A Tome on Being College Ready

Bruce Von Stiers

Alpha Books has some interesting titles. They have the Complete Idiot’s Guide series. And they also have books on fitness and one on bank robberies. Alpha Books also has published a book that will be extremely helpful for students planning on going to college and their parents. The title of the book is KickStart to College. The book was written by Marion Edelman Borden. It was copyrighted in 2002, so the information is timely.

What makes this book different from the whole forests of tomes about getting ready for college? Marian tells you that a child in Middle School should be thinking about college. Middle School?!? Yes, Middle School. Marion’s theory is that the more advanced planning a child does for his or her future, the better chance they will have at getting into the right college and on the right career path.

This book has ten chapters and a two part Appendix. There is also an Index at the back of the book It has 254 pages.

The first chapter covers things like getting organized to start a student’s college search. Marion talks about something called the College Box, which is a box to collect all of the important documents that a student might need to present or reference for college entrance. You will find out how important Honors classes are. This chapter also goes over some of the things that grades will, and will not do to help you get into college.

The second chapter is about participating in sports in high school. Marion shuffles through the pros and cons of participating in school athletics and how much it takes to get a sports scholarship. The chapter talks about sending letters to college coaches and getting connected by using third parties to market the student to the college.

Chapter 3 is all about extracurricular activities a student is involved with. Is your student involved with any school clubs? How about any volunteer work? And just not church related activities.

At the end of each chapter Marion will give you a list of things to add to your student’s college box that are related to what she discussed. She also does a recap of the material in the chapter under the heading of What You Need to Know.

The fourth chapter is about summer activities. Marion covers things like camps and summer academic programs. She also covers working during the summer and how a summer job might look on a resume.

Then the book moves onto issues like standardized testing and beginning to search for the right college for your student. Chapters 7 and 8 are all about applying to a college once your student has decided which one to attend. The next chapter of the book goes into the financial end of getting started in college.

Is KickStart to College the best and greatest book on getting a student ready for college? I’m not real sure. I have yet to really get into the college thing for my son. But he is a high school freshman, and college is not too far down the road. Some of the things that Marion points out in the book I would not have even thought of for a student my son’s age. But she makes a pretty convincing case about getting your student ready for college at an early age.

If you have a child in middle school that might want to attend college, then KickStart to College is good book to read. It will give you a heads up on what is going to be expected of your student before they even apply at their preferred place of collegiate learning.

KickStart to College is available at stores like Barnes and Noble.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers