Preparing for College

De-Stressing College Admissions

This blog post is intended mostly for high school sophomores and juniors, those who haven't yet waded into the knee-deep world of college applications. Unless you've been living on another planet, you're no doubt aware of the ever-increasing difficulty, competitiveness, and stress of the college admission process, especially the so-called "elite" (as in Ivy League) admissions process.


So what's the solution here? Well, at least one author has some thoughts about that. Here's a review of his book:

Going to College...Without the Stress

by Tedd D. Kelly

Paperback - 299 pages; Xlibris Corporation (2002)

Author Tedd D. Kelly is quite a versatile and creative guy. His college admissions credentials include heading up a consulting firm that has served over 400 colleges. He served nine years as a college admissions director and has made a ton of media appearances both in person and in print happily sharing his wealth of college knowledge.


Tedd brings the full weight of his savvy to bear on his latest opus, Going to College…Without the Stress, a book jam-packed with sage, sane, easy-to-take advice and plenty of good humor. Some of you may have read America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, co-authored by yours truly. Its thesis is the story of today's high school seniors (and their families) who are under great pressure to find their way through the complicated subtleties of the competitive-college process. Going to College provides a welcome antidote-an antithesis, if you will-to that, something along the lines of: "Yes, it's a critical process, but it doesn't have to give you a stroke." Welcome news, indeed.

The book is neatly divided into four, well-defined sections. The first 50 pages lay the groundwork for such fundamentals as financial aid, debt control, Early Decision plans, Web resources, fine print considerations, and other practicalities. Then there are two meaty sections, covering both the junior and senior school years, with month-by-month, procession-of-events calendars (including summers) that spell out everything students and parents need to know while juggling all the process balls. Finally, there is a generous appendix providing a liberal dose of college-term definitions, resources, and people to remember.

You'll also get to meet The Dunce, Kelly's calm but witty narrator who offers hints, monthly checklists, and answers to frequently asked questions. The Dunce is defined in an endnote, which explains why you may want to take college admissions advice from someone so named. The Dunce's calm, soothing manner and gentle good nature is reassuring to neophytes and even crusty college-war veterans like me. Ergo: …without the stress.

While Going to College probably won't be the only book you'll need to facilitate your college process, it should be among the very first to consider. The book is available in both paperbound and e-book form. For another review and a content sample, check


Don't forget to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.