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Dear Parents

, 176 pages
September 2018



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Dear Parents

A Field Guide for College Preparation


Written for parents and families of college-bound students, Jon McGee’s Dear Parents is an essential tool you’ll need to navigate the complex and often emotional challenge of getting your daughter or son prepared for—and through—college. Organized chronologically, the book takes readers through the stages of childhood leading up to college, as well as the process of searching for and selecting a college. From the decisions you make during your child’s early years to the process of setting up their dorm room, this book provides parents with insights, wisdom, and guidance about college, college preparation, and choosing a college.

Letters written by college and educational professionals, all with children, frame and illuminate each chapter. Drawing on their personal and professional experience, these experts offer practical and sympathetic advice about preparing for college. The book concludes with insights about sending children off to college and the appropriate roles for parents as your children experience these important years. Undergirded by research but informed by on-the-ground insight, Dear Parents is designed to both engage and inform while demystifying the daunting and ever-changing process of entering college.

"If you’ve picked up this book, my guess is you don’t need convincing that there is a lifelong return from a college education. You want to understand the process better and you’d like to help your teen smartly navigate their choices. You picked wisely if that’s the case.... Jon McGee is a wonderful guide, shedding light on the mysterious process of applying to college while bringing much insight to the inevitable trade-offs."—from the foreword by Chris Farrell, Marketplace

Jon McGee is the vice president for planning and strategy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. He is the author of Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education. A father of four, he and his wife will have children in college continuously until 2027.

"Well written, easy to read, and thorough, Dear Parents captures the college selection and preparation process very well. The 'letters from parents' concept will interest parents and intrigue admissions personnel."

"As the parent of younger children, and a college admission and financial aid administrator, I encourage anyone who is interested in guiding their children and providing a path toward college enrollment to invest time in reading and understanding the importance of Jon McGee’s work. I am a believer in his message."

"Through letters and thoughtful reflection, Dear Parents offers rich insight about guiding children through high school and the college search. Read this book if you are looking for advice that will help you navigate the thrilling and sometimes trying college process."

"Jon McGee is the equivalent of your higher education Sherpa. He has brilliantly succeeded in making the complex and nerve-racking expedition into college search and selection easier to understand. This book is an indispensable resource for students and families embarking on the journey."

"If you want an intelligent, authentic, and humorous approach in helping your student select the best college—academically, personally, and financially—Dear Parents is a must read."

"Worried parents will appreciate this volume."

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