October Admissions News

By Brandie Erickson October 13, 2023 BS/MD Admissions Consulting Newsletter

With the arrival of October also comes the first college deadlines. The University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, and Stony Brook have October deadlines for direct medical programs. We are officially in essay crunchtime, with less than 30 days until a large majority of deadlines. If you have a senior in your household, now is the time to get help on college essays from an expert Moon Prep essay coach. 

The majority of our team has reached capacity for this admissions cycle; however, we do still have a few openings available with seasoned essay coaches. We are often asked the question about the value of an essay coach. Your essay coach will help you create a map of deadlines, brainstorm outlines for each essay (average of four per BS/MD program!), and complete multiple rounds of offline edits to polish each essay to perfection. Additional tasks include activity lists, managing deadlines, and submitting college applications. 

If your senior could use an expert review of your essays before they hit Submit on their college applications, contact us today for a free consultation to learn about our flexible services while we still have the (very limited!) capacity to help your student.

Here is a list of some of the most popular direct medical programs that have deadlines in mid-October through November 1: 

  • Penn State

  • University of Illinois at Chicago

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City

  • College of New Jersey

  • Drew University

  • New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Rutgers University

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Siena College  

  • Stony Brook University

  • Union College

  • University of Rochester (Early Decision only)

  • Drexel University

  • Temple University

  • University of Pittsburgh

  • Brown University (Early Decision only)

  • Baylor University

  • Virginia Commonwealth University

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

Research = BS/MD?

Many underclassmen ask for our advice on how to build a resume that will stand out to the BS/MD admissions committee, and one of our first suggestions is research. However, it’s important to note that all research experiences are not created equal, and it’s essential to know which research opportunities will have the best return on investment for the time and effort spent. For instance, some parents hear from friends to avoid research programs that cost money, while other families avoid research that is not conducted on a college campus. How do you know which research opportunities are the right move? On the latest podcast episode of the White Coat Club, How Important is Research for BS/MD? we share past research experiences and discuss how to get started with your own projects. You can subscribe on SpotifyAmazon or Apple


October SAT Scores On College Lists? 

At Moon Prep, our counselors carefully help students construct a balanced college list. This year, more seniors than ever are taking the October SAT, hoping to boost their score one last time. As a note of caution: this leaves you with very little time to course-correct and write other supplemental essays before the early November college deadlines. Our advice is to continue to work on the essays for the colleges you already qualify for, and never adjust your college list around an SAT score you hope to achieve on the October exam. A balanced college list with a solid number of Target and Safety schools, not only packed with Reach schools with acceptance rates under 20%, is crucial to your acceptance success. 

Dive into all of our advice on how to achieve this balanced list and weigh your chances with our podcast episode, Building a Strategic College List.


Application Checkpoints

Our students know that when they pursue BS/MD programs, they are essentially applying early to medical school. They are shouldering the weight of resume-building towards what the colleges are looking for, and also what medical schools are looking for. Every volunteer hour, shadowing experience, and HOSA competition is carefully recorded in hopes of standing out. At Moon Prep, we have the unique position of partnering with medical students from all over the country to gain insight into what medical schools are looking for in applications. We’re sharing this knowledge with you in a new YouTube series: Application Reveal: Accepted to Ivy League Med School.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to receive updates on the next Application Reveal videos!

College Updates For The 2023-24 Admissions Cycle:

Essential Admissions Steps

Applying to colleges is not something to leave for the last minute. In addition to sending official SAT/ACT score reports (if the school does not allow you to self-report), and high school transcripts, multiple colleges also require applicants to complete the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR/SSAR). The SRAR/SSAR allows applicants to record and submit courses, grades, and test scores in their application. Multiple colleges we often see on students’ lists require the SRAR/SSAR including: 

  • Baylor University

  • Northeastern University

  • New York University (NYU)

  • Pennsylvania State University

  • Rutgers University

  • University of Pittsburgh

  • University of Florida

Read our recent blog post to make sure you are aware of every school on your list that requires this essential application step. 

Recommendation Letters

This is your final chance to ask teachers for a recommendation letter, since they will need time to compose and submit the letters, among their other job duties. At Moon Prep, we have students send their teachers a resume and a brag sheet as a cover letter, designed to provide teachers with content to use in their recommendation letters. Remember: the earlier, the better when it comes to recommendations! 

Make sure your child knows the recommendation request and submission process- whether their schools use Naviance or Scoir with the Common App.

College Tuition Costs

Parents, this section is for you! In the midst of new ACT/SAT scores and the final countdown to the first college deadlines, make sure you know concrete details about the schools on your child’s list. Our counselors and essay coaches see students add last-minute schools to their list almost weekly, after seeing a ranking for their chosen major or a comment on Reddit. In this last-minute college list shuffle, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on the names of the schools being added and to know the price tag differences between state universities and private colleges. To help navigate the topic of what to expect in college tuition costs, U.S. News published a recent article breaking down college tuition costs for this admissions cycle, See the Average College Tuition in 2023-2024.


Final Demonstrated Interest

This is a short recap of a section from last month, but this is your last call to add demonstrated interest to your college application before you press submit. Demonstrated interest is when a college tracks your activity level, noting whether you have toured the campus or interacted with the materials they have sent you. 

Here is what you can do to earn demonstrated interest in the next few weeks:

  1. Use the email address you plan on applying to their college with (through the Common App or their school application) to sign up for a virtual tour if the college is too far away to physically attend in person. 

  2. Sign up for emails from their admissions office. Regularly open their emails and click the links.

  3. Email the admissions team from your application email, once again, with a question that is not easily found on their website. This can be something like, “Are there often research opportunities on campus for freshmen, or is research reserved more for upperclassmen?” Never send an email asking for information that you could easily find yourself on their website, like “Does your honors program include scholarships


Personal Stories

Many of the families signing up late in the fall right now have many questions about the Personal Statement for the Common Application. They’ve heard advice from school counselors and articles, with everything seeming to be conflicting. Should the essay include resume items, show personal growth, or include humor? Here at Moon Prep, we help our students showcase their personalities and allow the admissions committees to truly “meet” them as applicants. Don’t just take our word for it, though! Georgia Tech’s Executive Director of Undergraduate Admission recently posted on their official blog what he likes to see in the essays. It just so happens to be exactly what we help our students achieve every day at Moon Prep. 

If you would like to add a Moon Prep essay coach to your student’s application efforts this year, this is your last chance! Contact us today for a free consultation and snag one of our final senior spots. 


Didn’t have the productive resume-building summer you had hoped? There’s still time for your resume to shine. Through 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 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.

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. 

ctober financial advice: Begin to gather documents now for the December 1 opening of the FAFSA! The FAFSA previously was open in October, so take advantage of the extra time this fall!

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

Pacific Medical Training Scholarship due November 1                 1 award of $1,000 

Perfect for our BS/MD students! Applicants are chosen from their responses to a 950-word essay discussing emergency medicine. Apply here


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