With the crisp pacing of a suspense novelist, veteran reporter Bill
Paul follows five high-school honor students and the dean of
admission at Princeton through each step of the college admissions
process. As the narrative unfolds, we watch the students' successes
and blunders as they ponder where to apply, write and rewrite their
essays, endure alumni interviews, agonize over early decision, and
anxiously await the April delivery of the hoped-for thick envelope
that means acceptance, or the dreaded thin envelope that contains a
curt rejection. What emerges is the clearest picture ever of this
complex, frustrating, and highly imperfect process, and how it
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