Applying to College

Caltech Joins the Gourmet Guide

From California institutions like In-N-Out and Peet’s Coffee to vegan fare, sushi, Argentinean steakhouses and healthy Mexican take-out, we’ve got recommendations for you from the Admissions staff of California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Personally, we would head for the Pie ‘n Burger. What’s not to like at a place with that name! Check all the reviews here in the Gourmet Guide.    

Ignoring the "Broccoli Talk"

We're guest blogging at today on strategies for surviving the college application process in the face of the urban myths in the media and scare-mongering on the soccer sidelines. Thank you to's Lauren Starkey for the opportunity to share our thoughts and advice on embracing the facts and ignoring the hype. So what exactly is "broccoli talk"? Find out here. You'll recognize it immediately, we're sure!

College Admission Is Going to China

Co-Author Robin Mamlet will embark on a speaking tour of China in June, addressing students and their families about applying to college in the United States. She'll be covering the basics -- testing, essays, and aid -- as well as the particulars required of international students, such as certification of finances and translation of documents in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Stay tuned for pictures of her travels here later this month.  

College Admission in Fifth Printing

College Admission has gone into a fifth printing in less than a year! And look for us at your neighborhood Barnes & Noble in July and August. B&N has selected College Admission as part of its “Get Ready For School” campaign!  Thank you to our readers -- students, parents, and counselors -- for your support and confidence in our book. And thank you to our teams at Crown Books and ICM.

College Board Releases Guide for Undocumented Students

A guide for high-school students who are also illegal immigrants is now available from the College Board. Organized state-by-state, the 55-page guide provides information on admission, financial aid and scholarships, and support services for undocumented students. According to an article in The Miami Herald, James Montoya, vice president for relationship development at the College Board, the plan is the guide will be a "living document" with constantly updated information.

Ralph Figueroa, Albuquerque Academy

Ralph Figueroa is Director of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico, an independent day school serving approximately 1,100 students in grades six through twelve. As Figueroa describes it, Albuquerque Academy provides its students with the high-powered college preparatory education of a selective school but with the less anxious attitude that typifies New Mexico. “It’s not high-pressure,” he says. “It’s not frenetic about the college process, kids are much more open to opportunities and options and there aren’t the huge family pressures you sometimes see other places.”

Calling all rising seniors: The 2012-2013 Common Application Preview is Live

Calling all rising seniors… A preview of the 2012-2013 Common Application is now available online. As you will see, differences from the current year’s applications are highlighted on the form. However, students cannot submit their Common App just yet. The official version of the Common Application will not be available until August.

But you can get started on the essay questions and we strongly recommend that you do. Rising seniors should return to school in the fall with their Common App essays completed.

As Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post points out in her column on the preview:

When the Common Application was developed in 1975, officials hoped it would reduce the number of separate applications and essays a student applying to numerous colleges would have to complete. Actually, many colleges still require additional information, including more essays. So students, beware: There’s a lot of work to do.

Over the summer, we’ll have more posts on what colleges are looking for in an essay and some tips for getting started.

Andrew Flagel, Brandeis University

Andrew Flagel, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment at Brandeis University, joins us this month to answer our questions about the private liberal arts university located in Waltham, Massachusetts.

About 3,500 undergraduates live and study on the 235-acre Brandeis campus, which is close enough to Boston to enjoy a view of that city’s skyline. Founded in 1948, the university is named for Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Its origin story continues to inform the school’s mission and milieu — but we will let Mr. Flagel tell you more about that.

In the meantime, some fun facts: