‘Crazy U,’ by Andrew Ferguson, about his family’s college admissions experience

Steven Livingston:

My daughter’s college applications are all in, and now we can quietly go nuts while admissions fairies from coast to coast get busy, as Andrew Ferguson wonderfully puts it, “sprinkling pixie dust and waving wands, dashing dreams or making them come true.”
It’s an apt metaphor because, as anyone who’s been in it knows, the family caravan to collegeland is magical and terrifying: You begin wide-eyed and innocent, skipping along with outsized hopes, only to shrink before the fire-breathing ogres of the SAT, the essay, the deadlines, the costs. In “Crazy U,” Ferguson invites you to join him on the dream-mare that he and his son endured.
The book is both a hilarious narrative and an incisive guide to the college admissions process. Ferguson, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, has done his research, poring over mountains of published material and interviewing admissions officers, college coaches, academics and the guy behind the U.S. News & World Report college rankings.