The Best Books for College Admissions You Need to Read Right Now

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the college admissions process? With so many resources available, it can be challenging to know which books will truly guide you on your journey.

That’s why our team of experts has curated a list of the best books on college admissions to help you navigate this important stage in your life.

1. “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023” by Edward B. Fiske

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023, authored by Edward B. Fiske, former New York Times education editor, is a trusted resource for students and parents alike. This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth exploration of over 300 colleges and universities. From academic programs to campus setting, financial aid to co-curricular activities, this book provides valuable insights into the personalities of each institution.

2. “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” by Frank Bruni

In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, Frank Bruni, a renowned columnist for The New York Times, challenges the prevailing notion that the college we attend defines our success. Bruni offers a refreshing perspective, emphasizing that fulfillment in life is determined by various factors beyond one’s alma mater. This book encourages readers to prioritize wisdom in their life choices, relationships, and community interactions.

3. “Are You Smart Enough? How Colleges’ Obsession With Smartness Shortchanges Students” by Alexander W. Astin

Alexander W. Astin’s Are You Smart Enough? exposes the detrimental impact of society’s obsession with narrowly defining intelligence in the college admissions process. Astin argues that a holistic approach emphasizing qualities such as leadership, social responsibility, empathy, and citizenship should be adopted. By broadening the definition of “smartness,” colleges and universities can better fulfill their mission of developing each student’s potential.

4. “College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family” by Steven Roy Goodman and Andrea Leiman

College Admissions Together by Steven Roy Goodman and Andrea Leiman recognizes the importance of family involvement in the college search process. This book offers practical advice for building a harmonious and successful college search experience. By addressing key educational and developmental factors, it helps families minimize conflicts and improve their child’s chances of admission to their preferred schools.

5. The Thinking Student’s Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education by Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts’ The Thinking Student’s Guide to College goes beyond the typical guidebook for getting into college. It provides valuable insights for both parents and students on the college admissions process. Additionally, this book emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy family relationships during this potentially stressful time. It encourages families to view the college search as an opportunity for personal growth and bonding.

6. Taking Time Off by Ron Lieber & Colin Hall

Taking a break before, during, or after college can be a transformative experience. In Taking Time Off, authors Ron Lieber and Colin Hall highlight the benefits of stepping away from traditional education paths. Through the profiles of more than 30 students who pursued various non-traditional endeavors, such as working in the rainforest or engaging in grassroots organizing, this book demonstrates how alternative experiences can enrich one’s education and personal development.


These six books offer valuable perspectives on the college admissions process. Whether you’re a student or a parent, these resources will guide you in making informed decisions and fostering a positive college experience. Remember, the college you attend is just one aspect of your journey towards a fulfilling and successful life.

So, grab a cup of coffee, find a cozy spot, and dive into these insightful books. You’ll be well-equipped to navigate the exciting world of college admissions.

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