What Do College Admissions Officers Look for in an Applicant?

college_applications_review_Dr_Paul Lowe_Admissions_officers

To answer this question, let’s first start with an admissions officer survey by National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

I.  NACAC factors:

  • Grades in All Courses
  • Grades in College Prep Courses
  • Admissions Test Scores (SAT, ACT)
  • Rigor/Strength of Curriculum
  • Essay or Writing Sample
  • Counselor Letters of Recommendations
  • Teacher Letters of Recommendations
  • Student’s Demonstrated Interest
  • Class Rank
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Subject Test Scores (AP, IB)
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Work Experience
  • State Graduation Exam Scores

II.  Intangibles

Based on my professional experience, connected with visiting colleges and discussions with directors of admissions, there are other factors which we know are just as important and, in some cases, more important than the NACAC Admissions Survey Factors:

  • College application
  • Personal Statement
  • Supplemental essays
  • Collective interrelationship of all essays
  • WOW Factor
  • Attitude
  • Likability
  • Etiquette
  • Character
  • Grit/Challenge
  • Confidence
  • Charisma
  • Sense of self
  • Sense of others
  • Engagement
  • The unsaid
  • Conversational Intelligence
  • Cadence
  • Transparency
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Cultural Agility
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Uniqueness
  • Diversity/Inclusion
  • Family background
  • Comparative Student Profile Analysis
College_Admissions_Decisons_Dr_Paul_Lowe

If you think that getting into your top-choice college is just about having a high GPA, top SAT scores, high grades and a manufactured application and personal statement….THINK AGAIN!    

This past year, I received calls and emails from parents whose children were rejected from all colleges to which they applied because they thought the college admissions race was just about grades, SAT scores, their perceived ‘unique’ applications, generic essays and perfect connections. 

Here are some actual cases (based on phone calls from disappointed parents).

1. Case one:  One student applied to 19 schools (including all the Ivies) and was rejected from 18 schools and waitlisted at local state school where the acceptance rate was 65%.

2. Case two: A suburban public high school in the Northeast where no one (not even the valedictorian) was accepted to the Ivies or BS/MD programs.

3. Case three: Valedictorian (SAT 1580, ACT 36, GPA 4.6 weighted, President and cofounder of non-profit, tutored students, volunteered, shadowed multiple physicians, published two research papers, Science Olympiad, President of Debate team, tennis) – rejected from all Ivy League and BS/MD programs.

4 . Case four: A public high school in Texas. Of the fifteen students who applied to BS/MD programs …ALL were rejected.

Ivy League and highly selective colleges and BS/MD programs use a holistic approach when evaluating applicants for admission.  That means admission to these colleges is not based on a simple formula of grades and test scores.  Instead, they consider a variety of factors: the student’s academic record, extracurricular interests, intellectual achievements and personal background to decide who will be rejected or accepted.

We understand the holistic approach and prepare our clients using our strategies for admissions success accordingly!

This year, several of our clients were accepted to multiple Ivies and multiple BS/MD programs!


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

Town & Country’s – This Year’s College Admissions Horror Show – Dr. Paul Lowe’s Comment

Town & Country's - This Year's College Admissions Horror Show - Dr. Paul Lowe Comment

The article in Town & Country: “This Year’s College Admissions Horror Show” by Nicole Laporte discusses rejections and this year’s college admissions cycle.

Here are some statements in article:

  • “Certain private schools that used to have incredible admissions results have just been obliterated.”
  • “Classmates who’d also applied for early decision to the school were flat-out rejected.”
  • “For that [college admissions decisions] to be a bloodbath is not a good sign.”
  • “Although the main derby of admissions, “regular” decision, was still weeks away—those results started coming out in late March—the disheartening verdicts of the early rounds for many families this past season felt like a harbinger of what was to come, as well as confirmation of just how much more angst-ridden the reality of getting into college has become.”
  • “….parents suddenly feel a bit, well, helpless, unable to control something that was, if not controllable, then at least easier to game.”

But even under these conditions, our firm had AMAZING acceptances!  In fact, several of our clients were accepted to multiple Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and 97% acceptance into BS/MD programs.

How did we do it?

WE ARE THE BEST!:  We embrace Empirical Analytics by using data science, technology, client-case studies, campus-expert panels, our specialized knowledge, insight foresight, and over 23 years of experience to answer questions, navigate challenges, predict outcomes, and to help our clients make informed decisions that provide results-based admissions SUCCESS.


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

Multiple Ivy League Acceptances

Ivy_League_education_Dr_Paul_Lowe

A recent Wall Street Journal article (April 22, 2022): “To Get Into the Ivy League, ‘Extraordinary’ Isn’t Always Enough These Days” by Douglas Belkin discussed the hyper-competition in college admissions.

I am proud and happy to report that several of our clients received acceptance letters from MULTIPLE Ivies!

Accepted_envelope_Ivy_pennants_Ivy_League Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisors

You may ask how we can have such great results? Here is reason:

My team and our global network of talent including elocutionists, actors, writers, musicians, ethnomusicologists, historians, psychologists, alumni, educators, risk managers, economists, professors, physicians, scientists, linguists, anthropologists, attorneys, essayists, technologists, admissions professionals, analysts, student-interns and librarians bring collaborative and diverse thought, insight, foresight, perspectives and most importantly KNOWLEDGE.

The collaborative effort of Dr. Lowe’s team and global network of talent help college applicants in developing their student profiles, assisting with Common Application and essay development and supplemental essays and interview preparation! Dr. Lowe and his team are the catalysts that convert qualified applicants into accepted students!

Proven_Results_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant
Many parents hire educational consultants in an attempt to maximize their children’s chances of admissions. Our clients retain Dr. Lowe and his team because of their PROVEN RESULTS.

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.  

Congratulations on Our Clients’ Ivy League Acceptances – Class of 2026

ivy_league_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Independent_Educational_Consultant_College_Admissions_Advisor
Congratulations_Admissions_Acceptance_Dr_Paul_Lowe

We have had another amazing year! We are so happy for our clients! We did it!

Accepted_envelope_Ivy_pennants_Ivy_League Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisors
I_got_in_Accepted_to_College_Harvard_Yale_Princeton_Brown_BS__MD_program_Dr_Paul_Lowe

Congratulations to our U.S. as well as international clients who were accepted to the following Ivy League colleges and universities: these colleges and universities!  It’s a celebration! Thanks for allowing us to help you stand out and get in!

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Princeton University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University

Special congratulations to our clients who were accepted to multiple Ivies!

You may ask how we can have such great results? Here are some reasons:

My team and our global network of talent including elocutionists, actors, writers, musicians, ethnomusicologists, historians, psychologists, alumni, educators, risk managers, economists, professors, physicians, scientists, linguists, anthropologists, attorneys, essayists, technologists, admissions professionals, analysts, student-interns and librarians bring collaborative and diverse thought, insight, foresight, perspectives and most importantly KNOWLEDGE.

WE ARE THE BEST!: We embrace Empirical Analytics by using data science, technology, client-case studies, campus-expert panels, our specialized knowledge and insight, and over 23 years of experience to answer questions, navigate challenges, predict outcomes, and to help our clients make informed decisions that provide results-based admissions success.

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_We_have_knowledge
Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Independent_Educational_Consultant
Most applicants to Ivy League schools sound the same!  We help you “un-same” your application and stand out!

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Expert_Advice_pennants_rsz

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.  

Congratulations on Our Clients’ College Acceptances – Part I

Congratulations_To_Clients_College_Acceptances

Congratulations to our U.S. as well as international clients who have been accepted to these colleges and universities!  It’s a celebration! Thanks for allowing us to help you stand out and get in!

  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Tufts University
  • University of Chicago
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wesleyan University
We-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School
For current juniors/rising seniors – Let’s us prove it!

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League

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

What Makes Us Different and Successful – Knowledge

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_All_About_Knowledge

A common question I am often asked by parents, other educational consultants and even high school college counselors is: What makes our admissions advisory firm different than all the rest?  My explanation is long.  However, the part of the answer that really raises eyebrows pertains to our ability to thoroughly understand our clients in order to refine their personal brand and develop their WOW-Factor so that they can stand out and be accepted to their first-choice private school, boarding school, college and BS/MD program.  Of course, early planning and goal-setting are essential for ultimate success

Now, how do we successfully do this? My team and our unbelievable network of talent including The network brings Now how do we successfully do this? My team and our global network of talent including elocutionists, actors, writers, musicians, ethnomusicologists, historians, psychologists, alumni, educators, risk managers, economists, professors, physicians, scientists, linguists, anthropologists, attorneys, essayists, technologists, admissions professionals, analysts, student-interns and librarians bring collaborative and diverse thought, insight, foresight, perspectives and most importantly KNOWLEDGE.

As we uncover the previously overlooked characteristics or accomplishments of our clients, the intellectual support of our comprehensive knowledge network helps to enhance their qualities, achievements and personal brand.  That may seem like a lot of talent for just getting admitted to the best educational institution, but to my firm and especially to my clients, it’s definitely worth it!

Accepted_College_Admissions_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Independent_Educational_Consultant

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant

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.  

Different_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_different_unparallel_unmatched_unrivaled

College Admissions: Now Is the Time To Consider Transferring

In our practice, we are increasingly seeing students who are making the decision to transfer while in their freshman and sophomore years.  Here are some of the main reasons I see why students decide to transfer:

  • They are unhappy:  Why remain in an environment for four years where you will be unhappy and miserable – and pay tuition, room and board that will cost you (or your parents) $200,000 – $250,000.
  • Fresh start:  From time to time, a student may have faced unexpected challenges and they desire a new college environment.
  • Institutional prestige:  You may be attending your safety school and you want a second chance for your preferred school or you were discouraged from applying to your dream school.  In any case, you desire what we call an UPGRADE.
  • Pre-graduate school preparation:  Your current college may not have a strong pre-law, pre-med or pre-business program needed for graduate school admissions preparation or employment.
Upgrade_transfer_college-admissions_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor
College Transfer: Time to UPGRADE to a different college!

Whatever the reason for transferring, the bottom line is that you need to develop an effective action plan to transfer. Consider seeking professional, expert advice:  Why?  In my professional experience, I find that prospective transfer students need to develop individualized, effective transfer plans and implement them.  As a transfer student, you no longer have the assistance of your public high school or private high school college counselor.  You will need an educational consultant who specializes in college transfer admissions.  You’re basically on your own in the transfer process that is even more competitive than when you applied to college the first time!


Dr_Paul_Lowe_Educational_Consultant_Admissions_Advisor_BS_MD_programs_IECA_HECA_Harvard_Yale-Princeton
Dr. Paul Lowe, Admissions Expert

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

BS/MD Admissions Program for Middle School Students

BS_MD_Middle_School_Pre_high_school_program_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor

Middle school is the perfect time to start college and BS/MD program planning! Starting the process before high school, gives parents (and students) more time to prepare for the competitive admissions process

Acceptance into BS/MD programs has become more difficult as more students apply and some programs are closing. It’s essential that parents develop pre-high school plans.

middle school_BS_MD_program_Dr_Paul_Lowe

We provide a 3-month enrichment program for parents of middle schoolers (grades 7 and 8) who wish to develop effective college admissions plans prior to their children entering high school. The program includes:

  • Personal Middle-School Comprehensive Assessment & Review.
  • Pre-high school student profile development.
  • High school course curriculum planning.
  • Extracurricular activity planning for high school.
  • Develop plans for possible leadership, research, internship and shadowing opportunities
  • Overview of current BS/MD & Ivy League admissions and current trends.
  • College admissions strategy prior to entering high school.
  • WOW Factor planning prior to entering high school.
  • Parents work directly with Dr. Paul Lowe, M.D., physician-scientist and admissions expert.

Our program helps seventh and eighth grade students prepare for high school before it starts! Remember, once you start high school, courses, grades and activities appear on the college application. You need to correctly plan to navigate the admissions process and avoid making irrevocable mistakes while your child is in middle school.

College_BS_MD_Admissions_race_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Educational_Consultant
Pre-high school planning is essential!

Dr_Lowe_BS_MD_Admissions_Expert
“Valuable and trusted advice is needed to avoid mistakes” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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.  Many of Dr. Lowe’s BS/MD Admissions clients are international students who want to attend medical school from high school and then enter U.S. medical residency sub-specialties.

Different_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_different_unparallel_unmatched_unrivaled

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. Parents who chose to use our services want to call their son or daughter – “Doctor” when they are seniors in high school.

College Application Decision: Deferred? Now What?

Application_deferred_Dr_Paul_Lowe

High School Seniors have received their College Admissions Early Decision/Early Action results.  The results are producing a mixture of palpable emotions.  While some happy students settle in for the holidays with their acceptance letters in hand, others will be disappointed and distressed in discovering that they have been deferred to the regular decision pool by the college or university.  For those who are deferred, their applications will be re-considered along with the thousands of Regular Decision applicants.  In the Regular Decision pool, the selection process becomes even more competitive and selective..

With only a few weeks left in the application season, I recommend that students scrupulously reevaluate their deferred early decision/early action application and carefully plan a workable strategy in this crunch-time.  You may need to hire an educational consultant who is an expert in post-decision admissions advising. Our team begins to implement a Post-Decision Strategy right away that will continue through regular decision.

For parents who engage our services after the news of deferral, I discover what the student did to be deferred, build upon their current student profile and accomplishments and re-energize their application so that they are removed from the deferred list and placed on the accepted list.

The worst thing a student can do is nothing.  What to do next? Now is the time to evaluate and successfully complete the admissions process by looking at your child through a professional lens. The worst thing parents can do is to try this post-decision process on their own.

Through our Knowledge Network, we know that between 5% – 10% of students who are deferred admissions are accepted to the same college Regular Decision. Those are pretty high odds! Based on our experience and 23-years track record of success, 90% of students who approach us and retain us before January 1, after being deferred are admitted Regular Decision. 

This is the type of letter you want to receive!
Accepted_in_College_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Independent_Educational_Consultant
This is how you would like to feel!

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Expert_Advice_pennants_rsz

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.  

Betting on College Admissions Outcomes

betting_college_admissions_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Educational-Consultant

Do you bet on your child’s educational future?

dice-odds_college_admissions_Dr_Paul_Lowe

The number of students opting to participate in the run for admissions to Ivy League and elite colleges/universities every year hovers around 50,000 to 100,000. With Ivy League schools, more than 90% of applicants, on average, will be rejected.

Yet, year after year, parents bet that they or their children can navigate this process on their own; this, despite affirmations and documentation that students need help with this competitive process.

It’s better not to bet.

betting_on_college_outcomes__Dr_Paul_Lowe_Educational-Consultant

Knowing that the admissions environment changes every year, rather than relying on old data, outdated books, information and tips from chatting with others (“adda”, as it is known in some circles among my clients), you should choose an experienced admissions expert to help.

Don’t’ bet to lose!

dice_lose_Dr_Paul_Lowe_College_Admissions_Advisor

WE DON’T BET: We embrace Empirical Analytics by using data science, technology, client-case studies, campus-expert panels, our specialized knowledge and insight, and over 23 years of experience to answer questions, navigate challenges, predict outcomes, and to help our clients make informed decisions that provide results-based admissions success. 


Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant

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.