College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family

“Getting into college with a minimum of family fuss is hard–unless you know how to manage the tensions that surface along the way. Goodman and Leiman provide the tools you need to help your child gain admission to appropriate schools and to permanently enrich your family relationships at the same time.”
— Stephen Trachtenberg, former president, George Washington University


“College Admissions Together is such an outstanding contribution to the field that it should be entitled Read Me First. Before you visit any admissions office, take any campus tour, or do any college investigations at all, make sure you follow the pragmatic advice in this book.”
— Richard Bory, dean emeritus, admissions and records, The Cooper Union


“Leaving home is a big deal. The authors draw on their expertise to teach us how to approach this dynamic process with a clear plan instead of just hoping that it will all work out somehow.”
— Neal Morris, past president, Maryland Psychological Association


“Steve Goodman and Andrea Leiman confront the transition to college intelligently, aiming to help families grow up without growing apart and setting the tone for sharing family challenges in a productive way.”
— Theodore Friend, former president, Swarthmore College


“College Admissions Together is a solid and sensible guide, full of excellent information to help you–and your teen–navigate a crucial transition.”
— Myrna Blyth, former editor-in-chief, Ladies’ Home Journal


“This valuable book illuminates the family dynamics that can often get in the way of choosing a college successfully–and offers useful tips on how to proceed thoughtfully through the admissions process.”

— Daniel Golden, Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Price of Admission



  1. A Safe Passage to Adulthood
  2. Shifts in Family Control
  3. Peer and Social Pressure
  4. Objectively Assessing Your Child
  5. Establishing Realistic Expectations
  6. Fear of Failure
  7. Enhancing Your Family’s Communication
  8. Family Member Responsibilities
  9. Teamwork Every Step of the Way
  10. Making a Match
  11. Key Aspects of College Applications
  12. The Long Wait for Decisions
  13. Making a Wise Choice
  14. Moving On: The Big Transition

This book will help you and your family lay the foundation for a successful, conflict-minimizing college search. We address the realities of today’s college admissions process and suggest ways that the process itself can become a source of family bonding. By addressing the major educational and developmental factors that influence most college searches, you’ll find that both you and your family will face less conflict and that your child will improve her chances of finding and being admitted to the schools of her choice.

Profound emotional and family issues tend to rise to the surface during the college search. In College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family, we first look at the psychology of teenagers in general and provide you with insights that will help you examine your child’s behavior in particular. Then we consider the key factors affecting parents at this transitional point in their lives – and what you’ll need to know about yourself that will affect your family’s successful completion of the college admissions process. Finally, we explore the dynamics at play within the family and beyond. This includes your extended family members, friends, and acquaintances, as well as other social influences.

Most cultures have a rite of passage that marks a child’s entry to adulthood and assumption of mature responsibilities. In American society, the cultural rite of passage is often marked by leaving for college. Decisions about looking at colleges, applying to various institutions, and leaving home exacerbate tension within the family. How a family addresses these specific college admissions matters, as well as underlying developmental issues, is crucial to both a successful college selection outcome and a well-adjusted family in the future.

All families approach the coming of age of their teenagers in different ways. The college search and application process merely increases the tensions already present in a family during this stage of the life cycle. Despite the infinite variations on the theme of adolescent maturation, there are clear steps that you and your family can take during this period to avoid the danger zones while enhancing your family’s relationships. Of course, we can’t help you avoid all family conflict. Rather, we suggest ways to constructively discuss emotionally charged issues and offer you our knowledge and years of experience to help resolve family conflict during this exciting and challenging transition.


“If I were to recommend only one book to parents of college bound young people it would be this one.”
— David Denman, Midwest Book Review, April 2008


“Getting your daughter engaged in the process is crucial, not only to selecting a college but to her success thereafter. Take time to reflect on your objectives, says Steven Roy Goodman, a Washington, D.C., educational consultant and co-author of College Admissions Together, a book on the family dynamics of this process.”
— Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2008


“Any family that has experienced the college application process knows how stressful and nerve-wracking this can be. … Goodman, an educational consultant, and Leiman, a clinical psychologist and professor, offer advice on connecting as a family and involving parents, while at the same time allowing each student to make independent decisions.”
Duke Magazine, February 1, 2008


College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family is available through the publisher, Capital Books/IPM, or almost all major booksellers.

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If you would like to order 10 or more copies of the book, please email me directly. Enjoy the book!