Dr Lowe Visits Canterbury School

Tucked away on the hilltop of New Milford Connecticut you will find a treasure that some have already discovered.  It is what I call one of hidden gems of boarding schools – Canterbury School.  I recently visited Canterbury, my second time, this year.  Canterbury is located in the northeastern portion of Connecticut – Litchfield County 150 miles from Boston, 85 miles from New York City, 45 miles from Hartford, and 35 miles from New Haven.  Offering admissions for grades 9-12 and a post-grad program, the average class size is 12.

Each administrator in the Admissions Office was extremely welcoming and friendly.  The office was abuzz with activity.  Students stopping by would have a warm Hi!  As we passed students on the tour, they were equally happy and cordial.  We visited its new Robotics Lab; its Robotics Team has placed in competitions.  We visited several classes, including a class taught by Kim Tester, Fine Arts Chair and observed her class as students creatively and enthusiastically engaged in their art works.

Canterbury definitely has a positive and welcoming vibe.  It has a cooperative and collaborative learning atmosphere.  From the tour and observation of classrooms and its student center there is conspicuous ethnic diversity and a true sense of community among students.

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I had a chance to talk with Matt Mulhern (Class of 1995), Canterbury’s Director of Admissions.  His enthusiasm about Canterbury was evident.  He stated that students at Canterbury are encouraged – and have the support – to do it all – academically and extracurricularly (athletics, arts etc.) and that it offers students the opportunity to become their best and most dynamic selves.  Under the direction of Sarah Ferland, Director of College Counseling, Canterbury has placed graduates at top colleges and universities including but not limited to: Amherst College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard College, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Wesleyan University and Yale University.

Canterbury’s future plans: Building a new 20,000 square foot Student Commons building, creating a Campus Square and Streetscape and renovating the Hume Hall the central academic building at the heart of the campus.  This treasure keeps getting better and better!

Other independent educational consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.  By understanding and analyzing a specific school’s atmosphere, vibe, rhythm, tone, color, experience, culture and mission, I can clearly articulate what differentiates one school from another to consumers/families.

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants.  and affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Dr. Lowe Visits The Avenues: The World School

I recently visited The Avenues: The World School and it is truly a world-class school!

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The Avenues – 259 Tenth Avenue, Manhattan, NY

When I visited the Avenues (its global headquarters in Manhattan), I had an opportunity to have separate private tours with Melissa Hong, Director of Admissions for the Early Learning Center (N–K) and Grades 1–4, and then Keven Lee, Associate Director of Admissions, Grades 5–12.  They were welcoming, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and engaged administrators.

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Keven Lee, Associate Director of Admissions, The Avenues and Dr. Paul Lowe

We toured the entire campus.  I observed polite and very happy children.  All the teachers we met were happy, enthusiastic and engaged.  I heard students speaking Mandarin and Spanish (we are talking primary grades-The Avenues curriculum includes multilingual immersion educational program in Mandarin and Spanish).  The cafeteria and maintenance personnel were also happy and welcoming.  The school just bustles with multiculturalism and energy!

The Avenues has its own 20,000-square-foot full-size gymnasium, locker rooms, fitness and weight rooms.  In addition to its in-house facilities, Avenues students also have access to much more, including the facilities of Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex.  These facilities accommodate the multitude of sports teams offered by The Avenues, which include baseball, basketball, crew, cross-country, fencing, golf, lacrosse, squash, tennis, track & field and volleyball, as well as recreational activities such as badminton, floor hockey, hand ball, gymnastics, rock-climbing, soccer and much more.

In August, The Avenues opened its campus: “Avenues São Paulo”, a 40,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art educational facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Over the next decade, Avenues plans to build campuses in more of the world’s leading cities and regions, including but not limited to the following:  Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Miami, San Francisco, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley and Singapore.

In addition to physical campuses, The Avenues recently launched its third campus, Avenues Online (AON) a proprietary learning program of The Avenues offering an online curriculum that allows students in grades 6-12 to learn anywhere, anytime.

The Avenue states: “The uniquely global scope of Avenues’ curriculum provides students with the educational and extracurricular opportunities that make for competitive and compelling college applications.”  The Avenues first high school graduating class was in 2016.  From 2016-2018 its graduates have moved on to such Ivy League and highly competitive schools as:  Barnard College, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University and Yale University.

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Other consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants.  and affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Dr Lowe Visits Phillips Exeter Academy

In April, I had the great opportunity to visit Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the top U.S. boarding schools.  I also had the opportunity to visit it again during the summer to observe its summer camp.   When I visit schools, I make the time to see admissions officers, enrollment managers and heads of schools to keep abreast of their admissions policies, school changes and trends.  In this way, we obtain knowledge to help our clients.

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Eleanor Jean Down, Assistant Director of Admissions with Dr. Lowe at Phillips Exeter
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Nahin Ignacio Jorgge, Assoc Dir/Coord of Multicultural and Diversity Recruitment Exeter with Dr. Lowe

Exeter is just a fabulous school!  The class sizes are small.  I visited several classes and the average class size was 10 students.  The students were intellectually engaged and motivated.  There was much collaborative and cooperative learning in each of the classrooms I visited.  As I toured the campus and visited classrooms, I also saw diversity in culture and race.  I had several discussions with international students and they all had such praises about the Exeter experience and its exciting community.

Each year, we place several U.S. and international clients at Exeter and they all talk about the Extraordinary Exeter Experience!  Many of our clients from China have attended Exeter and have moved on to the Ivies.  One Chinese client who graduated now attends Harvard.  Another attends Yale and another attends Brown.  All stated and agreed that the Exeter experience prepared them well for their perspective universities.

What makes Exeter great:

  • Harkness method: – Developed by Exeter
  • Abundance of student clubs and organizations: Over 150 ranging from Academy Belly Dancing Society to Zumba Club.  Exeter also encourages students to start their own club.
  • College counseling and placement:  Year after year students are accepted into the Ivy League and high selective colleges
  • The Extraordinary Exeter Experience:  Life-changing experience in the Exeter community and interaction with of students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 30 foreign countries.
  • Happy students:  The students were approachable, helpful and happy.

Other consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants , an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

What Admissions Officers Look for On Private School Applications

Private School Application Dr Paul Lowe

A typical private day or boarding school application consists of:

  • Student statement
  • Student questionnaire
  • Parent questionnaire
  • Student interview
  • Parent interview
  • Standardized test scores
  • Teacher recommendations (English and Math)
  • Two-years of school transcripts
  • Family information sheet
  • Portfolio of extracurricular activities.

Do they really read and review everything? Yes, they do!  Admissions officers are well practiced at reviewing details in applications as well as observing non-verbal cues that communicate a student and family’s character.  Especially, the very selective private schools where the acceptance rates can be as low as 13%.

The private school admission process is not formulaic.  Many parents make the mistake of assuming that admissions is based on formula.  By continually visiting private schools, we have observed that each admissions officer has their own way of evaluating applications and understand the unique individual admissions policies and nuances of each school.

In addition to the above criteria, especially at the top private schools, admissions committees also consider a student’s character, family dynamics and how all the above components are interrelated to display a comprehensive view a student’s entire admissions profile. They are also looking for students who are going to be positive, active and engaged members of their unique community.  They want to accept students who will do well and thrive in their school community and culture.

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We are admissions advisors who visit colleges and therefore who know what admissions officers and committees at different schools expect and don’t want to see in your applications and essays!  Our insider-knowledge gives you and edge and helps you avoid mistakes on your application and essays BEFORE you press submit.

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants , an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top Boarding Schools in New Jersey

Many parents who reside in New Jersey call our New Jersey offices in Fort Lee or Princeton seeking top boarding schools in New Jersey as an alternative educational environment to public schools and private day schools.

Boarding schools that we have listed below have 5 Things in Common that all top boarding schools have including but not limited to, college admissions placement, facilities, small classes and culture.

Here are the top boarding schools in New Jersey:

  1. The Lawrenceville School
  2. Blair Academy
  3. Peddie School
  4. Hun School at Princeton

Year after year, we have placed students in these boarding schools and they have provided positive feedback about their experiences!

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

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Elite Boarding Schools – Feeders to the Ivy Leagues

Top U.S. Private High Schools with the Highest Percentage Graduates of Accepted To Ivy League Universities Dr Paul Lowe

Each year, my team and I visit top U.S. boarding schools.  The admissions bar is pretty high to get accepted.  For example, Phillips Academy receives 3,000 applications each year but only accepts about 13%, St. Paul’s acceptance rate is 16%, Cate School’s acceptance rate is 14%, Phillips Exeter’s acceptance rate is 18%.  The annual tuition to these schools are on average $55,000 per year.

With these low acceptance rates, the competitive admissions process and relatively high tuition why do parents continue to strive to have their children admitted to these schools?  The answer is quite simple:  Elite boarding schools are feeder schools to the Ivies!

For the past three years, more than 20 Andover students have gotten into each of the following top schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.

With that type of track record, and the life-long relationships and contacts student make, its no wonder parents are more than willing to go through the competitive admissions process and invest over $225,000 in an elite boarding school education for their children.

When parents call us to retain our services for admissions to top boarding schools they often ask us what is value or return on investment of our fee.  Our response:  Your investment at minimum, admissions to top boarding schools ($225,000), the eventual increased probability of admissions to the Ivy leagues ($250,000) and the life time value of an Ivy League degree!

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

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel. 

5 Things That Top U.S. Boarding Schools Have in Common

Throughout the years, my team and I continually visit top U.S. boarding schools.  We meet and maintain longstanding relationships with admissions directors, enrollment directors, heads of schools and administrators to gather real-time information, perform research and gain insider-insight and knowledge about the admissions policies and mission of the schools.

Here are 5 things that we find that are common among top U.S. boarding schools:

  • College Admissions placement:  They send lots of students off to the Ivy League  and highly selective colleges!  Let’s just consider Andover: For the past three years, more than 20 Andover students have gotten into each of the following top schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.
  • Facilities:  These schools build, renovate, and maintain facilities that by their very design encourage community, foster collaboration, and facilitate the powerful mentoring—in the dorm and across campus—characteristic of top schools
  • Academics:  These schools possess outstanding traditions of academic supremacy, and are built on educational models of diverse curricula.  The academics are designed to inspire student intellectual development through collaboration.
  • Small Classes:  These schools assign on average about 9.8 students to each teacher, thus guaranteeing the individual attention each child needs to thrive intellectually, socially and emotionally.  Small class sizes encourage meaningful interaction, as well as learning that extends beyond the classrooms in activities and sports.
  • Culture:  Each school has its own distinctive and unique culture, however, in general, all of the cultures are scholarly, resourceful and develop student character  student knowledge, confidence, and resilience in meaningful ways.  The students at these schools are encouraged to express themselves and to strive for their personal excellence intellectually, artistically, and athletically.  It’s no wonder many of these students are accepted into Ivy League and highly competitive colleges and some become future business, political, art, science, technology and entrepreneurial leaders who participate in a global network of top boarding school alumni.

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

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top U.S. Boarding Schools

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its 2018 ranking of the best boarding schools in the U.S., specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.

My team and I have had the opportunity to visit these top boarding schools and I must agree.  These schools have not only great facilities but also excellent and engaged faculty and administrators.  Why do we visit schools?  See my blog: Why Dr. Lowe Visits Private Schools.

Here is the list of 2018 top 25 U.S. boarding high schools by rank:

  1. Phillips Academy – Andover, MA
  2. Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH
  3. St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH
  4. Lawrenceville School – Lawrenceville, NJ
  5. Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT
  6. Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA
  7. Groton School – Groton, MA
  8. Noble & Greenough School – Dedham, MA
  9. Cranbrook School – Bloomfield Hills, MI
  10. Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT
  11. Hockaday School – Dallas, TX
  12. Cate School – Carpinteria, CA
  13. Middlesex School – Concord, MA
  14. Thacher School – Ojai, CA
  15. Milton Academy – Milton, MA
  16. Lake Forest Academy – Lake Forest, IL
  17. St. Albans School – Washington, DC
  18. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Austin, TX
  19. Hackley School – Tarrytown, NY
  20. Peddie School – Hightstown, NJ
  21. Kent School – Kent, CT
  22. Emma Willard School – Troy, NY
  23. Taft School – Watertown, CT
  24. Concord Academy – Concord, MA
  25. Madeira School – Mclean, VA

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

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   

Top Boarding Schools that offer the Best Soccer Programs

Many U.S. as well as international middle school and high school students are actively involved and compete in soccer as an interscholastic sport.  As a result, many parents seek boarding schools that support soccer.   By visiting schools and conducting our research we are able to determine which top school or schools best match our client objectives. (See: Why Dr. Lowe Visits Private Schools?.

Here is a list of top U.S. boarding schools offering soccer as an interscholastic sport:

  • Blair Academy – Blairstown, NJ
  • Canterbury School – New Milford, CT
  • Cate School – Carpinteria, CA
  • Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT
  • Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA
  • Groton School – Groton, MA
  • The Gunnery – Washington, CT
  • The Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT
  • Kent School – Kent, CT
  • Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, CT
  • Loomis Chaffee – Winsor, CT
  • Middlesex School – Concord, MA
  • Milton Academy – Milton, MA
  • Northfield Mount Hermon – Mount Hermon, MA
  • Peddie School – Hightstown, NJ
  • Phillips Academy Andover – Andover, MA
  • Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH
  • St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH
  • Taft School – Watertown, CT
  • Thacher School – Ojai, CA

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.

Wait-listed at Top Boarding Schools (Repost)

Since the last week in March, my firm has been receiving continuous inquires (phone calls and emails) from stunned and stressed-out parents because their children are wait-listed!  We have been receiving many inquiries from parents whose children have been wait-listed from ALL schools to which they applied.

The top U.S. boarding schools have the most competitive admissions process because they actually are stepping stones to the Ivy League colleges and universities.  Therefore, their non-acceptance rates are high (even for high-achieving students).

WAIT-LISTED means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”.  Two factors are important to consider:

  • SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT in your child’s application process.  Parents make a lot of mistakes on their child’s application.
  • In many cases, wait-listed may mean “perhaps never” or “forever”. Top schools rarely reject students outright.  They would rather state – wait-listed rather than wait-listed perhaps never!

Many parents are mistakenly drawing from their skills as corporate executives, tiger moms, financiers, etc. rather than accepting the benefits of a consultant’s professional skills and years of experience in private admissions diplomacy and understanding real-time nuances and changes needed in private school admissions to top schools.  Many parents also fail to fully appreciate and understand the human element of diplomacy in the selection process and decisions in private school admissions.

When parents call our firm to inquire about our services the first thing they ask is what is your price?  Your fees?

It’s amazing that 95% of parents who are willing to spend $240,000 or more over 4 years on private high school education for their children waste time attempting to haggle fees for an exclusive advisory service that will guarantee that education!  I have discovered that parents who are shopping for services based on price, have already made the decision to not invest in expert advice that will help their children.  They ultimately end up saving $240,000 in private high school tuition or worse pay $240,000 for a third-tier school education. Our market is specifically the 5%, parents who hire us and their children get into top schools! 

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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.