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College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

by

College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xii

Foreword xvi

 

PART I  THE BIG PICTURE

1. DON’T SKIP THIS CHAPTER! 3

Getting into college is not as hard as it looks— the real challenges and opportunities

2. IS THERE A “SECRET” TO ADMISSION? 12

There is no “secret,” but it’s not random ■ Understanding what colleges

want ■ The perfect candidate may be imperfect— but authentic

 

PART II GETTING ORGANIZED

3. THE 9TH AND 10TH GRADES: BEFORE YOU BEGIN . . . 19

When and how to start ■ Dialing down the anxiety

4. COLLEGE COUNSELORS AND ADVISORS 27

The high school counselor, a powerful advocate for the student ■

Private counselors— the benefits and drawbacks ■ How colleges interact

with counselors ■ Overpackaged applicants

 

PART III BECOMING COLLEGE- BOUND

5. THE ACADEMIC RECORD 51

The cornerstone of the application ■ Defining a challenging curriculum ■

How to select courses ■ Course work options: electives, honors courses,

international baccalaureate programs, and advanced placement classes ■

How many APs? ■ Grades and the GPA ■ Class ranking ■ Grade

inflation ■ How colleges evaluate your grades and courses ■ Achieving

balance between high grades, demanding courses, and personal time

6. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 66

The myths about extracurricular activities ■ Beyond the classroom: sports,

community service, summer programs, school clubs and activities, jobs and work

experience, international programs ■ Activity lists and resumes ■ What colleges

are really looking for ■ Depth versus breadth, passion, leadership, and hooks ■

The strategy that works: pursuing genuine interests ■ Well rounded or specialist

■ How students can figure out who they are and what really interests them

7. TAKING THE TESTS 82

Standardized testing: the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests ■

The National Merit Scholarship Program ■ What the tests evaluate ■ When to

test ■ Making a testing plan ■ Optimal preparation ■ Coaching: does it work?

■ Test- taking techniques ■ Testing reasonably: how many times to take the test

■ Test- optional schools ■ Scores ■ How colleges view standardized tests ■

The controversy surrounding standardized testing

 

PART IV  WHERE TO APPLY

8. CREATING AN INITIAL LIST OF COLLEGES 109

The four- step strategy for creating your initial list ■ Evaluating the student and

the schools ■ Researching the schools ■ Information sources and selection

criteria ■ Covering all the bases with “statistical reach,” “ possible,” “probable,”

and “solid” schools ■ Rankings— the controversy, the benefits, the pitfalls ■

Selectivity— where a student fits into a school competitively ■ How to think

about cost ■ Reference guide overview ■ How to get started and when to stop

adding to your list

9. COLLEGE VISITS 137

When to visit ■ Tours, group information sessions, overnight stays, meetings with

faculty or coaches, and classroom visits ■ Setting up appointments ■ Campus visit

etiquette ■ Getting off the beaten path on campus ■ Questions to ask tour guides

and admission officers ■ The proper role for parents

10. TURNING YOUR INITIAL LIST INTO YOUR APPLICATION LIST:

THE EIGHT TO TEN COLLEGES WHERE YOU WILL APPLY 155

Identifying patterns that show where a student will thrive ■ Balancing what

students want with where they fit ■ Assessing a student’s chances of admission ■

The “right” number of schools to apply to ■ Balancing the list ■ Demonstrated

interest ■ Don’t get hung up on the “name game” ■ The right school isn’t always

obvious

 

PART V APPLYING

11. COLLEGE INTERVIEWS 171

Informational versus evaluative interviews ■ Admission offi ce interviews ■

Alumni interviews ■ Scheduling ■ What happens step by step ■ What not to

wear ■ Critical preparation ■ Questions to ask ■ Admission offi ce etiquette

12. RECOMMENDATIONS 189

The role recommendations play in admission ■ FERPA— waiving privacy

rights ■ Whom to ask ■ How to ask ■ Supplemental recommendations ■

Follow- up

13. ESSAYS 202

What colleges look for ■ Self- reflection is critical ■ Basic writing advice ■

The long essay or personal statement ■ The sh*#@ty fi rst draft and the nine drafts

that follow ■ Short essays ■ Dos and don’ts ■ Plagiarism ■ How much help is

too much ■ How the essay shows a student is a good match for a school

14. THE APPLICATION FORM 223

The infrastructure of the admission fi le ■ The Common Application ■ Mistakes

to avoid ■ Information integrity ■ Criminal convictions and disciplinary actions

■ Last- minute must- dos ■ Submission of supplemental materials ■ What your

signature means ■ Deadlines

 

PART VI TIMING

15. DECISION PLANS 243

When to apply ■ Regular decision ■ Rolling admission ■ Early action ■

Restricted early admission ■ Early decision I and II ■ Who should apply early

■ Who should not apply early ■ Early programs and financial aid ■ The colleges’

philosophy and strategy behind early programs ■ What it means to sign on the

dotted line ■ Options for students deferred or denied under early plans

 

PART VII PAYING

16. FINANCIAL AID 265

Does my family qualify for aid? ■ Financial aid calculators and getting

an early estimate of what you will pay ■ Need- based aid ■ FAFSA ■

CSS Profile ■ Merit- based aid and scholarships ■ How to find merit aid ■

Scholarship search services ■ Scams ■ Deadlines ■ The financial aid package:

grants, loans, work- study ■ Evaluating your financial aid awards ■ Financial

planning ■ How to ask for more aid ■ Glossary of terms

 

PART VIII DECIDING

17. NOTIFICATION AND MAKING THE DECISION 301

You’re in ■ How to decide: return visits, problem solving, and other decisionmaking

tools ■ Waitlist strategies ■ Denials ■ A gap year ■ Dealing with

disappointment ■ Senioritis: don’t succumb ■ Sharing the news ■ A final

checklist ■ The last steps: the reply, the deposit, the thank- yous

 

PART IX SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

18. STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL TALENTS 319

Athletes: Division I, II, and III programs ■ Timing ■ Creating the list of schools

■ Scholarships ■ National Letters of Intent ■ Artists: Deciding between an arts

program and an arts school ■ Submission of supplementary materials ■

Artistic review

19. STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES 335

Students with learning differences or physical or emotional challenges ■

Home- schooled students: Providing a narrative for the transcript ■ Testing

■ Demonstrating academic readiness ■ Accommodations ■ Disclosure ■

Documentation ■ Making the right match ■ Undocumented students: The

challenges: researching your possibilities, completing the application, financial

aid, where to go for help ■ Legacies and major donors: Special consideration ■

Etiquette for those with family ties ■ Influence and its implications

20. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 347

Navigating the American college system ■ Testing ■ Credential evaluation ■

Financial aid ■ Advice for foreign nationals applying from U.S. high schools and

U.S. citizens applying from abroad

21. TRANSFERS 357

Making the case for making a change: testing, essays, interviews, and letters of

recommendation ■ Eligibility, articulation agreements, and transfer of credits

 

PART X APPENDICES

I TIMELINE: THE PATH TO COLLEGE 369

II A RECOMMENDED COURSE OF STUDY 374

III WORKSHEETS 376

IV RESOURCES 380

V SAT/ACT CONCORDANCE TABLES 385

Notes 387

Index 000

 

CHAPTER 15

 

Pay Attention When Early Plans Are Discussed

You may hear early action and early decision lumped together and discussed under the single heading of “early programs.” This is appropriate at times. For example, depending on the colleges on your list, your consideration of whether to apply early may encompass early action and an early decision option. But EA and ED are very different plans, with distinct rules, requirements, deadlines, and notification dates. Each has advantages or disadvantages depending on the applicant. In addition, the schools to which you are applying may offer both EA and ED plans. And deadlines and notification dates can be different from school to school, with some schools offering both EA and ED or even multiple rounds of

EA or ED. Pay close attention to the designation of the plan being discussed and the specific details of the decision plans at each college on your list as you consider where, when, and if you will apply under an early plan.

 

Restrictive Early Action

This option is offered by only a handful of colleges, but if a school you are interested in happens to be one of them, then you need to understand it.

Restrictive early action is a nonbinding plan where students apply to a first- choice school early and receive an early decision. Students have until May 1 to respond to an offer of admission. You may apply to other colleges under regular or nonbinding rolling admission plans, but may not apply to any other school under early action, early decision, or REA. Students should check the website of any college where they are applying REA to understand if there are further restrictions. There are three outcomes under restrictive early action: acceptance, denial, and deferral. If accepted, the student has until May 1 to respond. If deferred, the student’s application is moved to the regular decision pool for later

consideration. If you are deferred, you should follow the advice on page 250 for students who are deferred under early decision plans. If you are denied under REA, you cannot reapply for consideration under RD.

 

You Don’t Have to Jump on the Early Bandwagon

“I want to apply early— I just don’t know where.” If that’s how you’re thinking about this, think again. Students report a lot of pressure to apply early. It comes from peers, parents, newspaper headlines— and sometimes it comes from oneself. In October of senior year, it may seem like everyone is jumping on the early bandwagon. But there is nothing wrong with sitting out this round and opting for more time and the greater choice it allows. There are distinct advantages to waiting and applying regular decision. Before you jump on the early bandwagon, seriously consider whether it’s right for you. We’ve provided a list of questions to help you figure that out on page 250.

 

Does Applying Early Improve My Chances?

Whether applying early improves your chances is the wrong question. The better question is: “For the colleges on my list, am I a suitable candidate for an early program and do I want to take advantage of that option?” After all, it’s not really an advantage to be accepted early at a school if you haven’t decided you really want to go there. That said, we know you would like us to try to answer this question. Unfortunately, the answer is that it’s situational and complicated— and involves a lot of inside baseball about the college admission office. Here it is:

Whether or not there is an advantage to applying early will vary from school to school and from applicant to applicant at each school. At schools that want to fill their classes with students who have made a commitment to the college through

early decision or made it clear that they are sincerely interested by submitting their application through early action, there may be an advantage. But at other schools, applying early will make no difference. You just apply earlier and find out earlier. For some schools, the early plan may be the most competitive part of the admission cycle; at others, it could be the least competitive. For example, when the admit rate for early applications is higher than the admit rate under regular decision, you can’t necessarily conclude that there is an advantage. It may be that the candidates were stronger statistically, or that they just happened to meet other institutional priorities of the college. Students who apply early are often statistically among the strongest students a college will admit— these students are not relying on first- semester senior- year grades and November scores to boost their candidacy. Also, special- circumstance groups— such as athletes or

legacies— may be steered toward the early pool, which can skew the statistics in a way that is difficult to sort out without a lot of inside information. One thing is for sure: applying early is no solution for weak grades or other problems a student may have. As Wesleyan dean of admission Nancy Meislahn has said, “Applying early does not have a Rumpelstiltskin effect: you can’t spin C’s into A’s.” As you can see, for every generalization about applying early creating an advantage, there are many exceptions. Because of this, it’s important that students and families not use an early plan merely to game the system. Applying early as a strategy works only if you know it’s your first- choice school and if you definitely want to go there— and then it’s not a strategy but a natural

outgrowth of your interest.

 

KNOW THE JARGON . . .

Admit Rate

The admit rate is the percentage of applicants admitted by a college among those who applied. The admit rate is calculated by dividing the number of students admitted to a college by the number of students who applied to that college.

 

ADVANTAGES Rolling Admission, Early Action, and Restrictive

Early Action Plans Have These Advantages in Common:

• An early answer without a required commitment to enroll.

• Unrestricted choice.

• Time. You have until May 1 so are able to consider all your options as decisions come in from other schools to which you have applied.

• An acceptance takes some of the pressure off and a denial allows you to move on and concentrate on the other schools on your list, any one of which you should be happy to attend.

• Students and their families have the opportunity to consider and compare financial aid awards from multiple schools and weigh that information into their choice.

 

Students: Do the Right Thing

You have applied under early action, rolling admission, or restrictive early action and you’re in. Congratulations. We now encourage you to do the right thing. If you know you will not enroll at some of the other colleges on your list, don’t apply to them. Go back through that original list and cross off those schools. Or if you’ve already sent in your applications, let those colleges know your plans. Don’t collect trophies in the form of admission letters from colleges you will never  attend.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Some colleges very much want to make their case to you even if you have been admitted to another college under rolling admission, early action, or restrictive early action. If there are schools on your list you can still imagine you might attend, feel welcome to keep your options alive provided you are open to the case those colleges will make. And if you need to compare financial aid or merit scholarship awards, you will definitely want to proceed with applications to the other schools on your list.

As you can see, this isn’t simple. But matters of integrity rarely are. Think carefully, and for any school where you would just be collecting another acceptance letter, let that college know your decision as soon as possible so they can offer your seat to another student who wants to attend.

 

EARLY DECISION

Early decision plans require careful consideration, because they are binding. Students apply to one school early, are notified of a decision early, and agree to enroll if admitted. If you are applying ED, you are saying that you are positive that this school is your first choice and that you will enroll if accepted. There are three possible outcomes in early decision: acceptance, denial, or deferral. If you are accepted ED, you must immediately withdraw any applications you have submitted to other schools. You can notify the colleges by email, but make sure your email is acknowledged. If it is not acknowledged, follow up your email with a letter and save a copy for your records. If you have been accepted at a school with rolling admission in the meantime, let that college know immediately

that you will not enroll. If you are deferred under early decision, you will be reconsidered with the regular pool of applicants. You do not have to reapply. Our best advice if you’re deferred: update your application. Colleges will typically have a form that requests any new information on grades, testing, extracurricular activities, or achievements. You should also send an email or letter indicating that you are still very interested in attending the college, highlighting for the admission office anything new in your life. If the college says they will welcome

additional information, consider sending in an additional essay or a class paper you’re proud of. If you are denied early decision, you will not be reconsidered. This may seem harsh, with the denial coming right around the holidays. But accept it as valuable guidance. The school is sending you a strong signal

early on that you’re not in the running and will be best served by placing your attention elsewhere— on your applications to the other wonderful schools on your list. An early decision plan is a great alternative for those students who are in a position to use it properly. Because it is binding, you will need to carefully consider the following:

• Have you fully investigated your options by researching the schools on your list early, and spent a significant amount of time on at least several of their campuses?

• Is the college to which you are applying ED your first choice? In other words, of all the places that you are applying, would you definitely enroll here even if you got in everywhere? And have you felt this way for a period of time, not just a couple of days?

• Have you visited the college, observed classes, and had an overnight stay, if

possible?

• Do you change your mind easily about what you like and what is important to you?

• Do you understand how your grades and test scores fit into the college’s academic profile?

• Do you understand how the college implements its ED plan? For example, of

the students they are seeking who have a strong desire to attend, are they focusing on those who are the most competitive academically, or those who are at the bottom of their academic profile?

 

ADVANTAGES Early Decision

• Colleges want students who will be thrilled to be there. Applying ED lets the college know you have decided it’s the one you most want to attend.

• Cost savings. If you are accepted ED, you’ve fi led just one application and paid only one fee (although you will want to have your other applications ready to go, just in case).

• A less stressful senior year. ED frees students from the anxiety of waiting to hear from multiple schools.

• Once you are admitted, you can start getting to know the school where you will spend the next four years— bonding and networking with the college and your classmates via social media and admitted student visits.

• You are done! Enjoy your senior year.

 

If you are applying early under any decision plan, you should proceed with preparing your applications to the other schools on your list as though your early application did not exist. But you may want to wait to press send on your regular decision applications until you learn whether or not you’ve been admitted early.

 

Does Early Decision Fill Most of the Seats in the Freshman Class?

“The college you’re applying to has filled half its freshman class with early decision applicants!” You may have heard things like this and worried there won’t be enough room left if you apply under regular decision. But this is a case where the numbers are deceiving. Let’s do the math. The question is not how many seats are being taken up in the class by applicants who applied under early decision. The question is, what percentage of the school’s total admission offers is already gone? It sounds incredible, but it’s true that even when half the seats are filled with ED applicants, fewer than half the acceptances have been given out.  Here’s how it works. Say a highly selective college can only enroll ten students in its freshman class, and five are accepted early decision. Because the ED process required their prior commitment to attend if accepted, the college knows for sure they are coming. Yes, that leaves five spots to be filled in next year’s class under regular decision. But remember that the dean of admission knows that students accepted through the regular decision process haven’t precommitted to actually attend. In fact, on average for this hypothetical but not untypical college, only about half will. The college can admit ten students under its RD process to fill the remaining five seats. So the college will actually admit fifteen students total. When five acceptances were given early decision, that wasn’t half the fat envelopes— it was only one- third. Two- thirds are still left for the regular decision process. No reason to panic.

 

The Early Decision Agreement

If you apply under an early decision plan, you must submit an Early Decision Agreement. This form can be found at www.commonapp.org, with any other electronic application provider’s form, or as a part of a college’s unique form. The ED Agreement is a contract whereby the student agrees to enroll if accepted and to immediately withdraw all applications submitted to other colleges. The ED Agreement is signed by the student, a parent, and the high school counselor. It is submitted by the high school counselor.

Colleges take this contract seriously. Read it fully and make sure you understand what you are committing to by signing it. If you fail to abide by its terms and, for example, apply to more than one college early decision, your acceptances at both schools may be rescinded. Note that you have agreed to let the college to which you’re applying share your name and ED Agreement with other institutions. Students sign a similar agreement when applying under a restrictive early action plan.

 

Financial Aid

Colleges handle financial aid differently under each type of decision plan. Some schools release financial aid decisions beginning on a specific date, typically around March 1. Other schools provide families with either a financial aid award or an estimated financial aid award with the offer of admission or shortly thereafter. This award will be updated and confirmed in the spring. If your information remains the same, you can assume the award will remain the same. Students should check each school’s financial aid website carefully for deadlines and notification dates. Take advantage of any opportunities to ask questions of admission or financial aid officers at each school so you can understand how financial aid is handled under each decision plan. We’ve provided some questions for you on page 256. See Chapter 16 for further information on financial aid. Also, note that the early decision plan presents a special case where you will receive an award only from the ED college and there will be no opportunity to receive or compare aid packages from other colleges.

 

How Do Your Grades and Scores Figure into Your Decision to Apply Under an Early Plan?

Much of the advice you will receive about applying under an early plan— early action, early decision, or restrictive early action— will be to apply only if your grades and test scores place you in the top half of that college’s academic profile. For many of you, this is great advice. But for some of you, it’s not. Whether or not this is good advice will depend upon the schools on your list and the goals those schools have for their early plans. In order to understand how your grades and scores should figure into your decision to apply early, you will need to understand:

• Where your grades and scores fit into the college’s academic profile.

• The pattern of your grades. Are they going up, down, or staying the same?

• The college’s philosophy and practice with regard to its early plan.

• How your grades and test scores fit into that philosophy and practice.

 

What does all that mean? Here’s an example. Every class has a bottom group of students. Some schools may want that group to be made up of the students who most want to be there, not those who would have been just as happy at another college. So applying early to such a school might make sense for a student whose grades and scores are not in the top half of that college’s academic profile. On the other hand, if the college’s approach is to select their strongest students during an early plan cycle, then you might want to wait and apply during the regular decision cycle if your grades are on an upward trajectory with your strongest marks yet to come. You know how to evaluate your grades and scores and where you fall in the academic profile of the college (remember, it was in Chapter 8). But where do you find out how the colleges on your list implement their early plans? Your best bet is to discuss it with your high school counselor. Or call and talk to the admission officer at the college— tell her your grades and scores and ask for her best advice about applying under an early plan. You may not be able to obtain a definitive answer. But don’t worry about this too much. There are many factors that you may want or need to take into account to determine whether or not applying early is an appropriate decision for you. This is simply one of those factors. This is not a way to game the system. You should do what feels right for you and what works best for your family.

 

Is Applying Early a Good Idea for Me?

To help you decide what might be right for you, consider the following questions in order. The more yes answers you can give, the more applying early might be your best approach.

• If you’re considering early decision, start here and work your way through all the questions below.

• Of all the colleges on your list, is this the school where you would unquestionably enroll?

• Is your first- choice school an environment that fits you well, but also a place where you can change and grow?

• Have you felt the school where you are going to apply early decision is your first choice for more than a few days or weeks?

• Do you and your parents agree that if you are given a reasonable financial aid package, you will attend the school even if other colleges were to offer you stronger financial aid packages or a merit scholarship?

• If you’re considering early action or restrictive early action, start here:

• Do your junior- year grades and classes support an early application, relative to the philosophy and practice of the college to which you’re applying?

• Have you completed all standardized testing by October of your senior year?

• Considering your commitments to extracurricular activities or work, will you be able to complete your application by November?

• Are you a student with a special talent, such as an athlete, or a special circumstance, such as a legacy applicant? If so, see Chapter 18 or 19.

 

 

Acknowledgments

A project of this scope and comprehensiveness is not possible without the contributions of many. We would like to acknowledge all of the individuals who made this book possible with a heartfelt thank- you.

FIRST AND FOREMOST

Don Luskin

Alice Kleeman

THE DEANS OF ADMISSION

Amy Abrams, Sarah Lawrence College

Seth Allen, Grinnell College

Philip A. Ballinger, University of Washington

Nancy Benedict, Beloit College

Michael Beseda, St. Mary’s College of California

Donald Bishop, Notre Dame University

Tamara Blocker, Wake Forest University

Jim Bock, Swarthmore College

Jon Boeckenstedt, DePaul University

Jeff Brenzel, Yale University

Shawn Brick, University of California

Thyra Briggs, Harvey Mudd College

Nancy Cable, Bates College

Arlene Cash, Spelman College

Mary Chase, Creighton University

Douglas L. Christiansen, Vanderbilt University

Carmina Cianciulli, Tyler School of Art, Temple

University

Robert S. Clagett, Middlebury College

Lee Coffi n, Tufts University

Dennis Craig, Purchase College

Vince Cuseo, Occidental College

Charles Deacon, Georgetown University

Randall C. Deike, New York University

Tom Delahunt, Drake University

Jennifer Delahunty, Kenyon College

Rick Diaz, Southern Methodist University

Stephen M. Farmer, University of North Carolina

at Chapel Hill

William Fitzsimmons, Harvard University

Patricia Goldsmith, Scripps College

Christopher Gruber, Davidson College

Christoph Guttentag, Duke University

Katharine L. Harrington, University of Southern

California

Pamela T. Horne, Purdue University

Monica Inzer, Hamilton College

Jeannine Lalonde, University of Virginia

Maria Laskaris, Dartmouth College

John Latting, The Johns Hopkins University

Jean Lee, Yale University

Jess Lord, Haverford College

Garrett Marino, Purchase College

Quinton McArthur, Massachusetts Institute of

Technology

Kitty McCarthy, Northern Illinois University

Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Wesleyan

University

Richard Nesbitt, Williams College

Alton Newell, Washington & Jefferson College

Jim Nondorf, University of Chicago

Tom Parker, Amherst College

Delsie Phillips, formerly of Lynn University

Bruce Poch, formerly of Pomona College

Jenny Rickard, Bryn Mawr College

Lorne T. Robinson, Macalester College

Arnaldo Rodriguez, Pitzer College

Nancy M. Rothschild, Syracuse University

Daniel J. Saracino, formerly of University of

Notre Dame

Stuart Schmill, Massachusetts Institute of

Technology

Richard H. Shaw, Stanford University

Ted Spencer, University of Michigan

Fumio Sugihara, University of Puget Sound

Steven T. Syverson, Lawrence University

Steve Thomas, Colby College

Roger Thompson, University of Oregon

Keith Todd, Reed College

Kelly Walter, Boston University

James Washington, Jr., Dartmouth College

Christopher Watson, Northwestern

University

Rebekah Westphal, Yale University

Jarrid Whitney, California Institute of

Technology

Susan A. Wilbur, formerly of University of

California

FINANCIAL AID OFFICERS

Vincent Amoroso, Johns Hopkins University

Leslie Limper, Reed College

Mary Morrison, Stanford University

Alison Rabil, Duke University

Diane Stemper, Ohio State University

HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE COUNSELORS

Charlene Aguilar, Lakeside School,

Seattle, WA

Ali Bhanji, formerly of Potomac School,

McLean, VA

Natalie Bitton, Lycée Français La Pérouse, San

Francisco, CA

Melanie Choukrane, The Brearley School, New

York, NY

Mark Clevenger, Menlo School, Atherton, CA

James Conroy, New Trier High School,

Winnetka, IL

Neal Cousins, The Haverford School,

Haverford, PA

Susan Dean, Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA

Jeff Haviland, Strath Haven High School,

Swarthmore, PA

Deb Kelly, Newman Central Catholic High

School, Sterling, IL

Alice Kleeman, Menlo- Atherton High School,

Atherton, CA

Laura Stewart, The Ensworth School,

Nashville, TN

Marybeth Kravets, formerly of Deerfield High

School, Deerfield, IL

Brad Magowan, Newton North High School,

Newton, MA

Rod Skinner, Milton Academy, Milton, MA

Patricia Ustick, formerly of Portsmouth School

and East Greenwich High School, East

Greenwich, RI

Jan Williams, formerly of Dartmouth High

School, Dartmouth, MA

EDUCATORS

Denise Clark Pope, Stanford University School

of Education, founder of Challenge Success

Gina Coleman, Williams College

Linda DeAngelo, Higher Education Research

Institute, University of California,

Los Angeles

Emily Froimson, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Leslie Hawkins, Higher Education Research

Institute, Graduate School of Education and

Information Studies, University of California,

Los Angeles

Fred Mims, associate director of athletics,

University of Iowa

Holly Thompson, Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA

Bruce VanDeVelde, athletics director, Louisiana

Tech

Belinda Wilkerson, Rhode Island School

Counseling Project, Providence College

MaryJo Yannacone, principal, Strath Haven High

School, Swarthmore, PA

EXPERTS

Scott Anderson, The Common Application, Inc.

Maureen Brown, executive director, Challenge

Success

Jon Erickson, senior vice president, ACT, Inc.

Carrie Evans, co- founder, Educators for Fair

Consideration

Katharine Gin, co- founder, Educators for Fair

Consideration

Scott Gomer, ACT, Inc.

Rob Killion, executive director, The Common

Application

Jim Montoya, The College Board

Erica Pierson, Naviance, Inc.

Martha Pitts, The College Board

Rose Rennekamp, ACT, Inc.

Jay Rosner, executive director, The Princeton

Review Foundation

Bob Schaeffer, Fair Test

Linda Gray Sexton, author

Joyce Smith, National Association for College

Admission Counseling

Kathleen Fineout Steinberg, The College Board

Ellen Sussman, author and writing teacher

Kris Zavoli, The College Board

PARENTING EXPERTS

Michael Riera, author of Uncommon Sense

for Parents of Teenagers, head of school,

Brentwood School, Los Angeles, CA

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., author of The

Pressured Child

Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and

Wannabes

INDEPENDENT COUNSELORS

Jane McClure

John Perlman

Irena Smith

READERS

Amy Abrams, Sarah Lawrence College

Charlene Aguilar, Lakeside School

Seth Allen, Grinnell College

Vincent Amoroso, Johns Hopkins University

Chloe Atchue- Mamlet, student

Natalie Bitton, Lycée Français La Pérouse

Daniel Cherry, student

Melanie Choukrane, The Brearley School

James Conroy, New Trier High School

Claire Costantino, student

Jennifer Delahunty, Kenyon College

George Dowdall, St. Joseph’s University

Jeff Haviland, Strath Haven High School

Roark Luskin, student

Fern Mandelbaum, parent

Ayesha Rasheed, student

Sarah Ringer, parent

Rod Skinner, Milton Academy

Irena Smith, writing teacher and counselor

MaryJo Yannacone, Strath Haven High School

CARTOONISTS

Mark Anderson

Randall Munroe

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Katherine M. Miller

AND LAST BUT NEVER LEAST

Our agent, Jennifer Joel of ICM, an incredible

guide from start to finish

Our editor, Heather Lazare of the Crown

Publishing Group, the best counsel step by

Step

 

Resources

The following list of books and websites are resources we believe will be helpful to you in

applying to college. Some of these resources are data- driven, such as the College Board’s

College Handbook. Others are anecdotal— for example, Unigo. Both have value. Use each

appropriately.

 

OBJECTIVE REFERENCE GUIDES

Books

College Handbook, The College Board

Four Year Colleges, Peterson’s

Websites

University and College Accountability

Network at www. ucan- network.org

National Association of Independent

Colleges and Universities at

www.naicu.edu

College Results Online at

www.collegeresults.org

 

SUBJECTIVE REFERENCE GUIDES

Books

The Best 371 Colleges, Princeton Review

Big Book of Colleges, College Prowler

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That

Will Change the Way You Think About

Colleges, Loren Pope

Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools

with Outstanding Community Involvement,

Princeton Review

Fiske Guide to Colleges, Edward B. Fiske

Student’s Guide to Colleges, edited by Jordan

Goldman and Colleen Buyers

 

Visit our website at www.collegeadmissionbook.com

for an updated list of resources.

 

Websites

Unigo at www.unigo.com

College Prowler at www.collegeprowler.com

 

SUBJECTIVE MATERIALS ABOUT

THE ADMISSION PROCESS

Books

College Unranked: Ending the College

Admissions Frenzy, Lloyd Thacker

The Gatekeepers, Jacques Steinberg

Harvard Schmarvard, Jay Matthews

I’m Going to College— Not You! Jennifer

Delahunty, editor

Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to

Guiding Your Teen Through College, Marilee

Jones and Kenneth Ginsburg

Websites

The Choice, Jacques Steinberg at thechoice

.blogs.nytimes.com

Class Struggle, Jay Mathews at voices

.washingtonpost.com /class- struggle

The Education Conservancy at

www.educationconservancy.org

 

GENERAL ADMISSION INFORMATION

Websites

College.gov at www.college.gov

College Board at www.collegeboard.org

KnowHow2Go at www.knowhow2go.org

National Association for College Admission

Counseling at www.nacacnet.org

The Common Application at

www.commonapp.org

International Baccalaureate at

www.ibo.org

Advanced Placement at

www.collegeboard.org

College Fairs Online at

www.collegeweeklive.com

Collegiate Choice Walking Tours Videos

at www.collegiatechoice.com

Campus Tours at www.campustours.com

NACAC National College Fairs at

www.nacacnet.org

 

COLLEGE DATA

Websites

College InSight at www. college- insight.org

College Navigator at www.nces.ed.gov/

collegenavigator

National Survey of Student Engagement

at www.nsse.iub.edu

 

TESTING INFORMATION

Websites

ACT at www.ACT.org

SAT at www.Collegeboard.org

Fair Test at www.fairtest.org

 

TESTING INFORMATION FOR

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Websites

International English Language Testing

System at www.ielts.org

TOEFL at www.ets.org/toefl

Pearson Test of English at

www.pearsonpte.com

 

FREE PRACTICE TESTS AND

TEST PREPARATION

Websites

ACT Sample Test at www.actstudent.org/

sampletest/index.html

Number2 at www.number2.com

SAT College Board Practice Test at

sat.collegeboard.org/practice /sat

- practice- test

Spark Notes SAT Practice Test at

testprep.sparknotes.com/testcenter/newsat

 

SPECIAL INTERESTS

Books

K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with

Learning Disabilities or ADHD, Marybeth

Kravets and Imy Wax

The College Sourcebook for Students with

Learning and Developmental Differences by

Midge Lipkin

College Guide for Performing Arts Majors

2009: The Real- World Admission Guide for

Dance, Music, and Theater Majors, Carole

Everett

Websites

National Portfolio Day at

www.portfolioday.net

 

ATHLETICS

Websites

NCAA at www.ncaa.org

 

GAP YEAR

Books

Before You Go: The Ultimate Guide to

Planning Your Gap Year, Tom Griffi ths

Gap Year Guidebook 2010, Wendy Bosberry-

Scott

Websites

Americorps at www.americorps.gov

City Year at www.cityyear.org

CIEE Gap Year Programs at

www.ciee.org/hsabroad/gap/index.html

 

gapyear.com at www.gapyear.com

Global Volunteers at

www.globalvolunteers.org

Global Citizen Year at globalcitizenyear.org

Where There Be Dragons at

www.wheretherebedragons.com

 

SELECTIVE SUMMER PROGRAMS

Websites

Telluride Association Summer Program

(TASP) at www.tellurideassociation.org

National Hispanic Institute at

www. nhi- net.org

College Horizons Program for Native

Americans at www.collegehorizons.org

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MITES at web.mit.edu/mites

 

SEMESTER PROGRAMS

Websites

CITYterm at the Masters School in New

York at www.cityterm.org

The Mountain School of Milton Academy

at www.mountainschool.org

United World Colleges at www.uwc.org

 

FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES

Websites

College Board at www.collegeboard.org

College Goal Sunday at

www.collegegoalsundayusa.org

FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Fastweb at www.fastweb.com

FinAid at www.fi naid.org

Federal Student Aid at

studentaid.ed.gov

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE at

profileonline.collegeboard.org

 

FINANCIAL AID FOR

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Websites

The Association of International Educators

(NAFSA) at www.nafsa.org

eduPASS: The Smart Student Guide to

Studying in the USA at www.eduPASS.org

 

FINANCIAL AID CALCULATORS

Websites

College Board at www.collegeboard.org

FinAid Calculators at www.fi naid.org/

calculators

Sallie Mae Affordability Analyzer at

www.collegeanswer.com/paying

FAFSA4caster at studentaid.ed.gov

The College Board at www.collegeboard.org

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

Websites

College Scholarships.org at www

.collegescholarships.org

College Board Scholarship Search at

apps.collegeboard.org/cbsearch_

ss/welcome.jsp

FastWeb at www.fastweb.com

FinAid’s Major- Specifi c Resource at

www.finaid.org/otheraid/majors.phtml

Meritaid at www.meritaid.com

Moolahspot at moolahspot.com

Peterson’s Award Database at www.fi naid.org/

otheraid/majors.phtml

Scholarships.com at www.scholarships.com

Scholarships4students.com at www.

scholarships4students.com

The Web- based Naviance system features

a scholarship search service powered by

Sallie Mae.

 

LOAN INFORMATION

Websites

Avoiding Deceptive Student Loan Offers

at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/

credit/cre43.shtm

Parent PLUS Loan at

www.parentplusloan.com

Stafford Loan Website at

www.staffordloan.com

 

MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

Websites

200 Free Scholarships for Minorities at

www.blackexcel.org/200-Scholarships

.html

100 Black Men of American, Inc. at

www.100blackmen.org

American Indian College Fund at

www.collegefund.org

Hispanic Scholarship Fund at www.hsf.net

LGBT Scholarship Resource at

www.fi naid.org/otheraid/gay.phtml

 

UNDERRESOURCED STUDENTS

Books

College Access &Opportunity Guide, Center

for Student Opportunity

Websites

Advancement Via Individual Determination

(AVID) at www.avid.org

Center for Student Opportunity (CSO)

College Center at www.csocollegecenter.org

College Goal Sunday at

www.collegegoalsundayusa.org

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation at www.jkcf.org

National College Access Network at

www.collegeaccess.org

 

SPANISH- LANGUAGE RESOURCES

Websites

Educación a tu Alcance (Guide to Financial

Aid in Spanish) at www.thesalliemaefund

.org/smfnew/sections/download.html

NSSE Pocket Guide: Questions to Ask

on Your College Visits (in English and

Spanish) at nsse.iub.edu/html/pocket

_guide_intro.cfm

Spanish Language Resource Links

(Admissions and Financial Aid) at

www.tgslc.org/spanish

 

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

Websites

Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) at

www.E4FC.org

National Immigration Law Center at

www.nilc.org

Mexican American Legal Defense and

Education Fund at www.maldef.org

Asian American Legal Defense and

Education Fund at www.aaldef.org

 

LGBTQQI STUDENTS

Websites

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT

Resources Center at www.lgbtcampus.org

Campus Climate Index at

www.campusclimateindex.org

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307590329
Author:
Mamlet, Robin
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Author:
Vandevelde, Christine
Subject:
General education.
Subject:
Guidance & Orientation
Subject:
Education-Higher Education
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.21 x 7.37 x 0.96 in 1.2 lb

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