remain in an environment for four years where you will be unhappy and miserable – and pay tuition, room and board that will cost you (or your parents) $200,000 – $250,000?
  • Fresh start:  From time to time, a student may have faced unexpected challenges, disciplinary actions at a college and they need a new college environment.
  • Institutional prestige:  You may be attending your safety school and you want a second shot or you were discouraged from applying to your dream school.  In any case, you desire what we call an UPGRADE.
  • Pre-graduate school preparation:  Your current college may not have a strong pre-law, pre-med or pre-business curriculum needed for graduate school admissions preparation or employment.

Most of the parents who call us are calling for an upgrade!  There are fewer spots available especially in the Ivies and highly competitive colleges.

Students are on their own during the transfer process:  No college counseling support will be available from their current guidance counselors or private high school college advisors and there is no transfer help from the college which they are currently attending.

Here is a list of acceptance rates at top colleges:

  • Barnard College – 21.8%
  • Brown University – 7.7%
  • California Institute of Technology – 1.9%
  • Carnegie Mellon University – 7.3%
  • Columbia University – 6.1%
  • Cornell University – 17.1%
  • Dartmouth College – 1.5%
  • Duke University – 6.6%
  • Georgetown University – 6.6%

“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.

GUARANTEE – What This Really Means!

Guarantee what this really means Dr Paul Lowe Admissions Expert independent educational college consultant

There can be confusion and assumptions with the use of the word guarantee.  This can be particularly true when one associates the word “guarantee” with the word “admission”. In the college admissions industry, no one can guarantee admissions to any college or university.

As an active member of several professional trade associations, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling, (NACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC), according to their Standard, Practices and Ethics, it is a clear and accepted directive that one cannot guarantee admissions to universities.

NACAC, in its Statement of Principles of Good Practice Mandatory Practices states:  “All members agree they will not guarantee admission or specific college placement”.   HECA, in its statement of Standards and Ethics (Code of Conduct for Individual Consultants) states: “In the conduct of their practice, HECA members shall: Not make any written or verbal guarantee of college admission or placement.”

HOWEVER…..let’s tell you what our GUARANTEE would mean to you.

We GUARANTEE:

  • That you will work directly with admissions expert and independent educational consultant, Dr. Paul Lowe.
  • That we abide by professional and ethical standards of membership organizations in college admissions.
  • That we provide our concierge-type admissions advisory service.
  • That we will develop winning admissions advisory strategies personalized for our clients.
  • For international students, that we know and understand how international students are assessed and evaluated, given a potentially divergent secondary school curriculum.
  • That we continually visit Ivy League and highly selective schools and understand their changing admissions policies and missions.
  • That we will work efficiently, rapidly, efficiently, and diligently with our clients.
  • That we continually communicate with our clients and provide unlimited correspondence throughout our admissions advisory assignments.
  • That we supplement, complement and add value to the efforts of public high school counselors and private high school college counselors because we work one-on-one with students.
  • That our strategic vision allows us to create, design and develop a compelling, authentic and distinctive personal brand for each of our clients.  This vision elevates and differentiates our clients in the competitive admissions environment.
  • That we add soul, pizazz, jazz, hip-hop, rhythm, groove, vibe, funk and collaborative syncopation to your application so that it stands out – that’s how we roll!
  • That we understand the dynamics of proper etiquette, manners and body language in successful college admissions.
  • That we identify details that may be overlooked and help you find and avoid irreparable mistakes that would cause you (your application) to be rejected.
  • That the cultural, intellectual, racial, and professional diversity within our firm helps us identify what makes our clients stand out!  The DIVERSITY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE of our firm adds amazing colorfulness, tone, hue, shade, enthusiasm, creativity and energy to our client’s and their applications!…That’s why they are different and can stand out far above other applicants!

Our foresight, insight, research, admissions experience and proprietary approach GUARANTEES our high quality and advice which results in the year-to-year admissions success of our clients.

Simply put, our enviable and unparalleled admissions experience is your GUARANTEE for quality and results.

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“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.

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.

Fees_value

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. 

The College Admissions Landscape Has Changed Again: Adversity Score

The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic backgrounds.  This fall, 100 colleges and universities will join the 50 colleges (which include Harvard, Yale, Cornell and University of Michigan) already utilizing this new metric designed to place students’ SAT scores in the context of their socioeconomic advantages or disadvantages.

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This adversity score is calculated using 15 environmental factors that influence a student’s home and school life – including the neighborhood’s crime rate and poverty levels, the community’s average educational attainment, housing values, and vacancies. While students won’t see, know or be told their scores, colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

What does this mean for rising seniors?  The college admissions landscape has changed again.  Colleges will have an objective tool that will not just consider a student’s race, but their socio-economic class in making admissions decisions.  To be clear, colleges and universities have considered socioeconomic factors previously; but the pilot study of this method using the adversity score has accelerated the inclusion of lower income and minority students.  Admissions will be even more competitive!

Competition_1

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.

Dr. Paul Lowe Visits Barnard College

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. 

In May, I visited Barnard College on a beautiful spring day.  Barnard is a small liberal arts college located in the Upper west side, in New York City. It is directly across the street from Columbia University.  I spoke with several students and the  consensus was that Barnard is a tight knit community where most people know others in their class, or at least know who you are.

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Dr. Lowe at Barnard College – Broadway main gates.

Barnard is the best of both worlds; it has a small college feeling, but is also within a large university.

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Dr. Lowe within Barnard College campus – Barnard Greek Games statue

I consider Barnard the ninth Ivy League.  Barnard College graduates receive Columbia University degrees!  Year after year, we have clients who have been accepted to Barnard.  I met 3 of my clients who are currently students at Barnard.  They just love it!

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.

10 Best Colleges in New Jersey in 2018

I visit several New Jersey colleges and universities annually.  There is a perfect college or university in New Jersey for all those seeking to further their academic careers.  I find that they are diverse in nature based on academic rigor, campus size and admissions policies.

Each year, Money magazine ranks college and universities.  Money ranked 727 of the best colleges based on quality of education, affordability and outcomes. And while the usual elite, highly selective institutions topped the list, 21 New Jersey colleges made the cut. Only Drew University was left off the list.

Here are the top ten best colleges in New Jersey along with their overall Money magazine ranks.

  1. Princeton University (#1)
  2. The College of New Jersey (#35)
  3. Rutgers University-New Brunswick (#65)
  4. Ramapo College of New Jersey (#113)
  5. Stevens Institute of Technology (#153)
  6. Montclair State University (#164)
  7. Rowan University, Glassboro (#182)
  8. College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown (#193)
  9. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark (#199)
  10. Stockton University, Galloway (#218)

As an “elite/veteran” member of New Jersey Association for College Admissions Counseling, I continually visit New Jersey colleges and universities to ensure that our clients are aware of the changing campus environment and admissions policies at each individual institution.

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Dr. Lowe and Larry Alterman, 2019 NJACAC President at the NJACAC Annual Conference in Atlantic City, May 20, 2019

 

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.

Dr. Lowe Visits Harvard College

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. 

In May, I visited Harvard College.  This is my third visit to Harvard College this year.  Each visit, I have the opportunity to meet professors and admissions personnel and talk about the college.  I met several students on the Harvard Yard and they were friendly and modest.  I sensed that they knew that they would be the future world leaders.

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This year, Harvard’s acceptance rate was a record-low 4.5 percent.  For the Class of 2023 with 1,950 of the 43,330 applicants.  This year marks the fifth consecutive application cycle in which the percentage of accepted applicants has decreased.

What does this mean for rising seniors (this year’s juniors)?

If Harvard is your first choice, it’s getting even harder to get accepted.

My recommendation?

Applicants will need an expert college admissions advisor who:

  1. has the experience and expertise in working with applicants who are applying to Ivy League colleges and universities.
  2. continually visits colleges and universities.
  3. understands how to efficiently and appropriately advise applicants.
  4. understands the admissions policies and what admissions officers are looking for.
  5. spends time with applicants brainstorming and implementing admissions strategies.
  6. guides applicants through the minefields of the Common Application, personal statements and supplemental/short answer essays.

 

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.

2018 State of College Admissions Trends

 

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The 2018 State of College Admission report was recently released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).  As an active member of NACAC, I have been reviewing this report that has been published over the last fifteen years.  The report is based on data collected from the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Education Research Institute.

The State of College Admission Report provides up-to-date information on a number of issues that impact students’ transition from high school to post-secondary education, as well as the admission process for transfer students and international students attending post-secondary institutions in the United States. The report covers the recruitment strategies that colleges use to attract each group of prospective students and the process by which candidates are evaluated. The report also includes a chapter dedicated to school counseling in US secondary schools, given the integral role school counselors play in putting students on the path to post-secondary success.

Here are some interesting trends in college admissions and highlights of report:

College Applications: The increase in the number of colleges to which each student applies continues a near perfectly upward trend, which is reflected in college reports of increased application volume.  Growth in application volume continues: Between the Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 admission cycles, the number of applications from first-time freshmen increased 4 percent; applications from prospective transfer students increased by 3 percent; and international student applications increased by 8 percent, on average.  There is continued hyper-competition to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and BS/MD Programs.

Recruitment and Yield Strategies:  College admission offices use a variety of strategies to recruit prospective students, particularly those who would be likely to attend if admitted.  To recruit students, colleges use the following strategies: Email, institutional websites, hosting campus visits, outreach to parents and high school counselors, high school visits, and college fairs.  These strategies help schools attain their enrollment goals.

Factors in Admissions Decisions: The factors that admission officers use to evaluate student applications from first-time freshmen have remained largely consistent over the past 20 years. Students’ academic achievements—which include High School Curriculum, and Test Scores as Top Factors for First-Time Freshmen: The top factors in the admission decision were: overall high school GPA, grades in college preparatory courses, admission test scores, and strength of curriculum. Among the next most important factors were the essay, a student’s demonstrated interest, counselor and teacher recommendations, class rank and extracirricular activities. Admission decision factors for first-time international students are similar to those for domestic students, but the transfer admission decision process differs in significant ways.

Guidance Counseling Trends for College Admissions:  Post-secondary admission counseling is one of many functions of school counselors. On average, the time that public high school guidance counselors spend on college admissions: 21 percent, down from 26 percent in 2017. This demonstrates that high school guidance counselors are spending less time with students on college admissions.  See admissions blog: High School Guidance Counselors/College Admissions: Big Caseloads and Little Time

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250-to-1 maximum student-to-counselor ratio.  New Hampshire and Vermont—had ratios below this maximum.  Data regarding the extent to which college advising is part of counselors’ job responsibilities showed the average student-to-college counselor ratio was 297-to-1.  With this ratio, it implies that high school guidance counselors have little time to provide individualized attention to students applying to college.

“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

“Top qualified applicants, after all their hard work (and parents’ work) and preparation deserve the best and should not settle for less.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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

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.