College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family

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Capital Books, 2007 - Family & Relationships - 181 pages
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College Admissions Together is more than a practical how to get into college book, though it does explain key aspects of today''s college admissions process for both parents and students. It is also a guide to healthy family relationships during the college admissions process. This invaluable book looks at the often stressful process of finding the right college for your child not as an ordeal but as an opportunity to bond as a family and to give your child safe passage to adulthood as he or she determines which colleges are the best fit.In College Admissions Together, educational consultant Steve Goodman and family psychologist Andrea Leiman help parents recognize that what makes the college admissions process a potential danger zone for families is the combination of the teen''s growing independence and the parent''s need to help him or her make critical decisions for the future. They answer difficult questions like how to stay involved in the process while allowing your child to make more choices. They help you put the college admissions process into the context of your child''s passage to adulthood and understand what he or she is feeling and facing as your child makes the decision of where to go next.Using Goodman and Leiman''s advice, tips, and exercises, the college admissions process will lead to a greater appreciation of each other and mutually rewarding family relationships that last a lifetime. College Admissions Together serves families, counselors, teachers, and others as an essential resource during a stressful time in most families'' lives.REVIEWS "New Guide Eases Families through College Admissions - Perhaps no change in the family dynamic is more dramatic than sending a child out into the world. To help ease the passage of families with high school students seeking entry to higher education, Bethesda clinical psychologist Andrea Leiman co-wrote the new book College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family. ...What sets College Admissions Together apart from some college entrance guides is its discussion of family conflicts and how to avoid them. ''This book really addresses the emotional and family dynamic issues,'' Leiman says. ''This tells how to launch children happily." -- Gazette.net (Maryland Community Newspapers online)"Getting your daughter engaged in the process is crucial, not only to selecting a college but to her success thereafter. Take time to reflect on your objectives, says Steven Roy Goodman, a Washington, D.C., educational consultant and co-author of College Admissions Together, a book on the family dynamics of this process. Are you focused on her attending a well-known school, or one that''s the best fit? Your daughter may fear being less successful than her brother, taking ''the path of the underachiever,'' says Mr. Goodman''s co-author, Andrea Leiman, a clinical psychologist. ''That is, if I don''t try and I fail, I don''t have to feel bad -- where if I try and then don''t succeed, I will feel like a failure,'' Dr. Leiman says. Try gently to engage her in a discussion about ''what interests her. Does she have any idea of a possible career path?" -- Sue Shellenbarger, Wall Street Journal"Aimed at parents, but clearly for the entire family, the book presents the journey through high school and the trainsition to college as a family matter to be shared...In each chapter the embedded strategies are well interwoven with the discussion about college admission. One could almos approach the book as an extended interactional ''game'' designed to promote family harmony, with college admission being merely the topic that gives the exercise meaning!" -- Midwest Book Review"How to bear stresses of college admissions ... College Admissions Together examines the college-hunting process not as an ordeal--but rather as anunexpected opportunity to bond as a family. At a recent book signing at Politics & Prose, Goodman and Leiman shared nuggets of wisdom from their book to an audience comprised of anxious parents and a smattering of curious educators." -- Northwest Current"Any family that has experienced the college application process knows how stressful and nerve-wracking this time can be. ...Goodman, an educational consultant, and Leiman, a clinical psychologist and professor, offer advice on connecting as a family and involving parents, while at the same time allowing each student to make independent decisions." -- Duke Magazine"Depth beats breadth. While it might seem impressive to join six clubs and volunteer at a soup kitchen in your senior year, admissions officers can see through such a ploy. Besides, it''s unnecessary, says Steven Roy Goodman, a Washington, DC educational consultant and the coauthor of College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family. ''It''s important to be well lopsided rather than well rounded. That enables you to focus on what you''re good at." -- US News & World Report
 

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Steven Goodman and Andrea Leiman have designed a manual that takes the subject of college admissions beyond academics and into the realm of transactional psychology—further, in fact, into the realm of culture. Of course the college experience is one with many larger parallels: a high-ticket family financial investment, a rite of passage, and, as this book details, a major decision-making nexus between generations. Over the course of 14 sequenced chapters, the “landscape” of the college admissions process is unfolded and surveyed, its rises and dips outlined in stages from early planning to adjustment to college life. The decision matrix faced by the family reflects the fact that college operates as the key choice in young adulthood. And probably no other high-ticket investment can claim so many shareholders and involves so many subroutines and routings. Reading through these guidelines, with accounts of the pressures to perform, developmental issues, with the stress, anger, fear, uncertainty, and the sheer ego forces unleashed by this quest for independence, respect, and success, one wonders how anyone survives. But the authors have documented the college admissions process as an emotional and social journey, not the straight-line trajectory to the student’s colleges of choice. College admission is a “danger zone” poised at the intersection of several key domains of life: the transition from teen to adulthood, the run-up to the student’s build-out to independence, the end of active parenting, issues of family roles and values, class expectations, the prospects for achievement—all aspects of launching the aspirational self into the world. The demands for good decision making are pressing on a powerful juncture: one where traditional students are still teens with shifting emotional responses (one outcome of the teen brain’s as yet incompletely formed thinking processes), the simultaneous need for dependence and control, as well as anxious parents who are reliving their own traumas and triumphs through their children. Especially stressful, and therefore the focus of in-depth discussion, is college as a breaking out of the child role and building out into the first stages of adult life and thinking. This launch beyond the family orbit is fraught with dozens of decisions which are the shared domain of parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, as well as the student him / herself. Because both writers work with the family dynamics of this decision (Leiman is a family psychologist and Goodman is a leading admissions expert) together they bring analytical tools into the picture for immediate application. Examples include self-assessments as well as questions for mutual discussion that assess opinions and approaches to topics from goals and aspirations to peer pressure, academic interests and ability, conflict resolution style, decision making responsibility, and comfort level with teen independence, to envisioning the future at school, and for parents, a midlife assessment. Just citing “important conversations” that should take place--from college living arrangements to behaviors and attitudes key to beginning adulthood—is a leading asset of this volume. While family groups naturally fall back upon a sense of shared values and assumptions, these are usually unequal to meet the demands for growth that the many college options demand--which college, how large or small, how far away from home, the student lifestyle, strengths in major subjects, social life and sports, costs and who will pay them--there is a great need for comprehensive guidance on how to make these decisions, or even more important, to determine who owns them. The admissions process is a shared venture without many clear signposts or instructions--financial, lifestyle, and social—which makes this crossroad ripe for frustration and conflict between generations and egos. These circumstances bear all the earmarks of a crisis; the book shows how the crisis potential can be transformed into productive and even 

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About the author (2007)

Steven Roy Goodman, MS, JD, is an international authority on college and graduate school admissions. Over the past eighteen years, he has designed admissions strategies for more than 1,500 applicants to colleges, graduate programs, and business, law, and medical schools. Steve Goodman has spoken at the White House, the 92nd Street Y, and the World Bank and has been cited in many national and regional media outlets including the annual college editions of the Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, as well as on ABC, CNN, and even TV Asahi in Japan. Steve lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and daughter.

Steven Roy Goodman, MS, JD, is an international authority on college and graduate school admissions. Over the past eighteen years, he has designed admissions strategies for more than 1,500 applicants to colleges, graduate programs, and business, law, and medical schools. Steve Goodman has spoken at the White House, the 92nd Street Y, and the World Bank and has been cited in many national and regional media outlets including the annual college editions of the Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, as well as on ABC, CNN, and even TV Asahi in Japan. Steve lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and daughter.

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