The Value of High-End College Admissions

By now many people are aware of Operation Varsity Blues. Federal prosecutors allege that William “Rick” Singer touted his knowledge of “the secret of getting into college,” becoming “the mastermind of an enormous, elaborate scheme carried out over years, brazenly paying off coaches and test monitors, faking exam scores and fabricating student biographies – all to help wealthy parents cheat their children’s way into desirable colleges.”

Hiring a high-end college admissions advisor is not illegal, unfair or unscrupulous. In the quest for success in various endeavors, parents hire, for example, music teachers to help a child nurture a musical gift. They may hire a tennis pro to help a budding tennis star. They might obtain country club memberships, where their child has access to golf pros. There may be dance lessons or voice coaches. They may hire a ship’s captain to learn the finer points of sailing or racing tall ships. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a college admissions advisor/expert. There is certainly nothing unethical for charging for a service that provides a competitive advantage.

Many parents — wealthy or not — hire college admissions consultants to help their children navigate the college admissions process by assisting with applications, essays, interviews and admissions strategies. When it comes to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities it’s par for the course to engage an expert at some level who is versed in the nuances and changes in college admissions.

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Here are some of the reasons why parents hire high-end college admissions advisors:

  1. Many guidance counselors at public high schools are overwhelmed and sometimes have no expertise or time for college admissions advising. Many counselors may not even visit Ivy League and highly selective schools, not even once. My team and I visit these universities four times annually.
  2. The most elite colleges and universities now accept less than 6% of those who apply. Some schools routinely reject dozens of valedictorians and students with perfect or near-perfect scores on their SAT or ACTs. This is why, year after year, new clients always call: They hear the horror stories of wonderful students who were rejected from all their top choice colleges including what they thought were safety schools.
  3. Ivy League colleges and universities help establish meaningful and long-lasting networks that are important to facilitate future careers and social connections. Parents who call us understand the importance of networking and establishing connections. For international parents, global networking is important for their children’s success. Wealthy, upper middle-class and middle-class parents who call us understand the value of networking. They all share the same thing in common: They are concerned about their children’s future in a competitive and uncertain world.
  4. Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities are luxury educational brands that represent status, prestige, pedigree and a high ROI.
  • A study in the journal, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, confirms parental suspicions that the best route to a top job is to attend an Ivy League school. According to Dr. Lauren Rivera, the author of the study, “Elite professional service employers rely on academic pedigree more than any other factor. Where you went to school rather than what you did there makes the difference.”
  • PayScale Inc., an online provider of global compensation data, in a survey demonstrated that an Ivy League diploma is still worth its price of admission and tuition. “An Ivy League education makes a job candidate stand out, even before a recruiter talks to them! The median starting salary for Ivy Leaguers is 32% higher than that of liberal-arts college graduates and at 10 or more years into graduates’ working lives, the spread is 34%.” Additionally, according to PayScale, the return on investment for a degree from Stanford or Princeton is about $800,000 after 20 years.
  • Dr. Robert H. Frank, an economics professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, stated: “Because of the bitter competition for premium salaries, elite educational credentials are often a precondition for even landing a job interview.  Degrees from elite schools clearly open doors.”

Reputable consultants are active members of one or all of the following professional organizations: NACAC (National Association of College Admission Counseling), HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association) and/or IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association). Each organization has some form of a Statement of Principles and Good Practice: Code of Ethics and Professional Practice and professional development programs.

I am an active member of NACAC, New York State Association of College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), New Jersey Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), HECA and International Association of College Admission Counseling (IACAC). I am also a College Community Representative for the HECA Community Representative Program, where I visit colleges to gather information and interview college officials regarding admissions policies at their institutions.

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

2018 State of College Admissions Trends

 

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The 2018 State of College Admission report was recently released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).  As an active member of NACAC, I have been reviewing this report that has been published over the last fifteen years.  The report is based on data collected from the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Education Research Institute.

The State of College Admission Report provides up-to-date information on a number of issues that impact students’ transition from high school to post-secondary education, as well as the admission process for transfer students and international students attending post-secondary institutions in the United States. The report covers the recruitment strategies that colleges use to attract each group of prospective students and the process by which candidates are evaluated. The report also includes a chapter dedicated to school counseling in US secondary schools, given the integral role school counselors play in putting students on the path to post-secondary success.

Here are some interesting trends in college admissions and highlights of report:

College Applications: The increase in the number of colleges to which each student applies continues a near perfectly upward trend, which is reflected in college reports of increased application volume.  Growth in application volume continues: Between the Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 admission cycles, the number of applications from first-time freshmen increased 4 percent; applications from prospective transfer students increased by 3 percent; and international student applications increased by 8 percent, on average.  There is continued hyper-competition to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and BS/MD Programs.

Recruitment and Yield Strategies:  College admission offices use a variety of strategies to recruit prospective students, particularly those who would be likely to attend if admitted.  To recruit students, colleges use the following strategies: Email, institutional websites, hosting campus visits, outreach to parents and high school counselors, high school visits, and college fairs.  These strategies help schools attain their enrollment goals.

Factors in Admissions Decisions: The factors that admission officers use to evaluate student applications from first-time freshmen have remained largely consistent over the past 20 years. Students’ academic achievements—which include High School Curriculum, and Test Scores as Top Factors for First-Time Freshmen: The top factors in the admission decision were: overall high school GPA, grades in college preparatory courses, admission test scores, and strength of curriculum. Among the next most important factors were the essay, a student’s demonstrated interest, counselor and teacher recommendations, class rank and extracirricular activities. Admission decision factors for first-time international students are similar to those for domestic students, but the transfer admission decision process differs in significant ways.

Guidance Counseling Trends for College Admissions:  Post-secondary admission counseling is one of many functions of school counselors. On average, the time that public high school guidance counselors spend on college admissions: 21 percent, down from 26 percent in 2017. This demonstrates that high school guidance counselors are spending less time with students on college admissions.  See admissions blog: High School Guidance Counselors/College Admissions: Big Caseloads and Little Time

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250-to-1 maximum student-to-counselor ratio.  New Hampshire and Vermont—had ratios below this maximum.  Data regarding the extent to which college advising is part of counselors’ job responsibilities showed the average student-to-college counselor ratio was 297-to-1.  With this ratio, it implies that high school guidance counselors have little time to provide individualized attention to students applying to college.

“Year after year, I hear the horror stories from parents whose kids got in nowhere because they thought the college admissions race was just about grades, SAT scores, their perceived  ‘unique’ applications, generic essays and perfect connections.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

“Top qualified applicants, after all their hard work (and parents’ work) and preparation deserve the best and should not settle for less.” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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

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.

It’s A New Admissions Year – 2019

Welcome to Dr.Paul Lowe’s Admissions Expert Blog – 2019

My team and I have been visiting elite private schools, colleges, BS/MD programs, medical, law and graduate schools since late December and January.

Parents and students are constantly in the throes of the journey for:

  • Private School Admissions:  The application deadline for the top and competitive day and boarding schools was January 15th.  Admission decisions will be available online by March 9th for boarding schools.
  • College Admissions:  Early decision and action acceptances, rejection and deferred notices have been sent to students.  It’s time for high school seniors to think about what to do next regarding post-decision strategies.  Final decisions: March -April.  For high school juniors, you’ll be hearing from colleges in 12 months! For 2019, expect an increase in international student applying to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities.
  • Transfer Admissions:  Most applications are due in March.  Therefore, it’s time to complete applications and most importantly it’s time to complete those personal statements.  The transfer application this year has several changes!
  • BS/MD Admissions:  Competition for coveted spots is heightened based on the increased number of applicants this year.  Expect an increase in the number of rejected applicants.
  • Medical School Admissions: College juniors should begin to draft their personal statements, schedule to take their MCATs no later than May and obtain letters of recommendation.  Also, the new AAMC guidelines may affect the decision-making process considerably!
  • Law School Admissions:  Senior year – If you’re still in college, have your college Registrar submit updated transcript that reflects your Fall semester grades and
  • Graduate School Admissions:  Junior year – Start your search on graduate school programs. Once you have conducted your thorough searches for prospective institutions, make an alphabetical list of between 10 and 20 programs, regardless of what you presently know or have heard about them. Write them all down or put them on a spreadsheet. Graduate school enrollment continues to increase! Overall application volumes to graduate programs are steady and there is an expected increase from the Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe regions.  

Each year, admissions policies and strategies change, so stay tuned for my upcoming, informative, helpful and thought-provoking admissions blogs!

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

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. 

College Transfer Admissions 2018-2019

This time of the year, my firm is receiving calls from parents and students regarding college transfers.  Students who have completed their first semester freshman year (or some who are now sophomores) and have decided that for several reasons, they need to transfer!

Why do students choose to transfer?  

  • Did not do very well in high school and did not have many options when they applied to colleges.
  • Unhappy at their current college.
  • Unsuccessful at their current college.
  • Socially not connected to their current college.
  • Interested in an upgrade to a more prestigious college.

College Transfer Applications Requirements

  • The 2018-2019 Common App essay prompt for the Transfer application:  “Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.”
  • Common Application (transfer) has changed:  With the new Common App for Transfer, the essay has moved from the “common” portion of the Common App. In order to allow each college to choose whether or not to ask the essay question, the essay is now located in the Program Materials section for that college.  As a result, some colleges choose to not ask the Common App personal essay question, so it may not be available for those colleges.  Also, colleges may choose to ask other essay questions in addition to, or in lieu of, the personal essay.   This makes it somewhat more difficult to navigate the college transfer application.
  • School requirements: high school transcripts, college transcripts and college reports (filled out by a college official to verify that you are in good academic standing and social standing – have not gotten into trouble or have been placed on academic probation).
  • Supporting documents: include letters of recommendations, resumes, mid-year reports and or secondary school final reports and standardized testing results

We have worked with a range of students who have desired to transfer:

  • Students who were rejected from Ivy Leagues and highly competitive colleges and choose to reapply in their freshman year to Ivy League schools and highly competitive colleges.
  • Students who were unhappy with their currents colleges because of the location.
  • Students who were placed on academic probation and wish to transfer.
  • International students who wish to transfer from their current foreign college to Ivy League and highly selective colleges.
  • Students who were rejected when they applied to freshman year, were rejected again when they attempted to transfer  while in college and who were attempting to reapply to transfer for the third time.

In all cases, developing a meaningful student profile, with supportive documents, and convincing essays was important for our success in student transfers. It’s important that parents understand that transfer admissions (especially to the Ivies and top-tier colleges) is even more competitive and involves even more diplomacy and strategies than traditional college admissions!

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

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.

From China to the Ivy Leagues

Over the last 2 years, I have had a 55% increase in Chinese clients who have hired our services specifically for Ivy League admissions.  Each year, we place on average 20 Chinese clients in Ivy League and highly selective U.S. colleges and universities.  Last year, we placed 45 Chinese students into Ivy League and highly selective U.S. colleges and universities.

Chinese students are attending U.S. colleges and universities in record numbers.  Demand for Ivy League and highly selective universities such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Northwestern, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Chicago, Duke, University of Michigan, Tufts, Swarthmore, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, Georgetown, Barnard, Villanova, etc., is increasing exponentially.

By Chinese, I mean students from mainland China who attend high schools in China, private boarding and day schools in the U.S., Canada, UK, Italy, Singapore, Australia, all parts of the world and those who attend public schools in the U.S.  Even when attending elite U.S. boarding schools where they have college counselors, the parents (or students) call us to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the college admission process to achieve the dream of an Ivy League education.

Parents all over China have the same dream.  They want their children to have the best education for a better future.  For Chinese parents, the benefits and the biggest advantages of an Ivy League education are undoubted and obvious – better employment opportunities, easier access to high-profile jobs, networking benefits and connections needed to start a global business.  Most importantly, an Ivy League education adds transferable financial value to be utilized over their children’s lifetime on a global scale.

For Chinese parents, the choice of an Ivy League education for their child (almost always their only child) is considered a worthy financial investment, a shrewd political maneuver, and a satisfying personal sacrifice.  They are appreciative of the chance for a greater opportunity for their children to study abroad in the U.S.  Four years of an elite U.S. private college/university education can cost around $250,000, a considerable sum for American families, and even more so for a family from China, where average wealth is about one fifth that in the U.S.  It is interesting and understandable that they are willing to make sacrifices for this pedigree degree that opens doors!

We work with many wealthy Chinese families who feel that sending a child to an elite Western university is a way of signaling status and prestige – yet “another luxury brand purchase”.   For wealthy families seeking a safe haven for their assets – by one estimate more than $1 trillion in capital left China in 2015 – a U.S. college education for a child can serve as a first step towards addressing capital flight, foreign investment and even eventual emigration.

A HSBC (Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation) survey indicated that 80% of affluent families in China plan to send their children to study overseas.  From 2009 to 2011, the number of Asian students studying in the US has increased by 40%.  President Trump and former President Obama may have different political and economic views but they both agree that the U.S. has the best universities in the world!  The U.S. is now the primary destination for Asian students. China is the number one source of international students. Many of the children of the Chinese economic and political elite desire Ivy League degrees.  President Xi Jinping’s daughter is a Harvard grad.

Since 1999, China was the second leading place of origin for international students at Harvard, trailing only Canada. Its student numbers steadily increased to lead Harvard’s international enrollment since the last academic year, with 686 students currently enrolled (nearly 16% of the international student body).  China similarly dominates international enrollment at other Ivy League schools, including Yale and Princeton.  According to the Hurun Report (a research, media and investments business best known for its “Hurun China Rich List” a ranking of the wealthiest individuals in China), Harvard, Yale and Princeton are the biggest attractions for Chinese millionaires.

In March 2018, research from Hurun found China minted 206 billionaires in the last year, taking the country’s total to 819 billionaires, 40% more billionaires than in the US.  Chinese billionaires are pulling away from the US for the third year running on the “Hurun Global Rich List 2018”.  There are 819 Chinese billionaires in 2018 compared with 571 in the US.  Just two years ago, they were neck and neck at 534 and 535.  A recent Hurun annual survey of China’s elite has confirmed that 80% of the country’s wealthy families plan to send their children abroad for education.

It would seem that as long as Ivy League colleges and universities exist, wealthy and middle-class Chinese families will want their children to obtain the rare luxury brand of the unique experience of a valuable education. My team and I are here to help!

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The Yueng family with Dr. Paul Lowe Pinnacle Educational Center/Admissions Advisors Group headquarters.

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Blog:  College Admissions is a Competitive Sport – How to Win Your Personal Admissions Game!

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“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – 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 AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2019

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Ranking 2019 was just released.  Harvard is number one again.  Of the top ten schools, six are Ivy League universities.  The only ones missing in the top ten are Dartmouth College and Cornell University.  Brown University is the only newcomer to the list.  With their rarefied, global social alumni networks, door-opening reputations, 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.  The U.S. College ranking is also partly based on the results of the Times Higher Education US Student Survey, which gathered the views of about 200,000 current university students in 2017 and 2018 to find out about their engagement with their studies, their interaction with their teachers and their satisfaction with their experience.

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 insider-knowledge to help our clients achieve admissions success. (Why Dr. Paul Lowe Visits College Campuses).  This ranking is very accurate!

THE TOP TEN:  Schools that achieved the highest overall scores in the ranking:

1.  Harvard

2.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

3.  Yale University 

4.  Columbia University

5.  California Institute of Technology

6.  Stanford University

7.  Brown University 

8.  Duke University

9. Princeton University

10  University of Pennsylvania

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Blog:  College Admissions is a Competitive Sport – How to Win Your Personal Admissions Game!

 

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“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – 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 AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

Heads Up! The College Admissions Process is Shifting Focus

Recently, we’ve been receiving many calls from very anxious parents about milestone changes in college admissions policies.  Several top colleges have acknowledged changes, including Carnegie Mellon and University of Chicago that will affect rising seniors (Class of 2023)

The University of Chicago dropped an admissions requirement for students to submit either the SAT or ACT test scores becoming SAT/ACT optional.    James G. Nondorf, Dof admissions and vice president of enrollment and student advancement stated,   “We want to remove any policy or program that we have that advantages one group over the other”.

Carnegie Mellon University eliminated so-called “demonstrated interest”.  CMU prominently states, “The mission of Carnegie Mellon University includes the cultivation of a diverse community”  It further states: “…Our undergraduate admission process is shifting to focus more on diversity and inclusion of all populations by reducing or eliminating advantages that have been inherent in certain aspects of the admission process. The goal is to provide a more equitable, level playing field where all segments of our applicant population have the same opportunity in the admission process. We’re eliminating demonstrated interest as a consideration in our admission paradigm. See Carnegie Mellon University’s Statement.

What does this mean for applicants?:

  1. The college admissions landscape is changing.
  2. Colleges admissions officers are considering diversity in admissions – they want a diverse incoming class
  3. Top Colleges Enhance Efforts To Enroll Low-Income Students

What this really means is that top colleges are shifting more to a holistic admissions process, are becoming more inclusive and recognizing that each accepted student brings unique qualities to the university setting.  The college admissions process is shifting more toward evaluating a student’s character (College Admissions: How will Character be Assessed) and what they can meaningfully contribute to university community.  They are spending more time reviewing students under a microscope and appreciating the fact that some applicants are disadvantaged during the application process. As a result the admissions process to the Ivies and highly selective schools is becoming hrpercompetitive and and more non-formulaic!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – 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 AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

Need a Successful College Admissions Advisor? Go with a Winner!

Go with the Winner Admissions Expert Dr Paul Lowe

Parents create spread sheets, talk with friends, read books, search websites, form groups to share tips and “sure-fire”methods, try to “chat” with admissions industry personnel, obtain letters of support from VIPs, take copious notes during college tours, and try to gather information from my workshops.  For some parents, they discover, when it is too late, that what is really required to help their child with the hyper-competitive college admissions process is to work with an admissions expert with a successful track record.

U.S. parents are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having a college admissions advisor.  The data for that need is clear.  For international families, securing expert advice is the standard.  A recent study showed 26% of high-achieving students used a private college admissions consultant to assist them with their college admissions process.  Additional research has indicated that many international students, who applied to Ivy League and top-tier colleges and who were accepted, hired admissions advisors.  If you have joined the ranks of those parents who choose to utilize an admissions advisor to help your child with the college admissions process – Go with a winner!

A successful record in college admissions is not achieved by chance or luck.  I treat the college admissions process as a competitive sport so that your child can win.  As a successful college admissions advisor, I apply my special “coaching” skills to help my clients successfully achieve their college admissions goals – ACCEPTANCE LETTERS:

  • Leadership:  The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower an athlete or team to achieve their full potential.  A great coach, thus, should also be an exceptional leader.  A leader has the ability to unify a group of players and make them committed to a single purpose.
  • Knowledge:  A great coach should have in-depth knowledge of the sport they are coaching.  This does not necessarily have to come from personal experience, but a coach needs to have an understanding of the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategies involved in an “admissions game”.
  • Motivation:  As a coach, I convey passion to my “players”, to inspire them to get the most out of their performance.  As a successful coach, I possess a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the admissions game and the “players” that in turn inspires them to excel.
  • Tough and firm:  As a coach, I know when to be firm and tough. This means having the experience to identifying periods during the admissions process when students will under-perform and encouraging them to move forward in a positive manner.  It means sticking to creating and communicating clear expectations, putting the student on an admissions plan and keeping them on task. It means being consistent and lots of follow up.
  • Flexibility/Adjustable:  I adjust our admissions strategies to the personality and behavior of the individual student and the timeline of the admissions process.  I am cognizant of the fact that students will make mistakes, sometimes repeatedly and adjust our strategies accordingly to achieve admissions success.
  • Understanding & Knowing:  A key to successful admissions advising is being aware of the individual differences in your students. There are some coaching tactics that work better on different personality types so it is important to tailor communication and motivation based on specific players’ personalities. To achieve this, I pay special attention to a student’s emotions, strengths and weaknesses throughout the admissions process.
  • Effective communication skills:  Needless to say, a great coach will possess exceptional communication skills.  An effective coach is able to set defined goals, express these goals and ideas clearly to students, give direct feedback, reinforce key messages and acknowledge success.  Listening is also a part of effective communication, so as an admissions advisor I have to be a compassionate listener who welcomes student and parent, comments questions and feedback.

The personal college admissions game is not a game of chance.  It is a competition that you can win with the right advice.   Seek out the right admissions advisor.  It is the best way to help your child WIN in this real-life competition.

Blog:  College Admissions is a Competitive Sport – How to Win Your Personal Admissions Game!.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – 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 AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

College Admissions is a Competitive Sport- – How To Win Your Personal Admissions Game!

Many parents, students, guidance counselors, and even my fellow educational consulting colleagues are under the belief that college admissions is an exercise in determining the “right fit” and that gaining acceptance into the Ivies and highly selective colleges is just a game of chance and luck.  I disagree!

In participating in competitions these days, many students (K-12) are taught that everyone wins.  With regard to the college admissions process, it is acceptable and recommended that students believe they will eventually like whichever college where they end up.  That’s called SETTLING!

This statement may appear callous and insensitive.  But it is a statement that addresses the harsh reality of the competitiveness of college admissions.  The sooner one addresses this reality, the easier the college admissions process will seem.  Indeed, this reality would seem less harsh if students were to stop treating the college admissions process as a structured maze to be followed to a definitive end or as a predetermined algorithm.

I approach college admissions as a non-formulaic, competitive sport.  It’s about WINNING the ultimate trophy – acceptance into your top choice college.  After all, students are not taking all those APs, attempting to get perfect SAT scores, requesting seemingly perfect letters of recommendation, and getting A’s to lose!  By definition, you don’t play a competitive sport to lose!

Highly selective schools certainly have their choice of the cream-of-the-crop students as a result of all the applications they receive.  Therefore, the real part of the competition is to understand and recognize how you can stand out and win, especially in applications to the Ivies.

Because college admissions is a competitive sport, we proceed accordingly with our advisory services and prepare our clients as competitive athletes – to win!  We know that successful athletes must cultivate the positive qualities that are necessary to achieve victory-to win.

  • Persistence:  Endure until the end.  Persistence is simply the quality of always continuing to move forward and to continue regardless of perceived or real setbacks and challenges.  We cultivate our clients’ positive aspirations by encouraging persistent determination.
  • Have a positive mindset:  Being positive is an integral and intrinsic aspect of having the right winning mindset.  We constantly help our clients maintain a positive mindset to win!
  • Self-Confidence:  Really successful athletes are secure in their ability to play their best game.  We believe that qualified students should project themselves as successful athletes with inner confidence through their body language in a positive manner, a sort of positive posture.   We encourage our clients convey energy, enthusiasm and a positive attitude in communicating their achievements to key admissions officers and admissions committees.
  • Humility:  Ego (parental and student) is one of the largest reasons why qualified applicants are rejected. I recall and Ivy League officer stating that when reading many students’ applications: “these students think they are all that”.  If you practice humility, you will become an internally motivated person.  You will seek to achieve and improve yourself not for external validation, but to satisfy your own desire to keep growing as an athlete and a person.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice:  Practice deliberately with a purpose. Ultra-successful athletes reach their success by practicing with a deliberate purpose. They understand that in order to perform a skill at the highest level, they must practice it until they master it.  Successful athletes waste no time getting right into their routine and practice with mindfulness.  They don’t zone out or go through the motions.  Instead, successful athletes focus on the mechanics, feel, vibe and repetition of developing new skills in order to become an elite athlete.  We encourage and motivate our clients to constantly practice with a purpose.
  • Rhythm:  Rhythm is defined as the expression of timing, and its practicality in sports is vast.  Linear speed requires a well-timed sequence of (rhythmic) contralateral action.  Any delays or errors in this timing can drastically limit velocity of movement.  Rhythm plays a significant role in an athlete’s ability to successfully change direction fluidly and in time with extraneous factors such as teammates, opponents and apparatus (i.e. ball etc.).  Rhythm is a singular characteristic within the broader scope of coordination.  As a jazz harmonicist and banjoist (and physicist) who applies African Drumming, Blues, R&B, Calypso, Reggae, Funk, Hip Hop, Go-Go Swing, I naturally apply the use of rhythm to the competitive college admissions and application process.  It helps our clients adapt in an improvisational, non-linear and harmonic way to the nuances and changes in their college admissions journey and ultimately gets them accepted into their top choice colleges.

As a successful college admissions advisor, I apply my special “athletic coaching” skills and “rhythmic” musical strategies to help my clients successfully achieve their college admissions goals: ACCEPTANCE LETTERS.  Our strategic vision allows us to create, design and develop a compelling, authentic and distinctive personal brand for each of our clients.  This vision elevates and differentiates our clients in the competitive admissions environment so that they become WINNERS and are accepted into their top-choice schools.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – 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 AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

It’s Getting Tougher To Transfer To Top Colleges!

It’s the aftermath of the 2018 college admission season.  We are now aware of the Ivy League and highly selective college rejection rates.  The Ivy League colleges had a record number of applications and rejection percentages.  The rejection rates ranged from Cornell’s 89.7% to Harvard’s 95.4%.

Because so many “perfect” students were rejected, this will cause a trickle-down effect to second-tier and third tier schools.  In my firm, we are discovering that many families who are devastated by their children’s rejections are calling us regarding transfer.  Here is what students and their parents NEED to know:

  1. Transferring to the Ivies and elite colleges will be more difficult this year.  We have discovered, through our current research, that many students who were accepted are already committing to attend these schools.  Parents and students are aware of the value of an Ivy League degree.
  2. There are fewer spots available for transfer students.  Therefore, it’s even more competitive to transfer!
  3. Transfer applications are not viewed in the same way as regular applications to freshman classes.
  4. You may replicate the same mistakes that were on your Common Application.
  5. Students are on their own during the transfer process:  No college counseling support will be available from their current guidance counselors or private high school college advisors and there is no transfer help from the school which they will be attending in the fall.  Why would a school that accepted a student assist the student to transfer?
  6. The college transfer admissions process starts now!

As many concerned parents call us, stunned by the rejection decisions received by their children, we strongly advise parents that they need an experienced educational advisor to review their children’s Common Application because: something wasn’t right.  Now is the time to plan summer activities and create a “revised” game plan and positive momentum for their upcoming college freshman year to transfer.  See blog: College Transfer Admissions Tips.

It’s important that parents understand that transfer (especially to the Ivies) is even more competitive and involves even more diplomacy than traditional college admissions!

This year, all of our college transfer clients were accepted to their top choice colleges including Harvard, Yale and Columbia and Cornell and UPenn.  We are very proud of our success and extremely happy for these students and their parents!

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

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.