What Do College Admissions Officers Look for in an Applicant?

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

I.  NACAC factors:

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

II.  Intangibles

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

  • College application
  • Personal Statement
  • Supplemental essays
  • Collective interrelationship of all essays
  • WOW Factor
  • Attitude
  • Likability
  • Etiquette
  • Character
  • Grit/Challenge
  • Confidence
  • Charisma
  • Sense of self
  • Sense of others
  • Engagement
  • The unsaid
  • Conversational Intelligence
  • Cadence
  • Transparency
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Cultural Agility
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Uniqueness
  • Diversity/Inclusion
  • Family background
  • Comparative Student Profile Analysis
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If you think that getting into your top-choice college is just about having a high GPA, top SAT scores, high grades and a manufactured application and personal statement….THINK AGAIN!    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Boarding School Admissions Consultants Acceptance Rate – Unmatched

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95% of our clients were accepted into top boarding schools including Andover, Exeter, Choate, Lawrenceville, Taft, Loomis, Deerfield, St. Paul’s, Hotchkiss, Deerfield, Kent, etc.

You may ask why we are the leading experts in elite boarding school admissions and how we are so successful?  Through a collaborative team approach, Dr. Lowe and his team:

  • Develop and enhance clients’ student profiles so that they stand out among other applicants.
  • Assist clients in brainstorming the right ideas for their essays as well as edit and revise their drafts.
  • Help parents and students with in-depth mock interview preparation sessions. 
  • Direct clients to “best chance” target elite boarding school based on our knowledge of up-to-date admissions policies and contacts. 

Dr. Lowe personally works with each client and provides hundreds of hours of advisory-consultations. Dr. Lowe and his team have superior access to up-to-minute information that provides the competitive advantage for his clients. We, therefore, gain unparalleled insights into boarding school admissions policies that gives our clients that admissions edge! Don’t make the mistake of not retaining expert advice !

We also encourage parents to retain a boarding school admissions consultant that specializes in reapplication for fall 2023 because based on the current trends, the admissions cycle for 2022-2023 will be even more competitive.

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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.

Thank You Comments/Testimonials from BS/MD Admissions Advisors Clients

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This year’s admissions season (2021-2022), we had a 97% acceptance rate. What made it so significant is that despite the increase in BS/MD applications (in some schools by 30%), our clients were accepted! How do we do this? Blog: What Makes Us Different and Successful – Knowledge

It’s a celebration for high school seniors who know for certain that they are on the path to become medical doctors.  Their parents are extremely happy that they hired us. Dr. Lowe and his team were the catalysts that resulted in their children’s acceptance to BS/MD programs.

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We have listed this years (2021-2022) thank you notes/testimonials by our clients. Because of our confidentiality and privacy Agreements, we have removed their names. Yes! These are REAL thank you notes/testimonials!!!!!

“Dear Dr. Lowe, Thank you so much! You were definitely right about putting in the work now to set myself up for the future. I am so grateful for working with you, and I am so glad I got to meet you. Thank you.” (Student)

“Dear Dr. Lowe, Hope you are doing well. Thank you for all your help and support, we couldn’t have done without you. Thank you again!” (Mom of a student. Mom is also a medical doctor)

“Hello Dr. Lowe, Thank you so much for all of your help throughout the college process, I am very grateful to have had your guidance in the college process as well as learn some life-long lessons.” (Student)

“Dear Dr. Lowe, Thank you for the wishes! It’s a great milestone for our family !  You definitely knew what you were doing! And only now we can look back and realized how each step was carefully calculated and put in place!” (Parent)

“Dear Dr. Lowe,  I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our family to express our thanks to your diligence, passion and sharp focus to help our son achieve his goal of securing a BSMD admission. He has a great path laid in front of him to be a successful physician.” (Parent)

“Dear Dr. Lowe, Thank you very much. Whole Gxxxxx family is happy about XXXXX. My mom and sister are thrilled as well since my nephew is at XXXXX!” (Parent)

“Hello Dr. Lowe, I am so ecstatic to inform you that I have been officially accepted into the XXXX BS/MD program  It is great knowing I got into one of my top choice programs, thank you so much for your help with this acceptance!” (Student)

“Dr. Lowe, Thank you so much. This is overwhelming and excited to see our daughter having great choices to choose from. We are happy to support her on her choice. I have been telling my daughter & my wife that we are missing Dr. Lowe’s weekly Friday calls. We couldn’t have done without you.” (Parent)

If you are of a parent of a high school junior or sophomore, next year’s (2022-2023) is expected to be even more competitive. Blog: BS/MD Admissions 2022-2023 – It’s Even More Competitive


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Parents retain Dr. Lowe so that their children gain an admissions edge and achieve their dreams!
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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, BS/MD Admissions Advisors, help high school students get accepted to BS/MD programs. 

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

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

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

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

Here are some statements in article:

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

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

How did we do it?

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


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

Multiple Ivy League Acceptances

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

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

Accepted_envelope_Ivy_pennants_Ivy_League Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisors

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

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

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

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

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

College Application Decision: Rejected? Now What?

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It’s decision season! We are sure that you have seen the videos of seniors (with their parents) screaming and shouting when they have been accepted into their first-choice colleges.

But for every celebratory online posting, there are thousands of disappointed students (and parents) who are rejected from the same schools.  You should not assume that you will be admitted to the Ivies and highly selective colleges just by being a great student with top grades. In the increasingly competitive admissions environment, you need to have a competitive edge.

Getting into Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs is fiercely competitive.  For 2022, rejection rates for the Ivies demonstrate this:

  • Harvard: 96.91%
  • Yale: 95.54%
  • Columbia: 96.3%
  • Dartmouth: 93.76%
  • Brown: 95.5%
  • UPenn: 95.6%
  • Princeton: 96%
  • Cornell: 92%

So, what do you do if you are a top student in your high school class and were rejected from your top choice schools that you really wanted to attend?  It’s not all over!  You should start to think about reapplying for entrance in your sophomore year…NOW!  There is still an opportunity to gain acceptance as a reapplicant.  College Application Rejected | Transfer to Ivy Leagues | College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

First and foremost, you should continue to maintain your grades because your target (reapplication) schools will be reviewing your entire high school transcript. You should also begin to develop a new summer narrative and plan your freshman year (as a transfer student). You have to develop an improved student profile and narrative as a freshman. Remember, as a reapplicant you will not have the guidance of a school counselor (public school) or college counselor (private school) during this type of admissions process. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!.

We are experienced in working with students from their high school senior year through April of the college year. Last year, we worked with students who were rejected from Ivy League and highly selective college and universities and upon reapplication were accepted.  It’s called our SECOND CHANCE strategy!

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Dr. Lowe and his team believe in SECOND CHANCES! As a parent, shouldn’t you?
Proven_Results_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant
Many parents hire educational consultants in an attempt to maximize their children’s chances of admissions. Our clients retain Dr. Lowe and his team because of their PROVEN RESULTS.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.  

Congratulations on Our Clients’ College Acceptances – Part I

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

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

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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

The Need for a BS/MD Admissions Advisor Even When You Have a High School Counselor

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High school Counselor overwhelmed Dr Paul Lowe Admissions Advisor
US Dept. of Education (2017) reported that the student-to-public school ratio is on average, 455 students to 1 school counselor.

When parents of high school students call our offices inquiring about BS/MD programs, the first question I explore with them is why they are calling about our services if they already have a high school counselor?  Their response is usually 2-fold.  (1) The high school counselor is overwhelmed with many students.  (2) The high school counselor is not a physician-scientist and lacks the knowledge in preparation, specifically for BS/MD programs.

Because of the increasing hyper-competition to get into BS/MD Programs, many families feel overwhelmed and stressed by this particular type of specialized college admissions process.  Moreover, the process can seem so complex that families may want the assistance, resources and knowledge of an (physician-scientist) expert who focuses on BS/MD programs and who spends more time and individualized attention than school college counselors are able to provide. 

Many parents and students discover too late (when their children do not receive BS/MD interview offers or receive rejection letters) in the BS/MD college admissions process that they should have hired a BS/MD admissions expert.

Benefits of a BS/MD Admissions Advisor:

  • An educational consultant who is a physician-scientist.
  • Provides one-on-one BS/MD program guidance and counseling.
  • Provides continuous comprehensive year-round admissions services.
  • Provides recommendations for research and shadowing opportunities and advise on appropriate student-driven research publications.
  • Provides traditional college and essay guidance and assistance as well as BS/MD supplemental essay guidance and assistance.
  • Provides traditional college interview preparation as well as BS/MD (MMI-type) interview preparation.
  • Develop strategies to guide you to your “Best Chance” BS/MD programs based on student’s profile.
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INVESTING in a BS/MD admissions advisor is the best strategy for your child’s admissions success to BS/MD programs!


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

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, BS/MD Admissions Advisors, help high school students get accepted to BS/MD programs.  Many of Dr. Lowe’s BS/MD Admissions clients are international students who want to attend medical school from high school and then enter U.S. medical residency sub-specialties.

Different_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_different_unparallel_unmatched_unrivaled

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

Regular Decision Notification Dates: 2022

Based on our research and discussions with directors/deans of admissions and admissions officers, regular decision applicants (for the 2021-2022 admissions season) will be receiving their decision notifications in March and early April and it will be another highly competitive year!

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

  • Barnard College:  Late March 2022
  • Boston College:  Late March 2022
  • Boston University: April 2022
  • Brown University:  Late March 2022
  • Bucknell University:  April 1, 2022
  • California Institute of Technology: Mid-March 2022
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  April 1, 2022
  • Colgate University: Mid-March 2022
  • Columbia University:  Late March 2022
  • Cornell University:  Late March 2022
  • Dartmouth College:  Late March 2022
  • Duke University:  Late March 2022
  • Georgetown University:  April 1, 2022
  • Georgia Institute of Technology:  Late March 2022
  • Hamilton College:  Late March 2022
  • Harvard University:  Late March 2022
  • Johns Hopkins University:  Late March 2022
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  Mid-March 2022
  • New York University:  Late March 2022
  • Northwestern University: Late March 2022
  • Princeton University: Late March 2022
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: March 12, 2022
  • Stanford University:  Early April 2022
  • Swarthmore College: Late March 2022
  • Tufts University:  April 1, 2022
  • University of Chicago:  Mid-March 2022
  • University of Michigan: Early April 2022
  • University of Notre Dame:  Late March 2022
  • University of Pennsylvania:  Late March 2022
  • University of Virginia:  April 1, 2022
  • Vanderbilt University:  April 1, 2022
  • Vassar College:  April 5, 2022
  • Villanova University:  April 1, 2022
  • Wesleyan University:  Late March 2022
  • Yale University:  Late March 2022

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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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

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Expert_Advice_pennants_rsz

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