Praise for Joyce Slayton Mitchell’s College Admissions Books and Work

Who sez this is #1 College Advice?? The #1 College Admissions deans of America! Start with Harvard, look at Stanford on that other coast, Northwestern and Michigan (Go Blue) in the middle, Smith, the biggest woman’s college, and Carleton, Colgate, Swarthmore, and Wesleyan – those rigorous small liberal arts colleges that makes American higher education where students all want to be.

HARVARD “Mitchell’s wisdom makes her a legend in college admissions, particularly because she cares so deeply about the right ‘match’ for every student.”

—William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions

CONNECTICUT COLLEGE “Joyce Slayton Mitchell has won my heart with this thoughtful and practical guide to the college admissions process. Her advice is straight up and free of gimmicks—a rarity found in today’s college admissions resource books.”

—Martha C. Merrill, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

NORTHWESTERN “Trust Joyce Slayton Mitchell. Her advice gives everyone—students, their parents, and their counselors—the ‘can do’ confidence to get through college admissions without meltdown. Read this book in sections and read some of it out loud. You’ll like what you hear. Ms. Mitchell knows the hearts—and minds—of students and their parents.”

—Sheppard Shanley, Senior Associate Director of Admissions

LYNN UNIVERSITY “It’s a how-to-with heart—less about gimmicks and more about caring for the student and his o her experience of the admissions process. The approach is quite sane and really very helpful.”

—Delsie Z. Pillips, VP for Enrollment

CARLETON “Mitchell provides a strong personal advocacy for student decision making in the college-search process. If you can compare the search for the right college in 21st-century America to a wild, white water rafting ride, then you want this author as your river guide. There are . . . uncertainties, unseen rocks, and too many rapids among the many options facing young people in choosing a just-right college. Ms. Mitchell places the decision-making process squarely in the hands of . . . student[s] and provides the most useful tips for guiding their choice process. It is well done and [a] must read for every college-bound student.”

—Paul Thiboutot, Dean of Admissions

SMITH “Eight First Choices” makes a scientist out of the high school senior who sets out to collect data until she finds her eight perfect matches. America’s vast college resources are highlighted as this book shows students how to measure all of our different campus cultures.”

—Audrey Y. Smith, Director of Admission

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN “This is one of the finest publications about college admissions that has come out in some time. The author was able to apply her extensive knowledge of the real issues that create anxiety among students and parents and artfully provide an effective road map to help students navigate their way though the college admission process.”

—Ted Spencer, Director of Admissions

MACALESTER “Mitchell offers a primer on how to help the deans get to know you. She convincingly makes the point that the key to ending up with a satisfying final college choice relies on the student’s approach to the process—critical self-examination, thorough research, complete investigation, plenty of organization, and an open mind throughout.”

—Lorne T. Robinson, Dean of Admissions

DUKE “For many years Joyce Slayton Mitchell has given outstanding advice to families seeking guidance through the college admissions maze. And we in the admissions profession have enjoyed her valuable insights, sharp opinions, and clear writing as she has examined the college selection process. This thoughtful and well-organized book, which distills her years of experience, is no exception.”

—Christoph Guttentag, Director of Admissions

DICKINSON COLLEGE “After thirty years in college admissions, including at Colgate and Johns Hopkins, I know that highly selective college admissions has become superficial—colleges are now arrogant (‘maybe you just might be good enough to get in, maybe not’) and the students are myopic (‘I must get into an Ivy university or I will be nothing’). And in my thirty years, I have read countless books claiming an insider’s view and advice. Way too much clutter for profit, and too short on sound advice that is student centered. Enter Joyce Slayton Mitchell and Eight First Choices. This is a must read for the very bright student who thinks ‘Prestigious U’ is the only place for her, as well as the above average student who is scared to death that he won’t be accepted anywhere. Mitchell tells it like it is—it’s about the students’s learning style and educational objectives, and about discovering the range of college options to find the right fit. I speak often and around the country on the same topics. Nobody does it better than Mitchell.”

—Robert J. Massa, Vice President for Enrollment

HAVERFORD “Joyce Slaton Mitchell is very knowledgeable about the constant changes in the admission profession. Her overall expertise and emphasis on student ownership of the admission process is invaluable for anyone applying to selective colleges and universities.”

—Michael J. Keaton, Senior Associate Director of Admission

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA “This is the only book that puts you, as the college applicant, at the center of the admissions process. Eight First Choices will encourage you to be philosophical, thoughtful, and strategic about your college choices.”

—Eric J. Kaplan, former Director of Admissions

RICE “The most interesting and practical guide I have read in many years. A ‘must read’ for students and parents entering the college admission process.”

—Richard N. Stabell, former Dean of Admission

INDIANA UNIVERSITY “What a terrific resource for students and families! Eight First Choices is such a comprehensive, balanced, step-by-step guide to the college selection process, with an emphasis on the research and self-assessment necessary for assuring a good match. Use the extensive expertise and personal knowledge of Joyce Slayton Mitchell as you begin and complete your college search!”

—Mary Ellen Anderson, Director of Admissions

STANFORD “Joyce Slayton Mitchell is a real teacher. She uses the college selection process as a learning experience for students. She tells her students up front that they are going to learn a great deal about themselves and what’s important to them. As a result, they have a much better college selection experience. For students and parents undertaking the college application process, I can think of no better guide. This book distills [Mitchell’s] wisdom into 208 pages, and provides a most valuable piece of sanity and wisdom.”

—Robin Mamlet, former Dean of Admission

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH “Eight First Choices offers wise advice about the college search process culled from decades of counseling experience by Joyce Slayton Mitchell. This stress-busting book infuses the reader with hope and energy on the first premise, ‘you are in charge,’ provides practical advice on how to make this happen, and ends with the affirmation, ‘be authentically and specifically you.’ Mitchell’s indeed right, selecting the right college can and should be an adventure in self-learning and she provides a step-by-step practical guide to getting the job done right. Give yourself a gift – make full use of this expert’s advice.”

—Betsy Porter

EMORY “During my twenty-one years at Emory, I have benefited greatly from Joyce Slayton Mitchell’s wise, accurate, and compassionate view of college admissions. Listen to what she says; she gets it right and she knows what’s most important in all of this: the students!”

—Scott L. Allen, Associate Dean, Director of International Recruitment

COLGATE “There are those who have been trying to sell their publications by trying to lead college-bound applicants and their families into believing that making the best college selection is as simple as reading a list or two of ill-conceived rankings. For the applicant who is serious about doing meaningful research and reading valuable suggestions about how to indentify colleges and universities that could be ideal matches, Joyce Slayton Mitchell’s excellent book is exactly what they should be reading. The bottom line, though, is that Eight First Choices is a terrific piece of work.”

—Gary L. Ross, Dean of Admissions

WESLEYAN “This book brings the advice of one of the great college counselors to many who need it most—and haven’t typically had the advantage. You could read the first five pages and be a leg-up in the process. But don’t stop there! JSM knows what she is talking about, writes clearly in an easy-to-follow format, and shares very good, practical information that will help every student be successful in making the next step to college. I have given many copies to friends and family to help pave the way for a successful college search.”

—Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

DARTMOUTH “A thoughtful and well-done book. Joyce Slayton Mitchell knows of what she speaks.”

—Karl M. Furtenberg, former Dean of Admissions



BOSTON COLLEGE “Nobody in her profession offers more insight into selective college admissions than Joyce Slayton Mitchell. She has a facility for making the complex not so complex, and like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, she excels at revealing what is behind the curtain. All who read this book will have a better understanding of what goes into the decision making process, what admission deans look for, and how to best present your authentic self.” –Howard Singer

NORTHWESTERN “Who Is This Kid? helps us understand how this applicant will connect and contribute to the community where they will study. We want to enroll students who understand themselves and can tell their own stories. Ms Mitchell’s advice will help students enormously to give admission committees what they need to answer that extremely important question. Trust her.” –F. Sheppard Shanley

OXY|OCCIDENTAL “Who Is This Kid? is a much needed, refreshing addition to college search literature that underscores the importance of reflection and awareness. Applicants often hide behind a generic veil, much to their disadvantage. Mitchell’s work encourages readers to uncover their distinct personalities and translate them compellingly in writing, making for riveting reads for admission officers.” –Vince Cuseo

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT “Ms. Mitchell has a wealth of knowledge and offers great advice and insights into the mysterious and complex world of the college admissions process.” –Sarah (Sally) Hobart

POMONA “Joyce Slayton Mitchell is at it again, this time delivering a practical hands-on workbook to help young people find their voice in the college admissions process. If you’ve ever wondered how to kick-start writing your college applications, this book is for you.” –Seth Allen

COLGATE “Who is this kid?” is Mitchell’s captivating way of having college bound students think about who they really are and while she achieves that goal in a brilliant way, the thoughtful exercises may lead to an even more important outcome. If a student takes the book’s interesting exercises seriously, that student will build a strong sense of ownership for what should become their college search–not a search they have someone else to do for them.” –Gary L. Ross