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Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College Paperback – July 14, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470481219 ISBN-10: 0470481218 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 2 edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470481218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470481219
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The world of college preparation has rumbled with seismic shifts in the last few years. The SAT has been completely revamped with a new writing component, college admissions counselors are rethinking how to weight standardized test scores against applicants' other qualifications, and the application process is moving entirely to the Internet. These are only a few of the changes today's teens confront as they look toward college. As its subtitle suggests, Admission Matters is an excellent introduction for both college-minded teens and their parents. Comprehensive and written in straightforward, clear language, chapters explore the current competitive environment surrounding college applications, what admissions counselors look for, and how to prepare for the new tests and put together an application package. There's also advice specifically for parents ("What your child will remember long after the college admissions process is over is how you supported him or her"), and information about early admissions and financial aid. Sample application forms and recommendation letters, as well as a long list of resources, are among the appended materials. The wealth of information, uncluttered format, and numerous boxed features, such as a checklist of things to do on a college visit, make this an essential guide.

Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The world of college preparation has rumbled with seismic shifts in the last few years. The SAT has been completely revamped with a new writing component, college admissions counselors are rethinking how to weight standardized test scores against applicants’ other qualifications, and the application process is moving entirely to the Internet. These are only a few of the changes today’s teens confront as they look toward college. The books below will replace outdated volumes and inspire students as they put together post-graduation plans.
As its subtitle suggests, Admission Matters is an excellent introduction for both college-minded teens and their parents. Comprehensive and written in straightforward, clear language, chapters explore the current competitive environment surrounding college applications, what admissions counselors look for, and how to prepare for the new tests and put together an application package. There’s also advice specifically for parents (“What your child will remember long after the college admissions process is over is how you supported him or her”), information about early admissions and financial aid. Sample application forms and recommendation letters, as well as a long list of resources, are among the appended materials. The wealth of information, uncluttered format, and numerous boxed features, such as a checklist of things to do on a college visit, make this an essential guide. (Booklist, August 2005) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

In describing my background, I joke that I entered college at age 16 and never left. In some ways that is true. After attending Brooklyn College as a commuter student, I ventured across the country to Stanford University to pursue my Ph.D. in psychology. I then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford Medical School before heading back east once again to join the psychology faculty at Stony Brook University. I later moved back to California, this time to Davis, where I held faculty and administrative appointments at UC Davis for over 20 years. So in many ways I never did leave college!

The idea for Admission Matters emerged while I was in the Chancellor's Office at UC Davis. My son was a high school junior and I thought it was time for him to think about where he might want to go to college. That, of course, was what I thought -- he had no interest in that topic at all at the time. So I channeled my nervous energy into what I knew how to do best -- read and do research. I began by reading all of the books written on college admissions for students, and then began reading all the books for parents. I became intrigued by what I was reading from the perspective of what someone who knew much less about higher education than I did would learn from all those books.

No book did what I hoped it would do -- provide, in one place, a comprehensive overview of college admissions that would demystify the process, explain the why as well as the how, and put the whole process into proper perspective. Sure, there was some useful information in those books, but a reader would have to pick and choose bits and pieces of information and then try to put it all together. And too much of what I read was incorrect, out of date, or just plain cynical. I decided to try to do better and write the kind of book that I would want my son to read and that I would want to read myself.

That is how Admission Matters came to be. I have had the good fortune to work with terrific co-authors, each of whom has brought distinctive expertise to the book. For the thoroughly revised and expanded Third Edition, I have been joined by Jon Reider and Joyce Vining Morgan who share my background in higher education and who also have many years of first-hand experience counseling high school students about the college admissions process. Jon also has extensive experience as an admissions officer at Stanford University. Together, we have written a book that is informed by our background as education professionals who have devoted our entire careers to helping students both before and during college.

Admission Matters was written for parents and students and we have been delighted by the very enthusiastic response from our primary audience over two previous editions. We were surprised (but also delighted) to learn that Admission Matters is also regularly used as required reading in courses on college admissions for those studying to be counselors themselves. This tells us that we have succeeded in producing a book that is rich in insights as well as how-to advice, and that it can be read at many levels. If you have little background, the book will meet you where you are and give you what you need to move forward confidently and successfully in the admissions process. If you already have basic background, the book contains a wealth of nuanced information to help you gain an even deeper understanding of the admissions process.

We have established a website, www.admissionmatters.com, to provide additional information, worksheets and questionnaires, a blog, and updates to keep the book as current as possible. Please visit it regularly and let us know your thoughts!

Customer Reviews

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It is comprehensive, well-organized and interesting to read.
Sarah Giffen-hunter
They provide solid, down-to-earth advice about deciding where to apply and preparing an application that will make admissions officers take notice.
Carolyn Z. Lawrence
I recommend this book not only to high school students but their parents as well - my Mother read it and she loved it too!
Lauren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By E. Wong on September 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
For three years, my daughter and I read U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of colleges with growing anxiety, a feeling that she had to apply to "the best" ones. Thank heavens for Admission Matters with its message that my daughter should apply, not to the "best" colleges but to the right colleges, ones which will allow her to blossom.

Admission Matters is really three books. The first contains a wealth of information on how to choose "good fit" colleges. The second offers a behind the scenes understanding of what happens in the admissions office, and the third provides a no-gimmick approach to preparing a strong application.

The authors were able to write a book that was valuable to my daughter and to me. They could not have done that without a deep understanding of the anxiety applying to college creates within the family. Well done!
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By InfoDiva on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally, a how-to-apply-to-college book that won't make you, or your kids, break out in a cold sweat.

There are no cute tricks here, no half-baked theories, and most thankfully, no anxiety-producing rankings. Just everything you need to know about finding the right college, and getting accepted there--while keeping your sanity.

As a mom of two, I've read many, many college admissions books, but none cover the process from beginning to end as thoroughly as Admission Matters. The chapters on fit (yes, it is possible to be unhappy at Stanford!) and applying early are worth the cost of the book alone. The section on athletics as a "hook" was eye-opening.

Sure, you'll still need Fiske's Guide or one of the other huge tomes that provide the lists and score ranges--but this is the book you'll want to refer to when you finally sit down with your kids to narrow down the choices and get the applications rolling. It's a winner!
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Vining Morgan on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a college counselor, I try to read pretty much everything published in the field, with an eye to recommending the best for my students. After all, applying to college can be a frightening process, all the more alarming because of its complexity and apparent inscrutability. In this second edition, Admission Matters takes the reader through the whole process - from identifying colleges that are right for a given student, through applying for admission and for financial aid, to how to choose which college to attend once accepted. The authors unravel the complexity, explain the jargon, and clarify the seeming inconsistencies of admissions decisions. There are worksheets to help students identify their own priorities in the college search, charts to illustrate the elements of standardized testing and to graph decisions "by the numbers" (prepare to be surprised), practical advice on visiting colleges and interviewing and crafting an essay, a sample blank Common Application, a timeline for the process, and a worksheet for comparing financial aid offers. This book is so complete, so professional, so readable and clear that - for the first time in all the years I've been advising students - I am buying a copy for each of them.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mom/college bound kids on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Admission Matters" attracted me for a number of reasons--the background, experience and knowledge of the authors is compelling, but moreover I chose this book because as the parent of three with two already in college and the third an applicant now, I was hopeful that I would find new details and advice regarding the competitive hurdles that my youngest will be facing. My hopes were more than fulfilled! This book is an engaging and informative resource that blends just the right amount of humor, candor, anectodal details, encouragement and reality for parents and their college bound kids. It is also organized to facilitate quick reads of sections and question areas of greatest interest. This is a refreshing and valuable guide in the high-anxiety sea of college planning.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Z. Lawrence on September 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Many books about college admissions - especially those written by high priced admissions consultants - leave readers with the impression that you need to use some sort of secret (and sometimes devious) trick to get into the college of their choice. This book is different. Sally Springer and Marion Franck demystify what goes on behind the doors of college admissions offices every spring. They provide solid, down-to-earth advice about deciding where to apply and preparing an application that will make admissions officers take notice. No devious or secret tricks here: just great information and terrific ideas that will boost your chances of having a mailbox full of "fat envelopes" come April. Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Ryan on September 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Admission Matters by Sally Springer and Marion Franck was the most helpful of all the books I read about college admissions. I especially liked the insiders view of what goes on in the selection process in college admissions offices. Even more helpful was the discussion of how important it is to find which colleges are really the right match for my son. After reading this book I feel well prepared to help my college bound son with his college applications.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Cohen on September 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read virtually every book written about selective college admissions and I can tell you that this book is the most up to date, clear, and comprehensive guide you can find. I especially appreciate chapter 3 on how colleges make their decisions, which seems like the biggest mystery to students and parents. The way the authors explain the process from the college side makes absolute sense. While 2 highly selective colleges may make different decisions on the same applicant, you learn that the outcome can be unpredictable but at the same time, not random. You also learn that while you might be qualified to attend a certain college, you may not necessarily get in depending on the institutional priorities of the college and the class they are trying to create. In addition to this valuable information, students and parents get tips on how best to approach each part of the college admissions process. They leave nothing out. You learn how to put together the best list of colleges for you, that are good fits academically, socially and financially. You learn how to rank schools for yourself, instead of buying into the published rankings. In fact, if you follow the advice in the book, you'll have at least 8 first choice colleges to apply to. The authors finally include a whole chapter on how to finance a college education, which in an economic downturn, is critical to understand. So, if you are just embarking on this process or want to get a head start, and you can only invest in one book, this is the book to buy.
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