Weighted GPAs. Unweighted GPAs. AP scores. Dual Enrollment grades. Essays. Recommendation letters. More essays. SAT scores. ACT scores. PSAT scores. Composite scores. Writing Scores. Volunteer requirements. FAFSA. And that’s all before your child’s actual senior year of high school!
Overwhelmed yet? I bet you are! But don’t fret, because there are numerous resources available to help you navigate the college application process, potentially making it a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. Because seeing all the work you’ve done raising a college bound kid finally come to fruition doesn’t have to be something you groan through.
Rather, it can be a process you celebrate through. These college admissions books, and other titles that will help you pay for college, have all the info you may need to help get that celebration started.
Note: We receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links on this page which helps us to pay our writers –
Best College Admissions Books
Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019
by Edward B.Fiske
The Holy Bible of college rundowns, the Fiske guide has been rating and reporting on all things post high school education for over 30 years. When you don’t know where to start, start here.
Exceptionally researched and written, pick up this title if you’re looking to find the diamond in the rough of colleges. If you’re seeking more than football game and keg parties, and need a comprehensive and regionally targeted list of options and their academic offerings, don’t let this one get by you.
This book is your first defense against the overly competitive and anxiety laden process of trying to (and maybe failing) of getting into the college you think you’re supposed to be at. Reassuringly, Bruni defends the fact that what college your child ends up attending is anything but the sole determining factor in what kind of successful future they will have.
College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step
by Robin Mamle and Christine Van De Velde
With the help of 50 college admission deans, this is a definitive resource on the entire process from beginning to dorm move in day. Practical and very applicable advice, and a great one to have at your disposable to fill in the holes left by your high school guidance counselor. And the fact it uses well-timed humor at parts is a much appreciated bonus.
College Match: A Blueprint for Choosing the Best School for You, 12th Edition
by Dr. Steven R. Antonoff
If Tinder wrote a book on finding your perfect college match, this would be it. Updated, revised and full of worksheets to help students begin the narrowing down process of college choices, this title also helps you find what college guidebook is right for you.
Countdown to College: 21 ‘To Do’ Lists for High School
by Valerie Pierce
The only checklist title out there, and one that covers your to-dos starting freshman year through senior year, Countdown is a comprehensive resource to ensure you have dotted all you “i’s” and crossed your “t’s,” and don’t miss a single deadline.
Country to popular belief, you don’t need 10 AP classes, score in the 95% percentile on the SAT, and have a 5.0 GPA to get into college these days. B and C students have just as many great college options as valedictorians, and you can learn all about them in this guide written by a former Dartmouth admission officer. If you need help turning an average impression into a stellar one for college admissions, this book is for you.
Written by a former admission officer at Brown and Columbia, add this book on college admissions to your must read if you’ve got several essays to write and need some help taking the intimidation factor out of the college admissions essay equation.
How to Pay for College Books
Here’s undeniable proof that radiating college debt free can be done. With smart and frugal tips and strategies on paying for college yourself, not bankrupting your parents, and still being able to graduate from a high quality university, Bissonnette wrote this best seller while still in college. Now that’s saying something.
by Princeton Review, Kalman Chany
Including the latest FAFSA forms, guidelines, and help for the 2018-2019 year, Newsday proclaimed this to be a “first rate guide to the financial aid maze,” and covers everything you think you’re missing when it comes to funding college.”
by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tunable
At a whopping 850 +pages and subdivided into more categories than you thought you needed, this is your go to start book when seeking college funding other than student loans. Jam pack full of all the info you will need to apply for each of the entries, this is your one stop shop for all things scholarship.
Parenting a College-Bound Kid
Grown and Flown: From 11th Grade Stress to College Success
by Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington
Available in Kindle format only, this title is authored by the beloved duo of been there done that mothers from Grown and Flown, a website dedicated solely to parenting issues raising teenagers and college kids. Their honesty and frankness is refreshing, and you will find encouragement and thoughtfulness to help you through what can often be a the difficult process of preparing your child to head to college.
Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer and adjunct librarian. Find her writing all over the internet, but her work mostly on the dinner table. She is on Facebook at 4BoysMother and on twitter at @melissarunsaway.