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Recommended Resources

College Admissions

Choose by topic & format; all of these are excellent, reputable sources.

Who Gets in and Why book by Jeffrey Selingo

Excellent recent book on how college admissions work. Selingo spent time in three college admissions programs--including UW Seattle--so you can get a glimpse of their processes and the basis for decisions. 

The Truth About College Admission Podcast

Podcast produced by the authors of the book the Truth About College Admission. Biweekly episodes starting fall of 2022. 

College Guidance Network video & resource library
Georgia Tech Admission Blog

Georgia Tech Director of Admission Rick Clark and his team produce high-quality, reliable content on many aspects of college. Sign up for email list to get notices about new posts. It's not really about Georgia Tech! 

College Essay Guy (not only about essays!) multimedia resources

Ethan Sawyer provides many free resources pertaining to college applications, and sponsors free or pay-what-you-can College Essay Guy Webinars & Courses. Our only caveat is that his essay program can be overly complex. Follow College Essay Guy blog, podcast, social media (various platforms), YouTube channel.

College Admission Brief Podcast by Georgia Tech

Podcast for high school students going through the college admission experience. Episodes under 10 minutes. Find on iTunesSpotify, and Spreaker. By, but not only about Georgia Tech!  

Less High School Stress

The website is an excellent, well-researched series of linked articles on college admissions. This is essential information, especially for families of high achievers. 

Martin Van Der Werf Blog Series on College Admission

In this short 5-part series, Van Der Werf unites his professional experience in higher ed and his personal experience as a parent guiding two students through their search & application process. Read for wisdom and insightful critique. The post "Don't Fall Into the Trap of Early Decision" is a good commentary on college practices. 

The College Solution

Site, blog, and courses by Lynn O'Shaughnessy, a former financial journalist. Reliable information for families looking ahead to the costs of college. Some free events & materials. 

Sara Harberson/ America's College Counselor

Site, Facebook Live, social media, blog (subscribe for updates) and more. Reliable information on many aspects of college admissions. 

Colleges That Change Lives book, website, events

Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope is a still-relevant classic. Pope examines 30+ small colleges in depth. Even if you don't think that small colleges are for you, the book prompts thinking about what colleges should and could do for a student.

There is now a group of colleges that hold events together and collaborate in various ways. Their college fairs are excellent. 

College Search 101 video series

Produced by St. Olaf College, these short (2-5 minute) videos are broadly applicable for admissions and applications to 4-year colleges. The 15 videos cover topics such as Demonstrated Interest, Application Activities, Interview Prep, Letters of Rec, and kinds of schools. 

Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be book by Frank Bruni

Though this book (2015) is not recent, the message stands. Reading it may shift your thinking about the college experience and help you deal with the frenzy of college admissions. The NY Times Review of the book offers a summary. 

Brennan Barnard columns in Forbes Magazine

Writes about a healthy approach to college admissions. Frequent collaborator in national events and publications. Sign up for email updates on Forbes Education columns. For an intro:  Identity, Belonging and College Options 2.27.2024; Something for Everyone:  Know Your College Options 4.9.2024. 

"Why Did I Say Yes to Being Here?" Malcolm Gladwell video

Gladwell examines our preoccupation with elite institutions and refutes it with data about persistence in majors and graduate outcomes at elite and non-elite colleges. The informal subtitle is "Why you shouldn't go to Harvard." 


College Financial Aid

Paying for College in Four Steps

Reliable information on all aspects of the financial aspect of college. For finding college Financial Fit, start with Step 2. It will be tempting to skim through, but take your time. The five college types can be quite helpful. 

The Price You Pay for College book

This excellent book by Ron Lieber describes how college pricing works and offers strategies to ensure a good financial fit. Read the introduction for a preview. 

Road 2 College website / Paying for College 101 Facebook group

The site and Facebook page concentrate primarily on the financial aspect of college, but also on admissions matters. Their new College Insights tool (there is a fee) helps you compare colleges and possibly find merit aid. 

Frequent FB live events, tools, and generally reliable advice. If you sign up for the email list, you can sign up for webinars and receive links to recordings of events. 

Federal Student Aid website, social media

The official FAFSA site for all matters pertaining to Federal Student Aid. Follow @FAFSA on Twitter for excellent financial aid reminders. As well as the FSA ID and the FAFSA financial aid application, Federal Student Aid offers reliable guidance on student loans. 


Transition to College/ Life in College

Harlan Cohen on TikTok,  Instagram, and other platforms. Though he is a respected author, Cohen's short videos on choosing a college, adjusting to college, and navigating life in college have garnered a huge following, and for good reason. His advice is solid and isn't always what you would hear from others. Follow @harlancohen on several platforms, and check out The Naked Roommate and other publications by Cohen. 


Georgia Tech Admissions Blog

Sign up to receive notifications of new posts. Broadly applicable college admissions advice for parents & students. 

NEXT Newsletter

Sign up to receive advice and insight into college admissions from the author of Who Gets In and Why

Sarah Harberson Blog

You can subscribe to be alerted about new blog posts. Good, reputable source for college admissions.  

Articles & Reports

Excellent Twitter Thread on College Rankings

Expert Akil Bello links to research, evidence, and more in this thread. 

Top 3 Reasons NOT to Trust Rankings

Rick Clark explains why the rankings shouldn't guide your decision making. 

A "Fit" Over Rankings:  Why Engagement Matter More than College Selectivity

This report by the Challenge Success Foundation is regarded as a definitive analysis of college rankings and student success. The conclusion is that student engagement--having a mentor, doing a meaningful project, and other experiences--is more important than where a college appears in a third party list. Highly recommended reading. This report is an inspiration behind our College Fit Worksheet that encourages students to look for potential points of engagement in addition to concrete data like numbers of students and location. 

The Misguided War on Test Optional by Akil Bello

Early 2024 has brought several announcements and articles about whether the SAT & ACT should regain the importance they once had in college admissions. The author--who started his career as a test prep tutor and the owner of a successful test prep company--discusses the controversy. He references an analysis by Jake Vigdor, a UW Professor which is a thread on X. It is worth reading if you wish to delve into the studies about the SAT. 

College Admissions Reports & Data

State of College Admission from NACAC / National Association of College Admission Counselors