All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Secrets of Applying for College Admission and Scholarships

Katy Craig and Katie Kramer

Publisher: CreateSpace Pages: 111 Price: (paperback) $9.99 ISBN: 9781548860523 Reviewed: October, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

Are you or someone you love facing the daunting task of creating stellar applications for college admission and scholarships? The key lies within this keenly insightful guide, which dishes out “secret” strategies through insider information.

Katie Kramer is president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation, which has awarded some 2,400 undergraduate scholarships to deserving students. Katy Craig is a leadership speaker who has participated in the higher education selection process for 17 years. Both have intimate knowledge of what sets students apart for college selection committees.

This comprehensive book covers the gamut, from offering a time table of when to accomplish various tasks (such as when to start researching schools or filling out financial aid documents), to how best to quantify your involvement in activities and what sort of details to include in your essays to make them authentic and competitive. Throughout, the authors offer sample submissions, comparing writing tones that are overly humble, overly boastful or appropriately straight-forward. Brief commentary “bubbles” alongside the submissions notate what works, what misses the mark, and why.

The book emphasizes the critical need to add life details that truly energize you. “. . . [T]hat energy translates into your writing and jumps off the page into our hearts and minds.” In addition, “embracing your eccentricities is one of the best ways to stand out and to make reviewers want to meet you in person.”

Compiled in an 8½”-x-11”, notebook-sized format, this concise, spirited read simplifies and fine tunes the critical application process. Impressive in its organization and sage advice, it also speaks with subtle humor, encouraging students to “go with your quirks” and “geek out,” but by all means, “avoid these common essay mistakes that make reviewers want to poke their eyes out.”

This is THE book for college-bound students. It should also sit firmly on the shelves of all high school guidance counselors and others involved in helping students navigate the often-challenging application process.

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Author's Current Residence
Denver, Colorado
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