Coronavirus Effect on College Admissions: What You Need to Know

coronovirus effect on college admissions what you need to know Dr Paul Lowe

“To see the world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower;

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.”

     – William Blake

Understanding facts of any situation is essential to one’s ability to analyze that situation for a positive outcome.  So before getting into the ramifications of “the coronavirus” in college admissions, we’ll look at the pertinent facts.  Let’s first define the name of the virus:  The new virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2.  The disease caused by the new virus has been designated COVID -19 (COrona VIrus Disease 19 – because the year it emerged was 2019).  It’s known to infect humans causing respiratory tract illness (upper respiratory, as well as lower respiratory illness which could be fatal), and to date there is no vaccine to protect people from COVID-19.

This virus has not been seen in humans before and scientists are still learning specifics about the disease.  It has been found to be highly contagious, spreading by small droplets and contact, and is potentially particularly virulent in certain demographics.  Thus, the reactions we see in the news regarding the attempts to control the spread the disease.  We find ourselves in a place where the world is attempting to slow the spread of the disease as scientists attempt to develop vaccines and treatments.  Current efforts in effect in the United States and other parts of the world are an attempt to control community spread.  Because of these attempts, educational institutions and facilities have taken drastic steps in order to help control of the spread.

Current effects:

  • Public high schools as well as private high schools are closed, making it difficult for students to meet with guidance counselors for college planning.
  • For students applying to BSMD programs, it’s a whole NEW competitive admissions environment!
  • Colleges are cancelling in-person classes and shifting to online platforms or learning management systems.
  • Students are being asked to leave campuses and dormitories are being closed.  Some colleges have already cancelled or postponed graduation ceremonies.
  • Many colleges have moved classes online and some have directed students not to return after spring break.
  • Most institutions have barred staff from college-related travel as the coronavirus spreads.
  • May 1, the national deposit deadline for applicants, has been pushed back by a month.
  • SAT’s (Scholastic Assessment Tests) are cancelled through May.
  • National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) has made the decision to cancel all Spring National College Fairs.
  • International high school students who wish to study in the U.S. are facing numerous challenges regarding school closures, cancellation of testing dates, and more. The biggest impact may be on students’ abilities to get a visa for the fall semester because of delays in visa interviews or border closures.
  • TOEFL testing dates have been canceled or postponed in several countries.

Despite these drastic changes, it should be understood that colleges and universities plan to continue their missions to provide the best education possible for their students.  Furthermore, even in the face of a pandemic, college admissions will continue.  Based on my experience, extensive historical research, along with emails and Skype discussions with admissions officers, the college admissions process is continuing.  High school seniors are and will still be receiving decisions throughout March and early April.

Many of my clients have emailed us to request additional advice in this environment of online classes, extended school vacations and online test assessments.  We advise our clients accordingly as they continue their college admission preparation.  For many students (and parents), there is uncertainty, anxiety and fear as they shift to distance learning.  Evaluation of scholastic achievements through distance learning is not a novel experience for college admissions personnel or my firm.  We have advised and continue to advise international as well as U.S. home-schooled clients.  I can assure you, with certainty, that there are unique opportunities, educational benefits and admissions advantages to online learning.  All of our home-schooled clients have been admitted to their top-choices colleges, including the Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities.

For our current clients, we continue to develop new strategies.

  • For high school seniors, no senioritis – schools can still rescind your decisions, so even with online courses, you must continue to do well.
  • For juniors, most in their third quarter or beginning their third trimester, with regard to your college admissions profile, you must still develop ways to stand out.

In addition to home consultations, we have always complemented our personalized service by communicating with our clients remotely via Skype or Zoom.  COVID-19 has not disrupted our long-standing routine.   For our international as well as U.S. families, it’s business as usual.  We continue to communicate remotely.

This new situation makes high school students and their parents anxious or unnerved.  The reality still exists that you are still COMPETING with other students for those coveted spots at Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities.

For our part, we will continue to use our experience, admissions strategies and analytics to review all the nuances and consequences of COVID-19 in the college admissions process.  Given the ever-changing nature of the conditions surrounding the virus, we prepare our clients for all possible scenarios.  We focus on positive results and outcomes.  We continue, as we always have, to plan for the unexpected.  We use our team’s diverse background and collective effort to navigate uncertainties.  We problem-search as well as problem-solve.

We advise our clients that COVID-19 has not stopped college admissions, especially to the Ivies and highly competitive college and universities.  Understanding that school closures may impact college counseling and support (at public as well as private boarding and day high schools) during the application process, we have implemented more college counseling support services to help our students.  By doing all of the above, students will be successfully prepared for the college admissions process as we overcome the COVID-19.

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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.

 

Dr. Paul Lowe Visits Barnard College

Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors visit Ivy League, prestigious and elite colleges several times annually, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel. 

In May, I visited Barnard College on a beautiful spring day.  Barnard is a small liberal arts college located in the Upper west side, in New York City. It is directly across the street from Columbia University.  I spoke with several students and the  consensus was that Barnard is a tight knit community where most people know others in their class, or at least know who you are.

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Dr. Lowe at Barnard College – Broadway main gates.

Barnard is the best of both worlds; it has a small college feeling, but is also within a large university.

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Dr. Lowe within Barnard College campus – Barnard Greek Games statue

I consider Barnard the ninth Ivy League.  Barnard College graduates receive Columbia University degrees!  Year after year, we have clients who have been accepted to Barnard.  I met 3 of my clients who are currently students at Barnard.  They just love it!

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.

10 Best Colleges in New Jersey in 2018

I visit several New Jersey colleges and universities annually.  There is a perfect college or university in New Jersey for all those seeking to further their academic careers.  I find that they are diverse in nature based on academic rigor, campus size and admissions policies.

Each year, Money magazine ranks college and universities.  Money ranked 727 of the best colleges based on quality of education, affordability and outcomes. And while the usual elite, highly selective institutions topped the list, 21 New Jersey colleges made the cut. Only Drew University was left off the list.

Here are the top ten best colleges in New Jersey along with their overall Money magazine ranks.

  1. Princeton University (#1)
  2. The College of New Jersey (#35)
  3. Rutgers University-New Brunswick (#65)
  4. Ramapo College of New Jersey (#113)
  5. Stevens Institute of Technology (#153)
  6. Montclair State University (#164)
  7. Rowan University, Glassboro (#182)
  8. College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown (#193)
  9. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark (#199)
  10. Stockton University, Galloway (#218)

As an “elite/veteran” member of New Jersey Association for College Admissions Counseling, I continually visit New Jersey colleges and universities to ensure that our clients are aware of the changing campus environment and admissions policies at each individual institution.

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Dr. Lowe and Larry Alterman, 2019 NJACAC President at the NJACAC Annual Conference in Atlantic City, May 20, 2019

 

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.

Dr. Lowe Visits Harvard College

Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors visit Ivy League, prestigious and elite colleges several times annually, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel. 

In May, I visited Harvard College.  This is my third visit to Harvard College this year.  Each visit, I have the opportunity to meet professors and admissions personnel and talk about the college.  I met several students on the Harvard Yard and they were friendly and modest.  I sensed that they knew that they would be the future world leaders.

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This year, Harvard’s acceptance rate was a record-low 4.5 percent.  For the Class of 2023 with 1,950 of the 43,330 applicants.  This year marks the fifth consecutive application cycle in which the percentage of accepted applicants has decreased.

What does this mean for rising seniors (this year’s juniors)?

If Harvard is your first choice, it’s getting even harder to get accepted.

My recommendation?

Applicants will need an expert college admissions advisor who:

  1. has the experience and expertise in working with applicants who are applying to Ivy League colleges and universities.
  2. continually visits colleges and universities.
  3. understands how to efficiently and appropriately advise applicants.
  4. understands the admissions policies and what admissions officers are looking for.
  5. spends time with applicants brainstorming and implementing admissions strategies.
  6. guides applicants through the minefields of the Common Application, personal statements and supplemental/short answer essays.

 

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.

Why Dr Paul Lowe Visits College Campuses

Year after year, my team and I spend at least 25 percent of our time visiting 100 or more colleges and universities throughout the US.  As a result, we get to meet admissions personnel, administrators, faculty, college athletic coaches and directors, students and get to know what’s happening on campuses — real time.

During our visits, we also get a chance to talk with admissions officers and directors to see what’s really happening on campuses as it relates to admissions, enrollment, locally, internationally and geopolitically.

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Dr. Lowe at Brown University

We see and experience the actual rather than the theoretical.  Our knowledge of schools is not based on virtual tours, books, videos, general information found on the internet or secondary sources, but on these continual visits and knowledge-networks, professional relationships and connections that we have developed through our visits.

By visiting colleges, we understand their individual missions, philosophies, admissions policies and essentially what they are seeking in applicants for admissions.  These visits provide me  with knowledge beyond the scope of what parents are attempting to understand in the “admissions game”, and data that overwhelmed public school guidance counselors and even elite private school college counselors give to their students.

A campus visit allows me to personally experience the trip involved to get to the school, the people who are there, and the actual learning environment on campus. Seeing the dorms and dorm rooms, tasting the food, walking the campus—all these elements are critical to understanding if a client will actually be happy once he/she is a student there.

Our college visits keep us abreast of the constant changes in each college and provides us with insider-knowledge and understanding to develop individualized admissions strategies for clients.

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

 

Dr_PauL_Lowe_helps_Parents_who_want_their-kids_to_win

“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.

Top U.S. Engineering Universities

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Over the last 2 months, my A-Team and I visited colleges with top engineering (undergraduate) programs.  We were not disappointed!  The quality of research in these colleges are excellent.  Beyond research opportunities for students, the schools had extensive research funding and facilities and attracted professors that are at the top of their field.  They also have curricula that included co-op/internships, externships and interdisciplinary programs.

These top schools have impressive job placement statistics.  The schools reported job placement rates of students upon graduation (which means students have jobs before they graduate), within six months of graduation or within one year of graduation.  The acceptance rate of undergraduates who applied to  top Masters and PhD in engineering is significantly higher than the national average and is between 85% and 92%.

Here is a list of top U.S. Engineering Universities:

  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of Michigan

“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.  Summer camp:  Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

Are You Ready For College Admissions 2017-2018?

Summer is here. The gaokao is over. And that means it’s time for many students to start their college application planning. Many students will start visiting colleges across the globe. As you visit schools, I recommend that you really try to get a good sense of how you feel about each college campus. This will help you to narrow down what will become your top choice schools. As you near the pinnacle of your college admissions journey, you should celebrate this portion of your journey.

As you visit colleges, take the tours; learn as much about the environment, where you may ultimately be spending four years of your life. Be sure you are comfortable in the surroundings. Do the colleges and universities to which you plan to apply have broad categories of courses that interest you?

Keep an open mind as you plan this next step in your educational journey. If you are applying to Ivy League and highly selective colleges, remember that the admissions committees scrutinize an entire student profile and use a holistic as well as team approach in selecting applicants for their incoming classes.  Academic criteria are important to their selective process, however, they look at far more than test scores and grades.  Their goal is to assemble a diverse, well-rounded freshman class, and that means admitting exceptional individuals of all types.