A comprehensive educational tool

Help your child choose the right college

The African American Student’s Guide to College offers a wealth of information for parents and their children. Throughout the 243 pages, co-author Marisa Parham outlines how African Americans can get in, stay in and pay for their college educations. Her two-year admission plan advises high schoolers to begin their college search during their junior year, and page 52 provides a selection of “classics” students should read before entering college. Although some topics are covered in other guides-choosing a school, the admissions process, financial aid and study habits-Parham also examines issues that may be unique to the African American student. For example, Parham advises students on how to decide whether they want to attend HBCUs (historically black colleges or universities) or PWIs (predominantly white institutions) and gives tips for assessing whether a college campus has an intolerant environment. Others may find the Student Athlete Profile particularly helpful, as it links students to college coaches.

Be aware that since the Princeton Review is one of the book’s primary publishers, any resources the author mentions are publisher-endorsed. Also, the information in the 150 college profiles, compiled by Manie Barron, is sparse and lacks rankings. But students can certainly refer to be’s January 1999 issue for a list of the top 50 colleges for African Americans before they make their final selection.

The African American Student’s Guide to College by Marisa Parham (The Princeton Review/Random House, $17.95).

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