New edition of the go-to reference to college admission Getting into college has never been more complicated or competitive. Parents and students need expert guidance to navigate the maze of college admissions. This thoroughly updated edition of Admission Matters is the best source, covering the whole process for any applicant. The authors offer great practical advice for selecting the right school, writing effective essays, navigating financial aid, and much more. No matter what type of school a college-bound student may select, Admission Matters will give them the edge they need. * Offers an essential resource for understanding the admission process for all students applying to college * Addresses the most recent changes to the college application process * New sections include information for international students, transfer students, and students with learning disabilities, as well as expanded advice for athletes, artists, and homeschoolers This is an essential handbook for any family facing the college admission process.
Sally P. Springer, PhD, is associate chancellor emerita at the University of California, Davis, and a psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in higher education as a professor and administrator. She has taken the college admissions journey twice with her children. Jon Reider, PhD, is director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, an independent 9 12 high school. For 15 years he served as an admissions officer and taught humanities at Stanford University. Joyce Vining Morgan, PhD, is a certified educational planner specializing in college admissions with an online individualized practice. She has over 17 years of experience in college admissions counseling.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction xiii 1 Why Has College Admissions Become So Competitive? 1 It Used to Be Simple... But Not Anymore What Is Selectivity All About? Why Is There So Much Interest in a Small Group of Colleges? The Rankings Game Why Are Rankings So Popular? "I'll Make More Money If I Graduate from an Elite College": Another Myth Getting into Graduate School The Importance of Fit 2 What Do Colleges Look for in an Applicant? 20 How College Admissions Has Changed What Matters Now The Academic Record Standardized Tests Engagement Beyond the Classroom: The Extracurricular Record Personal Qualities: The Person Behind the Paper Hooks and How They Help Fitting It All Together 3 How Do Colleges Make Their Decisions? 44 Who Works in Admissions? What Happens to Your Application? Tentative Decisions How the Final Decision Is Made The Special Case of the Most Selective Colleges The Role of Your High School Counselor How College Access Programs Can Help Should You Consider Hiring an Independent College Counselor? The Parents' Role 4 How Colleges (and Students) Differ: Finding What Fits 59 So Many Choices: How Do You Begin? Some Questions to Ask Yourself Liberal Arts Colleges Research Universities What's in a Name? Master's Universities and Baccalaureate Colleges Specialized Programs Colleges with Special Affiliations Earning Your Degree Abroad, in English Which Kind of College Is Best for You? Majors, Careers, and Curriculum How Easily Can You Get Advice and Help? What Makes for a Quality Undergraduate Experience? Determining Your Priorities 5 Where Should You Apply? 94 Start at Your Counseling Office Use a College Search Tool Meeting College Representatives Read What They Send You (But Don't Let It Go to Your Head) How to Narrow Things Down The College Visit Showing That You Are Interested Selectivity and Your College List Check Out the Data How Long Should Your College List Be? The Key to a Good College List A Word About Finances 6 The Big Tests 122 What Is the SAT Supposed to Test? What Is the ACT Supposed to Measure? How Much Do Standardized Tests Count? How Should You Prepare? Which Test Should You Take? When Should You Take the SAT or ACT? How Do the PSAT and PLAN Fit into the Picture? Test-Optional Schools The Case of Special Accommodations The SAT Subject Tests A Word to Parents About Standardized Tests 7 Deciding About Early Decision and Other Early Options 147 An Overview of Early Acceptance Programs The Pros and Cons of Early Decision Early Action in Detail Should You Apply Early Decision or Early Action? More Things to Consider Likely Letters and Early Notification The Advantage of Thinking Early Even If You Decide Against Applying Early And Humor Always Helps Keep Things in Perspective 8 Applying Well, Part I: The Application and Essay 161 Getting Off to a Good Start Using the Common Application Writing an Effective Personal Essay An Important To-Do List 9 Applying Well, Part II: Recommendations, Interviews, and Activities 179 Getting Great Letters of Recommendation Shining in Your Interview Highlighting What You've Accomplished The Canadian and British/Irish Difference You've Finished Your Applications. What's Next? 10 Making the Most of Your Special Talents 199 The Student Athlete and Athletic Recruitment Options for the Student Artist 11 Students with Special Circumstances 221 Students with Disabilities Tips for Homeschoolers Making a Change: How to Successfully Transfer Colleges 12 Paying the Bill 242 Key Concepts for Understanding Financial Aid How Colleges Determine Your Financial Need What Forms Will You Have to File? Getting an Estimate of Your Financial Need What Goes into a Financial Aid Package? Why Need-Based Packages Can Differ from College to College Will Your Need for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances for Admission? How Merit Aid Works Seeking Outside Scholarships Financial Aid and Your College List Evaluating Aid After You've Been Accepted Another Word About Early Decision Planning Ahead When Your Child Is Young 13 Advice for International Students 270 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being an International Applicant What Are Colleges Looking For? How Will Your Application Be Reviewed? Where Should You Apply? The Role of Standardized Tests Tests to Show Proficiency in English Getting the Application Completed Paying for Your Education Special Circumstances The Bigger Picture 14 Making Your Decision After the Colleges Make Theirs 291 How Will You Be Notified? The Special Case of Early Decision What You Can Do If You Are Deferred When It Is Your Turn to Decide in the Spring Dealing with Disappointment Spring Admits Taking Another Look Revisiting Financial Aid How Wait Lists Work Deposit Ethics Should You Consider a Gap Year? A Word About Senioritis Celebrate and Enjoy! 15 What Matters Most: Advice to Parents and Students 315 Some Parting Thoughts for Parents Some Parting Thoughts for Students Appendixes A. College Research Worksheet 325 B. Common Application Essay Instructions and Prompts, 2013 2014 329 C. Sample Student Information Sheet for Letters of Recommendation 331 D. Financial Aid Comparison Worksheet 335 E. Cost of Attendance Worksheet 337 College Preparation Time Line 339 Glossary 349 Resources 355 Notes 363 About the Authors 369 Index 371
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3rd Revised edition
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