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.

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

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college: College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

 

Party With Moms Interviews Admissions Expert Dr Paul Lowe

Remy Cook, CEO of Party with Moms:  Dr. Paul Lowe is managing director of Greenwich Admissions Advisors, a boutique firm that helps place students into top-flight schools.   I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Lowe and discuss his firm and business philosophy.

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Generally, Lowe helps clients who are applying to elite universities, private schools and medical schools. For the consulting services provided, Lowe charges a flat fee that ranges from $5,000 to as to high as $250,000, depending on the type of specialized admissions or strategic advisory service.

PWM: How did you get into this line of work?

Dr. Lowe: I was a physician-scientist, worked on Wall Street for a year and was a serial entrepreneur.  During this time, I also was a Brown University alumni interviewer. I discovered as a Brown interviewer that applicants, regardless of their socio-economic status, were not really prepared for the competitive college application process.  I became a college admissions adviser specializing in Ivies and top-tier colleges about 21 years ago and branched out to elite and prestigious private day and boarding schools 11 years ago.

PWM: What schools do you primarily focus on? 

Dr Lowe: We focus on Ivy League colleges and universities, top private day and boarding schools, top graduate and medical schools and BS MD programs.  The Elite Eight: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell and UPenn, and the top-tier schools like Duke, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, MIT, etc.  My wife, three children and I were all accepted to and attended the Ivies, so that’s what I know and believe in. As an African-American family, with West Indian heritage (I was born in Jamaica), it’s always been important to us to focus on achieving the very best, and education is very important.  It’s the ultimate American dream, and now international dream as well, to attend an Ivy League school and a top private school.

PWM: Why the Ivy League and private schools?

Dr. Lowe: I often hear parents and even other independent educational consultants say it’s about the fit.  For many people, especially the clientele with whom I interact, so-called prestige and brand-name schools are important to them because they know they can have an education where they are surrounded by exceptional students and faculty.  So, they strive for the very best possible education, then they find the fit among those institutions.  Many years ago, I had a client and she was just a superstar. She was admitted to multiple Ivies; she chose Dartmouth because she was an outdoorsy-type athlete. She loved to ski and hike and climb mountains, so that was a better fit for her than Harvard, Yale, Brown or Columbia.

PWM: What is your admissions strategy?

Dr. Lowe: That begins with who I am.  Being African American, Ivy League-trained, having knowledge of several languages (and cultures) and being a jazz musician allows me to understand and interpret people.  Successful admissions is about understanding, appreciating and respecting different nuances in cultures, ethnicities and human nature. It’s about a thorough analysis and interpretation of the changes in business, economic, socio-political and admissions trends. It’s an art as well as a science mixed in with insight, foresight and experience.  Being different in this industry (Lowe laughs), and appreciating and embracing the challenges of being different allow me and my team to help my clients stand out and get accepted into their top-choice schools.  When I walk into certain situations, based on people’s reactions and non-verbal cues, I feel and know that I am perceived as different. I use that art and sensitivity to help my clients successfully stand out.

PWM: What type of strategic services do you provide?

Dr. Lowe: In addition to traditional college admissions, we also provide concierge strategic consulting services to legacy, development and resumed education applicants.

PWM: What makes your firm stand out?

Dr. Lowe: We are an African- American owned and managed firm that specializes in admissions to elite educational institutions.  Our core team and supportive administrative staff respect and have different and diverse thinking styles.  We are not a jack-of all-trades firm that provides tutoring services and other educational ancillary services or own and manage schools.  A successful record in admissions is not achieved by chance or luck.  My team and I treat the admissions process as a competitive sport so that our clients can win!

PWM: How has “Varsity Blues” affected your business?

Dr. Lowe: The reaction of people has been very interesting. Of course, no one is happy with the cheating and bribery scandal.  Because we are an honest, transparent and trusted firm, more parents are calling us.  People are aware of the competition to gain entrance into top schools and are now more aware of unethical aspects in this industry. They are also now more aware of high-end admissions advisors, like me, who provide specialized concierge-type services.

PWM: What should new clients of yours expect?

Dr. Lowe: I focus specifically on positive outcomes and success.  I am enthusiastic and detailed in pursuing this goal and leave no stone unturned in preparing my clients. They know that I truly care about getting their child accepted into top schools. The process really starts with a question: How can my team and I, using the inherent academic, artistic or athletic qualities of a student, present him/her in a positive light to an admissions committee of seven to eight different people?

 

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PWM: Who makes up the bulk of your clientele?

Dr. Lowe: About 60 percent of our clients are international families who reside in the U.S. or other countries. The balance are mostly families who reside in the tri-state area and southern states. We cater to families who want the best admissions outcome for their children and can afford our services.  Our services are not for everyone.

PWM: For those parents and students who are striving for the elite school experiences, what should Greenwich parents realize about getting into a top school?

Dr. Lowe: Many U.S. parents have this idea that their children are only competing with other children locally and regionally. They have no idea or may be in denial of the global educational competition. Parents from the midwestern states or desert southwest may want their child to attend east coast private school.  Families may be relocating from the south or the west coast.  And of course, there are the international students from Brazil, Russia, India, China and now Africa.  Parents of these students understand the competitive advantage of hiring a private, on-call admissions adviser and the global value of a U.S. educational pedigree.

PWM: Can you talk more about your fees?

Dr. Lowe: Our fees are value-added investment in a child’s future.  Our clients view our fees, not as a cost, but as an investment in their child’s future and to them that’s worth more than real estate, a second home, or a fancy car.  A child’s future is not a depreciating asset, it’s not even an asset.  Your child is your legacy!  Hiring our firm is simply a choice whether to give your child a competitive advantage.

PWM: What’s the hardest part of your job? What’s the most rewarding?

Dr. Lowe: Most difficult: It can be difficult to have a parent step back in this process.  It’s understandable because they have spent years planning and doing everything for their child, but its challenging when parents assume that they are the admissions experts during their child’s admissions journey because they read several books on college admissions or an article on college admissions. Or when they believe that a “connection” will get their child admitted to a school. Parents, in our target market, are very intelligent, well-educated, in many cases well-connected and well-off financially. However, they fail to understand that their skill sets in business, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, engineering do not apply to the admissions universe or may be detrimental to successfully navigating their child’s college admissions process or admission to a private school.

Most rewarding: It’s very rewarding to witness the student blossoming. They develop a self-assurance as this process progresses.  Of course, I love when I see parents and children celebrate the acceptance to their top-choice schools (the family hugs, pets included), when I’m invited to my client’s high school and (four years later) college graduation.  And what is truly gratifying for me is when I hear that my client is vice president of a major investment banking firm, a partner in a white-shoe law firm, CEO of a unicorn, a practicing physician, or the lead attorney in a major government agency. They are just happy moments! It’s a wonderful feeling.

PARTYWITHMOMS.COM (PWM) is an original website celebrating and serving moms through our curated content.  Each Monday, a different mom of the week tells her story: entrepreneurs, bankers, authors, artists, marketers, doctors, lawyers, decorators & even some celebrities — ALL are MOMS, first and foremost.  Every Thursday, we offer either a parenting column, an early childhood column, a mindful parenting column or a college and private school admissions blog.  PWM features fun events, restaurants, health/fitness opportunities, shops, educational programs, and home improvement companies in the Fairfield County area catering to Moms and their families.

 

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

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   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.

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.

It’s A New Admissions Year – 2019

Welcome to Dr.Paul Lowe’s Admissions Expert Blog – 2019

My team and I have been visiting elite private schools, colleges, BS/MD programs, medical, law and graduate schools since late December and January.

Parents and students are constantly in the throes of the journey for:

  • Private School Admissions:  The application deadline for the top and competitive day and boarding schools was January 15th.  Admission decisions will be available online by March 9th for boarding schools.
  • College Admissions:  Early decision and action acceptances, rejection and deferred notices have been sent to students.  It’s time for high school seniors to think about what to do next regarding post-decision strategies.  Final decisions: March -April.  For high school juniors, you’ll be hearing from colleges in 12 months! For 2019, expect an increase in international student applying to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities.
  • Transfer Admissions:  Most applications are due in March.  Therefore, it’s time to complete applications and most importantly it’s time to complete those personal statements.  The transfer application this year has several changes!
  • BS/MD Admissions:  Competition for coveted spots is heightened based on the increased number of applicants this year.  Expect an increase in the number of rejected applicants.
  • Medical School Admissions: College juniors should begin to draft their personal statements, schedule to take their MCATs no later than May and obtain letters of recommendation.  Also, the new AAMC guidelines may affect the decision-making process considerably!
  • Law School Admissions:  Senior year – If you’re still in college, have your college Registrar submit updated transcript that reflects your Fall semester grades and
  • Graduate School Admissions:  Junior year – Start your search on graduate school programs. Once you have conducted your thorough searches for prospective institutions, make an alphabetical list of between 10 and 20 programs, regardless of what you presently know or have heard about them. Write them all down or put them on a spreadsheet. Graduate school enrollment continues to increase! Overall application volumes to graduate programs are steady and there is an expected increase from the Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe regions.  

Each year, admissions policies and strategies change, so stay tuned for my upcoming, informative, helpful and thought-provoking admissions blogs!

“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. 

2018 Top U.S. Business Schools

Does it matter where you attend business school? Absolutely!  Yes!  Name brand B-schools will open doors, provide to you with opportunities for success and help you establish be a part of a global connection of business graduates.

Over the last 4 months, my team and I had the opportunity to tour and visit over 60 U.S. business schools. With tuition ranging from $51,000 (University of Texas at Austin) to ($75,000) Harvard.  From these numbers, you obviously want the best return on investment.  After all, why attend business school and not ultimately become one of the masters of  industry?

What we discovered was that the Mean starting salary and bonus: This is the average starting salary and bonus of 2017 graduates of a full-time MBA program and the Employment rates for full-time MBA program graduates: This is the employment rate for 2017 graduates of a full-time MBA program were higher for the top schools.

What does this all mean:  When you attend a top U.S. business school, it’s more likely that you will have the opportunity to be a part of a rarefied professional, entrepreneurial and alumni network and make more money!

Here is a list of the 2018 top U.S. business schools:

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Chicago (Booth)
  3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  4. Stanford University
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
  6. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  7. University of California – Berkeley (Hass)
  8. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Ross)
  9. Columbia University
  10. Dartmouth College (Tuck)
  11. Duke University (Fuqua)
  12. Yale University
  13. New York University (Stern)
  14. University of Virginia (Darden)
  15. Cornell University (Johnson)
  16. University of California at Los Angeles (Anderson)
  17. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
  18. University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)
  19. University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
  20. Emory University (Goizueta)

“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.  Summer camps:  Ivy League Application Boot Camp and BS/MD Application Boot Camp.