A Is for Admission: The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges

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9780446674065: A Is for Admission: The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges

A former admissions officer at Dartmouth College reveals how the world's most highly selective schools really make their decisions.

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Review:

Plenty of college admission guides promise to help students crack the Ivy League, but few of these have detailed knowledge to back up their advice. Michele Hernandez, on the other hand, is the ultimate insider. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth College, she also worked as Dartmouth's assistant director of admissions for four years. In A Is for Admissions, Hernandez describes the step-by-step process Ivy League schools use to evaluate an application. Along the way she settles some ancient debates, including the comparative importance of SATs versus high-school grades, public versus private high schools, and extracurricular activities versus part-time employment. She evaluates every possible factor affecting chances for admission, including special categories of students such as recruited athletes, minority applicants, and legacies. Most dramatically, Hernandez reveals the precise mathematical formula used by admissions officers to rank applicants. Using her guidelines, readers can calculate their own AI (Academic Index) and--should their scores come up short--learn ways to compensate in other areas.

Refreshingly, Hernandez helps would-be Ivy Leaguers keep their goals in perspective. She strongly advises against "grade grubbing" or "working for the grade." If you think attending a top college is the key to success, Hernandez cautions that the Ivies may not be for you. "If your goal is to make money, but you don't enjoy studying or reading, don't waste your time by trying to get into an Ivy League or highly selective college.... The beauty of an Ivy League/highly selective education lies in the intellectual atmosphere.... It does not lie in the prestige of having a diploma from Princeton or Dartmouth on your wall." Levelheaded and clearly written, A Is for Admission is the perfect guide for the student (or parent) who has his eyes set on the stars.

About the Author:

Michele A. Hernandez graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1989. She served as an assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth College from 1992 to 1997. Currently, she is the president of Hernandez College Consulting LLC, one of the nation's leading firms on helping students gain admission into top colleges.

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