“This book concentrates on getting into college the honest way. It’s no ‘quick fix.’ It emphasizes maturity and the ability to see yourself as others might see you. Don doesn’t tell students to pretend to be someone they are not – he advises them to try to evolve into someone they’d like to be.”
– Ted Sizer, former headmaster of Phillips Academy, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools; and Nancy Sizer, Harvard professor, and teacher at public and private schools, including Phillips Academy
“In this refreshing and informative book, Don Dunbar puts a human face on applying to college. From his decades of experience in the field, Dunbar infuses the application process with a spirit of character and integrity. How just it is that the care and caring in these pages will unfailingly help applicants to achieve success.”
– Richard Lederer, teacher, author, and public radio broadcaster
“Don Dunbar, one of the great sages of college counseling, has given a marvelous gift to students, parents, and counselors everywhere as they embark together on the often turbulent, but potentially enriching educational journey of selective college admissions. Honest, cogent, clear, and direct, Mr. Dunbar, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, implores students to place character above all else. From this timely and highly practical book, students will learn to shun the superficial and facile, and to approach the process of applying to college with maturity, dignity, and common sense, and a new perspective gained from deep self-reflection on who they really are and, looking forward to college and beyond, who they hope to be.”
– David B. Harman, headmaster, Poly Prep Country Day School
“Don Dunbar doesn’t think that the best strategy for the college admissions process is just ‘being yourself.’ In his forthcoming book, What You Don’t Know Can Keep You Out of College, he explains that showing your ‘best self’ is a better path to getting in.” Read the complete column on Don's book, “Tips on Acing the Interview,” on the U.S. News & World Report website.
– Alex Kingsbury, education writer for U.S. News & World Report
Don Dunbar’s clients hire him to help their kids stand out amongst the fierce competition for limited places at the top colleges. Over the past thirty years, Dunbar Educational Consultants has built one of the most trusted brands in its field. But not everyone can afford to hire a private counselor. Now, in What You Don’t Know Can Keep You Out of College, Don makes his advice available to everyone.
Don worked as a college counselor for Phillips Academy, Andover, one of the most established, academically competitive, and diverse boarding schools in the world. He met face-to-face with admissions officers from schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and he heard firsthand what these schools are looking for in students they admit. Don saw how admissions committees think – what impresses them and what sets off red flags – and a lot of what he learned is counterintuitive and surprising.
Grades, test scores, extracurriculars – all of these things are important and you need them to get your foot in the door, but admissions officers want something more in the students they choose to admit. They want character. You may think you know what character means, but do you really understand what it means to a college admissions officer? Don Dunbar can show you by explaining that admissions people look at things a little differently than we do. They define character in terms of what a student stands to contribute to their college’s community, good or bad, over the next four years. And straight A’s and perfect test scores alone just aren’t enough.