A brief but comprehensive instruction manual for applying to college.
Filling out college applications can be an exasperating affair, especially since the stakes are so high, and students are forced to guess what admissions officers are looking for. Debut authors Craig and Kramer attempt to simplify the process by providing insight into the admissions officer’s mind and by walking the prospective student through each step of a college application. They distinguish between admissions and scholarship applications. For the former, they use the widely accepted Common Application as their model, and for the latter, the application for the Boettcher Foundation, for which Kramer serves as CEO. The guide begins with the preparations one can take in the first semester of freshman year of high school and then walks through multiple steps until graduation. The authors cover a lot of ground in such a short book—they discuss the different kinds of deadlines, how to efficiently reuse various parts of one college application for other applications, and how to craft effective essays. For example, they teach candidates how to extol their strengths without seeming arrogant. They also furnish various resources for financial counsel and support. Numerous sample essays are provided with editorial comments about their virtues and vices. Further, there is a wealth of advice about how to not only sell one’s quirky individuality as an asset, but also mitigate the damage done by poor grades or even by a record of disciplinary action. It’s remarkable how much useful information is packed into such a condensed manual—all delivered in mercifully accessible prose. Also, the authors’ meticulousness is notable—the organization of the book makes following its prescriptions easy and should go a long way toward unburdening the applicant of both tedium and nervousness. Both Craig and Kramer are veterans of professional education with a wealth of experience assessing applications, and that expertise is unmistakably present in this volume, which every parent should buy for their college-bound child.
A clear and practical resource, intelligently structured.