Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College

Is your son or daughter planning to go to college? Do you assume that someone, maybe a guidance counselor, will help him or her get into a college? Are you confused by the college admissions process? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I highly recommend Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College  by journalist Andrew Ferguson. It is an entertaining and engaging read, combining a good blend of laugh out loud humor and informative advice.

Ferguson writes about his experience walking through the process with his son. “For Americans who had gone to college in the fifties, sixties, or early seventies, a process that had seemed rather straightforward—find a school, preferably nearby, figure out how to pay for it, leave home, study, flirt, party—now appeared unexpectedly elaborate and crucially important, complicated by a bewildering array of plausible options and eager come-ons. Parents seemed slightly stunned, and then uneasy, and then confused.” As a journalist and parent, Ferguson was compelled to write a book to help eliminate the confusion. He explains, “For every piece of advice or information a parent or child receives while applying to college, there is an equal and opposite piece of advice or information that will contradict it.”

What’s most appealing about this book is that Ferguson isn’t afraid to challenge the assumption that everyone should go to college or even that one has to go to college to be successful. He challenges readers to consider why they want their child to go to college and whether or not a bachelor’s degree is the best way to meet their aspirations. Ferguson is especially concerned about the cost of college and wants to prevent parents from spending too much money on something that may not ultimately deliver what they want: a child with marketable skills and job prospects. Crazy U is worth reading by anyone trying to sort through the college admissions process and the proper place of education in the lives of young people.

Watch a video with the author and his son here.