Make sense of college admissions and prepare a successful application.


Admission Matters offers comprehensive, expert, and practical advice for parents and students to guide them through the college admissions process. From building a college list, to understanding standardized tests, to obtaining financial aid, to crafting personal statements, to making a final decision, this book guides you every step of the way with clear, sensible advice and practical tips. This new fourth edition has been completely updated to reflect the latest changes in college admissions. including new developments in standardized testing, applications, financial aid and more. Questionnaires, interactive forms, checklists, and other tools help you stay focused and organized throughout the process. With the answers you need and a down-to-earth perspective, this book provides an invaluable resource for stressed-out students and parents everywhere.

Applying to college can be competitive and complex. Admission Matters offers real-world expert advice for all students, whether you’re aiming for an Ivy or the state school close to home. It also includes much-needed guidance for students with special circumstances, including students with disabilities, international students, and transfer students. In addition, athletes, artists and performers, and homeschoolers will find valuable guidance as they plan for and apply to college.

  • Understand how the admissions process works and what you can and cannot control
  • Learn how to build a strong list of good-fit colleges
  • Craft a strong application package with a compelling personal statement
  • Get expert advice on early admissions, financial aid, standardized testing, and much more
  • Make a final decision that is the right one for you

Whether you think you’ve got applying to college under control or don’t even know where to begin, Admission Matters is your expert guide throughout the college admissions process.

“Wise, practical, sane, comprehensive, and calming, Admission Matters is the gold standard for books on the college admission process.”

William Shain, former Dean of Admission at Vanderbilt University, Macalester College, and Bowdoin College


“Admission Matters is not just comprehensive, it’s a paper version of a great college counselor.”

Maria Furtado, Executive Director, Colleges That Change Lives


“A widely trusted guide, realistic and comprehensive. Every student who’s about to embark on the college search will find something valuable to think about here, as well as high-impact advice about what to do.”

Jeffrey Brenzel, former Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale University


“This book is a gift to parents and students embarking on the college search adventure.”

Monica Inzer, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Hamilton College

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