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

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!

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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!

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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?
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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.


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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’ 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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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.  

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

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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.  

What Makes Us Different and Successful – Knowledge

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A common question I am often asked by parents, other educational consultants and even high school college counselors is: What makes our admissions advisory firm different than all the rest?  My explanation is long.  However, the part of the answer that really raises eyebrows pertains to our ability to thoroughly understand our clients in order to refine their personal brand and develop their WOW-Factor so that they can stand out and be accepted to their first-choice private school, boarding school, college and BS/MD program.  Of course, early planning and goal-setting are essential for ultimate success

Now, how do we successfully do this? My team and our unbelievable network of talent including The network brings Now how do we successfully do this? 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.

As we uncover the previously overlooked characteristics or accomplishments of our clients, the intellectual support of our comprehensive knowledge network helps to enhance their qualities, achievements and personal brand.  That may seem like a lot of talent for just getting admitted to the best educational institution, but to my firm and especially to my clients, it’s definitely worth it!

Accepted_College_Admissions_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Independent_Educational_Consultant

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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.  

Different_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_different_unparallel_unmatched_unrivaled

Dr. Paul Lowe Named Official Admissions Expert

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Dr. Paul Lowe has been named the official admissions expert of Party with Moms, a digital media company celebrating and serving thousands of discerning mothers through relevant content. Each week, a different mom tells her story: entrepreneurs, bankers, authors, artists, marketers, doctors, lawyers, decorators and even some celebrities — ALL are MOMS, first and foremost.  PWM offers a parenting column, an early childhood column, a mindful parenting column and a college and private school admissions blog. 

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/boarding schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   

Dr. Lowe and his team embraces Empirical Analytics by using data science, technology, client-case studies, campus-expert panels, their specialized knowledge and insight, and over 23 years of experience to answer questions, navigate challenges, predict outcomes to help their clients make informed decisions that provide results-based admissions success. 

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No other admissions consulting firm, with their team make up, has the historical, experiential and cultural perspectives that allow their clients to consistently win at the admissions game.


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Betting on College Admissions Outcomes

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Do you bet on your child’s educational future?

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The number of students opting to participate in the run for admissions to Ivy League and elite colleges/universities every year hovers around 50,000 to 100,000. With Ivy League schools, more than 90% of applicants, on average, will be rejected.

Yet, year after year, parents bet that they or their children can navigate this process on their own; this, despite affirmations and documentation that students need help with this competitive process.

It’s better not to bet.

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Knowing that the admissions environment changes every year, rather than relying on old data, outdated books, information and tips from chatting with others (“adda”, as it is known in some circles among my clients), you should choose an experienced admissions expert to help.

Don’t’ bet to lose!

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WE DON’T BET: 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_Advisor_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.   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.

Adda is Great in College Admissions (Maybe)

Many of the families we serve participate in Adda.  It’s great for them. Intellectual conversation, exchanging important educational tidbits based on worldly knowledge and information deemed to be exclusive and privileged is used to propel their families forward.  Unfortunately, by definition and practice, Adda equates to collective group thought and perhaps insularity.  Based on diversity and inclusion research, when you are insular in your discussions and decision-making processes, sameness of thought limits your success.

Relying on Adda in the quest to be admitted into highly-selective colleges and BS/MD programs is the antithesis of standing out and is counter to our college admissions Wow Factor concept.  Sounding like everyone else results in rejection decisions.

With Adda, as it applies to college and BS/MD admissions, one might believe that all that is necessary is to call different educational consultants to ask multiple questions, and then share answers.  However, to seasoned professional educational consultants like me, it is obvious that this “strategy” does not work. 

Year after year, tens of thousands of students (other than our clients) are rejected from Ivy League and highly-selective colleges and BS/MD programs.  Perhaps this is what needs to be discussed in Adda.


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.

Different_Dr_Paul_Lowe_Admissions_Advisor_different_unparallel_unmatched_unrivaled

Dr. Lowe and his team of diverse admissions experts provide unrivaled, unmatched and unparalleled admissions advisory and educational research services for their clients. Most importantly, you work DIRECTLY with Dr. Lowe and get the benefits of his entire team. By working with Dr. Lowe, one-on-one, you work with his reputation, his expertise, his experience and his success!

What Parents Need to Know to Succeed at College Admissions?

Parents call us to understand how my firm has a continual level of admissions success.  Why are our clients so happy the day decisions are released?  Let me explain.

We embrace Empirical Analytics by using data, technology, client-case studies, campus-expert panels, our specialized knowledge, 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. 

Simply put, we are the best in the admissions advisory business!  No other admissions consulting firm, with our team make up, has the historical, experiential and cultural perspectives that allow our clients to consistently win at the college admissions game.  We share our perspectives and empirical analytics with our clients which gives them an admissions edge.

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After all, isn’t admissions to Ivy League, highly selective college/universities and BS/MD programs a competition? 

College Admissions is a Competitive Sport.

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Dr. Lowe and his team of diverse admissions experts provide unrivaled, unmatched and unparalleled admissions advisory and educational research services for their clients. Most importantly, you work DIRECTLY with Dr. Lowe and get the benefits of his entire team. By working with Dr. Lowe, one-on-one, you work with his reputation, his expertise, his experience and his success!
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