A is for Admission by Michele Hernandez

Cover via newlatina.net.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I finished this in four hours. I read it in August, as a rising senior with college applications waiting to be started – what I can I say?

While I can confidently say that I had a roughly accurate idea of how admissions worked, this book refined some of my beliefs and heightened others that I already held. The academic index and the finer details regarding parental involvement/guidance counselor/teacher recommendations were intriguing. It would help if all of those involved in the admissions process possessed a good grasp of the concepts presented in this guide.

I was worried that this book would focus too much on how to get high SAT or scores or how to superficially solidify my application. It touched on those things, because they are important, but to my great relief it did delve into the importance of learning for learning’s sake. I found myself nodding along as the author stressed the importance of intellectual curiosity as well as reading and writing (my favorite things in the world)!

Here’s a powerful excerpt from a passage about Asian-Americans and the admissions process:

“… but here’s the part that should bother every Asian applicant: though Asians tend to have lower admissions rates to top colleges than any other ethnic group (including white students), which means, in effect, that they have to be better than the average white student to be admitted, the Ivies and top colleges count them in the minority when they refer to ‘students of color.’

Stop and think about that. … how can you can you count Asians in the ‘of color’ category? To me, that is outrageous as admissions officers are calling them, I suppose, yellow – what other color would they be talking about? if admissions offices want to be taken seriously, I believe they need to stop the double standard right away – you can’t make it hard for Asians to get in on the one hand, but on the other hand count them in the minority numbers.

Asians of the world: Rise up and let your voice be heard. Let admissions offices know that you do not want to be counted as a minority unless you get a break in the admissions process.”

Overall, I highly recommend this book for those who want to know more about the college admissions process. The author, a former admissions officer at Dartmouth College, is a credible and experienced source whose writing is clear and easy to follow. Perhaps I will update this review once I discover where I am admitted. If it is to be, it’s up to me! Or you, if you’re also applying to college.

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