Welcome to the AdmissionsConsultants book review site. We use this space to summarize and review what we think are the most useful available books on SAT preparation, college selection, financial aid and college success. Countless books have been written on these topics. While our review is not 100% comprehensive, we have identified several outstanding publications, based on our collective experience with college selection and test prep and on feedback from our clients. We hope you find these reviews useful.
For quick reference, here are links to related books we have reviewed:
The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2020 by Edward B. Fiske
USA Today calls this book the “most reliable and informative” of all college guides. We agree. Over 320 school profiles are included in this guide, along with vital information on majors, academic and social climates, and much more. Another strength of this title is that this guide is rigorously updated with each annual edition.
Book of Majors: 2018 by the College Board
A big part of the college selection process for many applicants is the range of majors offered by the school. And for that, the College Board’s Book of Majors can’t be beat. Over 1,200 majors from over 3,800 colleges are included along with information about the majors including career prospects. This 2018 guide remains the most recent edition and also remains the best guide on majors.
College Handbook 2018 by the College Board
If you want an exhaustive and clearly laid out book with information on all 2,200 four-year and 1,700 two-year accredited schools, this is the guide you will want. Similar to the 2018 book of majors reviewed above, this is also the most recent edition published by College Board and it, too, remains the best available book in its genre.
The Times Good University Guide 2021 by John O’Leary
Quite simply, if you are considering any of the fine schools over in the United Kingdom, this book is a must have.
Colleges that Change Lives by Loren Pope
This book gives an in-depth look at 40 colleges known for their highly collaborative learning environments and close-knit student communities. These 40 colleges are by no means all extremely selective. We particularly like this book for high school sophomores and juniors because it is quite useful for defining pertinent college selection criteria that can be used to assess any college or university (not just the 40 profiled here).
The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 Edition by Princeton Review
The school profiles are rather complete and contain information on such pertinent topics as admissions criteria, deadlines, social life, and career services.
Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You by Loren Pope
As the title suggests, the author advocates finding the school that is right for the individual college applicant, regardless of the school’s prestige or “brand name.” The book also gives valuable insights to avoiding the pitfalls of the college selection process. The only drawback to this book is that, having been published in 1996, the numbers it presents are dated. Use this book to learn how to assess colleges, but look to more recent sources for information on costs, class sizes, etc.