Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2021

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The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking 2021 was just released.  Harvard is number one again (Harvard Produces Wealthy Alumni)!  All of the Ivy League universities are among the top 15 schools. With their rarefied, global social alumni networks, door-opening reputations, prestige and superior academics, it isn’t surprising that the schools mentioned are all brand-name institutions.

 The rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation.  The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four areas:  Outcomes, Resources, Engagement and Environment.   Each school’s overall score is determined by student outcomes (including a measure of graduate salaries), the school’s academic resources, how well it engages students and from the diversity of the students and staff.  Data come from a variety of sources: the US government (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System – IPEDS), the College Scorecard, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the THE US Student Survey, the THE Academic Survey, and the Elsevier bibliometric dataset.

My team and I personally visit top colleges three times annually to understand each of their ever changing and unique admissions policies as well as the campus environment.   As a result, we garner and develop our proprietary knowledge to help our clients achieve admissions success. (Why Dr. Paul Lowe Visits College Campuses).  This ranking is very accurate!

The WSJ/THE College Rankings “it takes a different approach, emphasizing the return on investment students see after they graduate. Schools that fare the best on this list have graduates who generally are satisfied with their educational experience and land relatively high-paying jobs that can help them pay down student loans.”  These two factors are clearly why our clients retain us as admissions advisors who specialize in Ivy League admissions:  Ivy League Admissions Advisors and seek the personalized superior admissions advice from Dr. Paul Lowe.

Here is a list of THE TOP TWENTY:

1.  Harvard University (Dr. Lowe Visits Harvard) | (Harvard University Produces Wealthy Alumni)

2.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

3.  Yale University 

4.  Stanford University

5.  Brown University, Duke University

7.  Princeton University, California Institute of Technology

9. Cornell University

10.  Northwestern University

12.  Dartmouth College

13.  University of Pennsylvania

14.  University of Chicago

15.  Columbia University, Rice University

17.  Vanderbilt University

18.  Washington University in St. Louis

19.  University of Southern California

20.  Carnegie Mellon University

Parents and students often use ranking as a resource and reference.  Why would you have college rankings if it doesn’t really matter? Our blog: Does it Matter Where You Attend College?  Absolutely!

Our clients care about WHERE their children will attend college!

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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.

U.S. News World Report Best College Ranking: Top 20 in 2021

The 2021 U.S. New World Report Best College Ranking is out!  I often hear that it doesn’t matter where a student attends college as long as it’s a “good fit”.  Really!!!  Why are rankings used?  Why are they so important?  Because we are a consumer-based society where a college’s reputation, prestige and brand does matter!

WHERE YOU ATTEND COLLEGE MATTERS!

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Here is the list of the top 20 college/universities:

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University (Dr. Lowe Visits Harvard) |(Harvard University Produces Wealthy Alumni)

3. Columbia University

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5. Yale University

6. Stanford University

7. University of Chicago

8. University of Pennsylvania

9. California Institute of Technology

10. Johns Hopkins University

11. Northwestern University

12. Duke University

13. Dartmouth College

14. Brown University

15. Vanderbilt University

16. Rice University

17. Washington university in St. Louis

18. Cornell University

19. University of Notre Dame

20. University of California – Los Angeles

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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.

 

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. 

 

Coronavirus Effect on Back to College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!


feinberg-school-of-medicine-northwestern-university_HPME_not taking applications 2020 Dr Paul Lowe Admissions Advisor Independent Educational Consultant

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!

accepted_application-accepted_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Independent_Educational_ConsultantDr_Paul Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advice

“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.

Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan: Choosing the Best Advice

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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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When considering a BS/MD program, we advise our clients to PLANPLANPLAN, and then re-PLAN.  Early planning and goal-setting are important in the long run for admissions success!

If you’re parent of a high school student looking for BS/MD admissions guidance, you’re probably overwhelmed in finding the best and meaningful advice that increases their chances of acceptance into a BS/MD program. You can complement their years of hard work by seeking the correct advice that gets them noticed by admissions officers.

  • While high school counselors provide college counseling, based on our interaction with our clients, high school counselors do not specialize in BS/MD admissions advising nor have the school-specific knowledge of BS/MD programs.
  • Books and guides are wonderful to give you a general overview of applying to BS/MD programs. However, they are not student-specific or school-specific.  They tell about the general “how-to’s”, but these strategies are not specific to an individual student profile and character.  Furthermore, from the time of manuscript completion to publication, sometimes 1 to 3 years, the BS/ MD admissions landscape changes.  Take, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic.  This has disrupted the conventional BS/MD application process.
  • Free college-planning websites – There is a saying: “You get what you pay for!”
  • Many independent educational consultants are experts in college admissions counseling, but do not have our unparalleled knowledge of BS/MD programs and knowledge of BS/MD programs as it relates to international students and H4 students.  Additionally, as experienced BS/MD Admissions Advisors, we know and understand what it takes to be a successful BS/MD applicant.

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WHAT TO DO:  Seek an BS/MD Admissions Advisor who has had experience and expertise in admissions strategies to BS/MD programs for U.S. as well as international students.  Choose an admissions advisor, who specializes in BS/MD admissions, who is not doing it part-time, who understands the medical school journey and or is a BS/MD graduate and who has admissions success.

OUR GAME PLAN STRATEGY: We have dedicated advisors for our BS/MD Admissions Advisory services. It’s one of the reasons that parents hire us to help them develop a strategic admissions plan to increase their child’s chances of acceptance. Our dedicated medical-school-specific knowledge and expertise WORKS!

With a lot at stake, in a short period of time, in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants need a winning BS/MD Admissions Game Plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of admissions advisory experience and proprietary admissions strategies provides the basis for our methods and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in any and all environments, including 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 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. 

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.

Diversity: Utilizing Our Differences for Success

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In our society, although many organizations continue to grapple with issues of diversity, in a multitude of businesses, including retail, fashion, media, entertainment and sports, diversity is reflected at many levels.  Still, at this time it is clear that there is still more to be done as people realize that there continues to be a lack of communication and understanding on certain levels within our society.

Everyone who participates in a common endeavor as part of a collective is simply a citizen of that collective.  This of course applies to businesses.  All within the collective have different experiences which contribute positively and are generally interesting and useful to others within the collective.  Studies have shown that when each individual is allowed to provide their unique perspectives to the collective, when embraced, results in better than expected outcomes to solutions to problems being addressed.  All would agree that beautifully harmonic music is preferable to a monotone.

Of course, there continue to exist issues of access, racism, prejudice, bigotry, egalitarian treatment, etc.  “Racism in the United States continues to be so pervasive and systematic that, in August 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published a report that examined racial equality and justice in the US. CERD noted that black Americans disproportionately face economic and social disparity and urged the US to halt not only the excessive use of force by police, but also broader racism. “This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials,” said Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman. “Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation to access to health care and housing.”  This should not be for companies and businesses in the United States of America in this day and age.  As a successful admissions expert, with over 20 years of experience and an enviable acceptance track record, my exposure to and experiences with systemic racism, bigotry and prejudice are not new, but have been and continue to be the norm (par for the course).  These experiences and my continually being viewed as different and inferior (and, at times, unqualified) have paradoxically empowered me, as an admissions advisor, to help my clients stand out and gain admissions to their top-choice private schools, colleges and universities and BS/MD programs!

Racial, ethnic, generational and cultural differences have always been America’s greatest assets!  They have collectively been the glue that have made America great! Diversity was a necessary precondition to our democracy and has provided the impetus for engagement in the full kaleidoscope of “American culture”.  Furthermore, it has produced an enviable position that other nations strive for in our world.

  1. Diversity in business and commerce:  In today’s globalizing, fast-changing, highly-competitive and networked world, the capacity to turn diversity to one’s advantage is critical and necessary.  It is not just a nice thing to do for racial and ethnic minorities; it is a MUST.  As the world evolves dramatically, cultural, ethnic and racial immersion has become a widespread organizational imperative – from Google to IBM.
  2. Research shows that diversity usually trumps familiarity, insularity and ability.  Diverse teams are much better at problem-seeking and problem-solving. They bring different cognitive, intellectual and experiential tool kits and ways of approaching a problem to the table.  Diverse teams see customers, products, and market opportunities in creative, new and unforeseen ways.  Even among the most well-meaning, a homogeneous team comes with a limited outlook., whereas a diverse team often yields nuanced deliberated decisions made from multiple perspectives and experiences that result in deeper and wider considerations and probable outcomes and results.
  3. A report entitled, “Innovation, Diversity, and Market Growth” found that when teams have one or more members who represent the gender, ethnicity, culture, generation, or sexual orientation of the team’s target end user, the team is as much as 158 percent more likely to clearly understand that target subject. This difference significantly increases the team’s likelihood of creating successful programs or products for their target subject.
  4. The American Sociological Association has demonstrated that in organizations with diverse teams there is a 9% rise in sales revenue and significant increase in business performance.  In contrast, monolithic and homogeneous thought within a group makes a cohesive team, but one that will happily and repeatedly agree on the same mistake as the rest of world evolves.
  5. Wall Street financial firms have recognized that in “superforecasting” (forecasting and predicting future market shifts) the wisdom and judgement of diverse teams can broaden knowledge base and focuses more on constantly updating probabilities rather than a non-diverse team that is involved in group think.
  6. Former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the American Economic Association’s president, and other prominent economists have said a lack of diversity limits how the economics field analyzes issues and crafts policies that affect broad swaths of people.
  7.  Diversity decreases mistakes: Individuals with different backgrounds and styles approach problems differently.  Research published by a MIT professor exploring past literature, found that diverse teams tend to be less susceptible to groupthink, which can drastically reduce the likelihood of making avoidable mistakes.
  8. A 2014 study of Columbia University showed that ethnically diverse trader teams priced assets more accurately, avoided conformity, and thwarted bubbles.
  9. A study by Rocio Lorenzo and Martin Reeves: “How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance”, in the Harvard Business Review of 1700 companies in eight countries, found that diversity among managers was associated with greater organizational innovation and profitability. 
  10. A McKinsey & Company research report: “Why Diversity Matters”, revealed that of 366 public companies analyzed, those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians.  In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.

Racial and ethnic differences is not just a good idea and good for society, it’s good for business.  We should continue to embrace and acknowledge our differences for its importance in contributing to business, cultural and academic success that has made the United States of America the shining example that many other countries have attempted to emulate.

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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.

Taking a Gap Year: Covid-19

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As speculation and uncertainty continue to dominate course and outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on colleges opening this fall, many students, both here and from abroad, are considering taking a gap year and then enrolling next year.

If you are in the minority of high school senior students who are considering a gap year (and your deferral request is approved by your college or university), remember that planning is the essential component of a successful gap year.  There are plenty of resources for students including books and websites to determine what types of programs appeal to you.  Two websites that will help you to research gap year programs: the Gap Year Association and the Gap Year.

Once you have an idea of what opportunities are available, think about the goals you should have for your time off.  There are thousands of options for time off as well as infinite combinations of activities.

What are the factors you should consider in planning to have a productive and meaningful gap year?  You can simplify your planning by answering these few questions:

  • What do I want to learn?
  • How much structure do I want or need?
  • What kinds of things do I want to do?
  • Where in the world do I want to be? (Assuming that in the midst of your gap year, travel restrictions are lifted.

Once you have an idea of what opportunities are available, think about the goals you should have for your time off.  There are thousands of options for time off as well as infinite combinations of activities.

Here are common ways to consider spending your gap year:

  • Internships:  Spend time working in a career field that interests you.
  • Volunteer work:  You can find volunteer work both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Academics:  Take online classes at a local college.
  • Work:  Here is where students can become creative.

When considering a gap year, we advise our clients to PLAN, PLAN and PLAN to successfully accomplish their personal goals as well as to have a memorable experience!

 

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_AdviceWe-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School

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.