Preparing for College: Practical Advice for Students and Their Families


This all-in-one resource guides students through everything from choosing a college and navigating the application process to uncovering the financial resources to pay for college and adjusting to the academic and personal challenges of college life. The authors bring decades of experience-both as students and as professors-to offer a wealth of advice to prospective college students and their families.
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This all-in-one resource guides students through everything from choosing a college and navigating the application process to uncovering the financial resources to pay for college and adjusting to the academic and personal challenges of college life. The authors bring decades of experience-both as students and as professors-to offer a wealth of advice to prospective college students and their families.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kathy Starks
Perhaps one of the most stressful times in a student's academic career begins in late high school when the college preparation period begins. Teens ask many questions: Which are the best schools? What courses should I take? Is the application process really difficult? Are my grades good enough to get in? Parents ask themselves how they will find the money to pay for everything. Rooney and Reardon provide a "one-stop-shop" volume that answers these questions and more. No other book on the market today gathers so much information into such a concise and user-friendly format. Chapters are organized in a roughly linear fashion, beginning with the preparation process, addressing cost concerns early on, moving into test taking and the application process, and finishing with a discussion of the first-year college experience. The text is addressed directly to students, providing the reader a feeling of personal interaction with these knowledgeable authors and educators. The chapter on paying for college is especially reassuring, considering the amount of press devoted to the astronomical cost associated with attending college in the twenty-first century. Practical solutions and options are provided and discussed at length. The authors continually stress the importance of finding the best college for the particular student, and not necessarily choosing the best college according to magazines, books, or Web sites. This invaluable book includes helpful Web sites for planning, test preparation, the applications process, and career assessment, as well as a detailed bibliography and extensive index. Reviewer: Kathy Starks
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—A wealth of advice on selecting the right college and being successful there is based on solid factual information as well as the authors' extensive university teaching experience. The text is straightforward, conversational, and easy to read and understand, with each chapter organized into numerous subtopics. Ten chapters cover everything from the decision to attend college and making visits to majors of study, acceptance, and covering tuition. Other information includes how to avoid common mistakes made in the selection process, basing a decision on teaching quality and reasonable cost, making an impressive application, and how to succeed both academically and socially. Sidebars throughout have additional material, and tables of statistics and figures pertain to cost comparisons, taxes, curriculums, etc. An extensive, categorized list of Web sites to access for current information is included. A lengthy bibliography and detailed index complete this useful volume.—Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816073771
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Choosing a College: It's All About Fit ix

Preface xi

1 Getting Ready for College 1

Challenges for Today's Students 2

Big Decisions 3

Advice for Parents 3

Advice for Students 4

2 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 11

Overemphasis on Cost 12

Overemphasis on Prestige 12

Overemphasis on the "Glitz" 14

Perfectionism 14

Starting Late 15

Failure to Plan a Visit 16

Underemphasizing Quality of Teaching and Learning 16

Underestimating Your Potential 16

Parental Domination 17

Excessive Peer Influence 18

Common Misconceptions About College 18

3 Handling the Cost of College 23

The Cost: Public Versus Private 23

Four or Five Years to Graduate? 24

Earnings in the Fifth Year 25

Strategies to Reduce Costs 27

Financial Aid 29

Sources of Aid: Grants and Scholarships 30

ROTC Scholarships and Veterans Benefits 35

Tax Credits 35

Loans 36

Work 39

Savings 39

Steps in Applying for Aid 43

Comparing Financial Aid Packages 44

4 Picking a Major and Planning a Career 51

Difficulties in Selecting a Career 52

Sources of Assistance 53

A Tentative Major 53

Career Choice and Major 54

Changing Majors 55

The Value of a Liberal Arts Education 56

Dos and Don'ts for Family 57

Career Counselors 59

High School Counselors 59

Private Professional Counselors 60

College Counselors 61

Predicting the Future 61

5 The Right College, Not the Best College 63

The Steak or the Sizzle 63

Universities Versus Colleges 64

College Demands and Expectations 65

Competitive or Cooperative Atmosphere 65

Undergraduate Teaching Quality 66

The College Curriculum 67

Educational and Social Considerations 67

CommunityColleges and Distance Learning 73

Crime on Campus 74

Narrowing Your Choice 75

The College Visit 76

When the Right College Turns Out to Be Wrong 79

6 How to Get Accepted and More 81

The Application Process 82

The Application 83

Personal Statement 84

Letters of Recommendation 85

The Selection Interview 87

Taking Admissions Tests 88

Mathematics 91

Writing 93

Critical Reading 95

Applied Knowledge 95

7 Academic Success and Its Value 99

Preparing for Academic Success 99

Making the Transition to College 100

Responsibilities in College 100

The Value and Limitation of Grades 103

Self-Discipline and Learning 104

Basic Principles of Success in College 105

Study Skills and the Learning Process 108

Becoming an Active Learner 110

Working with Your Professors 111

Other Learning Resources 113

Writing Papers 115

Steps in Writing a Paper 115

Emotional Maturity and Academic Performance 117

8 Personal and Emotional Maturity: the Social Side of College 121

Personal Development 121

Role Models and Mentors 125

Friends 125

Roommates 126

Dorm Life 127

Parties 128

Extracurricular Activities 130

Fraternities and Sororities 130

Athletics 131

Work Experience 132

Service Learning 132

Moral Development 133

Acquiring Life Skills 134

Managing Money 134

Dealing with Over-Involved Parents 135

Finding Your Personal Highway 136

9 A Safe and Healthy College Experience 139

Accidents 139

Infectious Disease 140

Fire Safety 141

College Crime 141

Health Habits 142

Sexuality 144

Relationships 146

Mental Health 147

Body Image 149

Drug and Alcohol Use at College 151

Drug Dangers 160

10 The Role of Inspiration and Commitment 163

The Experience of Others 164

Historical Perspective 164

Sources of Inspiration 165

The Mayonnaise Jar and the Golf Balls 167

Never Give Up 168

If I Only Knew In College 169

Appendix: Online Sources for College Planning 171

Bibliography 179

Index 189

About the Authors 195

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