The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing & Micromanaging

The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing & Micromanaging

by J.D. Rothman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983459415
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Publication date: 03/01/2012
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 449,397
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

J.D. Rothman is keeping his/her identity a secret until son #2 matriculates at the college of his choice. S/he might be a private admissions counselor in New York. Or a television writer in Los Angeles. Only time will tell. We can say that s/he is the writer of The Neurotic Parent (, a favorite blog of exhausted admissions counselors and sanity-seeking parents across the country. The Neurotic Parent's blog was excerpted in I'm Going to College-Not You! (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010). S/he is a lively speaker who makes for an excellent interview.

Read an Excerpt

Orientation to College Angst

Back in the day, before the existence of the expression "back in the day,” you took the SAT once. When you got a 1260, your relatives thought you were a genius. That was when the most difficult high school class was trig, a "B” meant "good,” and the initials AP stood for Associated Press. Your main extracurricular was sitting with a sun reflector on the beach. You filled out applications for three colleges and didn't bother to visit any. Even if you were lucky enough to know your guidance counselor, it never would have occurred to you to ask her to proofread your application, which you sent in by registered mail.

You can barely remember why you selected the college where you ended up, but it probably had something to do with where your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend was or wasn't attending. Then, when it was time to leave, your parents dropped you off at a train station with a duffel bag, and that began your college career.

At the Neurotic Parent Institute, we have followed the trends carefully. We can say definitively that everything has changed. Today's kids need to begin prepping for college by age 2, when they get admitted to a selective Mommy and Me group, which leads to the right preschool. Then, starting at age 5, they need tutors, coaches, and homework helpers. In their spare time after that, they must choose 20-hour-a-week activities that will become their passions by middle school. If they're actually having fun rather than excelling, there's something wrong.

This guidebook presents our findings about today's college process. It will prepare you for the fourteen standardized exams, 39 essays and 27 supplements that your sons or daughters will tackle-and all the money you will spend making sure they're on target. If you're reading this when your child is a junior or senior in high school, we're sorry to let you know that you have started agonizing way too late, and we suggest you supplement this experience with a strong cocktail or an Ativan.

We will also present popular blog entries by the Neurotic Parent, which follow the journey of her older son, Cerebral Jock (CJ), during the period when he was ultimately accepted early decision to a top-ten school. This anxious blogger is now in the middle of overseeing the application process of her younger son, Good Conversationalist (GC), so if you happen to be a college admissions officer at one of the schools on his list, please promise not to be offended.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Orientation to College Angst

1. The Most Difficult Time to Get Into College in the History of the World
Frightening statistics, shocking pie charts, depressing bar graphs

2. Let the Anxiety Begin
Why you need a bunch of expensive helpers to get your kid to write a decent two-page essay

3. The Early Years
Yes, you really do need to kiss up to the director of the Yellow Balloon Preschool

4. Lining Up Your Ducks
It’s never to early to begin padding your resume

5. The College List
How to narrow down the list to 29

6. The College Tour
The trip of a lifetime: Quality bonding or a damaged relationship forever?

7. Testing
Hands down, the worst part of the admissions process (until your kid gets a 2260)

8. The Essay
Let your “you” shine through, even if it's a you conjured up by an independent college counselor

9: The Uncommon App
OMG! I was supposed to get awards? And have activities? They’re telling me that now?

10. Advanced Application Strategies
Organizational advice and obscure last-minute passions for teens and their meddling parents

11. Financial Aid
Can anyone spare $250K?

12. Diversity
Transgenderism, the Lost Boys of Sudan, North Dakota and more

13. Waiting
At this point in the process, your teen is probably not speaking to you, so it’s time to let go of your controlling ways

14. Rejected/Deferred
What to expect when they’re rejecting

15. Accepted
What a relief! Now your child can forget about changing the world and go back to playing video games

16. Separation Anxiety
If you’re the emotional type, skip this chapter

17. Bed Bath & Bye-Bye
Empty nests on sale—20% off

18. College Life
“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want to get an education, go to the library”—Frank Zappa

19. Round Two
Having a second child gives you the chance to make the same lame mistakes all over again, plus many new ones

20. Barista Readiness
A college degree is fine, but at the end of the day, they’d better know how to prepare a venti, sugar-free, nonfat, vanilla soy, double-shot, decaf, no-foam, extra-hot, peppermint white chocolate mocha with extra syrup

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The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing & Micromanaging 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's really funny-- a rare mixture of humor and actual information. Although it's a humor book and not a real college guide, you'll learn a lot about the craziness of the process these days by reading. But mostly you'll laugh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a funny blog, but the book is boring and so poorly edited for the Nook that it's amnoying to read.
Modadunn More than 1 year ago
If you've ever had a child go through the college admissions process or ever hope to survive it, you must read this book.* My review is simple. "The Neurotic Parent's Guide to College Admissions" should be required reading for every parent out there who has any dreams of their children attending college, even if you've already been thru it before! I only wish I'd had this little gem on my nightstand long ago for constant referral. In reading this book, I've laughed, I've cried and I've realized that I've failed my children miserably on just about every level! Incredibly funny and chalk full of sarcasm, wit and a wealth of worthy information, The Neurotic Parent's Guide shares what every parent should know about the college search AND their role in their children's lives. It takes to task the ridiculousness of the college admissions process and offers us a good laugh at some of what may never change, but has no rhyme or reason that allows mere mortals to understand. I LOVE this book.. and am incredibly jealous of its sure fire success. *For those who believe that college admissions is no joking matter, I understand. And is why it's even more important for you to read this book! Seriously. Go. Buy. Now!