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Book Review: Getting In!

Title: Getting In! The Zinch Guide to College Admissions and Financial Aid in the Digital Age, by Steve Cohen, Anne Dwane, Paulo De Oliveira and Michael Muska. Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2011.

Description: The book begins with a useful introduction/”how to use” section that breaks the volume down into easy-to-digest bullets and short paragraphs. This title is the latest iteration of a 1983 college admissions book, updated to account for today’s process, unique circumstances (social media, the Internet, etc) and modern schools.

Getting In! then launches into detailed but concise discussions about the admissions process. It effectively dispels many myths of college admissions such as “Having a great list of talents and extracurriculars will get you into college” (not true, if you don’t have the grades to back them up).

The sections on researching schools and preparing college applications offer both “do’s” and “don’ts”, giving a clear picture of what really works – and what can really backfire.

The book is well organized into chapters, subchapters and bulleted lists. It’s succinct and offers a great deal of useful and actionable advice for high school students and their parents.

Bottom Line: The book delves into all aspects of college selection, applications and decisions. It’s written in an easy-to-understand format that makes it really reader-friendly. You can easily skim the whole book in an afternoon, returning later for more in-depth reading. And, as the book suggests, it’s perfect for both kids and their parents to read (a particularly good point: college selection is an individual decision, not a family one). It’s a great resource to have in the school guidance office bookcase.

About the Authors: The four co-authors all have a background in college admissions and education. Steve Cohen has worked in publishing and as a teacher for more than 25 years. Anne Dwane is CEO of Zinch, a Web site devoted to connecting students with colleges and scholarships. Paulo de Oliveira worked in admissions before going on to a career in television programming. Michael Muska is the Dean of College Relations for Poly Prep Country Day School.

To Purchase: This book retails for $14.99 and is available on


Article by Sarah W. Caron, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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