Admissions-counseling consultants share their insights into selecting and getting into an appropriate college in this debut guide, aimed mainly at parents.
Many people have a hazy goal of getting their children into the most “prestigious” college possible. However, it may be a better idea to dig deep into the data to find the college that’s the best fit. Belasco and Bergman, the cofounders of admissions counseling/consulting firm College Transitions, advocate for a “more holistic and consumer-minded approach to the college selection process.” They believe that parents should spend more time with their children to determine a course of study and then figure out what skills the kids will need to pursue. These “matter as much or more than where they go,” say the authors, who also urge parents to consider—and hopefully avoid—the long-term consequences of assuming too much debt. Parents and students should explore the many top-notch colleges that exist beyond the so-called “name” schools, they say. To that end, they helpfully provide college lists that assess various ranking factors (such as student/teacher ratio), drawn from the College Board and other sources. The book also discusses other key aspects, such as the difference between early decision and early action, and the importance of college-level courses in high school. Overall, the authors offer both an authoritative overview and calming guidance for anyone who’s struggling—and stressing out—over the college admissions process. Their book is not all-encompassing, and the authors themselves acknowledge that it doesn’t cover what may be a critical issue to some students: campus social life. However, this detailed guide does offer a reasoned and reassuring road map for selecting the best college, both as a concerned parent and as an informed consumer; for example, the authors clearly emphasize that readers face “more of a buyer’s market than ever before,” with many colleges struggling to meet enrollment goals and therefore open to lowering their “sticker price.”
A de-stressing trove of data that will help readers make more well-rounded college decisions.