SO JUST WHO AM I AND WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME?
Name: Danny Ruderman
High school: Fontana High School, Fontana, CA (aka "Funtucky")
College: Stanford U.
Number of jobs since graduating from college: 27
Current job: College admissions guru
Time spent at current job: 8 years
Cars like it: 0
Realizing you don't really care to know this stuff about me: Priceless
Summary: Okay, although it is true about the twenty-seven jobs (ranger in Yosemite, bank teller, waiter, chauffeur, and more), I have spent much of my time as a schoolteacher in both public and private schools in California. As a teacher I did things a bit differently, including teaching classes as different characters--hey, I thought most of my teachers were totally boring, and I was determined not to be one of them. After teaching, I began tutoring kids in how to do better in school and then in helping them get into college. The bottom line is, I believe college is one of the best experiences I ever had. I also believe that you deserve to go to a place that makes you feel this way, too. So come with me, follow me! Let's begin getting you de-stressed and confident that you will get into college if you really want to.
OVERALL SUMMARY AND TIMELINE
Okay, here's the deal: basically you read, write in the spaces, and get into college. Nice. Hopefully, you've listened to my sexy voice on the Resource CD and have heard an overview of what The Ultimate College Acceptance System is all about. ln case you haven't, here's how it works.
There are nineteen chapters covering every aspect of getting into college. Some sections will take 10 to 30 minutes to read, while other sections will take 30 to 60 minutes because they require you to complete specific exercises by writing directly in the book or on separate sheets of paper--your choice. Occasionally, you will spend time away from these pages, like when you're researching schools or editing your essays.
The first part of the program (Chapters 1-6) is heavier on information and research, while the second part (Chapters 7-19) is heavier on the actual work of completing applications, essays, a resume, and so on. Because each part of the book builds on the last, I recommend you go through the entire book to ensure you have the best chance of getting into the right schools for you (especially if you're a junior).
What if you already have a list of schools or are waiting for the applications to be released? In this case, you can skip around to the sections that apply to you. However, I suggest that you take a look at each section just to see if you can learn something you didn't know before. You also need to get organized from the start, so I have discussed how to do this below.
Yeah, I hear you. You have homework and piano and football and saving the whales. I thought about that, too. So I designed this book to fit your schedule whether you are a sophomore, a junior, or--if you are like I was when I started thinking about college--a senior. As a result, if you need to, you can finish the entire college application process in thirty days. If you follow the thirty-day schedule on page xi, you'll see that much of the most time-consuming work is spaced out over a couple of days and often over weekends.
Many of you, however, will do this program over a period of six weeks to six months, depending on when you start. While many students will invest from thirty to sixty hours, you might complete it in more or less time, and that's cool, too. Just remember, I've got your back. just about everything you need to achieve success is here in this book. Even so, I encourage you to use other resources, especially your school counselor.
Just remember, you can take control of your destiny by believing me when I tell you this:
You need to do two things before you can start getting organized:
1. Remember I have included samples and blank forms on a Resource CD for you, plus the MOAC (Master of All Checklists) in Chapter 7 to keep you organized.
Go to an office supply store and buy an organizational system. You can choose any system you like, but here's what I find works best: Get a crate or box that holds hanging files. Inside the hanging files are file folders. (The three items are usually sold separately, although some boxes come with kits that include everything.) Make sure you purchase enough file folders (at least twenty-five). Go home, put the hanging files in the box, and using those annoying little plastic tabs, make a hanging file for each school you are applying to. Then put three file folders in each of the hanging files.
• The first file folder will hold general information and research, like your visit notes, the college's viewbook, and any Internet research.
• The second file folder will hold your application materials, including your resume.
• The third file folder will hold your essay drafts (although you will eventually have to include the final draft of your essay with each school's application).
You will also need an extra hanging file to hold your financial aid stuff, including scholarship info, the PROFILE form, and the FAFSA form. Because you need to fill out the financial aid forms only once, and they get sent to schools by a processing agency, do not include them with your individual school files as they could get mixed up.
Trust me. Staying organized is half the battle of making sure you stay sane while applying to college. If you are the type who has so much junk in your room that you can't see the floor, these instructions are even more important. And I don't care if you think you can always find everything. Listen to me on this one.