Chyten's Spring and Summer reading list, for parents of college-bound students

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Brian Caskey

Parents who want to keep up with college admissions, and what they can do to guide themselves and their children through the college admissions process, might find any one of the following books helpful:

College Unranked: Ending the College Admissions Frenzy by Lloyd Thacker

In this book, the presidents and admission officers of leading colleges and universities - like Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Harvard - remind readers that college choice and admission are a matter of fit, not of winning a prize, and that many colleges are "good" in different ways.

The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg

Among the book's surprises are that supplementary material, no matter how impressive, carries no weight in deciding who gets in - while honesty about a mistake, in one instance drug-related, can influence an admissions officer to admit.

Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You by Jay Mathews

Written by, yes, a Harvard grad, Harvard Schmarvard rebuts the perception that image is everything when it comes to college and emphasizes this simple fact: What you will be measured by in life is your talent and energy, not your college's name.

Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admission and Beyond by Marilee Jones and Kenneth Ginsburg

This first-of-its-kind book delivers strategies for surviving the admissions process while strengthening parent-child relationships, managing the stress of applying to college, and building resilience to meet challenges today and in the future.

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger

Based on real-life experience and recommended by colleges and universities around the country, this indispensable book has been updated and revised, offering even more compassionate, practical, and up-to-the-minute information.

Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right for You by Loren Pope

Looking Beyond the Ivy League offers a step-by-step guide to selecting the right institution, a checklist of specific questions to ask when visiting a college, the secrets to creating good applications and good applicants, and much more.

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student by Loren Pope

The landmark college guide that introduces forty of the best colleges you've never heard of-now completely revised and updated!

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins

A compelling mix of fast-paced storytelling and engrossing investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.

The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton by Jerome Karabel

"Millions of Americans think of the Ivy League as a training ground for the best and brightest. But for most of the twentieth century Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were more interested in sustaining the aristocracy than in shaping the nation's intellectual elite. An utterly absorbing account of politics and privilege on America's most revered campuses." - Kevin Boyle, National Book Award-winning author of Arc of Justice

The Shape of the River by William G. Bowen

The Shape of the River brings a wealth of empirical evidence to bear on how race-sensitive admissions policies actually work and clearly defines the effects they have had on over 45,000 students of different races. Its conclusions mark a turning point in national discussions of affirmative action.

The College Admissions Mystique by Bill Mayher

In this fresh and plainspoken book, admissions professional Bill Mayher demystifies the college application process, guiding students and parents through this too often anxiety-filled ritual. He covers practical issues, including discovering colleges, narrowing down the search, finding financial aid, and using college counselors to the best advantage.

Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites by Mitchell L. Stevens

With novelistic flair, sensitivity to history, and a keen eye for telling detail, Stevens explains how elite colleges and universities have assumed their central role in the production of the nation's most privileged classes. Creating a Class makes clear that, for better or worse, these schools now define the standards of youthful accomplishment in American culture more generally.

The Financial Aid Handbook by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik

The Financial Aid Handbook is the definitive, one-stop guide to the college selection and payment process, covering everything from basic timelines and tuition costs to predicting your scholarship award from colleges and taking ownership of student debt after graduation.

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