Who Gets in and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions

Scribner. Sept. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982116293. $28. ED
This absorbing book delves into the sometimes enigmatic world of college admissions. Why are students accepted, wait-listed, or rejected? Journalist Selingo provides an insider’s view of college marketing, recruitment, admissions decision-making, and financial aid. Over a year’s time, the author was given behind-the-scenes access to the admissions cycles at Emory University, Atlanta; the University of Washington, Seattle; and Davidson College, NC. He conferred with admissions officers at other higher education institutions, both public and private, tracked three dozen high school seniors, and followed the decisions made by three college-bound high school students. Selingo also explores selectivity, early admissions, institutional priorities, legacy admits, and college athletics. He provides considerable insight into the relative weights given to courses taken, academic grades, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and high school quality, and he sheds light on the art and science of modern-day enrollment management. The appendix includes practical advice for families.
VERDICT This well-researched work is an invaluable tool for college-bound students and their families, guidance counselors, and college admissions personnel.

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