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.
Podcast produced by the authors of the book the Truth About College Admission. Biweekly episodes starting fall of 2022.
- CGN Library with video recordings and other resources
- CGN On-Demand Recordings on all sorts of college admissions topics
- CGN You Tube Channel with video interviews with college admissions officials. In the video titles, SWAG stands for Some Wisdom and Gear.
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!
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.
The website is an excellent, well-researched series of linked articles on college admissions. This is essential information, especially for families of high achievers.
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.
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.
Site, Facebook Live, social media, blog (subscribe for updates) and more. Reliable information on many aspects of college admissions.
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.
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.
Writes about a healthy approach to college admissions. Frequent collaborator in national events and publications. Sign up for email updates on Forbes Education columns.
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
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.
Do It Yourself College Rankings site, email newsletter, social media led by Michelle Kretzschmar. Reliable free content with some spreadsheets (for a reasonable fee) that aggregate data to make forecasting your cost a bit easier.
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.
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.
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.
Sign up to receive notifications of new posts. Broadly applicable college admissions advice for parents & students.
Sign up to receive advice and insight into college admissions from the author of Who Gets In and Why.
You can subscribe to be alerted about new blog posts. Good, reputable source for college admissions.
Articles & Reports
Expert Akil Bello links to research, evidence, and more in this thread.
Rick Clark explains why the rankings shouldn't guide your decision making.
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.
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
- Factors in the Admission Decision Fact Sheet or Presentation Fall 2023
- Selectivity: Trends in Acceptance Rates at Four-Year Colleges Fact Sheet or Presentation Fall 2023. The average college acceptance rate is 73%.
- Trends in Yield Rates at Four-Year Colleges Fact Sheet or Presentation Fall 2023. Yield rate refers to the % of accepted students who attend the college.