Saturday College Book Club: College Is Yours, by Patrick J O'Connor

Posted: September 5, 2015

I decided to use College Is Yours 2.0 as the first book in the Saturday College Book Club, because I think this is a perfect first handbook for the college applicant and his or her parents. It's small, it's comprehensive and easy to read. I had the good fortune to receive this book directly from Dr. O'Connor when I took a workshop from him last July at Lawrence University. He's a past president of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) and frequent contributor to the Huffington Post on college matters, but more than that he is a multi-decade high school counselor who clearly genuinely cares about his students and understands what they need and how they think. 
 So what's in the book? Everything! Beginning with "The Big Picture" for 9th graders and ending with  walking the seniors right onto campus, College Is Yours 2.0 is a collection of 60 short (600 word) essays on every college admissions topic your student will be wondering about, written in a humorous and conversational style. He covers creating a college list, standardized testing, campus tours, financial aid and paying for college (which are not the same thing), working with your counselor, and how to make your final choice. There's even an illuminating chapter for parents that I wish I could just type in here, but I'm going to leave you to read it for yourselves.

College Is Yours 2.0 is like a guidance counselor in your pocket, a book you can refer to late at night when you're having trouble sleeping and need reassurance. I'm not certain my boys would have actually read it if I had had it to casually prop up against the Xbox, but it would have been reassuring to me as a college admissions mom. I highly recommend it to every 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grader who is thinking about planning to apply to college.

Have you read College Is Yours 2.0? What did you think?

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