May Admissions News

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

The time leading up to May 1st can feel stressful for some seniors and, for others, a relief as they leave the college process in the rearview mirror on National Decision Day. At Moon Prep, the past few weeks have been filled with college decision meetings, discussing financial aid and scholarship packages, weighing the pros and cons of every acceptance, including multiple direct medical acceptances with our students. We’ve been sharing a few of our favorite acceptance letters on our Instagram page, if you want to follow where our students are heading.  

This month, we are busy meeting with underclassmen to launch passion projects or finalize exciting summer plans, and with our rising seniors to finalize their college lists and begin their first college essays. Now is the perfect time to add a Moon Prep counselor to your family’s college plan for expert guidance over the application process, deadlines, and essays.

Schedule a complimentary consultation to choose your counselor before we reach the maximum limit for seniors we can accept. Three of our mentors have already reached capacity for the year. Secure your spot today!


BS/MD Admissions Insights

“Did applying test-optional work out for students this year?” As we complete college list meetings with our rising seniors, this is just one of the frequent questions on many parents’ minds. As your child approaches their upcoming admissions cycle, it’s natural to examine the statistics and changes from the past cycle. Our latest Forbes article, Insights From The 2022-23 BS/MD Admissions Cycle, was written as a deep dive into the changes we saw in direct medical applications this past year. 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Following the past direct medical program cancellations at Boston University and Rice University, new programs are beginning to appear on the scene. UC-Merced accepted its inaugural class this year.

  • Interviews were a blend of in-person and online, shifting from the fully-virtual interviews from last year. 

  • The partnered programs through Suny Upstate Medical School followed a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format rather than traditional interviews like past years. 

  • The College of New Jersey’s BS/MD program lowered its minimum requirements to a 31 ACT and 1400 SAT.

Get more insights in our Forbes article. 

Passion Projects

The counselors at Moon Prep are not only focused on college essays and interview prep; we go above and beyond for our underclassmen students too. We concentrate on resume guidance with our younger students, which often includes brainstorming and guiding every step of a passion project. 

The passion projects we complete with our students adds a significant “wow factor” to their applications to their top schools. Universities are looking for more than high grades. For instance, one of our students accepted to Brown’s PLME program this cycle founded a community organization focused on educating local youth about the future career opportunities available in an underserved field of medicine.

We detailed even more passion projects that made a difference in college applications in our article on Forbes, Passion Projects That Admission Officers Loved. 

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!

College Updates For The 2023-24 Admissions Cycle:

Dartmouth University admitted 1,173 regular decision students this year from an applicant pool of 28,841 applicants, an increase of 2%. 

Duke University received 49,469 total applications this year. 8,000 Early Decision applicants were accepted, while 2,141 Regular Decision applicants were accepted, for a total of 16% Early Decision acceptance rate and 5% Regular Decision acceptance rate. The average accepted test scores fell within the 1520-1579 SAT, and 34-35 ACT range, and 75% of students submitted test scores this cycle. While we have previously shared Duke’s decision to remain test-optional next year, we do not have numbers on how many test-optional students were admitted this year. 

Georgetown University received 25,519 applications for Regular Decision and accepted 13% of this applicant pool. Students who were placed on the waiting list will hear a final decision on May 15. University of Southern California received 80,790 applications this year, an increase of 17%. Of this applicant pool, 8,032 students were accepted, for a record low acceptance rate of 9.9%.

Chat GPT

A new technology that has every college talking is Chat GPT. If this is a new phrase to you, it is essentially an artificial intelligence tool to generate written content. People across the internet have been using this tool to create meal prep recipes, travel plans and to write unpleasant emails. There has been a recent buzz about the possibility of students using this new tool for school assignments and even college essays. TechRadar performed an interesting experiment with college assignments at Princeton and Hofstra. 

Here at Moon Prep, we have extremely high standards for the essays our students produce, and we pride ourselves on the essays our students write under our guidance. The truth is that an AI tool could never replicate the authentic details and superb writing we coach our students to aspire to. If you want to add an expert writing coach to your college plan, look no further than Moon Prep. Schedule a complimentary meeting today!

may admissions

Essay Season

As May progresses toward AP/final exams and the start of summer plans, our counselors are busy scheduling the first essay meetings of the admissions cycle. The essays that each student will need to write vary on the colleges on their list and the type of program they are pursuing. 

Here are some frequent questions we receive in prospective meetings:

Q: Why do we need a college counselor, when our high school guidance counselor will review our child’s Personal Statement?

A: There are many more essays beyond the Personal Statement on the Common App! Almost every college on your child’s college list will also ask for supplemental essays. BS/MD programs specifically ask for an average of three essays per school, in addition the essays asked by the undergraduate college. It is very common for our students with 20 colleges (BS/MD included) on their list to be writing 50+ essays- or more!


Q: Why should I sign up now, when the college applications aren’t due until November? We’ll contact you again on October 1. 

A: For the most effective counseling, we need time to create memorable essays together. This comes from getting to know your student and their personality to help craft the best essays to highlight their strengths, rather than crank out dozens of essays last minute. We have seen more acceptance success from the students who work with us on their essays throughout the summer and are able to be less stressed in senior year. Once students start their senior year, their essay-writing time becomes divided between extracurriculars and homework, so our counselors keep students on a schedule to finish the major essays over the summer.

Moon Prep students will be able to attend Application iQ to get a head start this summer. This one-of-a-kind  experience will help guide students (and parents) through the complete BS/MD application process.     

In short, the Moon Prep counselors want to partner with your student to create essays that stand out to colleges. We genuinely care about helping each student tell their story in the most effective and creative way. We brainstorm an extended outline with students, and perform multiple editing rounds, so that each essay is polished to perfection before being submitted. See what it’s like to work with us by scheduling a complimentary meeting, and attend our Crash Course: Learn How To Write An Effective Personal Statement in the meantime.

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: Now that National Decision Day is behind us for seniors, you can spend some free time in the summer searching for external scholarships that can be awarded to current college students, to apply to once you start college. There are fewer of these scholarships available, but don’t be discouraged! Submitting a few essays and applications can be easy money while you are in college.


RTK Scholars Program                                                      due May 31                                  1 award of $1,500

Calling all biology majors! This essay contest award is reserved for students enrolled in biology or environmental science. The short essay topic asks students to use 500-600 words to describe their interests in environmental sciences.  Apply here. 


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