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B+ Grades, A+ College Application: How to Present Your Strongest Self, Write a Standout Admissions Essay, and Get Into the Perfect School for You [Paperback]

Joie Jager-Hyman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 23, 2013 1607743418 978-1607743415

This alternative college guide from a former Dartmouth assistant admissions director-turned-consultant gives non-straight-A students advice on the many options available to them and tips on how to identify, gain admittance to, and pay for the schools that will allow them to flourish.

Less-than-perfect grades? No problem!
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to have a 4.0 GPA or a perfect jump shot to get into a good college. This insider’s guide reveals easy tweaks that will pay off big-time in showing admissions officers that you as a whole—not just your SAT scores—are a perfect fit for their incoming class. With stellar advice on getting into schools that will allow you to thrive, this handbook reveals how to:

- Find great colleges that are a good match for your strengths (and will overlook less-relevant weaknesses)
- Painlessly beef up your application
- Tailor extracurriculars to showcase your uniqueness
- Make sure your recommendation letters emphasize the right qualities
- Write original essays that reveal traits beyond your transcript
- Make an impression on admissions officers and college interviewers
- Create an early-admissions strategy to increase your likelihood of acceptance
- Help your chances if you’re deferred
- Get into brand-name schools through the side door
- Communicate about learning disabilities or special circumstances
- Get scholarship money based on attributes other than grades
- Customize your financial aid strategy

BONUS: Includes an appendix of 130+ selective colleges to consider!

Frequently Bought Together

B+ Grades, A+ College Application: How to Present Your Strongest Self, Write a Standout Admissions Essay, and Get Into the Perfect School for You + Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps, Second Edition: Crafting a Winning Personal Statement + How to Prepare a Standout College Application: Expert Advice that Takes You from LMO* (*Like Many Others) to Admit
Price for all three: $31.75

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Editorial Reviews


“So much admissions advice seems intended for high achievers aiming for hyperselective schools. B+ Grades, A+ College Application is a refreshing change. It offers wise counsel to the solid student looking for a good college fit as well as tips on how to maximize acceptance odds. While any student can benefit from the suggestions in this book, those with some Bs (or below) should be delighted to find that they are, for once, the target audience.” 
—SALLY RUBENSTONE, columnist, “Ask the Dean,” CollegeConfidential.com

“The decisions made during the college admissions process can have a huge impact on your life. This book provides an expert-crafted road map for this crucial period.”
—CAL NEWPORT, author, How to Be a High School Superstar

About the Author

JOIE JAGER-HYMAN served as assistant director of admissions for Dartmouth College. After completing a doctorate in education policy with a focus on the high school to college transition at Harvard University, she founded College Prep 360 (CollegePrep360.com), a college-planning consulting organization that does both for-profit and non-profit work. She is the author of Fat Envelope Frenzy, has appeared on CBS's The Early Show and NPR, and has contributed to Forbes and New York magazine. She lives with her husband and their son.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607743418
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607743415
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JOIE JAGER-HYMAN, EdD, served as assistant director of admissions for Dartmouth College. After completing a doctorate in education policy at Harvard University, she founded college-planning consulting organization College Prep 360 (www.CollegePrep360.com) that does both for-profit and non-profit work. She is the author of Fat Envelope Frenzy, has appeared on CBS's The Early Show and NPR, and has contributed to Forbes and New York magazine. She lives with her husband and their son in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Even though this book is targeted at B students, it should be a "must read" for all students going through the college search process and preparing to start college applications. It is the most comprehensive guide I have found. As a college search parent, I started my own website to help parents and their college-bound kids. Had this book been available when I started, I would have just handed out copies!

Some of the features that really make this book stand out are:

- Dr. Jager-Hyman identifies different types of college "shoppers" and provides tips for each type in the college search process
- Great comparison of the SAT and ACT tests including types of content and types of students that will benefit from each
- What to put in an "Accomplishments Doc" and how to keep from repeating information found elsewhere in the college application
- How to get awesome recommendation letters
- How to prepare for admissions interviews
- Information on how college admissions officers read applications (Dr. Jager-Hyman spend many years evaluating college applications working for Dartmouth)
- How to find a great essay topic
- Tips for athletes who want to get recruited
- What parents can do to help (and hurt)
- A very detailed Junior and Senior year college admissions timeline
- Little known "side door" programs into some top name schools
- A list of over 130 selective colleges worth considering for B students

After finding my website, Dr. Jager-Hyman asked if I would be interested in reviewing her book and provided a free copy. I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality and depth of the content and look forward to reading more books from her in the future!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Finally, a book that didn't make me or my daughter feel like the world was coming to an end because she was not an A+ student with perfect SAT scores. I felt like I was sinking in the sea of emotional waves as my daughter started looking at the college application process. She is a good student, not number one in her grade, but hovering between a A- and B+, very respectable. Yet, she felt like a failure - frustrated and riding an emotional roller coaster, believing that she was a loser and would never get into a decent school.

Reading B+ Grades, A+ College Application - helped me steady my boat. I came away feeling as though I had a plan, knew what to do and understood that there will be a school, a great school for my daughter to attend! I passed the book to her and insisted that she read it immediately. She felt so much better and is sitting next to me, making a list of things that are really important to her in a school. She will then do her research - see what schools best match her requirements - understand their requirements and set up her personal application process to present herself in the best possible light.

Jager-Hyman took all of the information that is scattered everywhere and put it into a clear, concise format. She showed us and especially my daughter that she can have control of where she goes, that there are very concrete and positive steps that she can take to improve her chances of getting into the school of her choice. Her positive approach to this very stressful time really helped to remove the cloud that has been hanging over our home since my daughter became a high school junior.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rebecca
In her book, B+ Grades, A+ College Application, Dr. Jager-Hyman breaks down the entire application and admissions process,and explains each step in a interactive way that is a pleasure to read.

Dr. Jager-Hyman begins her "how to" with 6 students' relatable paths to college. Dr. Jager-Hyman continues by helping the reader identify his or her priorities when choosing the perfect school so that the reader can put together a college list. She suggests a list that consists of "reach" schools, "target" schools and "safety" schools. The next several chapters focus on getting a good gut feeling about a school, making campus visits, asking the right questions, standardized testing, financial aid, students with special circumstances (special talents or learning disabilities),interviews and the application itself. Dr. Jager-Hyman includes many lists of questions to ask and things to consider, many resources, charts, comparisons, examples, very helpful advice and tips, and 3 appendices to help the reader get started on their path to college.

A High School Junior, I have already begun to utilize many of the tips Dr. Jager-Hyman offers in her book. B+ Grades, A+ College Application has started me on the right path to college.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As an Independent Educational Consultant, I happily refer my clients to this no-nonsense resource. The focus on self-reflection and student empowerment are important reminders for all students and their parents. The "Action Steps" at the end of each chapter are helpful and concrete tasks that reinforce the student's ability to take charge of the search and application process. I wish that every parent would read the chapter on how parents can help or hurt their student. It is a tricky balance to be supportive without controlling, especially for students with less-than-perfect transcripts. Dr. Jager-Hyman does a great job of describing how parents can provide guidance without taking charge.

I also appreciated the Appendices, although some of the schools on the list of Colleges Worth Considering are increasingly competitive (the University of California campuses, and the flagship Universities in Virginia, North Carolina, and Michigan are pretty tough admits these days.)

There are many valuable lessons in this text that apply to *all* students (not just those with more modest academic track records).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for all college-bound students and their parents
With so much attention on highly selective colleges and their low admit rates, too many families are left feeling discouraged before they even begin the college search. Read more
Published 1 month ago by My College Helper
5.0 out of 5 stars A College Application Process Must-Read
This book is a must-read for parents and high school students approaching the college search and application process! Not only does Dr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by BooksforDays
5.0 out of 5 stars Great college admissions guide - top notch
Superb study of the realities of college admissions today for the "less than stellar" student as well as the good performer. Demystifies the process which is sorely needed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by AvidBookLover
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK BUT CHECK THIS OUT TOO!
This is a great book I read a few years back when I was applying for colleges. Definitely talks about a lot of fundamentals and throws in those extra tips to give you that extra... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ Guide to College Application Process
This book should be required reading for ALL high school students who plan on applying to college. Whether you're a straight-A student or a B+ student, you should read this book... Read more
Published 10 months ago by flivver76
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will give you great insight into the application process
This is an impressive how to book for the child that is not often written about. A worthwhile read for any parent whose "average" child is embarking on the college application... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful easy read
I found this book to be the most informative, helpful and comforting of all the books I have read on the college admissions process (and I've read a lot!). Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice in an easy to read, well written book
This "how to" book is a joy to read – it’s a well written combination of sound/practical advice and reasonable expectations for next steps - it hits all the right chords. Read more
Published 11 months ago by been there done that
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