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Ten College Admissions Books to Add to Your Reading List

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Gabbi Tobias College Admissions Advisor

Written by Gabbi Tobiason August 8th, 2023

I came to College Coach after being a decision maker in college admissions. I began my career at High Point University where I read and evaluated thousands of applications from territories across the US, including the Midwest and the West Coast. I led essay workshops and case studies to educate prospective families on the college admissions process. Dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion during my time at High Point, I implemented and led the office’s Diversity Recruitment Board, which focused on recruitment, yield, and retention of students from underrepresented communities. And as a recruited collegiate lacrosse player I understand the pressures and demands that the recruitment process entails. Not only have I worked with recruited athletes, but I myself have experienced the process firsthand!
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by Gabbi Tobias, former admissions officer at High Point University Looking to add to your reading list? Check out our list of 10 of our favorite books (in no particular order!) related to college admissions, financial aid and literacy, parenting, and career exploration. We hope you find these resources as helpful as we do. The Price You Pay For College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make, Ron Lieber Tuition at a four-year college or university is a big investment. Add in four years of on-campus living and dining and, in some cases, you can almost double your cost. Author Ron Lieber offers a much-needed roadmap for families, explaining why and how the financial aid system has become so complicated, and delves into the details of “discounting” and how colleges use merit aid to compete with peer institutions. Lieber tackles the essential question of college value and dives into research from time he has spent with numerous college presidents and financial aid experts. He also walks families through the process of setting financial goals, and figuring out ways to save, borrow, and ask for a better deal. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties, Beth Kobliner Now more than ever young adults in their twenties and thirties need help getting their finances in order. In Kobliner’s financial guide for the younger generation, she shares insights and actionable advice, teaching readers how to get out of debt, how to save, and how to invest for the future. Whether you are just entering college or have already graduated, this is a necessary read if you want to avoid common money mistakes. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You’re Not), Beth Kobliner It’s never too early to have the “money talk” with your kids. In another must read from author Beth Kobliner she offers a simple, systematic guide to help parents of all income levels teach their kids (ages three to 23) about money. Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss, Walter Andal This easy-to-read guide teaches children the concepts of finance by presenting real-life situations. This informative, entertaining, and easily digestible read discusses how to earn and make money, how to save and invest, and covers basics (How did money become a thing? What is credit?) and much more! Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By, Cary Siegel Author Cary Siegel initially developed this book to pass on to children as they entered adulthood. But as it continued to develop he realized that personal money management skills were rarely taught in high schools, colleges, and even graduate-level courses. This book includes eight important lessons that focus on 99 principles that will enhance anyone’s financial literacy skills. This text is quick, easy to read, and focuses on the qualitative side of money management. Fiske Guide to Colleges, Edward Fiske If you are not sure where to start in the college search and admissions process, look no further! For nearly 40 years, the robust Fiske Guide has been a leading source of information on over 300+ four-year schools. It provides an insider’s view on what it’s really like to be a student at schools across the United States, plus Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland. Colleges That Change Lives, Loren Pope, Hilary Masell Oswald For any prospective college student looking for a college experience beyond the status quo, this is the guide for you. Colleges that Change Lives profiles 40 liberal arts colleges with similar missions: to develop thinkers, leaders, and moral citizens. In this recently updated version, Hilary Masell Oswalf builds on top of the original author’s work by providing a wealth of information based on her own tours of the schools and interviews with students, faculty, and alumni. The Learning Habit: A Groundbreaking Approach to Homework and Parenting that Helps Our Children Succeed in School and Life, Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman The Learning Habit addresses the pressures of homework, screen time, and the everyday stress that families with school-aged children face. Donaldson-Pressman lays out lessons to build learning habits for life, and offers eight critical skills needed to succeed in college, as well as the ever-changing and competitive job market. Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College, Patricia Pasick As a parent and psychologist, Pasick takes on key questions of how parents can continue to stimulate adolescents’ growth while maintaining independence. Readers get insights on how to explore the impact on the changing family unit, the benefits and challenges of college students returning home, and the challenges that nontraditional families may face. The book also offers advice from high school and college admissions counselors, and personal experiences from parents and kids who have made this transition. What Color is Your Parachute? For Teens, Carol Christen The exercises in What Color is Your Parachute? have been proven to help teenagers uncover what may be a best-fit job or college major. This book goes a step further by helping to uncover kids’ true skillsets, what matters most to them, the kinds of people they work best with, and interests they may already have that have not been tapped into just yet. This new edition contains updated information on how the pandemic and other challenges have changed higher education and the job market.


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