Class of 2025 Admissions Rates – Ivy League and Highly Competitive Colleges/Universities

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In an April 7th Washington Post article: Applications Boom, Admit Rates Plummet: Prestige College Admissions Get a Little Crazier in the Pandemic the following was stated “The chase for the Ivy League and other prestige colleges…grew a few degrees more frenzied during the coronavirus pandemic as applications soared and admit rates plummeted to, in some cases, crazy-low single digits. On Tuesday, the eight private universities “identified with the brand of the climbing vine released admission decisions for the entering fall class.”

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, even during economic uncertainty and even with the effect of fewer international students applying to US colleges and universities, Ivy League schools still maintain their brand and value. In one of my blogs, “Why Attend an Ivy League University ?“, I addressed the value of an Ivy League education.

For students who were waitlisted or even rejected, now is the time to discuss off-waitlist strategies or re-application strategies as a transfer student. College Transfer Admissions

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

  • Boston College:  18.9%
  • Boston University:  18.3%
  • Brown University:  5.4%
  • Columbia University:  3.7%
  • Cornell University:  8.6%
  • Dartmouth College:  6.2%
  • Duke University:  5.7%
  • Harvard University:  3.4%
  • Johns Hopkins University: 7.4%
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  4%
  • New York University:  12.8%
  • Princeton University:  3.9%
  • Stanford University: TBA
  • Swarthmore College:  8%
  • Tufts University: 11%
  • University of Chicago:  TBA
  • University of Pennsylvania:  5.7%
  • University of Southern California: 13%
  • University of Virginia:  20.6%
  • Yale University:  4.6%

This year, 93% of our clients were accepted to one or more of their top-three choice colleges /universities including the Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities. 

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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

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

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Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Top Boarding Schools – It’s Getting More Competitive to Be Accepted!

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It’s April and parents continue to frantically call our offices or email us regarding waitlists!  The common message: My child was waitlisted at a particular top boarding school or several boarding schools.  They’re usually referring to one or all of the Ten Schools.  Many decide to wait patiently, try to see what they can do on their own and then perhaps reapply next year to the 10th grade on their own.

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Here is the problem with this approach.  The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected boarding school admissions. More parents are interested in the boarding school dynamic and aware of the superior education at top boarding schools. A recently published article in the New York Times: “The Boarding-School Boom” has confirmed what we have been advising our clients who have been accepted to top boarding schools…..there is now hyper-competition in boarding school admissions.

Several schools have reported to us, this year, that they had a record number of applicants and they were able to admit a mere 10% of all applicants (as opposed to 14-18% in past years).  What does this mean?  Getting off the waitlist will be difficult!  More students will remain on the waitlist and will inevitably be perpetually waitlisted (effectively, rejected).  For many of the competitive schools, April 10th is the date admitted students are asked to notify the Admission Office of their enrollment decision.  After this date, many parents know if their children will be starting public school in the fall and will have to decide if their children will be reapplying next year for the 10th grade.  The reapplication to boarding schools (especially ones where students were waitlisted or rejected) can be tricky and will involve different admissions strategies.

Successful boarding school admissions requires expertise and experience to understand how to manage risks, navigate pitfalls, design the right admissions strategies, and most importantly understand the admissions policies and professionals who are making admissions decisions – in other words an admissions expert!

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“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 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.

College Admissions – Teacher Recommendations

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Teacher recommendations are an important part of the college admissions process. Many colleges and universities require two teacher recommendations.

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Letters of recommendation should be from teachers who have taught you in core academic subjects in your junior or senior year. Ideally, they should be from different core subject areas and from teachers who know you well, like you, and are likely to write well. From my discussion with admissions officers, colleges are more interested in obtaining teacher recommendations from instructors that describe your abilities, performance and motivation of success in their classroom and your willingness to work hard as a learner. My discussion with several Ivy League admissions officers revealed that they use teacher recommendations to add a more subjective and personal perspective to their assessment of your qualifications, which can reveal aspects of your personality that don’t always come out on paper.

You should approach your teachers in the early spring of your junior year, or, if you are asking senior teacher, early in the fall of your senior year not only to to give them sufficient time to write the letter, but also because many teachers set limits on how many students they are able to accommodate.

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We developed customized steps, our Winning Recommendation Strategies (WRS) for each client so that they obtain excellent teacher recommendations from the right teachers! We are confident that our client’s teachers will write enthusiastically supportive letters of recommendations!


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

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

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

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Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

H4 Visa and BS/MD Programs

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What is the H4 Visa? H4 Visa or H4 dependent visa is the US visa category given to the spouse and children (under 21 years of age) of all H visa holders such as H1B Visa, H1B1 Visa, H2A, H2B and H3.  The H4 visa is treated as dependent visa, meaning its validity and status are tied to the primary H visa holder.

Year after year, we work with high school students who have H4 visa status seeking admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs. All of these students that we work with are top students. However, because of their visa status, they are restricted (requirement: U.S. citizen or permanent resident) from applying to certain BS/MD programs, but not Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities. One top BS/MD program that accepts H4 visa students is Brown PLME.

If your child has a dependent H4 visa they can go to college without a change in their visa status. There are a few exceptions to the case, but if you are worried about applying for the student visa (F1) to study, don’t worry, it is possible to enroll in a college or school on a dependent visa.

Dr. Lowe and his team work with international students and students with H4 visas and from time to time will consult with immigration attorneys regarding their client’s immigration status and its relationship to their admissions process.  As a result, Dr. Lowe has been quite successful in placing H4 and international students in Ivy League, highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs.

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Dr. Lowe congratulates parents who support their children’s dreams

High school juniors and parents of high school juniors should read this blog: High School Juniors: Time To Get Serious About BS/MD Plans – Part II


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Dr. Paul Lowe, BS/MD Admissions Expert

Our BS/MD Admissions practice is specialized: Dr. Lowe and his team only work with parents who understand that the BS/MD admissions process is competitive, who desire help from an admissions expert and who see the value and investment in paying for expert advice through a detailed and ongoing comprehensive admissions advisory service for their child’s dream of becoming a doctor.  He also specializes in helping international students in the BS/MD process. Our Brown PLME 2021 Acceptances | BS/MD Admissions Advisors – 2020 Acceptances.  Parents who chose to use our services want to call their son or daughter – Doctor when they are seniors in high school.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, BS/MD Admissions Advisors, help high school students get accepted to BS/MD programs. 

QS World University Rankings – 2021

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On March 3rd, the QS World University Rankings 2021 was announced! This university ranking system compares 1,029 of the most prestigious universities in the world based on:

  • Academic Reputation
  • Employer Reputation
  • Faculty/Student Ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • International Faculty Ratio
  • International Student Ratio
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QS World University RankingsTop Ten Universities
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. California Institute of Technology
  5. University of Oxford
  6. ETH Zurich (Swiss Institute of Technology)
  7. University of Cambridge
  8. Imperial College London
  9. University of Chicago
  10. University College London

For 2021, MIT remains in the the top university for the ninth consecutive year and the top four universities are located in the U.S. Why is the QS World University ranking important? Because education is now global currency or one could say a global asset with the potential to yield benefits generationally. See my blog: “Intellectual Wealth and Education“.

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Dr. Lowe on one of his many visit visits to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

We provide our clients access to our specialized knowledge!” – 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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Dr. Paul Lowe’s Admissions Advice – Priceless

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My clients have been stating that my admissions advice is priceless.  I never truly equated my services with a price.  I have always considered it as an investment in a child’s education.

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Investing in your child’s future!

This week, I received a phone call from a mom who is a lawyer and partner of a major international investment banking firm. She eventually disclosed that she was my client 19 years ago when her parents hired me for private school admissions (she was admitted to Andover) and for college admissions (she was admitted to Harvard).  She needed help with her son for Kindergarten placement in a prestigious private day school (By the way, she met her husband while they were both sophomores at Harvard).

I believe she recognized the potential generational effect of such an investment in her child’s educational future…PRICELESS!

Every parent wants the best for their child!
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Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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. 

Waitlisted at Private Schools – Now What?

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Since March 2nd, my firm has been inundated with continuous inquires (phone calls and emails) from stunned and stressed-out parents because their children are wait-listed.  Many of the inquiries are from parents whose children have been wait-listed from ALL schools to which they applied!

One of the effects of COVID-19 on private school admissions is that more families are choosing private school for their children; thus, the competition has increased. Private schools that were competitive are now hyper-competitive and schools that were marginally competitive are now competitive. We have observed an increase in applications (and therefore waitlisted applicants) in schools in the tri-state area, especially the “Fairchester” area (Westchester and Fairfield Counties) and Northern New Jersey

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 this hypercompetitive environment, in many cases, wait-listed may be “forever”. Top schools rarely “reject” students outright.  The outcome, however, remains unchanged…a perpetually waitlisted student has not been accepted and will not have a place in their private school of choice.

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. An understanding of real-time changes, as well as nuances particular to each school at a particular point in time are important for successful outcomes 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.  As a result, after the waitlist, they reapply again only to be waitlisted AGAIN.

When parents call our firm to inquire about our services, they engage us because they understand the importance of investing in their child’s educational future.  The successful outcome is invaluable and preferable compared to the prospect of their child being waitlisted again and again and again.


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.

Dr. Paul Lowe’s Private School Review: Hackley School

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Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors visits and reviews top private day and boarding schools. Hackley School is rated by Niche as:  #2 Best Private High School in Westchester, County NY. It is a coeducational K-12 school day school with a five-day boarding program located in Tarrytown, NY. It’s motto: “Enter here to be and find a friend.”

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Student/Faculty Ratio – 7:1
  • Average Upper School Class Size – 16
  • Student-led Upper School Clubs: 42
  • 27 different sports with over 64 teams across grades 7-12
  • Tuition (Lower School/K-Grade 4): $42,460
  • Tuition (Middle School/Grades 5-8): $46,980
  • Tuition (Upper School/Grades 9-12): $49,975 / Additional $15,000 for 5- day boarding fee
  • Hackley has a five-day boarding program for 30 residential students in grades 9-12.
  • Hackley’s COVID-19 Response

Hackley’s college matriculation rate to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities is high.  College Matriculation for the Classes of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The following colleges and universities enrolled five or more Hackley graduates during this period:

  • Brown
  • Colgate
  • Cornell
  • Dartmouth
  • Duke
  • Georgetown
  • Harvard
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Northwestern
  • Princeton
  • Tufts
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • UPenn
  • Yale
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Hackley is one of the top day schools in the Fairchester (Fairfield/Westchester) region. Admissions is hyper-competitive.  It’s one of the many reasons why many parents who reside in Westchester and Fairfield Counties retain our firm!


“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 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. Paul Lowe featured on MarketWatch

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Dr. Paul Lowe, Managing Director – Ivy League Admissions Advisors

Dr. Paul Lowe, CEO of Pinnacle Educational Center and managing director of Ivy League Admissions Advisors was featured in a February 26, 2021 MarketWatch article by Howard Gold entitled:COVID-19 is changing college application strategies — and lowering the odds of getting into top schools”.

Ivy League Admissions Advisors helps students get accepted to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs.

“We are not for everyone,” says Dr. Lowe. “Only parents who want their children to have expert advice and a competitive advantage in the college admission process hire us.”


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Being different and understanding differences allows us to
advise our clients to stand out and get ACCEPTED
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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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Why Attend An Ivy League University?

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With record number of students applying to Ivy League schools you may wish to ask WHY the Ivies?

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The annual cost to attend (tuition, fees, housing, food, books, misc.) gives pause to many potential applicants:  Harvard: $76,479; Brown: $78,688; Princeton: $75,210; Dartmouth: $79,967. So, what’s really happening here?  Tuition is rising, yet U.S. as well as international students are competitively applying to these schools.  What do these institutions have that others may not?  This is a question I hear, year after year, and from several parents in my recent webinar.  

Let’s start with the seemingly intangibles:

  • The institutions have prestigious brands
  • They have global alumni networks
  • They maintain international connections on every continent.

And then there is more – money!  Or in the non-profit lexicon, endowments (in 2020) for example:  Harvard $41.9 billion; Yale $31.2 billion, Princeton $25.9 billion, UPenn: $14.9 billion, Columbia: 41.0 billion, Cornell: $7.2 billion, Dartmouth: $6.0 billion, Brown: $4.7 billion.  The Ivies have the financial assets to weather the COVID-19 tsunami and provide top-rate education without any drastic financial cuts.  

You might ask why this even matters. Far fewer than 1 percent of undergraduate students at American colleges and universities attend the Ivy League or similarly selective schools. But who gets into these institutions makes a difference for the United States, because their graduates are so overrepresented in our country’s Judicial Branch. Every current Supreme Court justice, save one, attended an Ivy League law school: Justice Alito (Yale), Justice Barrett (Notre Dame), Justice Breyer (Harvard), Justice Gorsuch (Harvard), Justice Kavanaugh (Yale), Justice Kagan (Harvard), Chief Justice Roberts (Harvard), Sotomayor (Yale) and Justice Thomas (Yale).

Several recent U.S. presidents including Donald Trump have been educated, at some point, at an Ivy League school — including Yale double legacy George W. Bush, Bill Clinton (Yale) and Barack Obama (Columbia and Harvard).  More than 40 Harvard alumni — either undergrad or graduate — won seats in Congress in 2016. Newly appoint and current Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen Brown (Economics/AB) Yale Economics/PhD).

So why attend an Ivy League university?  When you imagine the possibilities, the question should be…”Why not?


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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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.