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Acing the College Application: How to Maximize Your Chances for Admission to the College of Your Choice [Kindle Edition]

Michele Hernandez
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $11.18
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

With so many qualified applicants, competition for college admissions is fiercer than ever. Now you can put yourself ahead of the pack by making your application flawless!

When applying for college, good grades and high standardized test scores are not always enough to guarantee admission. What sets you apart, argues Michele Hernández, is the way you describe yourself in your application. But how do you present yourself with flair, and highlight all your talents, skills, and passions, in just a few pages?

A former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth College, Dr. Hernández takes you step-by-step through the entire application process, revealing the details that make or break an applicant. From the multitude of short and longer essays to the myriad of charts, lists, and personal data sections, she offers essential advice, useful anecdotes, and vivid examples. Included are:

• A line-by-line look at the common application
• The truth about the essays, with samples of those that made the grade
• The best way to ask for teacher and guidance counselor recommendations
• When to provide colleges with optional essays and peer evaluations
• The ten common myths and misconceptions of the on-campus interview
• The most meaningful academic subjects, work experience, and extracurricular activities to mention
• Early action versus early decision—the trade offs

With this helpful, savvy book, prospective college students—and their parents and counselors—can now vastly improve their chances of getting into the college of their choice.

“Want to scale the Ivy wall? Michele Hernández gives you the tools to do it. This brisk, no-nonsense book is built on inside dope, and Hernández’s experience allows her to challenge conventional admissions thinking.”
Author of On Writing the College Application Essay

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hernandez delivers some brisk, straight talk to teens with sights on high-profile colleges, and having worked in admissions at Dartmouth, she knows the territory. What's somewhat different about her approach is its focus on the common application, which, according to her, can give a talented student a way to stand out. She looks first at filling out the activities section, following with tips on writing the main and supplementary essays--including polishing the style ("eliminate almost every adjective and adverb"), selecting a subject, and injecting passion and enthusiasm into the work. Many sample essays illustrate her points. In addition, she includes a generous section on the personal interview, which not only takes some of the fear out of the process but also explains how teens can use the opportunity to best advantage. A useful addition to the college shelf, just in time for the fall rush. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Want to scale the Ivy wall? Michele Hernández gives you the tools to do it. This brisk, no-nonsense book is built on inside dope, and Hernández’s experience allows her to challenge conventional admissions thinking.”
Author of On Writing the College Application Essay

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 750 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QCQ998
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,023 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Single Most Helpful Book that I Have Read December 30, 2004
By Tyler B
It's rare that I will take the time to rave about a book on Amazon, but this book is most certainly worth it. I have read literally dozens of college-advice books, and - without question - Dr. Hernandez' book has been the most helpful. In fact, if I could have only read one college-application book, this would most definitely be my choice (2nd place going to "On Writing the College Application, by Harry Bauld).

This book is remarkable because of the author's attention to detail. Unlike any other author, Hernandez takes you through the college application literally question-by-question. She also addresses minor questions that I've asked myself before: Should I type or print my application? What order do the supplemental-pages go in? How can I include my AP scores on the common application? etc. etc. All of this stuff may seem trivial now, but I promise you, when you get down the deadline and need a quick answer - you'll thank me (or more specifically, you'll thank the author). This book has what you need to know; no other book I've read goes into this kind of detail.

Because Hernandez' walk-through is for the common application, you can literally follow it step-by-step for 90% of the schools you apply to (it's relevant for all colleges though). I found her writing style is easy-to-follow, yet detailed enough to provide real insight. In addition, as a former English teacher, Hernandez knows her stuff and is able to offer practical advice for the dreaded essays.

The example essays that are used are eye-opening, because none of the kids are out-of-this-world extraordinary. For example, one girl writes about her love for band, but is successful because she conveys a passion in her writing.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars B+ for Acing the College Application September 16, 2003
Michele A. Hernadez the author of "Acing the College Application" is an expert in the field of admissions. With a doctorate in education and her own college consulting business she boasts that she has close to 100% success rate at getting her clients admitted to top colleges.
Sadly most of us can't afford a top notch counselor like Dr. Hernadez and often find ourselves floundering in piles of college applications overwhelmed by the daunting task of filling them out.
Fortunately, Dr. Hernadez has written "Aciing the College Application" to help you present yourself in the best light possible. Learn how to highlight skills, talents and passions in just a few pages.
And the book offers excellent information. It includes an indepth look at the common application. The truth about essays. How to ask guidance counselors and teachers for recommendations.
Which academic subjects, activities and work experience to mention and more.
Sadly the more college preparation books I read the more disagreements I have found. For example,
one issue she discusses is if you should type or handwrite the application. She suggests handwriting as it looks more like the student themselves completed it. Another book I read said that you should type it because studies have shown that papers that were typed were given better grades than handwritten papers. Thus good typing could make the difference between being admitted and being rejected.
She also suggests using blue ink. I was surprised by this as I have always been told black ink was the most professional. On a whim, I called an admissions office and asked (feeling rather anal) which color ink they would like the application written in. The woman who answered said definately black as it was the most professional.
The book also lacks an index. Thus looking for particular information can be time consuming.
Overall its a helpful book and a little fine tuning could make it one of the best.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent with many valuable details on the topic July 13, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michele Hernandez is one of the best private college counselors in the nation. She is also the author of the excellent college guide "A is for Admission." This book is one of the best among the 10 ones I have read. "Acing the College Application" is not as rich in insights and information as "A is for Admission." This is because it is focused on a more mechanical and narrow topic (how to best fill the actual application so as to maximize your chances).

Nevertheless, I still give this book a strong 5. This is because Hernandez advice on many of the details of filling application is so valuable. There are tons of strategic mistakes one is bound to do just out of ignorance. She gives you the inside scoop on how admission officers read, interpret, and assess the data and qualitative information you provide them. Without understanding somewhat how their brains work, you have little chance of getting in top college regardless of your academic record.

The first half of the book is mainly dedicated to the various essays you have to write to complete an application. Thus, this book doubles up as an excellent college essay guide. She teaches you everything you need to know to be successful on that one count.

Near the end, she covers broader topics in several very interesting chapters, including: what to do if you are deferred or wait listed, early action vs early decision, and weighing your options once you are accepted. Unlike many of her counterparts, Michele Hernandez gives you many other valuable strategic details unencumbered by political correctness. She gets so many things rights that others either miss or get wrong.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for a dedicated parent that doesn't usually read ...
A great book for a dedicated parent that doesn't usually read books. I read for technical information generally as opposed to reading for enjoyment. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Music Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is one of the better guides to applying to highly selective colleges
Published 5 months ago by William E.
4.0 out of 5 stars Some solid suggestions...
A lot of these types of books begin to sound the same after a while. That said, there were some things in this text that resonated with me. Read more
Published 19 months ago by David J. Lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Hernandez' 'Acing the College Application'
Ultimately, no matter how great this work it, it's bound to retire quickly, as the application process continues to undergo rapid changes. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ryan Mease
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This book is pretty well written and really help you understand the materials better. This book is pretty well organized and very easy to follow. This book really helps
Published on January 29, 2013 by zentriton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource. Could stand an update.
I've read my share of books about the complicated college application process, and I thought this one was the best. Read more
Published on January 11, 2012 by Suzanne
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Acing for us
One of the least helpful of all the admissions and essay books purchased. My daughter never finished it, and focused on the other texts.
Published on October 2, 2011 by AvgJoe3
5.0 out of 5 stars The one book to read!
I have been a high school counselor for 24 years and have finally found the one book that I recommend to my students and their families. Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by Tia
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you're applying to Ivy League
This is a really helpful book if you are applying to Ivy League schools. I work as a Career Coach in two high schools and I seem to be helping kids who are applying to more... Read more
Published on May 10, 2011 by katieg
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that got me into the Ivies
I'm going to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania next year after turning down Stanford and a host of others, and I can't say I would have gotten in without this... Read more
Published on May 1, 2011 by Wharton15
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