Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Prepare a Standout College Application

by Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey

Jossey-Bass     2013
331 pages     Nonfiction
The Shortlist

One of my teenage grandsons is sure that he will be going to Harvard. My other grandson thinks that he will probably end up at a community college. A recent article by Lacy Crawford in the Wall Street Journal says that last year Harvard had a 5.79 percent acceptance rate. Although my grandson is very smart, there is very little likelihood that he will be accepted at Harvard--unless he writes a killer application, which according to Chisolm and Ivey, will greatly increase his chances.

The book, How to Prepare a Standout College Applications, is a proven guide to writing a college application that will help students be accepted to the college of their choice. The authors suggest that their advice will separate out a stellar application from the LMOs (like many others). They have seven strategies including; work smarter, not harder; think like an admissions officer; tell your story; focus on the core four--passion, talent, initiative, and impact; sweat the details; make the form work for you; and show, don't tell.

They then proceed to walk the student through the process step-by-step. In her article, Crawford suggests that parents stay out of the process as best they can. She feels that the clincher for most students is the personal essay. Chisolm and Ivey would concur and offer many tips to help students tell their story in a way that conveys their passion, talent, initiative and impact. 

How to Prepare aStandout College Applications a very useful book; comprehensive and easy to read and follow. The authors know what they are talking about. It is advice that is valuable for every prospective college student. This book will go to my Harvard-bound grandson.

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