Waitlisted at Private Schools – Now What?

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Since March 2nd, my firm has been inundated with continuous inquires (phone calls and emails) from stunned and stressed-out parents because their children are wait-listed!  We have been receiving many inquiries from parents whose children have been wait-listed from ALL schools to which they applied.

Because of the effect of COVID-19 and private school admissions (more families are choosing private school) the competition has increased. Private schools that were competitive are now hyper-competitive and schools that were marginally competitive are now competitive. We have observed an increase in applications (and therefore waitlisted applicants in schools in the tri-state area and even the Fairchester (Westchester and Fairfield Counties) and Northern New Jersey.

WAIT-LISTED means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”.  Two factors are important to consider:

  • SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT in your child’s application process.  Parents make a lot of mistakes on their child’s application.
  • In many cases, wait-listed may mean “perhaps never” or “forever”. Top schools rarely reject students outright.  They would rather state – wait-listed rather than wait-listed perhaps never!

Many parents are mistakenly drawing from their skills as corporate executives, tiger moms, financiers, etc. rather than accepting the benefits of a consultant’s professional skills and years of experience in private admissions diplomacy and understanding real-time nuances and changes needed in private school admissions to top schools.  Many parents also fail to fully appreciate and understand the human element of diplomacy in the selection process and decisions in private school admissions. As a result, after the waitlist, they reapply again on to be waitlisted AGAIN.

When parents call our firm to inquire about our services the first thing they ask is what is your price?  Your fees? I guess my answer to that is what is the value of your child being waitlisted again and again? And, we are talking about the investment in our child’s future not a price to be negotiated in an open-marketplace.

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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.

What’s the value of your child’s education?

Dr. Paul Lowe’s Private School Review: Hackley School

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Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors visits and reviews top private day and boarding schools. Hackley School is rated by Niche as:  #2 Best Private High School in Westchester, County NY. It is a coeducational K-12 school day school with a five-day boarding program located in Tarrytown, NY. It’s motto: “Enter here to be and find a friend.”

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Student/Faculty Ratio – 7:1
  • Average Upper School Class Size – 16
  • Student-led Upper School Clubs: 42
  • 27 different sports with over 64 teams across grades 7-12
  • Tuition (Lower School/K-Grade 4): $42,460
  • Tuition (Middle School/Grades 5-8): $46,980
  • Tuition (Upper School/Grades 9-12): $49,975 / Additional $15,000 for 5- day boarding fee
  • Hackley has a five-day boarding program for 30 residential students in grades 9-12.
  • Hackley’s COVID-19 Response

Hackley’s college matriculation rate to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities is high.  College Matriculation for the Classes of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The following colleges and universities enrolled five or more Hackley graduates during this period:

  • Brown
  • Colgate
  • Cornell
  • Dartmouth
  • Duke
  • Georgetown
  • Harvard
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Northwestern
  • Princeton
  • Tufts
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • UPenn
  • Yale
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Hackley is one of the top day schools in the Fairchester (Fairfield/Westchester) region. Admissions is hyper-competitive.  It’s one of the many reasons why many parents who reside in Westchester and Fairfield Counties retain our firm!


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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Dr. Paul Lowe featured on MarketWatch

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Dr. Paul Lowe, Managing Director – Ivy League Admissions Advisors

Dr. Paul Lowe, CEO of Pinnacle Educational Center and managing director of Ivy League Admissions Advisors was featured in a February 26, 2021 MarketWatch article by Howard Gold entitled:COVID-19 is changing college application strategies — and lowering the odds of getting into top schools”.

Ivy League Admissions Advisors helps students get accepted to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs.

“We are not for everyone,” says Dr. Lowe. “Only parents who want their children to have expert advice and a competitive advantage in the college admission process hire us.”


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Being different and understanding differences allows us to
advise our clients to stand out and get ACCEPTED
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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Why Attend An Ivy League University?

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With record number of students applying to Ivy League schools you may wish to ask WHY the Ivies?

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The annual cost to attend (tuition, fees, housing, food, books, misc.) gives pause to many potential applicants:  Harvard: $76,479; Brown: $78,688; Princeton: $75,210; Dartmouth: $79,967. So, what’s really happening here?  Tuition is rising, yet U.S. as well as international students are competitively applying to these schools.  What do these institutions have that others may not?  This is a question I hear, year after year, and from several parents in my recent webinar.  

Let’s start with the seemingly intangibles:

  • The institutions have prestigious brands
  • They have global alumni networks
  • They maintain international connections on every continent.

And then there is more – money!  Or in the non-profit lexicon, endowments (in 2020) for example:  Harvard $41.9 billion; Yale $31.2 billion, Princeton $25.9 billion, UPenn: $14.9 billion, Columbia: 411.0 billion, Cornell: $7.2 billion, Dartmouth: $6.0 billion, Brown: $4.7 billion.  The Ivies have the financial assets to weather the COVID-19 tsunami and provide top-rate education without any drastic financial cuts.  

You might ask why this even matters. Far fewer than 1 percent of undergraduate students at American colleges and universities attend the Ivy League or similarly selective schools. But who gets into these institutions makes a difference for the United States, because their graduates are so overrepresented in our country’s Judicial Branch. Every current Supreme Court justice, save one, attended an Ivy League law school: Justice Alito (Yale), Justice Barrett (Notre Dame), Justice Breyer (Harvard), Justice Gorsuch (Harvard), Justice Kavanaugh (Yale), Justice Kagan (Harvard), Chief Justice Roberts (Harvard), Sotomayor (Yale) and Justice Thomas (Yale).

Several recent U.S. presidents including Donald Trump have been educated, at some point, at an Ivy League school — including Yale double legacy George W. Bush, Bill Clinton (Yale) and Barack Obama (Columbia and Harvard).  More than 40 Harvard alumni — either undergrad or graduate — won seats in Congress in 2016. Newly appoint and current Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen Brown (Economics/AB) Yale Economics/PhD).

So why attend an Ivy League university?  When you imagine the possibilities, the question should be…”Why not?


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

Regular Decision Notification Dates: 2021

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Based on our research and discussions with directors/deans of admissions and admissions officers, regular decision applicants will be receiving their decision notifications in March and early April. It will be another highly competitive year!

Ivy League and highly selective colleges are already reporting a surge in regular decision applications.  The reason for this dramatic increase is likely multifactorial.  Perhaps, this is primarily because many students who took gap years and are now applying.  Additionally, more international students are applying and the prestige and brand of elite colleges is more coveted in a market of uncertainty.  Add to these facts many colleges have accelerated planned changes their standardized testing requirements since the start of the pandemic, which has encouraged more high school seniors to apply. 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESULT? Harvard surged by 42% to 57,000 applicants, Brown surged by 26% to 46,469 applicants and Princeton surged by 15% to 37,000 applicants.  The increase in applications has affected the highly competitive schools as well as the institutions that top students usually considered “safety schools”.  NYU surged by 20% to 100,000 applicants, UCLA surged by 28% to 139,000 applicants and Colgate surged by 102% to 17,392 applicants (last year Colgate had 8,582 applicants).

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WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Within a month or so high school seniors will begin to discover, after all their hard work that they will be accepted, wait-listed or rejected. In this case, many will be rejected! Specifically, based on our projections, over 95% of students who applied to the Ivies will be rejected!

Here are regular decision notification dates (and approximate times) for Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities:

  • Barnard College:  Late March 2021
  • Boston College:  April 1, 2021
  • Boston University: Late March 2021
  • Brown University:  April 6, 2021
  • Bucknell University:  April 1, 2021
  • California Institute of Technology: Mid-March 2021
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  April 1, 2021
  • Colgate University: Mid-March
  • Columbia University:  April 6, 2021
  • Cornell University:  April 6, 2021
  • Dartmouth University:  April 6, 2021
  • Duke University:  Late March, 2021
  • Georgetown University:  April 1, 2021
  • Georgia Institute of Technology:  Late March 2021
  • Hamilton College:  Late March 2021
  • Harvard University:  April 6, 2021
  • Johns Hopkins University:  April 1, 2021
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  Mid-March 2021
  • New York University:  April 1, 2021
  • Northwestern University: Late March 2021
  • Princeton University: April 6, 2021
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: March 6, 2021
  • Stanford University:  April 9, 2021
  • Swarthmore College: Mid-March 2021
  • Tufts University:  Mid-March 2021
  • University of Chicago:  Late March 2021
  • University of Michigan: Early April 2021
  • University of Notre Dame:  Late March
  • University of Pennsylvania:  April 6, 2021
  • University of Virginia:  April 1, 2021
  • Vanderbilt University:  April 1, 2021
  • Vassar College:  Late March 2021
  • Villanova University:  Late March 2021
  • Wesleyan University:  Late March 2021
  • Yale University:  April 6, 2021

WHAT CAN YOU DO? For seniors, if you are rejected, you may want to begin to consider transferring (College Transfer Admissions Advisors). For current juniors, you may need to consider hiring an admissions expert who specializes in Ivy League admissions (Ivy League Admissions Advisors). Year after year, our clients are accepted to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs because they recognize the importance and the value that we add to their student profile… We are DIFFERENT and that makes us the BEST!

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Hire the best admissions expert who is different! Don’t take chances!

Please bookmark this blog. We will update decision dates as soon as we hear from schools!


“Being different and understanding differences allow me to help our clients stand out and be accepted!” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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

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

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It’s A New Admissions Year – 2021

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Happy New Year! Welcome to Dr. Paul Lowe Admissions Expert Blog – 2021

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The past year has been full of uncertainty. As a consequence of the myriad of transitions, changes, adjustments and adaptations, now there’s a whole new admissions world. Education has moved from in-person to online learning and there has been an increase in the number of applications to top private day and boarding schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs! The College Board recently announced that it is eliminating the SAT subject tests and optional essay-writing section!

The one constant we have observed last year and the beginning of this year, is that parents want the best education for their children whether it’s K-12, college or graduate school.

As families navigate through these extraordinary and unparalleled admissions times, having an expert who can help make objective decisions is invaluable. As experts, we understand the fluctuating landscape and degrees of complexity in the current admissions scenarios so that students can avoid mistakes, stay focused and attain successful admissions decisions. Our knowledge-intelligence that results in our admissions success involves our ability to plan, to know how to adjust and when to change effectively.

Following last year’s admissions season, we heard from many parents and school counselors whose students applied ED to the Ivies and were rejected, yet we have clients who were accepted ED to Harvard, Yale, Brown, UPenn, Columbia and Cornell. And our Brown PLME acceptance rate was just amazing!  Brown PLME: Early Decision Results

Year after year, parents and fellow consultants ask us, what’s your secret? How do you provide stellar admissions results? It’s actually quite simple and conspicuously obvious….We are DIFFERENT!

Dr. Lowe and his team collectively, through their insight, foresight, proprietary- knowledge, wisdom and confidence, choose the best admissions strategies to be applied prudently for the best decision results – That’s our secret!

This year, many parents will be extremely happy because they will use our SECRET!

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

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“Being different and understanding differences allow me to help our clients stand out and be accepted!” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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

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

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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 s. Boarding School affiliate: Boarding School Admissions Consultants and BS/MD Programs affiliate: BS/MD Admissions Advisors.

Brown PLME: Early Decision Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Valuable and expert advice is never free or cheap” Dr. Paul Lowe
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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

Ivy League Early Applications Increase

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This week seniors received their application decisions! What was discovered is that the the number of early applications had soared as compared to last year.

I recall at one of my webinars that several parents surmised that the numbers would decrease as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected decrease in international applicants. I disagreed! Based on our analysis, we know that the Ivies’ brands soar in tough times.

Let’s take colleges that just released their early admissions results. Harvard had 10,086 application and accepted 747; last year 6,424 applicants and admitted 895. Brown University‘s early application rose by 22%, 23% at UPenn, 29% at Dartmouth and 49% at Columbia. From, time to time I have heard parents, high school counselors and even fellow educational consultants state that “it doesn’t really matter where you attend college as long as it’s a good fit“. Really! These numbers or increase percentages speak otherwise!

Now what, may you ask accounts for the soar in early applications? Here’s a blog that I wrote: Why Your Child Should Apply to an Ivy League College or University. and another blog: Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education U.S. College Rankings 2021.

What does this mean for students who were deferred? They are now in the regular application pool and it’s going to be even more competitive! Since you are in the larger pool, you will need to continue to attempt to standout and distinguish yourself from other applicants who were deferred and regular decision applicants. Our firm we provides “Post-Application Submission Deferred Strategies”.


“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.  For colleges and universities that recommend or require videos: College Admissions Video Productions.

College Application Decisions/Outcomes

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It’s that important time of the year for high school seniors as many students are beginning to receive their application decisions. Let’s describe each.

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ACCEPTED/ADMITTED: You’re in! You did it! You have been offered a spot in the incoming freshman class of one or more of the schools on your list. If it’s one of your top-choice schools and you have been accepted EA or RD it’s great! In terms of ED, the admissions process is technically over! “Technically”, because although you are accepted, schools can rescind your acceptance based on numerous reasons. Don’t forget the Common Application Affirmation Statement. According to the Common Application: “These affirmations are intended to make sure the applicant certifies the authenticity of the application, agrees to provide updated information to the college, and will commit only to one college once accepted”.

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DEFERRED: This means that the college is not prepared to either accept or deny you at this juncture, so they defer making a decision on your candidacy until they can consider you in the larger pool of regular decision applicants. Since you are the larger pool, you will need to continue to attempt to standout and distinguish yourself from other applicants who were deferred and regular decision applicants. Our firm provides “Post-Application Submission Deferred Strategies”.

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WAITLISTED: Being placed on the waitlist at a school means that you are not currently being offered a spot in their incoming class, but that you might be if enough spots open up as admitted students select other schools. How likely this is to occur (and it does happen) and in what volume, varies from school to school and even year to year. Our firm provides “Post-Application Submission Off-Waitlist Strategies”.

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DENIED/REJECTED: Unfortunately, this outcome requires no explanation. However, what you may choose to do is to transfer to schools that initially denied you a spot after the freshman year of the school you eventually end up. We provide transfer services through: College Transfer Admissions Advisors. We have successfully helped students transfer to schools that had initially denied them admissions.


“Being different and understanding differences allow me to help our clients stand out and be accepted!” – Dr. Paul Lowe

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

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

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

Fauci Effect on BS/MD Applications

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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