From Preschool to Grad School: Strategies for Success at Any Level of Competitive Admissions by Kim Palacios

From Preschool to Grad School: Strategies for Success at Any Level of Competitive Admissions

Email this review


An experienced college-admissions advisor offers a comprehensive guide to gaining entrance to competitive schools from preschool to graduate school.

Debut author Palacios presents an engaging, no-nonsense primer for school admissions, asserting that “most competitive schools, regardless of education level, rank candidates in similar ways.” The author draws upon her experience—as a graduate school admissions committee member, a successful applicant to several nationally known private schools and a parent of a child admitted to a prestigious preschool—to make the case that the same principles govern all successful competitive admissions, no matter the school or grade level. After examining current trends in admissions and discussing the increasingly competitive environment for private school applications, the guide helps applicants explore essential questions––Why are you on this path? Why are you interested in this school? It offers wide-ranging practical tips on writing the personal essay, gathering letters of recommendation, avoiding common mistakes, distinguishing oneself from other applicants, choosing the right schools, and using storytelling and personal anecdotes to bring an application to life. The author cites personal examples to show that competitive admissions are not just about good grades and test scores. She maintains that the process also involves matching shared values and effectively communicating a favorable image through interviews, essays, recommendations, and the student’s activities and interests. Palacios provides insider tips on determining the bar for admission and deciphering admissions-committee jargon, and she discusses topics such as being wait-listed, handling rejection, admissions consultants and reapplying. She also gives readers a rare nugget of wisdom that could prove worth the price of the book—advising students not to “weed out expensive schools too early,” due to the availability of often hidden sources of financial assistance from some of the top schools. References with citations for each chapter are found at the back of the guide, and the author provides a website and blog for additional coaching and guidance.

A valuable guide to competitive school admissions.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0985798307
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2013


NonfictionCOLLEGE ADMISSION by Robin Mamlet
by Robin Mamlet
by Rachel Toor
NonfictionTHE GATEKEEPERS by Jacques Steinberg
by Jacques Steinberg