From Publishers Weekly
A former admissions officer at Dartmouth, Jager-Hyman decided to select five promising high school seniors and follow their progress through the college application process. She'd been concerned with what she calls fat envelope frenzy (fat envelope refers to the fact that acceptance brings many pages of info and forms to fill out, while rejection is just a single-page letter) and an obsession with accomplishment predicated on the myth that college admission is contingent solely on merit. On the contrary, Jager-Hyman says, colleges have many conflicting admissions objectives, making their policies confusing. Jager-Hyman then introduces the five high school students she's chosen to follow. Four of the five are incredible overachievers: in addition to nearly perfect grades and test scores, one's an Olympics-bound gymnast, one's a world-class pianist, one's a talented engineering student, and another's an Ethiopian-American math whiz. The fifth, a plucky Dominican-American, has lower scores and grades; her struggle for admission to the Ivies is more complicated, but potentially more instructive. Jager-Hyman follows all five through the emotional high points of the process—deciding where to apply, writing essays, going for interviews, awaiting the fat envelopes and then deciding which to accept. There are few surprises; all these talented students end up going to great schools. In the end, Jager-Hyman's book is padded with too many asides, and she offers little insider admissions advice. (Mar.)
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“[A]n engaging and informative book that every parent with a high-school student will want to read.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Jager-Hyman’s engaging stories of real students provide a much-needed reminder that the road taken may mean more than the destination, and---whatever the college-admission outcomes--there are many such roads to happiness and success.” (Sally Rubenstone, senior counselor, CollegeConfidential.com)
“Fat Envelope Frenzy will rivet all readers and make everyone who applies to an Ivy League college - whether they are accepted or not - feel infinitely better and infinitely wiser. Unmissable.” (Naomi Wolf, bestselling author of The End of America)