Brown PLME: Early Decision Results

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This year, we have had an increased number of clients applying to direct BS/MD programs. Few of our clients, by their choice, decided to apply to Brown Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) because they felt that ED may be too restrictive. We respect our clients’ choices!

Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) reported: From a pool of 2,530 ED applicants, 88 students were admitted to PLME.

We are happy to report Dr. Lowe and his team’s results. Here are the results of our 8 clients who applied to Brown PLME Early Decision:

  • 5 were admitted to the College and PLME
  • 1 was rejected from PLME, but admitted to the College
  • 1 deferred from PLME to regular decision
  • 1 rejected from PLME (College and PLME), but was accepted Early Action to MIT

Brown University: “PLME applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a video portfolio as part of the application process. The video portfolio provides a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about you.” 

This year, Dr. Lowe and his admissions team partnered with the affiliate website: College Admissions Video Productions and successfully advised their clients in developing amazing video portfolios!

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High school juniors who are considering BS/MD programs, please read my blog – High School Juniors: Time to Get Serious About BS/MD Plans.

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“Valuable and expert advice is never free or cheap” Dr. Paul Lowe
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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.

Fauci Effect on BS/MD Applications

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As college and university enrollment overall has dropped this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, research and reports have demonstrated that there is a record number of applicants to medical schools.

The number of applicants to medical schools has increased by 18% this year over last year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); and this is driven by the example of medical workers and public health figures such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Increase in BS/MD Applications translates to HYPERCOMPETITION
It’s going to HARDER to get in!

Our research and knowledge of the BS/MD programs has seen an increase in interest in BS/MD programs. More parents are encouraging their children to become doctors because of the uncertainty in the future of non-healthcare careers and the fact that there is a shortage of U.S. doctors. AAMC reports that United States will be short 54,000 to 139,000 physicians  by 2033, the AAMC estimates and that more than two out of every five doctors now practicing will reach retirement age over the next 10 years.

In our practice, we are seeing more parents calling us seeking BS/MD admissions help. In fact, we are seeing a trend in high school students switching to BS/MD program admissions from traditional college admissions who are currently juniors. More international high school students and H-4 visas students are also requesting BS/MD assistance.

What does this mean for BS/MD programs? More high school students will be applying and there will be even more HYPERCOMPETITION!


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

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After all that hard work, don’t you want want your child to be a BS/MD student?

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.

Dr. Paul Lowe at The Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

High School Juniors: Time to Get Serious About BS/MD Plans

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If you are a high school junior or your son or daughter is a high school junior and you are thinking about applying to direct BS/MD programs, it’s time to get really serious about either planning or implementing your plans.

You should be maintaining the high GPA, loading up on AP courses, developing extracurricular activities that will help you stand out, shadowing doctors, delving into meaningful research, volunteering and thinking about obtaining meaningful and supportive letters of recommendations and planning for standardized tests. For most students (even with the help of their parents), this is effortless. They read books, look at videos or visit college forum-type websites which they believe may provide personalized answers for them.

Many parents who call us (and whose children are performing the above and have the below profile profile) then believe that their child is a shoo-in for BS/MD programs and just need “some” advice.

Here is the typical BS/MD applicant-student profile of students when parents contact us:

  • Ethnicity: Asian/Indian American
  • GPA: 3.9 (UW) 4.6 (W)
  • ACT: 35
  • SAT: 1550
  • SAT Subject Tests: Bio: 780 Math: 800 Chem: 760 US History: 750
  • APs: usually 10 -14 classes
  • Honors/Awards: Several
  • Teacher/Counselor Recommendations: Good
  • Volunteer: Several organizations
  • Shadowed Doctors: 2-3
  • Extracurricular Activities: Several
  • Published a paper: 1-2
  • Laboratory Research: Participated and/or possibly published

With all of the above you would believe that this student will definitely be accepted – WRONG! This is only half of the equation!

Here’s a list of factors that we know to help our clients gain acceptance to BS/MD programs

  1. Student CHARACTER – Personality counts! What’s your “je ne sais quoi”?
  2. The HOOK – If you don’t have a hook, the admissions committee will not grab you!
  3. The STORY – It’s all about the story and how it’s framed! No good story, no acceptance!
  4. Common Application: PERSONAL STATEMENT – Meaningful, well-written, compelling and convincing personal statement needed. No flow, harmony, tone combined with gravitas – rejection!
  5. COLLEGE-SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTALS – Must complement and synergize with personal statement. All the school-specific essays are important, even the 50 word-count answers!
  6. COLLEGE-SPECIFIC-BS/MD ESSAYS – The “Why doctor essay?” “I want to help people”: a plumber does that!
  7. COLLEGE APPLICATION VIDEO ESSAY – Schools are seriously viewing these videos. Did we say Brown PLME!
  8. The effective and bold RESUME – It’s not just a resume. It has to be framed correctly or it looks boring!
  9. WOW FACTOR – What’s your WOW Factor? How and when can you use it to WOW admissions? You want the admissions committee to say “WOW! We want this applicant on our campus.”
  10. INTERVIEWS – You may be “all that” on paper (grades, SATs, recommendations, volunteering to save the world, 1000 hours of shadowing, however, one incorrect word or statement in an interview results in a rejection – That’s right, just one!
  11. The KNOW-HOW. So, you really believe it’s just (1-10)? You need the Know How: How do you do the right-things the right-way and with the right-people at the right-time? Our proprietary-knowledge, unmatched experience, and years of close working relationships with admissions professionals ensures that you do it right!

If you know how to plan, develop and implement (1-10) and how they are used in BS/MD admissions – that’s wonderful!!! But if you don’t, there is an increased risk that you and your child will make irrevocable mistakes that will cause instant rejections to all schools. Would you want this to happen after your years of planning as a parent and your child’s hard work?

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The parents who retain Dr. Paul Lowe and his team of consultants may take risks in business and investments, but not risks in their children’s educational future – to become a medical doctor. The parents who do take risks in their children’s education – 95% of them bet WRONG!

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

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

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2020 Best BS/MD Program: Brown PLME

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“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.  With such a competitive environment and the immeasurable value and benefits of BS/MD programs, the need for an admissions game plan is ESSENTIAL.

At BS/ MD Admissions, we discern that many students and parents are clueless about what to do, when to do it, where to do it, who to contact, and why do it.  They fail to discover what they are doing that’s wrong, or they discover what they’ve been doing is wrong when it’s too late!


BROWN UNIVERSITY’S PROGRAM IN LIBERAL MEDICAL EDUCATION (PLME)

Before continuing into this blog, we must mention two disclaimers: (1) Dr. Paul Lowe is a Brown graduate and was an Area Chair of the Brown Alumni Schools Committee which interviewed applicants to Brown University and the PLME, and Dr. Nadine Cartwright-Lowe is a graduate of Brown PLME (2) Year after year, we have clients who are not only accepted to Brown undergraduate, but also Brown PLME. Therefore, we know Brown!

The most prestigious BS/MD programs are Northwestern HPME and Brown PLME. However, because Northwestern’s Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) will not be taking applications for 2020. Brown indisputably is the 2020 BEST BS/MD program.

Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) is the only Ivy League – BS/MD program.  On the undergraduate side, through its Open Curriculum, it allows students the academic freedom to enroll in the courses that interest them rather than a “premed curriculum” PLME also does not require its students to take the MCAT and the only academic requirement is that a minimum 3.0 GPA be maintained in biology courses.  PLME is also one of the few BS/MD programs that accepts international students.

PLME students may choose any one of the nearly 100 departmental and interdepartmental concentration programs offered at the University.  PLME students complete a four-year undergraduate program by receiving a A.B. or Sc.B. degree.  Students can then proceed directly to Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

What makes Brown University PLME the top and most prestigious BS/MD program?

  • Ivy League
  • Open Curriculum
  • No MCAT requirement
  • Accepts international students

At BS/MD Admissions Advisors, we know Brown!  Unlike other educational consultants, we constantly visit Brown and understand the nuances and changes in its admission policies.  Our BS/MD admissions experts:  Dr. Paul Lowe is a Brown graduate and active alumni and Dr. Nadine Cartwright-Lowe is a Brown PLME graduate, an active alumni and a licensed internist.

HOW DOES DR. LOWE KNOW BROWN AND THE BROWN EXPERIENCE?

LET US SHOW YOU!

Dr. Paul Lowe at The Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Paul Lowe at Brown University’s Van Wickle Gates
Dr. Paul Lowe with Dr. Katherine Sharkey MD PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, at the Women In Medicine conference at Alpert.
Dr. Paul Lowe in front of his freshman dormitory, Littlefield Hall, Brown University
Dr. Paul Lowe at his Brown Reunion with Bruno
Professor Barrett Hazeltine and Dr. Lowe at a Brown University Commencement.  As a freshman at Brown, Dr. Lowe enrolled in Prof. Hazeltine’s famous Engine 9 and Engineering 90 course (Entrepreneurship).


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

U.S. BS/MD vs. India MBBS

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“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.  With such a competitive environment and the immeasurable value and benefits of BS/MD programs, the need for an admissions game plan is ESSENTIAL.

At BS/ MD Admissions, we discern that many students and parents are clueless about what to do, when to do it, where to do it, who to contact, and why do it.  They fail to discover what they are doing that’s wrong, or they discover what they’ve been doing is wrong when it’s too late!


U.S. BS/MD vs. India MBBS

Several of the parents who have called me for BS/MD programs who are of Indian (Asian) heritage, because of the competitive nature of BS/MD program medical school admissions, have been asking me about comparing U.S. BS/MD vs India MBBS degree and is there an advantage to a U.S. BS/MD.

First let’s define the degrees: Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a professional (post graduate) degree given in some countries like the USA, Canada etc. Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is the degree given in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other commonwealth countries like India and is considered equivalent to the MD.  MBBS is an undergraduate course which is pursued by candidates who wish to make their career in the field of medicine. Whereas, MD is a postgraduate course that can be pursued by candidates who have completed their MBBS.

For the Commonwealth countries, MBBS is an undergraduate course of study which is pursued by candidates who wish to make their career in the field of medicine. Whereas, MD is a postgraduate course that can be pursued by candidates who have completed their MBBS.

The US follows a different curriculum for obtaining a medical degree and license to practice Medicine. Unlike India, high school students apply to direct BS/MD programs (6, 7 or 8 years) earn an M.D. upon completion of the program. Over the course of the program, the students have a Pre-Medical courses and earn a Bachelor’s degree (up to four years of Undergraduate program), MD program (Four years) and USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, 2 & 3). A Residency Program is required to complete the Licensing Exam. After completing all, a student is conferred with a license to practice medicine in the US.

What’s the biggest advantage of BS/MD? In most cases, you are guaranteed acceptance into the medical program and in some cases (6- or 7-year programs) you become a doctor at 24 or 25 years old.  This is potentially very important to students who are clear about their educational goals.  Another advantage is that it relieves stress on the student in having to take the MCATs and going through the rigorous medical school admissions process with the uncertainty that they will be accepted to medical school.

In the US, a student after completion of MBBS cannot practice directly since the basic level of study to practice is postgraduate medicine in the US. USMLE has clearly defined the medical courses after MBBS to be completed in the US.

What’s the main advantage of a U.S. BS/MD program?

  • High school student can now figuratively be called Doctor by their parents!
  • Time savings: some BS/MD programs are 6 or 7 years,
  • In many cases, no need for additional entrance exams like the MCATs.
  • For international students (for some BS/MD program), it’s a direct path to working as a licensed medical doctor in the U.S.

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

 

Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan: Northwestern HPME Program Closed for 2020

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“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.  With such a competitive environment and the immeasurable value and benefits of BS/MD programs, the need for an admissions game plan is ESSENTIAL.

At BS/ MD Admissions, we discern that many students and parents are clueless about what to do, when to do it, where to do it, who to contact, and why do it.  They fail to discover what they are doing that’s wrong, or they discover what they’ve been doing is wrong when it’s too late!


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Northwestern’s Honors Program in Medical Education also known as HPME has announced that it will not be taking applications in 2020!  HPME is a 7-year combined medical program that admits students simultaneously into both Northwestern University in Evanston and the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Northwestern’s HPME is one of the top direct BS/MD programs.  The program has no MCAT requirement, accepts international students and allows students to explore their passions beyond their coursework. The University has community partnerships and programs (in leadership, research, public health, global health and clinical volunteering, etc.) to support student goals.

Since HPME will not be accepting applications in 2020, the competition to gain admissions into BS/MD programs will now increase because there will be fewer programs.

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

Rising Seniors: Now Is the Time to Start the College Application Process

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It’s August and for some rising seniors, school starts in approximately 30 days.  For many students, school will be closed and taught in an online fashion.  That in and of itself will be an additional disruption in the dynamics of the college admissions process. You can use this time to continue to vacation, relax and enjoy the summer or take full advantage of all this free time!

For rising seniors, now is the best time to commence working on your college applications. Why so soon?  The 2020-2021 Common Application is now ready!  The senior year of high school is extremely busy with students taking difficult courses, working on activities, preparing for college applications and just trying to enjoy the last year of high school!

We believe that you should enjoy the summer, HOWEVER, at this point, you need to start putting some work in to your college applications.  It will make your senior year more pleasant AND your college admissions application and journey smoother.

It’s August and for some rising seniors, school starts in approximately 30 days.  For many students, school will be closed and taught in an online fashion.  That in and of itself will be an additional disruption in the dynamics of the college admissions process. You can use this time to continue to vacation, relax and enjoy the summer or take full advantage of all this free time!

For rising seniors, now is the best time to commence working on your college applications. Why so soon?  The 2020-2021 Common Application is now ready!  The senior year of high school is extremely busy with students taking difficult courses, working on activities, preparing for college applications and just trying to enjoy the last year of high school!

We believe that you should enjoy the summer, HOWEVER, at this point, you need to start putting some work in to your college applications.  It will make your senior year more pleasant AND your college admissions application and journey smoother.

The Common App is more than just the main essay! Every section is devised so that the admissions officers get to know (or find ways to reject) a student.  When reading an application, admissions officers strive to gain a reasonably complete picture of a student – strengths, achievements and aspirations as well as any particular challenges they may have overcome. Statistically, it takes top colleges approximately 8 minutes to review an entire application!

We spend countless hours reviewing our clients’ entire Common Application to help them successfully navigate and avoid the unnecessary and devastating landmines that cause rejections!

  • Biographical Section (Profile, Family, Educational & Testing): The admissions committees or your regional admissions officers assess who you are.  It’s important to answer the questions honestly and with precision!
  • Personal Statement:We ensure that our clients’ Common App 650-word main essay accurately reflects the information that they want to convey to the majority of colleges to which they are applying.
  • College-Specific Questions: Academic interest, program(s) applying to.  Some colleges may also ask additional questions about your family, state of residence, activities, and general interests.  Admissions officers/committees use this as a way further understand a student’s past and their academic goals and objectives and how they are all interrelated and interconnected.
  • Short Answers: Then there are the school-specific (short answer essays)!  Although short, these little essays (50-250 words) can play a meaningful role in your application.  They provide a small window into your passions and personality, and because of this, they are important “decision-breakers”, especially with selective colleges that use the holistic admissions approach.  We spend just as much time brainstorming and helping our clients to revise these, seemingly simple essays, as we do with their personal statements because we know how admissions committees use them to determine acceptance or rejections.  Types of supplemental short essays include but are not limited to:

                 The ‘why us’ essay

Tell us more about an extracurricular

Design a class/a major

Tell us about your major

Diversity-in-community essay

Specialty small essays (list, words or one sentence or a phrase)

  • Activities Section: Whereas the personal statement will show college admissions committees who your child is, the Common Application Activities section will allow colleges to understand what your child has done and is doing outside of the classroom, offering one of the best opportunities to stand out among other applicants.  The activities section has a limit of ten extracurricular activities. The restrictions mean you will need to be selective in reporting your activities, limiting you to the most important ones or those that are most meaningful to you. In our experience, students can make costly mistakes in this section!

Without college essays and extracurricular activities lists, colleges would be limited to grades, class rank, and ACT and SAT scores to make their admissions decisions. Given that so many students with strong numbers apply to college each year, it’s important for your child to use the Activities section to develop an application theme, that is, their “WOW FACTOR” and specialties.  We leave no stone unturned in this section!

  • Courses & Grades (Self-Reporting Transcripts). In this section, you have an opportunity to self-report your grades.  In reviewing our clients’ answers, we find errors.  It’s important to review this section.  A discrepancy with what you report and your transcript raises a red flag!  These flags translate into a rejection letter.

The Common Application is not just an application.  It’s a puzzle filled with landmines that if not reviewed, interpreted and completed correctly will result in students being rejected from schools.  The most frequent form of self-inflicted damage is careless preparation of the application.  A poorly presented application can, in fact, have a negative affect on an admissions decision.

When assisting our clients with the completion of their Common Applications, we take into consideration their student admissions profile and character as well as the specific admissions policies and missions of their target schools that we gather from our research by visiting schools and professional relationships.  Our proprietary knowledge and experience help our clients to WIN (not lose) in the college competitive admissions game!

The ‘why us’ essay

Tell us more about an extracurricular

Design a class/a major

Tell us about your major

Diversity-in-community essay

Specialty small essays (list, words or one sentence or a phrase)

  • Activities Section: Whereas the personal statement will show college admissions committees who your child is, the Common Application Activities section will allow colleges to understand what your child has done and is doing outside of the classroom, offering one of the best opportunities to stand out among other applicants.  The activities section has a limit of ten extracurricular activities. The restrictions mean you will need to be selective in reporting your activities, limiting you to the most important ones or those that are most meaningful to you. In our experience, students can make costly mistakes in this section!

Without college essays and extracurricular activities lists, colleges would be limited to grades, class rank, and ACT and SAT scores to make their admissions decisions. Given that so many students with strong numbers apply to college each year, it’s important for your child to use the Activities section to develop an application theme, that is, their “WOW FACTOR” and specialties.  We leave no stone unturned in this section!

  • Courses & Grades (Self-Reporting Transcripts). In this section, you have an opportunity to self-report your grades.  In reviewing our clients’ answers, we find errors.  It’s important to review this section.  A discrepancy with what you report and your transcript raises a red flag!  These flags translate into a rejection letter.

The Common Application is not just an application.  It’s a puzzle filled with landmines that if not reviewed, interpreted and completed correctly will result in students being rejected from schools.  The most frequent form of self-inflicted damage is careless preparation of the application.  A poorly presented application can, in fact, have a negative affect on an admissions decision.

When assisting our clients with the completion of their Common Applications, we take into consideration their student admissions profile and character as well as the specific admissions policies and missions of their target schools that we gather from our research by visiting schools and professional relationships.  Our proprietary knowledge and experience help our clients to WIN (not lose) in the college competitive admissions game!

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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 (COVID-19): Schools Closed This Fall?

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We are currently receiving calls from parents who are receiving emails about the upcoming school agenda from their local school districts. The shift to online instruction is a predicament for many schools.   Some school districts are still figuring out whether to reopen, how they should reopen and if they should reopen. Some school districts are still in the midst of the planning stages of best practices for each grade level of education, including distance learning and online instruction.  This uncertainty has beset the over 13,000 school districts nationwide, with many pushing back start dates, planning hybrid models or deciding to go entirely online.

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that school closures this past spring may have prevented 1.37 million cases of COVID-19 in the country between day 17 and day 42 of schools’ closure periods. The researchers estimated that 40,600 fewer Americans died overall during that period because schools shuttered.

Even with the possibility of some schools reopening (which, based on the current progression of COVID-19, is a low probability), many parents in our “Dr. Lowe’s Admissions Strategies” discussion groups were reluctant to have their children return to school, not only for the safety of their children, but also because of the risks of dissemination to other demographic groups.  Their concern is based on the fact that there have been reports of parents sending their children to summer camps and within weeks of attending (even with social distancing policies and strict safety and hygienic measures) there have been COVID-positive tests among attendees.  The worry is that the school environment will be an even more challenging venue to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Parents are understandably concerned about the safety of their children at school amid the complexities and unknowns of COVID-19.  Several parents from different areas in the U.S. have told us that they are pooling resources for their children’s education.  They are gathering small groups of children to learn at home this fall called pandemic pods, home-school pods or learning pods in which groups of three to 10 students learn together in homes under the tutelage of the children’s parents or a hired teacher.  Other parents have formed parent pods with the intention of not sending their children to schools and conducting their own home school networks.

In terms of college counseling, parents have expressed concerns because of the shift to online education and the reduced in-person contact with high school counselors.  With college admissions dynamically changing and the effect of COVID-19 on college admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs, our goal is to ensure students successfully navigate the college admissions process.  This can be especially more challenging for current rising juniors and seniors.  Admissions requirements have changed and many students will need more comprehensive, individualized guidance.  The new milieu created by COVID-19 will require innovative approaches to successfully navigate the new college admissions environment.

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

“Parents hire us because they chose 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 Applying to BS/MD Programs

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Over the past month, our offices have been receiving many phone and email inquiries about BS/MD programs.  Most of these inquiries are from very anxious parents of high school juniors who have read guides or books about BS/MD programs, researched information and talked with their friends whose children are currently attending BS/MD programs.

Their children typically have this type of applicant profile: High GPA, at least 5 AP courses, high SATs (if they were able to take them), musical, artistic and/or athletic extracurricular activities, research/clinical internships, shadowing doctors, helping the poor or starting a not-for-profit organization to help the poor or traveling to a developing country to volunteer; and of course, a two-page resume!  What parents don’t understand or seem to ignore is that their children sound all the same on paper and as a result can be easily thrown in the rejection pool.

What parents are really calling me about is to find out what to do  during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine its impact on their children’s college admissions chances.  Internships, upcoming summer programs, volunteer programs, doctor shadowing and research opportunities have all been cancelled.  In several weeks, their children will be rising seniors and in the throes of the competitive college application process to Ivy League and highly selective colleges, universities and BS/MD programs.

In our recent webcast: Applying to BS/MD Programs – COVID -19,  we discussed our go-to strategies that should be used when applying to BS/MD programs in the COVID-19 pandemic landscape.  The sudden onset of these unprecedented times has brought new changes in applying to BS/MD programs.  Books and guides regarding BS/MD programs (which were published before COVID-19), although informative, do not address the how-to’s and the do’s and dont’s of applying to BS/MD programs during the pandemic.  They do not address the new variables such as lack of availability of test scores, cancellation of internships, summer programs, research projects and gaps in resumes.  Past strategies and guides do not show students how to navigate these changes and what students need to do in order to be strongly considered for these programs. In addition, high school counselors do not specialize in providing advice for BS/MD programs.

Our recent discussions with admissions officers at institutions with BS/MD programs revealed that they anticipate that BS/MD candidates’ applications and resumes will have vacuums/gaps including entire spring quarter or trimester without extracurricular activities volunteer work, sports, and scientific research in addition to new and online classroom experiences and grading systems. The consensus is that students have to be creative and innovative with these gaps and have to explain what they are doing with their time.  Admissions officers are not just looking at resume-building based on online activities.

As one admissions officer stated: “The COVID-19 crisis has reset how we will be evaluating BS/MD applicants this fall.”   Several stated that for qualified candidates they will base college and BS/MD application decisions on the information that is available to them at the time of the application. What they are looking for is an insight into how the student thinks, how they interact, and how well they can articulate a point of view under these unprecedented conditions.  BS/MD programs will be even more competitive!  Even in the COVID -19 admissions environment, BS/MD programs will NOT have a lot of trouble filling their seats.  Especially, when they guarantee admissions to medical school from high school!

With a lot at stake, in a short period of time in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants (and their parents) need a winning game plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of advisory admissions experience and long-standing professional relationships with admissions officers provide us with the tool-kit of strategies and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in the COVID-19 landscape.

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

Coronavirus Effect on High School Counseling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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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.