A debut guide offers advice about the college admissions process.
The college admissions odyssey in recent years has become so intensely, overwhelmingly competitive that it’s turned into a source of stress for parents as well as aspiring young applicants. There are so many variables, and at times it seems like every one of them is crucial to getting accepted at the first-choice dream school. It’s probably no surprise, then, that a lively discussion exists online, including, of course, on Reddit: the r/ApplyingToCollege subreddit, where young people and their parents ask some of the multitudes of questions they encounter along the way. Caplan has long called herself “AdmissionsMom” on that subreddit, and in this book, she seeks to “smooth those admissions-ruffled feathers and help many of you relax about your college admissions journey.” The author was a teacher for 30 years before opening a private college counseling practice. In these pages, she dispenses advice on such subjects as preparing for college interviews, dealing with admissions-process anxiety, visiting campuses, handling rejection, and living in the limbo of being wait-listed or having your admission deferred. “Colleges want to see who you are and what you have to offer,” Caplan writes, and she delivers clear, detailed tips on how to deal with that process while emphasizing mental health. “Learn more about meditation, mindfulness, or yoga,” she advises. “Get outside and walk or run. Listen to music.” But she’s also tough and realistic, laying out facts about the hypercompetitive world she’s describing. “In the end,” she writes, “there are far more students with fantastic test scores applying to the most highly selective schools than there are spots.” Parents also get plenty of useful counsel, such as this tidbit about financial aid forms: “It’s crucial to turn the CSS Profile and the FAFSA in on time. Please don’t get lazy with that stuff.”
A one-stop manual for the college admissions world; essential reading for everybody from high school juniors to military veterans.