June Admissions News

By Brandie Erickson June 14, 2023 BS/MD Admissions Consulting Newsletter

June is always a flurry of activity with Moon Prep students as college lists are finalized, the first wave of summer programs arrive, and the first college essays have begun. We love this time of year as we help students find their voice and showcase their personalities on the page. Our SAT and ACT tutors are meeting with students before exam dates for those essential final tips and tricks, and our financial aid experts are meeting with students about scholarships and out-of-state tuition costs. 

Our counselors also have their calendars full of prospective student meetings with families who know the importance of starting the college application process early for the best success. We cannot stress enough how vital it is not to wait to sign up – last admissions cycle, we reached full capacity.

And now there is an extra incentive to sign up early. Open only to Moon Prep students, Application iQ is an application boot camp that runs all summer long. 

It is a great way to make the most of your summer, by getting an early start on applications and essays! Schedule a complimentary consultation to get started with Moon Prep and register for App IQ.


2022-2023 In Review

The Moon Prep counselors spent the past month reviewing our internal acceptances and student profiles to gain insight into the admissions trends we witnessed to better help our incoming seniors find admissions success. Some of the major trends we saw in play were published in our recent article in Forbes, 11 College Trends From The 2022-2023 Cycle

Part of this review process is also reliving some of our favorite moments with our 2023 graduates. In fact, we’ve shared a few of our favorite acceptance letters on our Instagram page if you want to see where some of our students are heading. We are so proud of the Moon Prep class of 2023! 

As we begin to guide our seniors in writing their essays, it’s fun to look back over the most unique essays of the year, namely:

  1. One student framed her essay around how she wrote a podcast script for her own podcast, sharing details of her personality and background along the way.

  2. Many students volunteer their time in soup kitchens or hospitals serving low-income community members, but one student wrote his essay about taking these volunteer experiences a step further by writing a cookbook filled with nutritious meals that can be made from food bank staple items. 

  3. In an inspired way to make local news events engaging to the youth in her community, one student shares how she pours her opinions and passion for local government changes in a surprising medium: a puppetry stage.   

If you are a rising senior who could use some help writing your college essay  that truly stands out, contact us for a complimentary Zoom meeting to learn more about our services.


A Digital SAT

During the last admissions cycle, many students found it increasingly difficult to achieve the SAT score they anticipated. And while the traditional college admissions world may be leaning toward test-optional these days, the most elite schools (looking at you, MIT!) and many direct medical programs still require the SAT/ACT to be able to determine the most high-achieving applicants. For now, the SAT/ACT is still a hoop that students aiming for the highest programs need to jump through.  

Likely to retain test-takers, College Board (the organization that creates and administers the SAT) will be making a full transition away from the traditional paper exam to a digital format. These changes hope to offer more flexibility to take the exam in a less stressful environment and allow students to achieve their intended results. Lindsey, one of our expert SAT tutors and Nicole, a former school counselor, sat down together on our White Coat Club podcast to discuss the changes ahead of students in regard to the SAT digital format. Watch the podcast here

Interestingly, the ACT has also just announced their plan to expand the digital version of their test beginning December 2023. The changes are mostly centered around accommodating different learning styles and increasing visibility on the screen. This article on Higher Ed Dive has all the details we know about the pilot program.


A Summer Full of Essays!

Many parents are shocked at the number of essays a senior will need to write. Many parents assume their child will be writing the big Personal Statement that everyone knows about and then a couple of extra small essays about leadership that they will be able to reuse. The truth is, students applying for direct medical programs often apply to at least 20 schools and have 40+ essays ahead of them. Simply put: specialized programs (even Honors programs) require students to write more essays. 

Thankfully, Moon Prep has you covered. Register for our Crash Course, How To Write The Supplemental Essays, and sign up for our Webinar on June 28: How To Write A Winning Personal Statement for College. 


Summer Passion Projects

Summer is not only meant for shadowing opportunities and research programs; it’s the perfect time for underclassmen to launch a passion project. Passion projects are the perfect way for students to create a “theme” across a few items on their resume. In fact, we have an upcoming webinar on June 15 covering exactly What BS/MD Candidates Need To Do This Summer. 

Since the counselors at Moon Prep focus our time with younger students concentrated on resume guidance, this often involves brainstorming and guiding many steps of a passion project. We even have an Independent Projects mentor on staff ready to work with students on producing a passion project that will add a “wow” factor to their college applications. In his specialized role, Andy helps students from start to finish to publish their own book or even release a CD of music. Read more about past passion projects from our students.

Some of our favorite past passion projects include:

  • Publishing a handwashing ABC’s guide to be distributed to elementary schools and preschool programs in other countries during the pandemic

  • Producing a CD of original jazz music to bring into local retirement communities

  • Repurposing ropes and hand grips from rock climbing gyms into dog chew toys to donate to animal shelters

  • Publishing a book about a STEM after-school program’s favorite science experiments to duplicate at home

Read more details on these projects and see even more examples that made a difference in college applications in our article on CollegeXpress, 5 Real Passion Projects That Admission Officers Loved.


College Updates For The 2023-24 Admissions Cycle:

Boston University received a new record number of 80,492 applications, admitting 3,162 students for an acceptance rate of just 10.7%. 

Penn State Schreyer Honors Program is an option many of our students have on their list as they also submit applications for Penn State’s direct medical program. This admissions cycle, the Honors Program alone received 3,690 total applications this year, sending out just over 900 acceptances, and receiving 302 confirmed incoming students as Scholars. Just as a note on this program that we share with our students- students can be accepted to both the direct medical program and Honors, but they can only accept one offer.

University of Washington received a total of 62,400 applications, and admitted 26,000 students for an admit rate of 51% for Washington residents and 40% for out-of-state applicants.   

Iona University increased their student enrollment by 30%, increasing the seats in its Honors program to accommodate the number of interested students. The average GPA for incoming Honors students was 3.97, and an average SAT score of roughly 1230.  

University of Pittsburgh is offering a new opportunity for students interested in Pharmacy. The Pharmacy Innovation Experience and Research program will run every Monday evening for 5 weeks: July 3 to July 31. Final registration date is June 15! The best part? No fee to attend! Students attend weekly webinars and activities, and work in teams through patient cases outside the webinar sessions, mentored by current Pitt Pharmacy students. 


Summer Opportunities Still Accepting Applications The majority of summer application deadlines have long passed. However, students interested in research can still spend their summer working one-on-one with a research mentor through Rising Researchers. 


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. 

May financial advice: The Decision Day frenzy of commitments and acceptances tells us that many students were applying to schools they could not afford to see where they could get accepted. This is why it is so important to discuss money and tuition early! 

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

Joy Cappel Scholarship, $2,500                                                                          2 awards, due July 20                   

This scholarship is the perfect platform to practice for your future Brown video essay, since this award is reserved specifically for applicants in any life science field and requires a short video response to the prompt: “What do you consider to be the most important scientific breakthrough?” Apply here.


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