Student Success Stories by NSHSS

College Admission: How To Get Into Your Dream School — Real Students, Real Stories


College Admission: How To Get Into Your Dream School — Real Students, Real Stories

About the Book

College Admission: How to Get Into Your Dream School — Real Students, Real Stories is a how-to guide for college-bound students and their families filled with personal, relevant guidance and useful information in the college search and application process. Students who have successfully joined the ranks of their dream schools share their own journeys and first-hand experiences that led them to college acceptance.

Expert advice, tips, and pitfalls from high school counselors, college admissions officers, and the author’s own observations in working with thousands of high school scholars provide an equal level of hope for all students as they identify and apply to their dream schools.

Real stories and essay samples from real students pursuing a wide range of school options—from community colleges to the Ivy League—are what set this book apart. It is a relatable and rich resource for anyone looking to find his or her best-fit college or university. 

Topics from the Book

  • How to choose your dream school
  • How to narrow your college list
  • Student essays
  • Application strategy
  • Expert advice
  • Maximizing chances of admission

Colleges & Universities in the Book

  • Agnes Scott College
  • American Musical Dramatic Academy
  • American University
  • Austin College
  • Bard College at Simon’s Rock
  • Barnard College
  • Baylor University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Brown University
  • Carleton University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Drexel University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida State University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgetown University
  • Hampton University
  • Laguna College of Art and Design
  • Lehigh University
  • Nebraska Wesleyan
  • New York University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Spelman College
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • United States Naval Academy
  • University of Akron
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • Wellesley College
  • Yale University


"James Lewis’s book, College Admission: Real Students, Real Stories, about current students and their experiences in high school and during the college admissions process is a wonderful and important addition to helpful resources at a time that too often is filled with angst. As one who has been an educator for 45 years, including the last 27 as a college counselor, I found the book to be uniquely layered with both peer-to-peer and professional advice that could make a significant difference for applicants and their parents. As Lewis and those whose stories are told demonstrate, a student’s dream school can be well known or a hidden gem, and it is important for all families to keep an open mind about which schools may truly be 'best fits' in preparing students for careers and meaningful lives."

- Nancy Beane, Former President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)