Why this book evolved   

The race to the finish line --- college, that is --- began without our knowledge when my daughter, Ashlie, entered the 9th grade. From the beginning, our biggest problem was knowing what needed to be done before the deadline had passed.  To add to the confusion, there was a sudden onslaught of product information and college prep services all touting their own must-do-now importance. The only way out was to organize and prioritize. We made checklists for everything!  It was the only way to get things done.

Those checklists became the basis of this book. Thanks to the help of my co-author, Cheryl Rilly, those lists have been expanded and we’ve gathered all the information, web sites, references and resources you’ll need for your own journey to college --- and most importantly,  21 - 'to do' lists to tell you what 'to do' and when 'to do' it during high school.

Our many 'guiding lights' were the high school counselors and college admission officers who so unselfishly lent us their expertise, wisdom and insider know-how.  Our other 'couldn't-have-done-it -without-them' group are the wonderful high school and college students who shared their experiences, regrets, and successes with us in the form of quotes throughout the book. 

Whether you're an incoming high school freshman or a senior on the brink of making those all-important decisions, it's never too early or too late to use the tools in this book to enhance your high school-to-college experience.  Just take it one step at a time.

Good Luck!

Valerie Pierce