Who Gets In and Why - Jeff Selingo

Who Gets In and Why

A New York Times Editors’ Choice
A USA Today Bestseller

A remarkable look behind the curtain of elite college admissions. This is the backstory about how the gatekeepers at the nation’s top-ranked colleges make their decisions, often in minutes.

While many have long believed that admissions is merit-based, rewarding the best students, Who Gets In and Why presents a more complicated truth, showing that “who gets in” is frequently more about the college’s agenda than the applicant. In a world where thousands of equally qualified students vie for a fixed number of spots at elite institutions, admissions officers often make split-second decisions based on a variety of factors—like diversity, money, and, ultimately, whether a student will enroll if accepted.


“A rare inside look… It’s amazing.”
—CBS This Morning

“[A] widely anticipated new book…Selingo was given extraordinary access to the selection process and the selectors at Emory University, Davidson College and the University of Washington. He uses it in his book to present one of the most nuanced, coolheaded examinations of the admission process that I’ve read. He explodes certain myths — for example, that SAT and ACT scores are absolutely pivotal — and confirms other suspicions, such as the ridiculous advantage conferred on middling students who play arcane sports.”
—Frank Bruni, New York Times

“In this meticulously researched and evenhanded book, the author provides a unique mix of in-depth reporting, insight, and advice that may save readers needless frustration and thousands of dollars. One of the best books on college admissions in recent memory.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“This absorbing book delves into the sometimes enigmatic world of college admissions…an invaluable tool for college-bound students and their families, guidance counselors, and college admissions personnel.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“The college admissions process can seem like a locked vault, but Jeff Selingo has found the key. He unleashes the full force of his reporting and storytelling skills to demystify—and humanize—the journey from high school applicant to college freshman. Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, this book is an illuminating and essential read.”
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and A Whole New Mind

“In his fascinating and timely book Who Gets in and Why Jeff Selingo breaks the seal on college admissions to reveal what really goes on, who gets a special look and why, what the colleges have at stake, and how a student can put their best foot forward. Frank and reassuring, Selingo presents a thoughtful critique of an outmoded system along with sound advice for students and parents who have little choice but to play by these rules.”
—Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult

Jeff on CBS This Morning

Who Gets In and Why: What It’s About

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