Book Review: The Portable Guidance Counselor

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone.  See our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

The Portable Guidance Counselor: Answers to the 284 Most Important Questions About Getting Into College is edited by the staff of the Princeton Review.  It is a comprehensive review of some of the most important questions that high school students ask, and the answers that guidance counselors give.  It can be a helpful resource for students — especially those students who may have guidance counselors who are overwhelmed and may have less time and attention to share with students.

We recommend The Portable Guidance Counselor to students and their parents — to use in conjunction with personal contact with their assigned guidance counselor.  This book can provide students with important questions to ask their counselor.  It can also serve as a follow-up to conversations with a student’s counselor.  Nothing, of course, replaces the personal contact that a student can have with a counselor who knows him well.  For those students who may have little time to spend with their counselor, this book can help them make the most efficient use of that valuable time.  Neither students, nor their parents, should consider this, or any, book as a substitute for working with their guidance counselor in person.

The question and answer format of this book will help students and their parents move directly to the areas that most concern them.  It makes the information provided by real counselors easy to find and practical.  The five chapters of the book can lead a student through the college application process from early musings to final decisions.  Beginning with ”What to Consider When Considering College,” through ”Academics, Extracurriculars & Everything In Between,” ”Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Application,” to ”Interviewed, Accepted, Waitlisted, Denied,” students can find important information and practical suggestions.  The final chapter, ”The Inside Word” gives the counselors an opportunity to share common mistakes, surprising information and their final most common advice.

Parents and students working through this book together may find important, and sometimes unexpected, topics that they need to talk about together.  This may be, perhaps, one of the most important reasons to buy — and share — this book.

What Princeton Review has to say about the book:

To help college-bound teens and their parents find answers to some of the most common questions about college applications, and to make the precious time they spend with their college counselors as fruitful as possible, The Princeton Review has published a handy guidebook.

The book’s questions come from actual high school students and each answer draws upon advice from one or more actual counselors. The company created a 100-question survey, sent to more than 2000 counselors. The goal was to cull the most informative and best advice from guidance and college counselors across the nation into a handy ”look-it-up” reference.  Replies were thoroughly screened and fact-checked, and the most relevant, reliable and useful information was chosen for the book.

Words of wisdom from college counselor contributors

”The biggest stress on students is their parents.” — Eleanor Kinsella, Guidance Counselor, Dover-Sherborn High School

”Students need to take academically challenging courses starting their freshman year of high school.  They also need to read.” — Nanette Umeda, Post-secondary Counselor, Kaiser High School

”Have fun.  Participate in activities that will enrich you as a person.  Read, read, read.” — Renee L. Goldberg, Educational Options, LLC

”At the end of the process, if two students are equal academically, admissions will consider which student will bring more to the campus community.” — Carol Gill, President, Carol Gill Associates

”Breathe and stay organized!  There is a school for everyone.” — Ruth K. Littlefield, Academic Counselor, York High School

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.

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