This updated guide explains the rapidly changing college admissions process. "Admission Matters" outlines what has changed, where to apply, how financial aid works, and much more.
Sally P. Springer, Ph.D., is associate chancellor emerita at the University of California, Davis. She is a psychologist and has more than thirty-five years of experience in higher education as a professor and university administrator.
Jon Reider, Ph.D., is director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, an independent 9-12 high school. For fifteen years he served as an admissions officer at Stanford University.
Marion R. Franck, M.A., is a weekly columnist for the Davis Enterprise. She has been a featured writer in UC Davis' publications for parents.
Why Has College Admissions Become So Competitive?
It Used to Be Simple ... But Not Anymore
Which Colleges Are the Most Selective?
Why So Much Interest in Such a Small Group of Colleges?
The Importance of Fit
The Rankings Game
Concerns About Rankings
Why Are Rankings So Popular?
What Do Selective Colleges Look for in an Applicant?
How College Admissions Has Changed
What Matters Now
The Academic Record
Engagement Beyond the Classroom: The Extracurricular Record
Personal Qualities: The Person Behind the Paper
Fitting It All Together
How Do Colleges Make Their Decisions?
Who Works in Admissions?
Ambassadors and Gatekeepers
What Happens to Your File?
Making the Final Decision
Building the Freshman Class
The Role of Your High School Counselor
A Few Words About Independent College Counselors
The Parents' Role
How Colleges (and Students) Differ: Finding What Fits
So Many Choices: How Do You Begin?
Some Questions to Ask Yourself
Liberal Arts Colleges
What's in a Name?
Other Types of Four-Year Institutions
Which Kind of College Is Best for You?
Curriculum and Requirements
Colleges with Special Affiliations
What Makes for a Quality
Getting the Information You Need
Where Should You Apply?
Start at Your Counseling Office
The College Visit
Selectivity and Your College List
Determining Your Chances
Some Cautions About Data
Self-Assessment and Research: The Keys to a Good College List
A Word About Finances
The Big Tests
Considering the ACT
Which Test Should You Take?
The Special Case of Special Accommodations
The SAT Subject Tests
A Special Word to Parents About Standardized Tests
A Postscript on the Future of Standardized Testing
Deciding About Early Decision and Other Early Options
The Pros and Cons of Early Decision
Should You Apply Early Decision or Early Action?
More Things to Consider
Applying Well: Part I
Getting Off to a Good Start
Using the Common Application
Writing an Effective Personal Essay
An Important To-Do List
Applying Well: Part II
Getting Great Letters of Recommendation
Shining in Your Interview
Highlighting What You've Accomplished
The Student Athlete
Tips for Homeschoolers
You've Finished Your Applications-Now What?
Paying the Bill
How Do Colleges Determine Your Financial Need?
The Verification Process
Why Do Need-Based Packages Differ from College to College?
How Can You Estimate Your Financial Need?
What Goes into a Financial Aid Package?
How Is Your Package Put Together?
Will Your Need for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?
What About Merit-Based Aid?
Financial Aid and Your Decisions
Another Word About Early Decision
Planning Ahead When Your Child Is Young
A Special Note About Financial Aid in Tough Times
Making Your Decision After the Colleges Make Theirs
How Will You Be Notified?
The Special Case of Early Decision
When It Is Your Turn to Decide
Taking Another Look
Revisiting Financial Aid
How Wait-Lists Work
A Word About Senioritis
Celebrate and Enjoy!
What Matters Most: Advice to Parents and Students Some Parting thoughts for Parents
Some Parting Thoughts for Students
College Research Worksheet
Common Application 2009-10
Sample Student Information Sheet for Letters of Recommendation
Financial Aid Comparison Worksheet
Cost of Attendance Worksheet
College Preparation Time Line
About the Authors
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