April Admissions News

By Brandie Erickson April 12, 2023 BS/MD Admissions Consulting Newsletter

With April 1 comes many of those final college decisions that students have been waiting on before making their final decisions before the universal deadline of May 1. 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. We know there is so much to consider when choosing a college, from ensuring resume-building opportunities as students pursue medical school to double-checking the fine print of each scholarship offer. 

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 Target and Safety options among the Reach schools on your list, instead of filling your college list with primarily Reach schools. College admissions are only getting more competitive each year!

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.


You’re Accepted – Now What?

With National Decision Day just ahead of us on May 1, students often feel overwhelmed by the number of steps ahead and the pressure to not forget any crucial step. While receiving emails from admitted colleges requesting deposits for housing and enrollment commitment, it can be difficult to decipher which steps are essential. Bucknell University recently published a complete guide to steps after receiving an acceptance letter.


Recent Moon Prep Articles:

Apple News: How Test-Optional Policies Are Impacting College Acceptances

Forbes: Tech-Focused Summer Programs For High School Students

College Updates For The 2023-24 Admissions Cycle:

Brown University announced a record of 51,302 applications this year, a one percent increase from the last cycle. Brown will have made 1,730 Regular Decision offers in addition to the 879 Early Decision admission offers. They experienced a 5% overall admit rate, with a 3.8% admit rate for Regular Decision.

NYU released the acceptance rate for its main campus, which reached a record 8%. There was a significant rise in applications from the previous admissions cycle behind this acceptance rate, with a 13% increase in overall applications. There was an average SAT score of 1540 across the incoming first-year class.  

Emory University released its Regular Decision acceptance data, with 8.4% of its 29,330 applicants admitted. An additional 5,663 applicants were placed on the waitlist, plus the 199 waitlisted applicants from the EDII application round. Notable statistics from the Regular Decision numbers include the average SAT score for admitted students was 1515 and 36% of RD admitted students submitted scores. Emory will remain test optional for the next admissions cycle. 

Rice University announced a record-low acceptance rate of 7.7% of its 31,049 total applications, almost a full percent lower than the previous admissions cycle. 21% of admitted students submitted a standardized test score in their application.

Vanderbilt University admitted 4.2% of its total application pool of 41,501. For this incoming class profile, over 94% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class, with the average SAT score falling between 1520 and 1580, or 34-36 for the ACT.  

Colgate University released acceptances to 11.6% of its 21,127 applicants. Interestingly, 37% of applicants submitted SAT/ACT scores, while 56% of students who were ultimately admitted submitted test scores. Colgate will also remain test optional through 2026. 

Colby College accepted 7% of its 17,800 applications. The average SAT score for accepted students was 1500, while the average ACT score was 34. 90% of applicants ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class.

Ivy Day 

The final top college notifications officially wrapped a few days ago on March 30, or “Ivy Day.” Ivy Day is traditionally known as the long-awaited decision day for students who submitted Regular Decision applications to the Ivy League colleges. 

Most Moon Prep students have a combination of BS/MD and Ivy Leagues on their college list. Since our direct medical applicants are often outstanding scholars, they are also competitive Ivy League applicants. One interesting fact is that Brown University is the only Ivy college that offers a BS/MD program. Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) has a 2% acceptance rate and is one of the most popular BS/MD programs among our students. This year, one of our students is part of that 2% acceptance!


UC Application Insight

In recent years, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Irvine have topped our students’ lists of favorite traditional colleges. Our students are always eager for insider information into what the UC schools are looking for in their applications. One of those reasons is the essays: the UC Application asks students for four shorter essays, allowing students more opportunities to stand out compared to the longer single Personal Statement required by the Common App. Now, UC Irvine has released a podcast diving into the admissions process of their school with the executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Rejections > Acceptances?

Year after year we have witnessed admissions rates dropping and colleges becoming steadily more competitive. There is definite truth to the media sources who have been reporting the increased selectivity of colleges across the country. If you or a student in your house is in the midst of experiencing “application rejection” woes, it’s important to remember a few factors:

  • There is a human aspect to college admissions. Admissions counselors are reading each application and essay, and those admissions counselors are subject to having rough days and feeling tired, just like any other profession. 

  • With so many applications coming in, college admissions officers often have only a few minutes to spend per application. They simply do not have the time to spend to get to know each applicant in great depth. 

  • Yield protection is a real factor. Colleges need to protect their application numbers by being able to produce a high acceptance rate for the admissions offers they extend. If your “Why Us” essay did not convince the admissions staff, they have no reason to think you would attend their school.  

All of these reasons and more are behind the reasons we stress the importance of building a balanced college list in the beginning. And if you’re a junior, those discussions should begin now. Review our Building a Strategic College List resource before scheduling a meeting with your Moon Prep counselor.

UC + Community College Pathway

There is great news ahead for students looking to attend a school in the University of California system but also looking to streamline their general education credits or save on overall tuition costs. Community college students will now have a guaranteed admissions pathway after completing their general education credits and meeting a minimum GPA. Students pursuing this new pathway can choose between UC Riverside, Merced or Santa Cruz. Read more on ABC

Moon Prep is proud to announce a newly-designed research opportunity with Rising Researchers! Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one on a customizable research project with our expert research mentors. Students work virtually while still performing cutting-edge research under the guidance of a research mentor. Our research mentors are experienced in the direct medical and traditional medical admissions process and will guide students on how to showcase this unique research experience. The goal is to give these ambitious students an edge by adding advanced research, data analysis, and a publication to their resumes.

Here’s what you need to know:

How long is the program? 10 sessions, completed over a 4 month period.

When does it start? Projects can begin at any time, even during the school year. Students can register in advance to secure their spot with a research mentor of their choice. 

Who is this program for? Our students are rising 9th graders through college students.

What is the end result? Students work with their research mentor to complete a research paper and poster, ultimately resulting in publication in the Rising Researchers Journal.

What is the curriculum? The project is fully tailored and customizable to each student, but we do have a syllabus of course objectives. 

No other research experience available offers the level of close mentorship and project guidance as our research mentors. Schedule your complimentary session today to learn more about the details of adding a Rising Researchers research project to your child’s college resume. 

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 are the details:

When does the program start? Every Wednesday (7/19 – 8/30), 7:00-8:30p ET/4:00-5:30p PT. It is 7 weeks long – meeting 1x a week 

What is the investment? Free (live sessions), Paid (offline editing of essays)

Free: Moon Prep students can attend the live sessions for free. Sessions are via Zoom, interactive, and will assist students in getting a head start on their applications and essays in a structured environment

Paid: After each session, students will receive homework and work independently on drafts of their essays. All students are paired with a counselor/essay coach when they sign up. The offline essay edits/feedback will be billed at the hourly rate at sign up. 

What topics are covered? The course syllabus and learning objectives can be found here

Current Moon Prep students can register here.
Not a Moon Prep student yet? Schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about our affordable services. 

April financial advice: This is your final college decision month, when it is most crucial to closely evaluate your financial aid package. Our advice on loans? Avoid the Parent Plus loan. The interest rate is higher than rates you can find at private banking institutions. 

Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship, due May 2

1 award of $10,000/5 awards of $5,000

Perfect for our pre-med and BS/MD students, this award is reserved for students enrolled in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or another life science. The short essay topic asks students to discuss antibody validation. Apply here.


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