There are many wonderful admissions books available to students and parents in the various arenas of college admissions. Here are some of the best. AND for your convenience, each of the books is linked to its product page on Amazon.com so that you can purchase it on the spot.
ADMISSIONS "HOW TO" AND ADVICE
Books in this category generally tell you what to do in applying to colleges.
Springer, Sally P., Jon Reider, Marion Franck. Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College
(paperback). San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 3rd edition, July 1, 2013. This is a very well-written, reliable book by authors who worked in admissions offices at UC Davis and Stanford.
Shaevitz, Marjorie Hansen. adMISSION POSSIBLE: The Dare to Be Yourself Guide for Getting into the Best Colleges for You.
Naperville, IL, Sourcebooks, Inc, 2012. The Chicago Tribune says that "Having this book is like having your own private college admissions counselor to walk you through every little step."
Mamlet, Robin, Christine VanDeVelde. College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.
New York, NY, Three Rivers Press, 2011. The former dean of admission at Stanford University tells it like it really is.
COLLEGE, MAJOR AND PROGRAM RANKINGS
These publications offer rankings of colleges in general, and/or specific kinds of majors, sports, activities and programs in colleges.
Antonoff, Steven, Ph.D. The College Finder: Choose the School That's Right for You!
Westford, MA, Wintergreen Orchard House, 3rd edition, 2008 Antonoff provides lists and lists of very useful information ranging from what colleges and universities offer the best majors from Anthropology to Design to Leadership Studies to Winemaking, as well as what kinds of learning environments are offered at different schools, what kinds of students go to different colleges, etc. Very useful.
U.S News and World Report and Anne McGrath, Best Colleges 2015
Washington, DC, U.S. News & World Report, September, 2014. While many college admissions professionals eschew the rankings that America's Best Colleges offers, many others appreciate the up-to-date information it provides re median 25th-75th percentile scores for all the colleges in the US, as well as current information on application deadlines, ethnic make-up of the colleges, most popular majors, and expenses for tuition, room and board.
OBJECTIVE ADMISSIONS GUIDES
This category of guides provide objective information about colleges in the U.S. (and sometimes Canada) including Number of Students, High School courses, GPA and Test Scores Needed, Early and Regular Application Due Dates College Costs, Usually updated after every school year, these publication provide "just the facts Ma'am."
Edwards, John K., Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Ed. Guide to Architecture Schools, 8th edition, 2009.
New York, Association of Collegiate Schools, latest edition. If you want to go to architecture school, this is the one and only book to get. All accredited architecture programs are described, as well as useful information about how to apply.
The College Board. College Handbook, 2015: All New 52nd Edition, July, 2014
New York, The College Board, 2014. The most comprehensive, up-to-date demographic information about every accredited college and community college in the US.
The College Board. Book of Majors: All New Ninth Edition
New York, The College Board, July, 2014. The most comprehensive list of academic majors and programs that exists. Identifies 900+ majors at 3600 colleges in the categories of Associate of Arts, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate.
Everett, Carole J., College Guide for Performing Arts Majors: The Real-World Admission Guide for Dance, Music, and Theater Majors (Performing Arts Major's College Guide)
Lawrenceville, NJ, Peterson's, A nelnet company, 2009. This is a must book for any high school student wanting to major in dance, music or theater. Everett offers information about the special admissions processes for these different majors, as well as advice about how to put together effective admissions pieces, including audition.
Loveland, Elaina. Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers
Los Altos, CA, SuperCollege, LLC, Fourth edition, 2013. Loveland offers wonderful, useful information about colleges for actors, artists, dancers, musicians, and writers, not only identifying lists of the best programs by state, but also offering advice about how to apply to the special programs.
SUBJECTIVE ADMISSIONS GUIDES
Subjective Admissions Guides offer reviews of colleges from students and/or other interested people that provide readers a sense about the personality of different colleges.
Asher, Donald. Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different
Berkeley, CA, Ten Speed Press, 2007. Asher provided the inside scoop on what different kinds of colleges have to offer, including Prep Colleges, the Ivy Leagues, Schools where scholarship is honored, the "Great Books" colleges, colleges that have an ecological focus, colleges that emphasize entrepreneurial studies, engineering, flying, sailing and the military, as well as men's, women's and minority focused colleges. This is a one of a kind, witty, useful book for students who are looking for any of the above mentioned categories.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015
Naperville, IL, Sourcebooks, Inc., 2014. Brought up-to-date every year, this book provides descriptions from the point of view of students of more than 310 colleges and universities in the U.S. The comments are usually "right-on" and are very useful for students as they develop their college lists.
Pope, Loren and Hilary Masell Oswald. Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges
New York, Penguin Books, 2012. Pope and Masell offer detailed information and descriptions of 40 small, liberal arts colleges in the United States, many of which most people have never heard about. By the time you finish reading this book, you'll want to go to one yourself. This is a must read for any student, whether they are an A or a C student.
Yale Daily News Staff. The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2015: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, 41st Edition.
New York, St. Martin's Griffin, 41st edition, 2014. Very similar to the Fiske Guide, this book also described colleges from students' points of view. Students and parents often say they like reading the Fiske first and then go to Insider's for confirming and sometimes different looks at colleges.
SPECIAL INTEREST GUIDES
If you are an athlete, a student with learning or other disabilities, an international student, a member of a minority or religious group, or someone who wants to attend a special college summer program, there is a special admissions book written just for you.
International Student Handbook 2015: All New 28th Edition (International Handbook of US Colleges)
New York, The College Board, July 2014. A good book for international students who want to know about TOEFL requirements, special requirements and services at colleges, etc.
SPECIAL POPULATION GUIDES
Brown, Stewart. The Student Athlete's Guide to Getting Recruited: How to Win Scholarships, Attract Colleges and Excel as an Athlete
Los Altos, CA, Supercollege, 2nd edition, 2011. A very detailed, useful book for students who may be or are recruited athletes.
2. Disabled, Learning Disabled
Hallowell, M.D., Edward and John J. Ratey, M.D. Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder.
New York, Ballantine Books, 2005. A remarkable book that educates learning disabled students (and their families) about how to focus on one's strengths and minimize the usual Add characteristics that often hinder a student at school.
Kravets, Marybeth, M.A., and Imy F. Wax, M.S. The K & W Guide to College Programs & Services for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, 11th Edition (College Admissions Guides)
New York, Princeton Review, Random House, 2010 A book filled with advice to learning disabled students about what to say and do about their learning issues in the college admissions process. Also provides the names of colleges that provide learning services and exactly what you can expect from them.
3. Underserved Students
Matt Rubinoff and Joseph Tavares, Center for Student Opportunity. I'm First Guide to College, 2014
Dubuque, IA, 2014. A wonderful resource book for underserved, first generation students.
Windmeyer, Shane L. The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students
New York, NY, Alyson Books, 2006. Written by Shane Windmeyer, a founder of Campus Pride, a book that lists the top 100 best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and more.
Cantarella, Marcia. I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide
Naperville, Il. Sourcebooks Inc, 2012.
This is a goldmine of information and strategies for first generation, low-income and students of color who struggle to finish their college degrees.
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
Shambhala, 1 expanded edition, 2010. No writer knows better how to describe how to free yourself up to write well than Natalie Goldberg. She is the best!
Strunk, William, Jr. The Elements of Style: Everything You Need To Know To Write
WLC, 1 edition, 2009. This is a 50 year old, timeless book on how to write, especially for people who have trouble with grammar.
Conley, David T. College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School
San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 2010 In this enlightening new book about college readiness, Chapter 3 is particularly useful in helping students know what skills are needed to be successful at college. www.collegecareerready.org