The Best Books About College Admissions: A Comprehensive List

books about college admissions

There are a lot of books out there about college admissions. How do you know which ones to read?

In this post, we will provide a comprehensive list of the best books about college admissions. These books offer expert advice and tips on how to get into the college of your dreams. So, if you are looking for some guidance on how to navigate the college admissions process, then these books are for you!

What Are Colleges Looking for in Students?

Colleges are looking for students who are well-rounded and have a variety of interests. They also want students who are academically strong and have demonstrated their ability to succeed in college courses. In addition, colleges want students who will contribute positively to the campus community.

If you want to increase your chances of getting accepted into the college of your dreams, then you need to demonstrate that you have all of these qualities. One way to do this is by reading books about college admissions. These books will teach you what colleges are looking for and how to showcase your strengths and abilities.

This post is part of a series about college prep–how you can help your teen during freshman through senior year. If you don’t have a child in high school yet, you can work with your middle schooler on their writing skills. For inspiration, see 3 Fun Writing Activities for Middle Schoolers.

So, if you are interested in learning more about college admissions, then check out the books below!


books about college admissions

Fully updated and expanded every year, Fiske is the most authoritative source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Helpful, honest, and straightforward, the Fiske Guide to Colleges delivers an insider’s look at what it’s really like to be a student at the “best and most interesting” schools in the United States, plus Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland―so you can find the best fits for you.

list of 2022 scholarships

Information on 1.5 million scholarships, grants, and prizes is easily accessible in this revised directory with more than 300 new listings that feature awards indexed by career goal, major, academics, public service, talent, athletics, religion, ethnicity, and more. Each entry contains all the necessary information for students and parents to complete the application process, including eligibility requirements, how to obtain an application, how to get more information about each award, sponsor website listings, award amounts, and key deadlines. With scholarships for high school, college, graduate, and adult students, this guide also includes tips on how to conduct the most effective search, how to write a winning application, and how to avoid scams.

books about college admissions

Mindful Admissions will serve as a soul-centered guide, a moral compass, and a trusted toolkit for parents and their college-bound teens. It is important to have a purposeful road map, helpful reminders, and a reliable GPS to navigate the road ahead.

how to write your college essay

Writing a college admission essay doesn’t have to be stressful. College counselor Ethan Sawyer (aka The College Essay Guy) will show you that there are only four (really, four!) types of college admission essays. And all you have to do to figure out which type is best for you is answer two simple questions: Have you experienced significant challenges in your life? Do you know what you want to be or do in the future?

With these questions providing the building blocks for your essay, Sawyer guides you through the rest of the process, from choosing a structure to revising your essay, and answers the big questions that have probably been keeping you up at night: How do I brag in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging? and How do I make my essay, like, deep?

books about college admissions

Writing a memorable personal statement can seem like an overwhelming project for a young college applicant, but college essay coach Alan Gelb’s organized and encouraging step-by-step instructions take the intimidation out of the process, enabling applicants to craft a meaningful and polished college admissions essay. Gelb teaches students to identify an engaging topic and use creative writing techniques to compose a vivid statement that will reflect their individuality. A consistent top-seller in the college prep category, Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Easy Steps has been revised to include extra information on supplemental and waitlist essays. This much-needed handbook will help applicants win over the admissions dean while preparing them to write better papers once they’ve been accepted.

college planning books

With valuable input from teens, parents, and well-known experts, the Teens’ Guide to College & Career Planning knows how to talk to high school students about the important decisions for their plans after graduation. This user-friendly guide, with updated content by Justin Ross Muchnick (author of Peterson’s The Boarding School Survival Guide), enables busy students to focus on the right information for them.

college admissions books

Let’s be honest: applying to college can be stressful for students and parents. But here’s the good news: you can get in. Robin Mamlet has been dean of admission at three of America’s most selective colleges, and journalist and parent Christine VanDeVelde has been through the process firsthand. With this book, you will feel like you have both a dean of admission and a parent who has been there at your side.

college planning organizer

The College Bound Organizer is your step-by-step comprehensive college planning guide to organize every step of the college application process from college search through college admission.

college admissions process

You may think that getting an acceptance letter from selective colleges and universities is a mad dash to the top that only the very best students survive, and those who make it are just the lucky ones. Stress levels soar as it feels like the bar is rising higher and everything is out of your control.

But that’s not true! You can take control, and you can do it in a way that’s as effective as it is empowering. From describing your extracurriculars to interviews with admission officers, it comes down to two questions: What matters most to you? How does it manifest in your life?

how to pay for college book

A SMARTER WAY TO PAY FOR COLLEGE. Take control of your financial aid experience with this essential guide—the only annual guidebook with line-by-line instructions for completing the FAFSA aid forms!

writing a scholarship essay

Examining the two basic components of scholarship competition—essays and interviews—this vital guidebook offers practical advice and real-life examples to guide students through the entire application process. A roundtable panel of judges and applicants supply inside information regarding the winning qualities sought after by award-giving organizations and tips for finding scholarships by using books, the internet, personal connections, and sources in the community.

books about college admissions process

Deluged with messages that range from “It’s Ivy League or bust” to “It doesn’t matter where you go,” college applicants and their families often find themselves lost, adrift in a sea of information overload. Finally—a worthy life preserver has arrived. The Enlightened College Applicant presents a no-nonsense account of how students should approach the college search and admissions process. Instead of providing recycled entrance statistics or anecdotal generalizations about campus life, authors Belasco and Bergman incorporate cutting-edge data and research to pull back the curtain on critical topics.


The college admissions process seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! By reading up on the process and what to expect, you can put yourself in a much better position for a successful application. I’ve listed some great books above that will familiarize you with the admissions process. Don’t wait! Start reading today!

And if you want more tips or advice along the way, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter. I send out monthly updates with helpful information about getting into college as well as scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Good luck on your journey through the college admissions process. I know you can do it!

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