Summer Reading Recommendations: College Counseling

The college application and admissions process is a stressful one for both parents and students.

One of the best ways to prepare for it is by getting as much knowledge before having to jump in.

Academy’s College Counselor, Mrs. Deborah Pitcairn, has selected some of her favorite books on the topic of college admissions for both high school students and parents. For more information on college counseling, visit our college counseling page.


Suggestions for Students:

College Match: A Blueprint for Choosing the Best School for You, by Steven R. Antonoff, Ph.D., 12th Edition, 2014.

This book does exactly what the title says: it steps you through a process, like a workbook, to help you set your criteria for a college fit for you. It has self-discovery exercises, guidance on building your college list, information on financial aid, advice on college essays, and more.


The Other College Guide: A Road Map to the Right School for You, by Jane Sweetland, Paul Glastris, and the Staff of the Washington Monthly, 2015.

This book does a good job of defining your criteria for a good fit school and providing lots of information about college costs and value.  It has “Best-bang-for-the-buck” ranked lists of colleges by region, a list of “Affordable Elites,” “Best-bang-for-the-buck HBCUs, and Best Community Colleges.


Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College, by Edward B. Fiske and Bruce G. Hammond. Sourcebooks. (Fourth Edition, 2010)

This is a terrific guide to choosing schools to apply to and enroll in. It is a good resource to tell you about schools, help you decide what you are looking for, and guide you through the application process.


Parent Suggestions:

Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, by Frank Bruni, Grand Central Publishing, 2015.

This book gives a new perspective on the often brutal competition and anxiety of the college admissions process. The author assures us that not getting into an Ivy League or First-Tier school does not mean failure for life.  On the contrary, he presents much evidence that success and happiness are to be had at many schools.  Success has more to do with how you do college than where you go.


There is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow, by Jeffrey Selingo, HarperCollins, 2016.

This book does an excellent job of explaining how best to prepare for a career during your college years.  Selingo has good insights on the job market for young college graduates and good advice on how to take advantage of the opportunities in order to build your resume from day one. An important read for college-goers and their parents.


Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, Lisa Damour, Ballantine Books, 2016.

This is a wonderful guide for parents of teenage daughters through the often erratic and emotional years of adolescence. Damour describes the normal and necessary transitions girls have to make to become independent adults and provides a framework for parents to understand this process as well as practical advice to parents on how to connect with their daughters effectively.

This content was made possible by our community partner US Storage Centers.

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