The Black Family’s Guide to College Admissions

Johns Hopkins Univ. 2nd ed. Jan. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781421448961. pap. $22.95. CHILD REARING
Fields (associate dean of admissions, Emory Univ.) and Herndon-Brown (founder/chief education officer, Strategic Admissions Advice; coauthor, MarriageFamilyBusiness) explore the challenges that Black children often encounter when they apply to colleges. The authors offer perspectives gained from their vast experience of working with students and in college admissions. They found that many Black students are presented with additional challenges in their quest to apply for and get accepted into higher-education institutions. For example, they are often not given the best options or helped through the paperwork. Therefore, Fields and Herndon-Brown have dedicated this book to educating counselors and parents on the needs of Black students. They help parents determine whether historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) or predominantly white institutions (PWIs) are the best fits for their child. They also offer advice on how to help a child overcome obstacles, manage their mental health, and handle rejection.
VERDICT A much-needed guide with both insight and practical takeaways. It fills a void in the literature about the distinctive hardships and adversities Black students face in the college admission process. There’s much wisdom in this book for all parents too; it encourages families to examine both personal values and resources when seeking possibilities in education.
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