The reviews are in...

“...a ‘must have' for any college-bound student. This book is a comprehesive guide to the entire college preparation, admission, and financial aid process. I’ve seen many many guides to college and this is the very best.” -
- Debra D. Edwards,
Cy-Fair Minority Parents Assn.

“This is a wonderful tool for students AND parents. It reinforces all our efforts....and I love the fact that it includes all 4 years.”

- Maggie Miller,
High School Counselor

“I am in eighth grade and am already looking into what to do to get into top colleges. Through all of my research, I have to admit, I got very confused. This book helped me see when to get things done, how to get them done, and also gave some extra sites to help you on your journey through high school and on to college. This book is chocked full of financial aid and scholarship tips, volunteer information, the "ABCs of SATs and ACTs", many checklists of what to do in each grade and in the summers, how to lay out a four year plan, and tons of advice from students who have already taken the journey into college. I would recommend this book to anybody!! And it was easy to read for an eighth grader!! 21 'To Do' Lists for High School is a great investment!!”

- Amazon Review by Kennedy Kane

“A terrific resource for parents and teens...I have loaned out my second copy and will probably buy 2-3 more because we have lots of friends with kids in high school. Everyone LOVES this. This is another awesome book I stumbled upon on Amazon that we've been referring to a lot for the past two years. Nice affordable gift for a family or a teenager. Great resource to help you keep up with the tests, college applications, finances, scholarships, jobs, visiting schools, and almost every imaginable part of college preparation. No matter what grade your student is in, it is not too late. You will find lots of helpful information to help you get on track and ready for college. Highly recommend this!”

- Amazon Review by J. Kennel

“I found this book to be very helpfull in planning for the junior gave me alot of insight. i purchased copies for my get them motivated and helpful in planning for the upcomming school years. I like how it was broken down into sections by year. The suggestions/quotes by students/counselors. The time line gives me a starting point...before reading this I was overwhelmed with where to start, when and what I needed. “

- Amazon Review by “Always busy mom”

“I love the format and the content of this book. It is easy to read, offers easy to follow, practical advice on planning for college. I like the way the book is broken down in "to do' lists by grade as well as the bullet point style of the information presented. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has high school-aged children.”

- Amazon Review by Kelly L. Micek

“Eureka! It’s the book I’ve been waiting for!

- Gretchen W. Cook, Publisher,
Parents & Kids College Planner

“’21’ gives high schoolers what they need the most...a friend who can walk them through the storm of deadlines, requirements and paperwork. The sooner this book gets into a young person’s hands the better.”

- Youth Today

This super list, packed with advice, schedules, book suggestions, and Web sites, guides high school students and their families through the often mind-boggling and numbing college search. Particularly in the ninth and tenth grade sections, as with The Key to Networking for Teens (Lobster Press, 2003), this guidebook emphasizes that volunteering, self-assessment, job experience, resumes, and thank-you notes give a student searcher goals clarification and admissions recognition. But Pierce and Rilly offer additional academic and financial advice, such as connecting with counselors and teachers, planning an academic schedule, checking admission requirements at certified institutions, and launching a scholarship search that will keep a wide range of educational choices open. Suggestions for productive free time are as simple as "read a book" and as complicated as applying to international summer camps. The junior and senior year chapters include sources for getting through testing, campus visits, essays, Advanced Placement choices, application deadlines, "senioritis," and hidden costs as well as packing and planning for the big move. The yellow-paged lists introduce and summarize brief chapters that explain the whys and hows. Brief, broad in scope, and user friendly, the book will appeal to motivated students and will probably spend more time off than on the shelf. Guidance counselors will find it to be a handy reference and an effective communication tool. Hard to imagine it being any better written; broad general YA appeal for youths and adults.

- Lucy Schall - VOYA

As the president of College Parents of America, the only nationwide member association dedicated to serving and advocating on behalf of current and future college parents, I consider Valerie Pierce's "Countdown to College" to be one of the most valuable and user-friendly college planning guides in print. When I first began compiling and culling information for parents to access on our Web site (, I consulted "Countdown" frequently for resources and easy-to-understand explanations of complex preparation and application processes. I found the book to be concise, well-organized and comprehensive in its "To Do" lists for high school students. Today, my staff and I still keep several dog-eared copies around for quick and easy reference. And, we have enlisted Ms. Pierce as one of our "Ask the Experts" panelists for our members to consult. I highly recommend this book for all parents of high school students -- and I guarantee that their copies will become dog-eared as well!

- James A. Boyle
President, College Parents of America

Excellent Information! After being shown this book, I ordered two copies; one for my niece and one for my nephew, both of whom will graduate from eighth grade this year. Having gone through the process of searching for, applying to and choosing colleges with my two sons, I can say that the information presented in this book is right on the mark. It is thorough, succinct and easily understood. The list format and quotes from students are fun to read. Organizing the lists as tasks to be considered during each year in high school makes the confusing process much less overwhelming. I wish that 'Countdown to College' had been available when my family felt its way through the search process for the first time seven years ago.

- A reader from Ithaca, New York

A great book for college-bound high school students! This book is a wonderful guide for preparing high school students for college. I wish it had been available when my own children were in high school. It includes all the information needed to prepare a game plan for college.

- Eighth Grade Teacher

A fabulous planning tool. Countdown to College is the finest book of this nature that I have ever seen. I wish it had been available when my children went to college.

- Eighth Grade Teacher

What a great way for my niece to plan for college! I bought the book for my niece. Then I bought one for her mother. They are planning together for her college years. I haven't seen such a useful book in ages!

- Sylvia Garcia

“A task-oriented, easy-to-use primer...will keep students from feeling overwhelmed by their junior year.”

- American Teacher

“...easy to follow and presented in a simple format that will not intimidate an overloaded teen.”

- Ventura County Parent Magazine

“...the pre-college bible.”   -  Beverly Creamer, Honolulu Advertiser

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