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The Truth About Getting In: A Top College Advisor Tells You Everything You Need to Know Paperback – April 23, 2003

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The Truth About Getting In: A Top College Advisor Tells You Everything You Need to Know + A Is for Admission: The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (April 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786888490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786888498
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. A popular, independent college counselor from New York effectively presents her expertise in a book for individuals and families wading through the college admissions game. Chapters cover a wide variety of topics--from gathering information about colleges and preparing for admissions tests to writing an effective essay and securing financial aid. Each chapter begins with myths and facts and ends with Cohen's personal tips for success. In between are charts to help organize paperwork, questions to help sort out thoughts about what's to be gained from the college experience, and samples from an application package. Cohen's approach is pleasant and positive as she provides specifics and teaches the college-bound how to embrace the application process as part of a self-defining time of life. Kathy Broderick
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"For those serious about getting into competitive institutions... an investment that pays back many times over." -- Boykin Curry, creator of Essays That Worked

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Customer Reviews

Her essay section is wonderful and a delight to read.
Dr. Cohen's book, "The Truth About Getting In" was an excellent tool to guide me through the college admissions process.
There are two reasons I give The Truth About Getting In 3 stars and not 4 or 5.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Despite claims of showing students her "inside program," this book is an amalgam of other more pioneering books on college admissions. Don't get me wrong. It is a lot better than Rachel Toor's Admissions Confidential which hit a new low for the genre, but it has no real inside information like others by Paul (not very original - her title was identical to Paul's) or by Michelle Hernandez (A is for Admission). The latter is still the Ivy standard. The lack of inside information is not a surprise considering that Cohen is somewhat of an imposter in the Ivy crowd. Unlike other insider admissions guide authors (even Allen, Greene and Hernandez were all actual admissions officers), Cohen was only a "volunteer reader" at the Yale office while she was studying for her PhD. As such, she was not actually privy to anything that your grandmother wouldn't be if she volunteered to read essays (open to the public). Her only qualification is her online correspondence course with UCLA and the fact she went to two Ivies (so did thousands of others). Hard to see how she justifies her insider perspective when there isn't one.

With that being said, the actual material is accurate, well written and helpful. The book is well organized and neatly laid out. The essay examples are well chosen and the checklists useful, even though they are all available in other books. There are some obvious weaknesses - Cohen is used to NYC kids, so she barely mentions the IB (International Baccalaureate) program and how the those tests are scored, a big omission considering the rapid growth of the IB program (the US is the fastest growing country for new IB schools). It's hard to get past Cohens' inflated ego which permeates much of the book.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a laugh-a-minute. You can't judge a book by its cover, but let's face it, the cover says a lot: sassy, Cosmo-worthy looking author, cleavage and all, purports to tell the "truth" about getting in. Once you start reading, you realize that Cohen has almost nothing of substance to say. She offers advice for doing well in high school: sit in the front row and nod your head in agreement with the teacher. No kidding. She offers up stories from her own process of applying to college (doesn't she realize that things may have changed a little?). She says she has a 100% success rate with the students who employ her, but doesn't she realize that people who can afford to pay her $29,000 to help their kid may also be targeted by fund-raisers at the colleges? In fact, one wonders, after reading clunky writing and suffering through fuzzy and condescending thinking, whether the cashmere-clad, diamond-studded Cohen had a little development push of her own to get accepted early decision to her own college.
The book is padded with ridiculous lists, charts and blank spaces. Does this make it worth the cover price? The parts of the book where she gives advice are not just silly, they are dangerously wrong. No one should take this seriously.
The funniest thing is that the author never actually worked in an admissions office. She was one of the first readers for Yale, and as such had no access to the ways decisions were actually made. She trumpets proudly that she's an alumni interviewer for Brown. (She complains that students come for interviews and don't ask her about herself.) Anyone who has worked in admissions knows how much that counts for (zip). Oh please.

Kids applying to college can find all of this information for free on the web. Save the money and buy some real books.
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49 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on November 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
A recent article in Atlantic Monthly indicated that the author is probably the highest paid private admissions counselor. She charges $32,995 for a special counseling package that lasts two years to assure the best chance that students do get in into the Ivy league. She states that she has a success rate of 75%. She also indicates that for anyone who does not have that type of money, all her strategies are disclosed within this book.
This is an excellent book on the subject. The author has a rich and diverse background on the topic, and it shows. She approaches the subject from many different angles. There are a lot of good books on college admissions. They typically cover all the basics well, including the quantitative factors (GPAs, tests) and the qualitative ones (extra curricular activities, essays, letters of recommendations, interviews).
But, with this book the author went the extra mile on every aspects. For instance, on GPAs, she gives you so many interesting insights that you realize there are many qualitative dimensions to the GPA itself. A 4.0 is not always equal to another 4.0. Sometimes a 3.5 makes for a stronger candidate than a 4.0. It depends on the difficulty of the classes the student has taken. It also depends from what high school the student graduated. The trends in grade is also really important. And, class rank can also play a material role.
She also explains all the different admission channels such as Early Action, Early Decision, and Rolling Admission (I had never read of this last one in any other books). She goes on explaining clearly when to use these specific entry channels and when not to.
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