Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why shouldn’t I go buy a book about how to get into the specific type of school to which I am applying?
A: “From Preschool to Grad School” is not mutually exclusive of any other books on the market. To the extent that competitive schools typically place large financial constraints on students or their families and have significant quality of life impacts on those who choose them, it makes sense to seek wisdom from multiple sources.

Q: But I f I were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one admissions book, why would I choose “From Preschool to Grad School” instead of some other?
A: “From Preschool to Grad School” will teach you so much about what drives the admissions process that every action you take after reading it will be intuitive, natural, and authentic. Many other books take a “tips and tricks” approach to admissions advice, serving up guidance with shallow rationale and little actual data to back it up. These books give you a fish; yet “From Preschool to Grad School” teaches you to fish. You’re on a desert island. Wouldn’t you rather know how to fish?

Q: Does the book provide proportionally similar advice for students and families applying for schools at different levels of education?
A: Though the advice presented in the book is equally relevant for students and families applying at any level of education, the research presented in the book is proportional to the availability of such research.  For example, only a fraction of nationally-relevant data on preschool and lower grade level admissions has been published compared to the numerous national and international studies done for college and graduate school.  Consequently, there are fewer measured examples to be shown for the former.  Readers of “From Preschool to Grad School” with their sights set on high school, college and graduate school will find more detailed information on the current environment and trends simply because such information is measured and available.

Q: Did you interview other admissions officers as part of the research for your book? If so, which ones?
A: Yes, and, on certain points, I’m not telling. In my book, candor of content sometimes won out over source transparency. I wanted this guide to demystify the process and give applicants the most valuable information, including details that no admissions committee member would ever say publicly. As a result, certain opinions expressed during my interviews with admissions officers were too candid to place interviewees on record; and certain information was shared on specific condition of anonymity.

Q: What is a competitive school?
A: Any school that does not offer automatic or lottery-based admission.  For the purposes of “From Preschool to Grad School,” a competitive school is any institution, public or private, that has a selective, application-based process.  This group will inevitably include excellent public schools, including state colleges and universities which may receive public funding and feature heavily subsidized tuition, but which still require selective admissions (e.g., University of California at Berkeley).