Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan: Extracurricular Activities

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When considering a BS/MD program, we advise our clients to successfully  PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and then re-PLAN.  Early planning and goal setting are important for long-term success!

“Your BS/MD Admissions Game Plan” is a blog series created by Dr. Paul Lowe that discusses BS/MD Admissions.

Here is what we advise our clients regarding extracurricular activities:

  • Extracurricular Activities demonstrate your passion, character and personality.
  • Extracurricular activities must be profound, meaningful and innovative.
  • Extracurricular activities must have a direct relationship with who you are.
  • Extracurricular activities must foster positive relationships and true interconnections.
  • BS/MD admissions officers are looking for highly motivated BS/MD candidates (high school seniors) who invest their time and effort in their passions, not just students who do extracurricular activities just because they’ll look good on college and BS/MD applications.

CORONAVIRUS EFFECT:   Even with pandemic, the foundations for college admissions specifically with regard to extracurricular activities still apply and remain unchanged.  With regard to extracurricular activities: commitment, achievement, depth, impact still matter.  There are still ways to achieve the above, but it has to unique to the YOU!  Making the most of the opportunity available to you, what is the specialty best for you what makes you stand out.  We always ask our clients: “How does an extracurricular activity apply to your unique student profile?”

Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and specifically BS/MD programs are seeking a diverse student body made up of specialists who can share their passions and achievements collaboratively.   They are not looking for the typical BS/MD candidate who has the sort of Jack-of-all-activities or or have the typical fluff BS/MD I want to be a doctor from high school activities. Quality trumps quantity!  The quality has to be student-specific. We encourage and guide our clients to pursue something meaningful way.

There are lots of “how-to” and book guides to getting into BS/MD programs out there but all were published pre-COVID and their strategies are obsolete and outdated.  With a lot at stake, in a short period of time, in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants (and their parents) need a winning BS/MD Admissions Game Plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of advisory admissions experience and long-standing professional relationships with admissions officers provide us with the tool-kit of strategies and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in the COVID-19 landscape.

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 can now call their son or daughter – “Doctor”.

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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. 

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Diversity: Utilizing Our Differences for Success

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In our society, although many organizations continue to grapple with issues of diversity, in a multitude of businesses, including retail, fashion, media, entertainment and sports, diversity is reflected at many levels.  Still, at this time it is clear that there is still more to be done as people realize that there continues to be a lack of communication and understanding on certain levels within our society.

Everyone who participates in a common endeavor as part of a collective is simply a citizen of that collective.  This of course applies to businesses.  All within the collective have different experiences which contribute positively and are generally interesting and useful to others within the collective.  Studies have shown that when each individual is allowed to provide their unique perspectives to the collective, when embraced, results in better than expected outcomes to solutions to problems being addressed.  All would agree that beautifully harmonic music is preferable to a monotone.

Of course, there continue to exist issues of access, racism, prejudice, bigotry, egalitarian treatment, etc.  “Racism in the United States continues to be so pervasive and systematic that, in August 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published a report that examined racial equality and justice in the US. CERD noted that black Americans disproportionately face economic and social disparity and urged the US to halt not only the excessive use of force by police, but also broader racism. “This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials,” said Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman. “Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation to access to health care and housing.”  This should not be for companies and businesses in the United States of America in this day and age.  As a successful admissions expert, with over 20 years of experience and an enviable acceptance track record, my exposure to and experiences with systemic racism, bigotry and prejudice are not new, but have been and continue to be the norm (par for the course).  These experiences and my continually being viewed as different and inferior (and, at times, unqualified) have paradoxically empowered me, as an admissions advisor, to help my clients stand out and gain admissions to their top-choice private schools, colleges and universities and BS/MD programs!

Racial, ethnic, generational and cultural differences have always been America’s greatest assets!  They have collectively been the glue that have made America great! Diversity was a necessary precondition to our democracy and has provided the impetus for engagement in the full kaleidoscope of “American culture”.  Furthermore, it has produced an enviable position that other nations strive for in our world.

  1. Diversity in business and commerce:  In today’s globalizing, fast-changing, highly-competitive and networked world, the capacity to turn diversity to one’s advantage is critical and necessary.  It is not just a nice thing to do for racial and ethnic minorities; it is a MUST.  As the world evolves dramatically, cultural, ethnic and racial immersion has become a widespread organizational imperative – from Google to IBM.
  2. Research shows that diversity usually trumps familiarity, insularity and ability.  Diverse teams are much better at problem-seeking and problem-solving. They bring different cognitive, intellectual and experiential tool kits and ways of approaching a problem to the table.  Diverse teams see customers, products, and market opportunities in creative, new and unforeseen ways.  Even among the most well-meaning, a homogeneous team comes with a limited outlook., whereas a diverse team often yields nuanced deliberated decisions made from multiple perspectives and experiences that result in deeper and wider considerations and probable outcomes and results.
  3. A report entitled, “Innovation, Diversity, and Market Growth” found that when teams have one or more members who represent the gender, ethnicity, culture, generation, or sexual orientation of the team’s target end user, the team is as much as 158 percent more likely to clearly understand that target subject. This difference significantly increases the team’s likelihood of creating successful programs or products for their target subject.
  4. The American Sociological Association has demonstrated that in organizations with diverse teams there is a 9% rise in sales revenue and significant increase in business performance.  In contrast, monolithic and homogeneous thought within a group makes a cohesive team, but one that will happily and repeatedly agree on the same mistake as the rest of world evolves.
  5. Wall Street financial firms have recognized that in “superforecasting” (forecasting and predicting future market shifts) the wisdom and judgement of diverse teams can broaden knowledge base and focuses more on constantly updating probabilities rather than a non-diverse team that is involved in group think.
  6. Former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the American Economic Association’s president, and other prominent economists have said a lack of diversity limits how the economics field analyzes issues and crafts policies that affect broad swaths of people.
  7.  Diversity decreases mistakes: Individuals with different backgrounds and styles approach problems differently.  Research published by a MIT professor exploring past literature, found that diverse teams tend to be less susceptible to groupthink, which can drastically reduce the likelihood of making avoidable mistakes.
  8. A 2014 study of Columbia University showed that ethnically diverse trader teams priced assets more accurately, avoided conformity, and thwarted bubbles.
  9. A study by Rocio Lorenzo and Martin Reeves: “How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance”, in the Harvard Business Review of 1700 companies in eight countries, found that diversity among managers was associated with greater organizational innovation and profitability. 
  10. A McKinsey & Company research report: “Why Diversity Matters”, revealed that of 366 public companies analyzed, those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians.  In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.

Racial and ethnic differences is not just a good idea and good for society, it’s good for business.  We should continue to embrace and acknowledge our differences for its importance in contributing to business, cultural and academic success that has made the United States of America the shining example that many other countries have attempted to emulate.

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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.

Taking a Gap Year: Covid-19

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As speculation and uncertainty continue to dominate course and outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on colleges opening this fall, many students, both here and from abroad, are considering taking a gap year and then enrolling next year.

If you are in the minority of high school senior students who are considering a gap year (and your deferral request is approved by your college or university), remember that planning is the essential component of a successful gap year.  There are plenty of resources for students including books and websites to determine what types of programs appeal to you.  Two websites that will help you to research gap year programs: the Gap Year Association and the Gap Year.

Once you have an idea of what opportunities are available, think about the goals you should have for your time off.  There are thousands of options for time off as well as infinite combinations of activities.

What are the factors you should consider in planning to have a productive and meaningful gap year?  You can simplify your planning by answering these few questions:

  • What do I want to learn?
  • How much structure do I want or need?
  • What kinds of things do I want to do?
  • Where in the world do I want to be? (Assuming that in the midst of your gap year, travel restrictions are lifted.

Once you have an idea of what opportunities are available, think about the goals you should have for your time off.  There are thousands of options for time off as well as infinite combinations of activities.

Here are common ways to consider spending your gap year:

  • Internships:  Spend time working in a career field that interests you.
  • Volunteer work:  You can find volunteer work both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Academics:  Take online classes at a local college.
  • Work:  Here is where students can become creative.

When considering a gap year, we advise our clients to PLAN, PLAN and PLAN to successfully accomplish their personal goals as well as to have a memorable experience!

 

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_AdviceWe-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School

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.

Coronavirus Effect on Applying to BS/MD Programs

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Over the past month, our offices have been receiving many phone and email inquiries about BS/MD programs.  Most of these inquiries are from very anxious parents of high school juniors who have read guides or books about BS/MD programs, researched information and talked with their friends whose children are currently attending BS/MD programs.

Their children typically have this type of applicant profile: High GPA, at least 5 AP courses, high SATs (if they were able to take them), musical, artistic and/or athletic extracurricular activities, research/clinical internships, shadowing doctors, helping the poor or starting a not-for-profit organization to help the poor or traveling to a developing country to volunteer; and of course, a two-page resume!  What parents don’t understand or seem to ignore is that their children sound all the same on paper and as a result can be easily thrown in the rejection pool.

What parents are really calling me about is to find out what to do  during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine its impact on their children’s college admissions chances.  Internships, upcoming summer programs, volunteer programs, doctor shadowing and research opportunities have all been cancelled.  In several weeks, their children will be rising seniors and in the throes of the competitive college application process to Ivy League and highly selective colleges, universities and BS/MD programs.

In our recent webcast: Applying to BS/MD Programs – COVID -19,  we discussed our go-to strategies that should be used when applying to BS/MD programs in the COVID-19 pandemic landscape.  The sudden onset of these unprecedented times has brought new changes in applying to BS/MD programs.  Books and guides regarding BS/MD programs (which were published before COVID-19), although informative, do not address the how-to’s and the do’s and dont’s of applying to BS/MD programs during the pandemic.  They do not address the new variables such as lack of availability of test scores, cancellation of internships, summer programs, research projects and gaps in resumes.  Past strategies and guides do not show students how to navigate these changes and what students need to do in order to be strongly considered for these programs. In addition, high school counselors do not specialize in providing advice for BS/MD programs.

Our recent discussions with admissions officers at institutions with BS/MD programs revealed that they anticipate that BS/MD candidates’ applications and resumes will have vacuums/gaps including entire spring quarter or trimester without extracurricular activities volunteer work, sports, and scientific research in addition to new and online classroom experiences and grading systems. The consensus is that students have to be creative and innovative with these gaps and have to explain what they are doing with their time.  Admissions officers are not just looking at resume-building based on online activities.

As one admissions officer stated: “The COVID-19 crisis has reset how we will be evaluating BS/MD applicants this fall.”   Several stated that for qualified candidates they will base college and BS/MD application decisions on the information that is available to them at the time of the application. What they are looking for is an insight into how the student thinks, how they interact, and how well they can articulate a point of view under these unprecedented conditions.  BS/MD programs will be even more competitive!  Even in the COVID -19 admissions environment, BS/MD programs will NOT have a lot of trouble filling their seats.  Especially, when they guarantee admissions to medical school from high school!

With a lot at stake, in a short period of time in such a competitive environment, BS/MD applicants (and their parents) need a winning game plan that works in the COVID-19 environment.

Our over 20 years of advisory admissions experience and long-standing professional relationships with admissions officers provide us with the tool-kit of strategies and knowledge to help our clients successfully navigate the BS/MD Admissions process in the COVID-19 landscape.

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 AcceptancesParents who chose to use our services can now call their son or daughter – “Doctor”.

Hiring An Admissions Expert – One Less Thing To Worry About

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It’s April and we are receiving calls and emails from parents whose children were rejected or placed on the or wait-list (which means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”) for Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and top private day and boarding schools.

When I ask the question: “Did you hire an admissions expert?”  The answer is always No!

It is surprising to me that these same parents may hire the best tutor for academic subjects, the best building experts for house repairs, the best soccer or lacrosse coach or the best hairstylist.  However, when it comes to their children’s educational future, which ultimately affects their future, they choose to make the decision that an admissions expert is unnecessary.

Benjamin Franklin famously advised “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  For those of you who tend to worry, here are the reasons why you should hire an admissions expert so that you don’t develop irreversible worry wrinkles or “the dreaded elevens”:

  • Admissions experts have personal and current specialized knowledge of what is happening at educational institutions because of their long-standing professional relationships with admissions departments and officers.
  • Admissions experts know that the devil is in the details; research, due diligence and thorough assessment are par for the course.
  • Admissions experts understand how to use an application as personal branding and marketing tool for your child’s admissions success.
  • Admissions experts understand the diplomacy, advocacy and strategic game plan are needed for admissions success.
  • Admissions experts understand and embrace the competitive nature of admissions process.
  • Admissions experts understand that valuable advice is investment in your child’s future, not an expense.
  • Admissions experts view admissions as a non-formulaic, competitive endeavor.  Admissions experts help your child achieve the goal they’ve worked on since childhood – acceptance into their top choice school.

The question that parents who are about to enter the admissions process should ask themselves:  Why worry?

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

We provide our clients access to our specialized knowledge! – Dr. Paul Lowe

We-are-the-best_let_us_prove_it_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_Educational_Consultant_Ivy_League_Boarding_School      key-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   

 

 

Class of 2024 Total Admissions Rates

It’s April and all the Ivies and highly competitive colleges and universities have notified applicants of their decisions.  Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, college admissions offices are in operation.  For some of the Ivies and selective colleges the admissions rates have slightly increased.  The reality is that even with these small increases, it’s still hyper-competitive to gain admissions to these schools.  For example, Harvard’s admit rate was 4.9%, up from 4.6% last year.  However, the 4.9% indicates that 1,980 applicants were admitted of the 40,248 who applied or 38,368 (95.4%) applicants were rejected!  Yale’s admit rate was 6.54% up from 5.91% last year.  Therefore, the 5.1% represents 2,304 accepted applicants of the 35,220 who applied or 32,916 (94.8%) applicants who were rejected.

The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted college tours, SAT test dates, and high school in-person classes, but not college admissions activity! The fundamentals of college committee assessment and selection are the same: they will be selecting the best students who will be contributing to their individual college communities and mission.

If you are a high school junior and will start the application process in 6 months, admissions committees will be evaluating your applications! You should prepare accordingly!

Here are this year’s total admissions rates for Ivy League and some of the highly selective colleges and universities (last year’s rates are in red):

  • Boston College:  24% | 27.1%
  • Boston University:  18.5% | 18%
  • Bowdoin College:  8.3% | 8.9%
  • Brown University:  6.9% | 6.6%
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  TBA
  • Colby College: 9.4% | 9.6%
  • Columbia University:  6.1% | 5.3%
  • Cornell University:  TBA
  • Dartmouth College:  8.8% | 7.9%
  • Duke University:  7.7% | 7.4%
  • Harvard University:  4.92% | 4.6%
  • Johns Hopkins University:  8.8% | 9.1%
  • MIT:  7.2% | 6.6%
  • New York University:  15% | 16%
  • Princeton University:  5.55% | 5.8%
  • Swarthmore College:  8.8% | 8.7%
  • University of Chicago:  TBA | 5.9%
  • University of Pennsylvania:  8.0% | 7.4%
  • University of Southern California: 16% | 11%
  • University of Virginia:  20.5% | 24.3%
  • Yale University:  6.54% | 5.91%

This year, all of our clients were accepted into their top-choice colleges including Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities.  In fact, several of our clients were accepted to two or more Ivies!

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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.

A New College Admissions Landscape: What High School Juniors Need to Know

A New College Admissions Landscape: What High School Juniors Need to Know

This week is decision time for many Ivies and highly selective colleges and universities!  COVID-19 has closed down many K-12 school districts around the world for the rest of the school year.  If you’ve been following the directions of well-known books and/or chats, by now you must realize that your current college admissions “playbook” or plan may be ineffectual.  What will high school juniors need to do as they continue their admissions journey and prepare for their senior year?

1. Plan, plan and plan.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else” – Yogi Berra

As the world around you changes daily, you will need to formulate a new plan, create a timeline and meet your goals.  Deadlines are a crucial aspect of the college admissions process.

2. Make a balanced preliminary college list. Start your search by familiarizing yourself with many different colleges and universities and facilitate your research on the different options that are available. Visit the websites of the schools you are considering.

3. “Visit” colleges. Start to “visit” campuses. Review college websites, take a virtual tour, and learn more about student life by reading the student blogs linked there.

4. Begin to consider letters of recommendation. It’s not who is writing or what they are writing. It’s how they are writing about you in a meaningful way.  Choose your recommenders wisely.

5. Standardized Tests. Plan your SAT and/or ACT timelines. Even though standardized tests are cancelled through June you should still plan for the future!

6. Grades. Colleges view grades with the utmost importance. Remember, your grades should come first.  Colleges look at junior year grades to understand the academic abilities of a student.  Junior year grades are the last full year of grades for admissions committees to look at in determining a student’s acceptance.  A recent survey by the National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC) found that admissions officers gave “considerable importance” to grades in students’ college-prep classes.  Even though your school is now providing online courses, take them seriously.  From my discussions with admissions officers at several of the Ivies and highly competitive colleges, they will be closely reviewing your performance in these courses.

7. For BS/MD applicants. For many students, their internships and research projects have been cancelled.  From my discussion with BS/MD program admissions officers, they “will be seeking bright students who, in these unprecedented times, show a commitment to the BS/MD track and want to be a doctor”.

8. Seek expert admissions advice. With the disruption in school schedules and so many schools closed, the challenge for high school guidance or college counselors to provide students with adequate college counseling has dramatically increased.  In many private as well as public high schools, remote/online learning does not apply to college counseling, leaving many students to navigate the college admissions process on their own in a competitive admissions environment fraught with minefields.  High school juniors and their parents need valuable advice from experts who understand the competitive admission process, as well as those who have long-standing professional relationships with college admissions officers.

My recent conversations with admissions officers have been informative and valuable.  As an admissions officer stated; “The current COVID-19 pandemic will NOT negatively impact how we review applications this fall”.  Another mentioned to me, “We still want students who are involved, academically motivated, who have demonstrated success and are willing to contribute to the future vibrancy of our campus community.”

 

 

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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.

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 BS/MD programs, it’s a whole NEW competitive admissions environment!  Books about BS/MD process and BS/MD programs do not show you how to navigate the BS/MD admissions process during the current coronovirus pandemic!
  • 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.

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advicekey-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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.

 

College Admissions Officers Are Checking Applicants’ Social Media Profiles

So you thought that your Instagram, tweet or Facebook Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch were safe?  Think again!  What about the posts of your friends?

According to a recent Kaplan Test survey that polled nearly 300 college admissions officers, 36% of them looked at applicants’ social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to learn more about the applicant.  When my team and I visit schools and have discussions with admissions they do admit that they review applicants’ social media platforms.

So, do colleges look at social media? Yes. In fact, what students post on social media can greatly affect not only acceptance odds but they can get acceptances revoked if unsuitable and offensive materials are found. When Harvard discovered offensive material being posted to a group chat by incoming freshman, it rescinded acceptance  letters to 10 accepted applicants!

Because Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities receive so many qualified applications, they’re typically looking at social media to see if it tips the scales in anyone’s favor.  So be careful!

So the question you need to ask is does my social media profile affect college decision outcomes?  What do you think?

We provide a social media review and analysis (SMRA) for our clients.

“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

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advice        key-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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.   Its medical school admissions affiliate: Medical School Admissions Advisors. 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.

Regular Decision Notification Dates: 2020

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It’s March 2020! That means that high school seniors will begin to discover, after all their hard work, where they will be accepted, wait-listed or rejected.

Based on our research and discussions with directors/deans of admissions and admissions officers, many colleges  regular admission decisions ready throughout 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
  • Boston College:  March 19, 2020
  • Boston University: March 20, 2020
  • Bucknell University:  April 1
  • Brown University:  March 26, 2020
  • Carnegie Mellon University:  No later than April 15
  • Columbia University:  March 26, 2020
  • Cornell University:  March 26, 2020
  • Dartmouth University:  March 26, 2020
  • Duke University:  April 1, 2020
  • Georgetown University:  April 1, 2020
  • Georgia Institute of Technology:  March 14, 2020
  • Hamilton College:  March 19, 2020
  • Harvard University:  March 26, 2020
  • Johns Hopkins University:  March 13, 2020
  • Lehigh University:  Late March
  • MIT:  March 14, 2020 (Pi Day)
  • New York University:  April 1, 2020
  • Northwestern University: Late March
  • Princeton University: March 26, 2020
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: March 7, 2020
  • Stanford University:  April 1, 2020
  • Swarthmore College: By April 1, 2020
  • Tufts University:  By April 1, 2020
  • University of Chicago:  March 13, 2020
  • University of Michigan: Late March
  • University of Notre Dame:  Late March
  • University of Pennsylvania:  March 26, 2020
  • University of Virginia:  April 1, 2020
  • Vanderbilt University:  April 1, 2020
  • Vassar College:  Late March
  • Villanova University:  Late March
  • Wesleyan University:  Late March
  • Yale University:  March 26, 2020

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

“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

Dr_Paul_Lowe_Ivy_League_Admissions_Expert_Advice        key-to-success_admissions_success_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Expert_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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.   Its medical school admissions affiliate: Medical School Admissions Advisors. 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.