The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!)

The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!)

The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!)

The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!)


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, September 27
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Two award-winning professors, a former admissions officer at a major university (now a counselor at a prestigious high school), and a gifted high school senior (now in the throes of the college admissions process himself) team up to offer you over 600 tips, techniques, and strategies to help you get in to the college of your choice.

Comprehensive, yet easy-to-read, this book will teach you:

  • How to size up the colleges you're considering—and come up with a coherent list.
  • What are college nights, college fairs, and college rep visits—and how you can use each to your advantage.
  • What are "holistic", "contextualized", and "legacy" admissions—and how each can work for you.
  • How some schools count "demonstrated interest"—and how you can take advantage of this little-known fact.
  • What are Early Decision, Early Action, and Single-Choice Early Action—and whether any is right for you.
  • How to figure out the true costs of college, and what is the difference between "need-" and "merit-based" aid.
  • What it means when colleges say they meet "100% of demonstrated financial aid" and what "loan-free" means.
  • When and how to make campus visits—and what to do on each.
  • How to prepare for each section of the ACT or SAT—and how to increase your scores.
  • What admissions officers are looking for in your application—and how to give it to them.
  • How to write the all-important Common App essay—and present your extra-curricular activities.
  • How to prepare for an alumni interview—and present yourself in the best light.
  • Whom to ask for letters-of-recommendation—and how to help them write the best possible letter.
  • How to compare your final offers—and, in some cases, substantially improve them.
  • When it's good to wait out the "wait list"—and when not.
  • -and much, much more.

When you understand the college admissions process, you can maximize your chance of success. Why not put yourself ahead of the pack?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118974636
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/28/2015
Series: Professors' Guide
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,079,434
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 16 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lynn F. Jacobs is a professor of Art History at the University of Arkansas, having previously taught at Vanderbilt University, California State University Northridge, the University of Redlands, and NYU. Jeremy S. Hyman is founder and chief architect of Professors' Guide content products, ( and lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Arkansas. He has also taught at UCLA, MIT, and Princeton University. Together, they are authors of The Secrets of College Success: Over 800 Tips, Techniques, and Strategies Revealed. Jeffrey Durso-Finley has been director of college counseling at the Lawrenceville School, in Lawrenceville, NJ, for the last ten years. Before that, he served for eight years as assistant director of admissions at Brown University. Jonah T. Hyman is a senior at Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville, Arkansas and is currently in the throes of the college picking—and, hopefully, getting in—process.

Read an Excerpt

Click to read or download

Table of Contents

To You—The Future College Student xv

Top 10 Reasons to Read This Book xix

The Professors’ Guide™ Icons xxi


10 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Begin Your College Search 2

Learning the Landscape: The 6 Major Kinds of College 7

8 Things That Make Better Schools Better 13


10 Tips for Making Your Initial List 21

Top 12 Websites to Help You Construct Your Initial List 27

Top 10 Websites for Finding Scholarships 32

Surfing the College Website: Tips and Techniques 34

11 Tips for Going to See Your College Counselor 39

Top 10 Ways to Make the Most of the College Night (or College Rep Visit) 45

Do’s and Don’ts for Attending College Fairs 51

The 10 Biggest Financial Aid Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them 57

Applying Early? 10 Questions to Ask If You’re Considering Early Decision or Early Action 67


FAQs for Planning Your College Visits: A Beginner’s Guide 76

Top 10 Things to See and Do on a College Visit 83

21 Must-Ask Questions on the Campus Tour (and Why You Should Ask Them) 91

10 Things to Look for When Visiting a Class (or Two) 97

Top 12 Tips for Nailing an On- (or Off-) Campus Interview 102


FAQs about Standardized Tests 113

Your Step-by-Step Plan for Preparing for the SAT and ACT 121

Top 10 SAT/ACT Test-Taking Tips 127

Top 10 Tips for the English Section 132

Top 10 Tips to Make Yourself a Mathmagician (or at least Kill the Math Section) 138

7 Things You Need to Know about Your Calculator (but Might Not) 144

Top 10 Strategies for the Reading Section 149

The Science of Taking the Science Section on the ACT 155

10 Best Tips for Writing the SAT/ACT Essay 160

Flash! Big 7 Changes to the 2016 SAT—and What to Do about Them 166


Top 10 Strategies for Making Your Final List 175

9 Things Admission Officers Look for in an Application 182

Top 10 Tips for Writing the Common App Essay 187

10 Best Ideas for Filling Out the Activities Section of the Common App 196

Top 10 Tips for Getting Awesome Letters of Recommendation 202

8 Secrets for Answering the Supplemental Questions 208


Top 10 Strategies for Making Your Final Choice 216

Top 10 Tips for Assessing the Financial Aid Offer 223

APPENDIX HOW ADMISSIONS DECISIONS ARE MADE (from a Presentation given at the 2014 Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions) 233

Web Resources 247

Index 255

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews