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Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College, 4th Edition



Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College, 4th Edition

Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider, Joyce Vining Morgan

ISBN: 978-1-119-32839-1 May 2017 Jossey-Bass 416 Pages


Make sense of college admissions and prepare a successful application

Admission Matters offers comprehensive, expert, and practical advice for parents and students to guide them through the college admissions process. From building a college list, to understanding standardized tests, to obtaining financial aid, to crafting personal statements, to making a final decision, this book guides you every step of the way with clear, sensible advice and practical tips. This new fourth edition has been completely updated to reflect the latest changes in college admissions. including new developments in standardized testing, applications, financial aid and more. Questionnaires, interactive forms, checklists, and other tools help you stay focused and organized throughout the process.. With the answers you need and a down-to-earth perspective, this book provides an invaluable resource for stressed-out students and parents everywhere.

Applying to college can be competitive and complex. Admission Matters offers real-world expert advice for all students, whether you're aiming an Ivy or the state school close to home. It also includes much needed guidance for students with special circumstances, including students with disabilities, international students, and transfer students. In addition, athletes, artists and performers, and homeschoolers will find valuable guidance as they plan for and apply to college.

  • Understand how the admissions process works and what you can and cannot control
  • Learn how to build a strong list of good-fit colleges
  • Craft a strong application package with a compelling personal statement
  • Get expert advice on early admissions, financial aid, standardized testing, and much more
  • Make a final decision that is the right one for you

Whether you think you've got applying to college under control or don't even know where to begin, Admission Matters is your expert guide throughout the college admissions process.

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1 What You Need to Know Before You Begin 1

1 Why Has College Admissions Become So Competitive? 3

2 What Do Colleges Look for in an Applicant? 20

3 How Do Colleges Make Their Decisions? 45

4 How Colleges (and Students) Differ: Finding What Fits 62

Part 2 Making the Right Choices for You 99

5 Where Should You Apply? 101

6 The Big Tests 127

7 Deciding About Early Decision and Other Early Options 150

8 Paying the Bill 164

Part 3 Tackling Your Applications 197

9 Applying Well, Part I: The Application and the Essay 199

10 Applying Well, Part II: Recommendations, Interviews, and Activities 219

11 Making the Most of Your Special Talents 242

12 Students with Special Circumstances 266

13 Advice for International Students 289

Part 4 Bringing the Process to a Close 311

14 Making Your Decision After the Colleges Make Theirs 313

15 What Matters Most: Advice to Parents and Students 336


A. College Research Worksheet 347

B. Essay Prompts, 2017–2018 351

C. Financial Aid Shopping Sheet 353

D. Cost of Attendance Worksheet 355

College Preparation Time Line 357

Resources 367

Notes 375

About the Authors 383

Index 385