The Essentials - two "must read" book recommendations​

​          I read books about college admissions for pleasure.  I know that’s weird.  I find this stuff interesting and provocative on many levels.  And I like to try to find information of value for local families and students.  So I read articles, blogs or books about college virtually every day.
          I’m guessing most of you don’t share my passion for college info.  You’re busy, you’ve got other interests.  You find the volume of information overwhelming, and so much of it seems to come from people looking to make a profit or concerned about issues you can’t relate to.  Probably the whole thing makes you anxious, because your child and his or her future could be on the line.
          I get that.

          So, I want to offer you some relief from information overload.  I propose you and your student each read ONE BOOK to get ready for college admissions.  That book will give you an overview of the process, a frame of reference to help you anticipate key dates and events.  It will give you a baseline of knowledge that will help you evaluate all the competing claims being made by so-called experts and well-meaning family members.  It may not be the only book you’ll need, but it will allow you to figure out what’s left for you to learn and where to find it.

          The book I would recommend for parents is “The College Solution” by Lynn O-Shaughnessy. O’Shaughnessy began her career as a financial writer and her book discusses aspects of college admissions from an affordability perspective. (Which seems obvious but is really unique.)  She writes well and succinctly.  Her chapters are short with clear take-aways.  If you read it you will have a broad working knowledge of the admissions process, references for further reading, and a game plan.
          The book I would recommend for students is one many of our local kids have already had a change to use.  It’s “College Match“ by Steve Antonoff.  The book is short, but its brief chapters help students assess their needs and interests, find resources for exploring colleges and prepare for the admissions process.

For the complete post, visit the Palouse Pathways blog.


4 Questions to Help High School Freshmen, Parents Plan for College | U.S. News and World Report

It's not too early to begin a conversation that focuses on a student's future hopes and needs.

First Impressions | Palouse Pathways Blog

Long before students apply they can start to build relationships with colleges that interest them.  There are a lot of reasons why that's a good idea.  First, it can help a student in the admission process.  Second, it can help students learn more about schools to determine whether they are fit academically, socially and financially.  In this post from the Palouse Pathways Blog, I discuss different ways to connect with colleges before students ever apply.  

​​A High Schooler's Guide to Preparing For the Ivy Leagues | Savingforcollege.comI don't like this title because preparing for the Ivy Leagues is like preparing to win the lottery. Even among top students there is a degree of -- randomness? luck? other factors? -- involved. But this article offers things you'll need to work on to secure admission to selective schools or scholarships. And it's stuff you WANT to do to make the most of high school. Challenge yourself. Invest your time in meaningful activities. Build relationships and find mentors. This is what Princeton University says: 
"We are interested in the talents and interests you would bring to Princeton outside the classroom. We don't value one type of activity over another. Rather, we appreciate sustained commitment to the interests you have chosen to pursue."

​College Readiness: How to Know if Your Teen is Prepared | Grown and Flown

Time works magic, but not that much magic. All of the college/teen experts I consulted made the same point: the signs pointing to a lack of college readiness are almost always evident in high school. Few students develop problems freshman year without having exhibited any symptoms in high school.

Unique 2016 summer reading list - from college admissions counselors and deans

​This annual summer reading list for parents, students and everybody else– novels, memoirs, biographies, classics, new titles, etc.  — consists of recommendations from a group of college admissions counselors and deans.