Parenting College Students: Recommended Reading List

This post includes a list of fourteen books of interest to parents of college students.  The list is not inclusive: there are more books out there.  The authors of these books have different styles and different approaches.  Some are probably better than others.  We are not endorsing any of the books, but hope that the list will serve as a resource for parents who want more information.  You won’t want to read them all, but look for some of the titles that intrigue you.

Enjoy gathering some additional information – and recognizing that you’re not alone in your joys and concerns about your student heading off to college.

We also have four additional lists.  Go to the Reviews and Reading Lists section of the website for lots more book suggestions.

Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties (order directly from Amazon)

Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen

(2004) Oxford University Press

(Read our review of Emerging Adulthood.)


Doors Open from Both Sides: The Off To College Guide From Two Points of View: Parents and Students (order directly from Amazon)

Bane Woodacre, Margo and Bane, Steffany

(2001) American Literary Press


I’ll Miss You Too (order directly from Amazon)

Bane Woodacre, Margo E. and Bane, Steffany

(2006) Sourcebooks, Inc.

(Read our review of I’ll Miss You Too.)


When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent’s Survival Guide (order directly from Amazon)

Barkin, Carol

(1999) Avon Books


Parenting College Freshmen: Consulting for Adulthood (order directly from Amazon)

Bips, Linda L, Wallitsch, Jessica, & Wallitsch, Kristina

(2003) AuthorHouse

(Read our review of Parenting College Freshmen.)


Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years – 5th ed. (order directly from Amazon)

Coburn, Karen Levin, and Treeger, Madge Lawrence

(2003) Quill Harper Collins

(Read our review of Letting Go.)


25 Ways To Make College Pay Off: Advice For Anxious Parents From a Professor Who’s Seen It All (order directly from Amazon)

Coplin, Bill

(2007) Amacom

(Read our review of 25 Ways to Make College Pay Off.)


A Parent’s Guide to Sex, Drugs and Flunking Out: Answers to Questions Your College Student Doesn’t Want You to Ask (order directly from Amazon)

Epstein, Joel

(2001) Hazelden


Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to College (order directly from Amazon)

Johnson, Helen E., and Schelhas-Miller, Christine

(2000) St. Martin’s Press

(Read our review of Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money.)


Let the Journey Begin: A Parent’s Monthly Guide to the College Experience (order directly from Amazon)

MacKay, Jacqueline and Ingram, Wanda

(2001) Wadsworth Publishing


Closing the Gap: A Strategy for Bringing Parents and Teens Together (order directly from Amazon)

McGraw, Jay

(2001) Fireside Books


Almost Grown: Launching Your Child From High School to College (order directly from Amazon)

Pasick, Patricia.

(1998) W. W. Norton & Company


You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years (order directly from Amazon)

Savage, Marjorie

(2003) New York: Simon & Schuster

(Read our review of You’re On Your Own.)


Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey From Home to College (order directly from Amazon)

Van Steenhouse, Andrea

(2002) Simpler Life Press


If you’ve read any of these books, leave a comment and share your opinion and recommendations.  We’d love to hear what you think.

Note: Some links in our post are for affiliate products. If you use our links, College Parent Central receives a small percentage of your purchase price. This does not change the cost to you.  We think it’s only fair to let you know that.

Related Posts:

Gift Books for College Students: Some Recommendations

Parenting College Students: More Recommended Reading

Parenting College Students: Still More Recommended Reading

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1 thought on “Parenting College Students: Recommended Reading List”

  1. Sorry that you didn’t review my book, A Parents’ Guide to College Life (Random House, 2006). I ask 180 questions that any parent in their right mind would want answered and then I interview Deans, counselors, financial advisors and others to get the best answers.
    Love your site (despite the omission),


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