April Admissions News

By Brandie Erickson April 10, 2024 BS/MD Admissions Consulting Newsletter


With Ivy Day (March 28) just behind us, this is an exciting time in the admissions cycle, as direct medical wrap up their final interview dates and some of the most highly-anticipated acceptances are sent out. Here at Moon Prep, the counselors are busy scheduling final college meetings to help our students weigh the pros and cons of their top acceptances and decipher their final financial aid offers.

For juniors, April is an essential time to schedule college list meetings with their counselors. Since the direct medical programs we specialize in are some of the most competitive programs in the college admissions world, we cannot stress enough how important it is to have a balanced college list. We recommend including a combination of Safety, Target and Reach options. Since most direct medical programs would be considered a Reach for all students,  having balance is essential. College admissions are getting more competitive each year, and we are seeing those results more than ever with our seniors this spring!

Want a college admissions expert to help you build a balanced college list? Schedule a complimentary meeting to learn how a Moon Prep counselor can help with every step of the college application process. In the meantime, check out our free downloadable resource, Building a Strategic College List, to get started in the right direction. 

Did you know you can listen to BS/MD advice while you drive to work? We not only release videos on our YouTube channel, but we’ve also launched a podcast called The White Coat Club.


Admissions Projections
There is no better way to prepare for the future than to analyze the data from the past. We’ve done this in our recent Forbes article, Early Admissions Trends In The 2023/24 Application Cycle, summarizing the insights we saw in the 2024 admissions cycle. From increasing number of applications, more diversity of applicants, and changing test-optional policies, we cover all of the must-know updates to help rising seniors prepare for their upcoming college applications.

Independent Counselors
In our recent podcast episode, Should You Work With An Independent College Counselor? we dive into the details of what it looks like to work with an independent counselor offering insights to help you envision how this addition can enhance your student’s college planning process. 

Applying to Ivy Colleges
Moon Prep works with some of the top students in the country as they pursue direct medical programs. Naturally, we see many Ivy schools topping college lists. In our latest CollegeXpress Ask The Experts article, What Makes an Ivy League Degree So Valuable?, we share our advice for considering why adding Ivy schools to a college list can be a good admissions move for the right student. 

Financial Aid Packages
This time of year for graduating seniors is always filled with final college acceptances and decisions. Cost is often a large factor in these deliberations, and we have seen a financial aid offer make or break an acceptance. But are these financial aid offers flexible? Should the letter be sent after an enrollment deposit? Our latest article on Forbes, 5 Steps To Negotiate More Financial Aid, includes our advice on when it is encouraged to ask for a financial aid package to be re-negotiated and what factors go into negotiating a financial assistance appeal letter.


Common App Prompts

In case you missed the update, the Common Application has confirmed the 2024–2025 Common App essay prompts, which remain unchanged from the last admissions cycle:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

The Spring and Summer are filled with exciting educational opportunities at Moon Prep. Mark your calendars and do not miss out, as space is limited.

Project iQ starts 4/10/24

As a new offering to our Moon Prep students, underclassmen are invited to a boot camp created to guide their resume in the right direction. In five weekly sessions, students will learn to view the activities on their resume through the perspective of admission officers, standing out from their peers with a clear road map to their top colleges. Attendees will also walk through real examples from successful past Moon Prep students. This boot camp is for students in grades 7-11 searching for that X factor on their college applications. 

Here’s what you need to know:

This opportunity is open to registered Moon Prep students only.

Schedule: Every Wednesday (4/10 – 5/8), 7:00 – 8:15 ET/4:00-5:15 PT

What is the investment? 

Free (live sessions), Paid (offline work with your counselor/mentor)

What topics are covered? 

The course syllabus and learning objectives can be found here

Current Moon Prep students can register here.


AppIication iQ starts 7/18/24

Want one more reason to join Moon Prep? Now, our rising seniors have a direct medical college application “boot camp” included in their Moon Prep experience! This summer, our rising seniors will be attending sessions covering the intricate BS/MD application process, including strategies for the medical-focused essay questions. Over seven sessions, students will get a valuable head start on their college applications and essays in a structured, supportive environment. Students receive eBooks, templates, and sample essays to help guide them through the application process. 

Application iQ is an experience like no other and will help guide students (and parents) through the complete BS/MD application process. 

Here’s what you need to know:

This opportunity is open to registered Moon Prep students only.

Schedule: Every Thursday (7/18 – 8/29), 7:00-8:30p ET/4:00-5:30p PT 

What is the investment? 

Free (live sessions), Paid (offline editing of essays and activity lists)

What topics are covered? 

The course syllabus and learning objectives can be found here

Current Moon Prep students can register here.


Rising Researchers Camp – 3 new sessions this summer!

Work in a small class cohort under the guidance of an experienced research mentor this summer. Each live session is held virtually via Zoom. All camp options have clear deliverables: research publication, poster presentation, and certificate of completion.

Session 1Microbial Bioinformatics – Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Research

  • 5/21 – 6/20 at 7:30pm EST (4:30pm PST) 
  • Join Dr. Jedy as she leads students through studying microbiology (bacteria and viruses!) using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Students will gain exposure to bioinformatics databases used by scientists.  

Session 2Medical Bioinformatics – Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Research

  • 6/18 – 7/25 at 4:30pm EST (1:30pm PST)
  • Join Dr. Jedy as she leads students through studying medical diseases in humans using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Students will gain exposure to bioinformatics databases used by scientists.  

Session 3  – Social Determinants Of Health In Cardiovascular Disease

  • 6/26 – 7/27 at 5:00pm EST (2:00pm PST)
  • Join Loren as she explains the role of social determinants in public health and how they can impact heart health. Students will be led through key background readings and walked through writing each part of a scientific article. 

Early Bird discounts + Moon Prep student discounts are available. Learn more and register here.

College Application Number Updates:

UPenn will remain test optional and will not require ACT or SAT test results for the upcoming application cycle.

Boston University received 78,634 applications, 6,916 of which were collected during ED rounds. Approximately 3,200 students were accepted, and 42% of applicants submitted test scores to be considered.  

Brown University will reinstate the requirement that first-year applicants will submit standardized test scores, as well as continue the Early Decision practice. 

Boston College accepted 15% of the 35,475 applications received between the Early and Regular Decision rounds. For the next admissions cycle, the school will remain test-optional.. 

Johns Hopkins received 38,100 and admitted 1,749 students in Regular Decision. 

The University of Richmond accepted 22% of the 16,000 applications this cycle. 

UT Austin reinstated a standardized test policy for future applicants after having been test-optional since 2020. The school received 73,000 applications, with approximately 90% of applicants submitting test scores for a median SAT score of 1420.  

Tulane’s accepted statistics reflected an average unweighted GPA of 3.8 and an average test score of 1490 on the SAT or 33 ACT. 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has renewed the test-optional admissions policy for the upcoming year, with the exception of the BS/MD program. 

MIT experienced a 5% increase in applications, for a total of 28,000 applications. Approximately 1,100 acceptances were extended, with more than 600 students placed on the waitlist. 

The University of Georgia recently admitted 15,900 applicants while waitlisting 3,620 and denying over 22,200 students. 

Fordham has confirmed the acceptance of approximately 2,500 out of the pool of 43,885 applicants. A total of 72% of applicants applied without test scores, 65% of accepted applicants.

April financial advice: Don’t miss out on filling out the FAFSA and the CSS Profile for on-campus need-based aid. The FAFSA can also qualify you for work-study programs on campus.

Want more tips like this? Sign up for our free Scholarships and Financial Aid Crash Course.

April scholarship advice: For juniors, April is the perfect month to begin building a list of outside scholarships to apply to during senior year. This is easy to do for a few hours each week; that will not take away from your studying for finals and AP exams like starting your college essays might. This is the perfect College To-Do item to start early!


Stay Connected  

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