College Admissions

The College Admissions Process. Once you are at least partly complete with the college search process, the next issue is being admitted. The college admissions process need not be overly stressful if your choices aren't extremely selective.  If you are applying to more selective schools, or to popular programs that tend to be more selective than the school as a whole, you will have to work a bit harder to prepare an application that highlights your strongest features. And if you are targeting extremely selective schools, like Ivy League schools or others of comparable selectivity, the admissions phase will be challenging and require significant effort on your part.


Special Focus: Ivy League Admissions

Articles About College Admissions

Ask The Dean - College Admissions Questions and Answers

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Here are a few of the recent questions: What's involved in filling out a college application? College application forms are as different as the institutions that require them. Some application forms are as simple as both sides of one piece of paper. Others look like a small book... More

Can I recycle college application essays? If you're submitting more than one college application (which you should be), it often doesn't make sense to recreate the major essays... More

Neither accepted or rejected by a college? The Wait List is college admissions' no-man's-land. You're not in and you're not out. It's not a great place to be and it can be a form of disappointment... More

What about Early Decision or Early Action? Your level of desire to attend a certain college or university -- coupled with that school's admission policies -- can make a difference in your application strategy... More

Check out the complete Ask The Dean - College Admissions section!


Recommended Reading - College Admissions Books

The Truth About Getting In: A Top College Advisor Tells You Everything You Need to Know, by Katherine Cohen. Dave Berry calls it "among the best books of its kind out there today" - read the complete review.

America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and other Top Schools co-authored by Dave Berry

This book is a cut above those with similar titles... some of the best advice I've read recently about how to get into an Ivy League or other elite school. The section on the essay is superb...

-Robert Calvert Jr, College Spotlight

Cracking the Ivy League at Amazon.comOK, we admit it - we confess to a bit of prejudice when it comes to this book. Why? Well, it was co-authored by Dave Berry, a senior contributing editor at College Confidential. The book is chock-full of up to the minute advice for getting into Ivy League schools as well as other elite universities. This book is full of practical advice specifically targeted at the eight Ivy League schools - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, and Penn - plus other ultra-selective schools like MIT, Stanford, and Duke. In this ever more competitive environment, you need an edge - the authors draw on their years of hands-on college admissions experience to help you avoid mistakes that will send your application straight to the reject pile, and show you how to present your accomplishments for best results.
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Read Dave Berry's Comments on America's Elite Colleges

Other College Admissions Titles:

Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions: Words of Wisdom for Surviving the College Admission Process. Straight talk from admissions experts on on how to make smart choices - and not go crazy in the process. From SATs to picking a college, you'll find savvy tips to help parents and students alike. Read our Panicked Parents Review.

Admissions Confidential : An Insiders Account of the Elite College Selection Process, by Rachel Toor - This just-released title is written by a former Duke admissions officer, and offers a wealth of insight into just how admissions decisions are made at a very selective school. It's full of insider knowledge, such as why the best students from top high schools may not get into their first choice schools. Read our book description and author info.

On Writing the College Application Essay, by Harry Bauld - This is our favorite essay book - read Dave Berry's review! Learn why "pet death" is an application essay killer, and much more. This hilarious book is worth reading even if you DON'T have to write a college essay.

Going to College.Without the Stress, by Tedd D. Kelly - An oddly named but calm and helpful narrator, The Dunce, helps students through the college admissions maze. Read our review.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White - If Bauld is the definitive word on essay content, Strunk and White are the masters of style. They will help you avoid punctuation gaffes and usage misdeeds, all while developing your own style. Check our review.

Getting In: Inside the College Admissions Process, by Bill Paul - Good things come in small packages, according to our review. A must read for Ivy League wannabes.

A Is for Admission : The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, by Michele A. Hernandez - This is the book that rocked Ivy League admissions offices when it was first published! Our review tells more about how Hernandez sheds light on the secretive world of Ivy League admissions...

10 Real SATs (2nd Edition), by The College Board - One of the best ways to prepare for standardized tests is to practice with the real thing, exactly what this book provides. Read our review.

100 Successful College Application Essays, by Christopher Georges and
Gigi Georges
- These essays all "worked" for Ivy League applicants, but our review adds a note of caution to would-be essayists.

How to Be Accepted by the College of Your Choice, by Benjamin Fine - This is a just-for-fun review of a 1960 book on college admissions. We update it by comparing the tuitions then (Harvard for $2,370? Berkeley for $680?) and now.

College Admissions Resources

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