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How to Be Irresistible to Colleges


  • How to ask the right questions when selecting a college
  • How to find your voice when writing the essay
  • Quick ways to improve your standardized test scores
  • When Early Decision is right for you
  • What to do if you're wait-listed
  • The essentials for finding financial aid
  • How to deal with parents if they go a little crazy. (And they'll learn how they can deal with you if you do.)
  • 224 pages
  • Retail: $14.95
  • Click to Get Special Amazon Price

What's Inside

Likening the search for the perfect college to the search for the perfect mate—both are confusing, stressful, and important—this guide full of real-world examples and advice from students and college admission deans, makes the admission process clear to both students and their parents. Offering answers to the applicant's common questions—What should I expect in an interview? What should I do if I am wait-listed? How can I improve my scores?—the relatable resource explains how all the pieces work together—from "pre-date primping" (course work and standardized tests) and "the first date" (the interview and visits) to "the love letter" (personal essay), "paying for dinner" (financial aid), and "mixed messages" (the wait list). This guide goes step-by-step through the college admission process, offering honest stories, tried-and-true advice, and humorous cartoons to make this serious process more palatable, while dating tips at the end of each chapter continue the analogy and keep the tone light and fun.

Table of Contents
1: The Glamour of Falling in Love: A few thoughts about the hype
2: So…Who Are You, Anyway? The importance of knowing yourself with ten questions to help
3: Timing is Everything: The calendar
4: Checking Out the Field: Knowing your resources
5: Setting up your Little Black Book: Creating a balanced list of good matches
6: Pre-Date Primping: Course work, standardized tests, and EA/ED
7: The First Date: The interview and visits
8: Meet the Parents: How to let your parents have a say without their dominating your every waking thought
9: The Love Letter: The application, essay, and other paperwork
10: How to Play the Game: Diversity, athletics, legacy, first-generation college, development office candidacy…
11: Paying for Dinner: Financial aid
12: The Wait: Waiting for an answer
13: Mixed Messages—The Wait List
14: Dealing with the Hurt: Rejection
15: Taking a Break or "Finding Yourself": The “gap” year
16: Love the One you’re With: Making your choice and liking it
17: Marriage: How to succeed in college: tips from former students
18: When Divorce is Necessary: The transfer


“Inspiring and demystifying, this volume offers powerful and practical advice to all embarking on the journey that is the college search. If you decide you want to buy only one college guide, this would be an excellent choice!”
—Mark J. Hatch, Vice President for Enrollment, Colorado College

“At last, an engaging and entertaining student-centered college guide. Only Lynda and Eric can draw the relationship between the dating game and the college admissions game and in doing so, empower students to find colleges which are a great match for themselves. From debunking myths such as the all-knowledgeable and ‘scientific’ U.S. News & World Report college issue to educating the reader with more reliable advice and tools such as the National Survey of Student Engagement, this is a great guide which will inform and entertain you. If that doesn’t work, you can use it to help you find the right mate.”
—Beverly Morse, Associate Dean of Admissions, Kenyon College

“Finally, a guide book that speaks in the language of a college-bound student! A fun, refreshing approach that humanizes the admissions process.”
—Jared Cash, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Bates College

“This is a great book that discusses many of the confusing, conflicting, and sometimes intimidating questions associated with the search for that perfect college match. Yet the authors address those matters in a way that avoids all of the preachy arrogance that I have found in so many other books that have attempted to address the same topic. Because the authors have such a wealth of experience with so many applicants and their families, they do not need to resort to ill-informed preaching. Instead, they often support their observations and suggestions with the strong examples that only very experienced counselors can provide.
—Gary L. Ross, Vice President, Dean of Admission, Colgate University

“A fun, new perspective on the college application process! While light-hearted and playful in approach, this book is replete with excellent tips and advice that get to the heart of what matters in the sometimes-daunting world of selective college admission. The perfect gift for any student about to embark upon that journey—accessible, readable, and immensely helpful.”
—Cathy Nabbefeld, Director of College Counseling, Colorado Academy
President, Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counselors

“A direct and useful guide written with uncommon wisdom and humor by two extremely knowledgeable and experienced college counselors. In an over-crowded field, this book is among the very best I’ve seen.”
—Dan Miller, Headmaster, The Wheeler School

“Practical, student-centered advice based on the career wisdom of two high school counselors who have facilitated the right fit or ‘love connection,’ if you will, between hundreds of students and the schools of their choice.”
—Jason Mundy, Head of the Middle and Upper School, Norfolk Collegiate School

“Students tend to think that getting into the ‘right’ college means racking up accolades as fast as possible during high school. But those accolades become irrelevant if you don’t have any clue about which college is right for you. With so many schools out there, choosing one is hard, and it probably won’t be a completely rational process. I remember picking Stanford purely on a gut feeling, and I could not have been happier with my choice. But I know plenty of people who attended Stanford for the wrong reasons, and they never enjoyed their time there. My guess is they never had a college counselor like Lynda Herring. Making the best choice at 17 or 18 is hard, but if you take the advice in this book seriously, you will be well informed and well equipped. In addition, this volume will help you identify and emphasize your strengths, and if you do that well, the right college will have a hard time turning you down.”
—Ben Carver, Kent Denver Alum, Stanford Class of 2007

“Lynda Herring mentored me through all the obstacles of identifying and getting into the school of my choice, and this volume contains those same gems of information that she gave me. In addition, it will help you gather the courage to ask out that cute girl in the library! If you want to be informed about the admission process in a humorous and accessible way, then you must have this book. I’d read it just for the entertainment value!”
—Joseph Chan, Kent Denver Alum, Presidential Scholar, Stanford Class of 2007

“This book is terrific! I only wish I’d had it while my own children were applying to colleges because there are some excellent, specific, and well organized suggestions that we could have used—like preparation for interviews, writing essays, and questions to ask during visits.”
—Margaret Bathgate, President, Kent Denver Board of Trustees and parent of four Kent Denver graduates

“A delightful, no-nonsense approach to the college search and application process, this volume contains words of wisdom for students and parents alike from two counselors who have been on the front lines for years. Readers will appreciate this unique approach, real college counseling, that contains lots of helpful facts and sound advice presented with good humor. This book is the very best way to begin the college search!”
—Marjorie Gart, Trustee, Kent Denver School and parent of three Kent Denver graduates

“As the parent of three children shepherded through Kent Denver and into college by Lynda Herring, I highly recommend this comprehensive “how to” book. All three of my children had different needs, but the whole process went smoothly for each of them. They attended very different types of colleges where they were happy and flourished. By taking the advice in this book, you will have the very same advantage in successfully navigating this sometimes difficult and always time-consuming adventure.”
—Beatrice Trautman, parent of three Kent Denver graduates

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How to Be Irresistible to Colleges
How to Be Irresistible to Colleges
By: Eric Dawson and Lynda Herring
224 pages
Special Amazon Price: Click to View
Eric Dawson and Lynda Herring

Eric Dawson and Lynda Herring possess more than 30 years of combined experience as educators, college counselors and classroom teachers, at Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado. Eric earned a B.A. at Guilford College and an M.A. at Miami University in Ohio. Lynda earned a B.A. at Stanford University and an M.A. and a teaching certificate at the University of Colorado, Boulder.