College Admissions: Must-Have Books

Monday, November 13, 2017
Cristiana Quinn, GoLocalProv College Admissions Expert

How many parents do you know who might need this?
Parents, are you wondering what to get your college-bound student this holiday season? Students, are you struggling with the perfect gift for your parents? Well, Santa and the elves have some ideas for you on the best books to give this year. Pair them up with a Kindle Fire and an IRIS Pen Scanner, for a really great package:

For High School Seniors & College Freshmen

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen - A humorous yet helpful look at what students should be prepared to encounter in college. From friendship issues to alcohol and drugs, this book tells students what to expect on campus and how to handle the bumps.

How To Study In College by Walter Pauk - Too many students go off to college today without the skills to succeed. This book focuses on how to absorb knowledge and use it effectively in college courses. The Cornell Note Taking System and other proven methodologies are used to teach students what they don’t learn in high school—HOW to study. It’s a game changer for students who want to be top achievers.

Making College Count: A Real World Look at How to Succeed In and After College by Patrick S. O'Brien and Pete Adams - I have always believed the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This book deals with how to chart your course and make the most of your college investment. From major selection to extra-curricular activities and internships, students are guided to think about how they can best use their four years on campus to propel themselves into a great career or grad school after graduation.

For High School Sophomores & Juniors 

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 by Edward Fiske - This is the encyclopedia of colleges. It covers the most competitive 300 colleges in the U.S., including SAT ranges, size of the student body, most popular majors, class size, information on the surrounding area, student life and crossover colleges. There is also a wonderful intro section that lists “best colleges” by area of study, like business, theatre or engineering. If you only buy one college book, this should be it. 

The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2012 by the Yale Daily News Staff - Forget the ridiculous rankings of “colleges with the most hard liquor” or “druggiest colleges”. If you want to know the REAL scoop on campus based on hundreds of student surveys and interviews, The Insider’s Guide is the most reliable source. A great compliment to Fiske, it dives into what life is really like on campus: how accessible professors are, is the food good, how much of the social life revolves around frats, is everyone in the Outdoor Club or the Art Club? This book is invaluable in helping you see beyond the ivy covered walls to daily life on campus. 

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope - In a valiant effort to stop the madness surrounding college admissions, Loren Pope wrote this ground breaking book. Setting aside pre-conceived ideas of what the best colleges in the U.S. are, it looks at lesser known colleges that have exceptional missions, creative academics and cutting edge learning environments. If you want to get off the crazy carousel of Ivy League fervor, this is the book to ease your anxiety and show you how many fabulous colleges there are out there.

For Parents

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger - Kids, the title says it all! If your parents are having a hard time transitioning to your adulthood, this is the book to get them for the holidays. It contains hundreds of tips from colleges, students and parents to help parents cope and kids retain their sanity. 

Barbara & Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest: Discovering New Purpose, Passion & Your Next Great Adventure by Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates - Are you the last child to leave home? Do you wonder what your parents will do now that they don’t have to be your chauffeur, pack lunches and hound you about homework? This guide will help your parents find their new mission in life while reducing text message overload from mom and dad on Saturday night.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students. http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com

  • Students

    1

    Organize your dorm room items now, and assess what you need to ship vs. transport in the car. This will alleviate stress before you leave for school. Use a printable checklist for your dorm room, like this one

     
  • Students

    2

    When you arrive at college, don't expect everything to be perfect. Your roommate, classes or sports team may not be everything that you dreamed of, and that's okay. Make the best of it, and remember that college gets easier after you adjust in the first semester. Stay in touch with friends and family from home, but transition to your new life. Don't live virtually (texting) hanging on to the past too much--live in the moment in your new community.

     
  • Students

    3

    Textbooks are extremely expensive; save money by renting or buying used text at Chegg or Amazon vs. buying at the on campus bookstore.

     
  • Students

    4

    Make sure you know where health services is on campus and the hours. Also, know where the closest hospital is, in case health services is closed. Visit the academic support center and learn about tutoring and study skills resources in the first week of school---BEFORE you need them.

     
  • Students

    5

    Join at least 3 organizations or clubs on campus. This will give you a chance to meet a variety of people outside of your dorm and classes. Chances are that these students will be more aligned with your interests and values. Intramural sports teams, the campus newspaper, community service groups, political groups, outing clubs are all good.

     
  • Parents

    1

    Don't hover at orientation and drop-offs. This is a difficult time, but resist the urge to linger.

     
  • Parents

    2

    Get a healthcare proxy signed before your son/daughter goes off to campus. This is critical for students over 18, otherwise you will not have access to medical info in the case of and emergency (due to healthcare privacy laws). You need to be able to speak with doctors and make decisions remotely and quickly if anything happens.

     
  • Parents

    3

    Expect some bumps in the road. Homesickness is normal, as are issues with roommates and professors. Be supportive at a distance. Never call a professor, and try not to text your child multiple times a day. This is the time to let them learn independence and more responsibility. They can deal with issues if you give them the chance.

     
  • Parents

    4

    Book now for parent weekends and special events on campus for the rest of 2015-16 year. Hotels get overloaded during big weekends.

     
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