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From an Ivy League dean and a college admissions expert, a guide to help parents support their children as they navigate their way to college
The College Conversation is a comprehensive resource for mapping the path through the college application process that provides practical advice and reassurance to keep both anxious parents and confused children sane and grounded. Rather than adding to the existing canon of "How to Get In" college guides or rankings, Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg provide a step-by-step approach to having the tough conversations on this topic with less stress and more success.
The book is organized around key discussions and themes that trace the chronological arc of admissions and financial aid--beginning before the assembly of a list of potential colleges and continuing through the receipt of decisions--with a final section that includes advice on the first year of college. The topics include preliminary conversations about the search, and specifically how parents can think about their children's interests and what kind of college would best suit them; choosing a college (based on its curriculum, culture, and community); writing the most effective essays; assessing acceptances, including considerations of finances and aid; and making the transition from high school to college life.
The College Conversation will provide parents, students, and counselors with the credible, level-headed information often missing in this process, as well as a much-needed dash of perspective borne of experience.
About the Author
Eric J. Furda is the former dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania and the former executive director of admissions at Columbia University.
Jacques Steinberg is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers and You Are an Ironman, and is a former New York Times education journalist. He has served as a senior executive at Say Yes Education and on the board of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. He appears periodically as a college admissions expert on NBC's Today show.
Praise for The College Conversation
"A family new to the process will be glad for the book’s detailed timeline and instructions for essay writing, test taking and applying for financial aid. Recognizing the value of a range of options, the authors discuss the wisdom of starting at a community college, entering the military first, or, if freshman year isn’t working out, transferring from one college to another. Such discussions are rare in books of this kind and thus particularly welcome.”
—The Wall Street Journal
"Thorough [and] instructive. . . . Furda and Steinberg provide a high level of detail, making this volume useful to parents who haven’t been through the process before as well as to those familiar with it. A helpful guide for parents with children approaching college age."
"This exceptional guide to your family’s college conversation will help you help your teen develop their own ideas about what they want in college."
—Grown and Flown
“Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg are giants in the field of college admission, so it isn’t surprising that they have created one of the best books I have read on navigating the college admission process. Every parent of middle or high schoolers should read The College Conversation, which illuminates and demystifies the process, as well as provides important practical advice for forging partnerships between parents and their children.”
—Marcia Hunt, director of college and academic advising, Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and former president, National Association for College Admission Counseling
“The College Conversation brings students and families together with meaningful exercises that help students reflect on their interests and potential. Steinberg and Furda understand the emotional toll of the admissions process and dial down the anxiety. They show how to research schools, navigate financial aid, and even take you behind the scenes in admissions offices after students hit the ‘submit’ button. This is essential reading for college-bound students and their families.”
—Julie Shimabukuro, 9th and 10th Grade Principal, John Burroughs School, and former director of undergraduate admissions at Washington University in St. Louis
“In The College Conversation, Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg have shared a lifetime of deep experience and wisdom in the college admissions and higher education fields. The authors strike an impressive balance: they offer a rich array of straightforward, practical, realistic, and actionable insights and strategies. Simultaneously, they keep the authentic health, well being, and thriving of students and families at the core of each chapter. With these shared values, this is the one book that parents, educators, and student advocates need to help their students gain the most from the college admissions journey.”
—Ana Rowena McCullough, founder and CEO, QuestBridge
“Finally—a book on college fit that addresses the question of cost as a function of college fit! Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg provide a thoughtful dissection of the incredibly complex college admissions process in a way that can resonate with school counselors, parents, and students. With a focus on introspection and reflection—from the initial college search, to the reality of college cost and its role in the application process, and in the aftermath of understanding admissions decisions—everyone will emerge from this book with a better understanding of how to advise and support students, from our most-vulnerable to our most-resourced.”
—Sara Urquidez, executive director, Academic Success Program, Dallas
“Never before has it been so crystal clear that—for the future financial security of students and families—the choice of college must be approached as a value proposition (as much, if not more, than anything else). Jacques and Eric provide a reassuring roadmap to coming to a decision that makes your child happy without breaking the bank.”
—Jean Chatzky, New York Times bestselling author and CEO, HerMoney.com
“Finding the right college can be nerve-racking for students and parents alike. But it can also serve as a growing experience for both generations and a lesson in adult decision-making for students. The authors draw on their unique experiences to help families navigate that bizarre and uniquely American rite of passage known as college admissions.”
—Edward B. Fiske, editor, Fiske Guide to Colleges