Key Resources Recommended
for Your College Admissions Process


Must Reads

  1. "Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania" by Frank Bruni (book)
  2. Students' Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admission Process.  Understand what colleges expect from you and what you can expect from colleges throughout the college application process. (one-page flier)
  3. Definitions of Admission Options - which include Regular Decision, Rolling Admission, Early Action, Early Decision, and Restrictive Early Action.  Understand which are binding and which are not. (two pages)


Excellent Starting Points

California Master Plan for Higher Education - major features

Education Conservancy - principles and guidelines for students and parents to "help make the college admission process more manageable, more productive, and more educationally appropriate."

NACAC Student and Parent Resources - from National Association for College Admissions Counseling

Terms to Understand in your College Search - definitions of terms students and parents will hear/see on campus tours, at admission presentations, at College Fairs, when researching colleges, etc.

Article on Rankings:   The Order of Things: What College Rankings Really Tell Us by Malcolm Gladwell.  Content and considerations remain relevant.

Net Price Calculators:  All colleges receiving federal financial aid must have a Net Price Calculator (NPC) on their websites.  These provide estimates that are more relevant than "sticker" prices listed on college websites as they estimate possible merit aid and state/federal grants.  These take about 15-20 minutes per Net Price Calculator to complete; NPCs that ask for GPA and test scores tend to offer more accurate estimates.  The number one error parents make on these is to guess on GPA and test scores, so be sure to input accurate data for a more accurate estimate.

The College Solution, second edition by Lynn O'Shaughnessy - This sensible book is packed with information on finding the right college at the right price.  Expert Lynn O'Shaughnessy explains how colleges distribute financial aid, explains how even "average" students can maximize financial aid, explains how to evaluate the quality and value of the programs students are researching, and how to build an effective list of colleges to apply to.