Written in a lively and accessible manner by a former Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Stanford University, this book will enlighten prospective college applicants and their parents, teachers, and guidance counselors - as well as interested faculty and alumni - about many of the practical, fundamental, philosophical, and ethical issues involved in the selection of any college freshman class. Although it is a firsthand account of the process for selecting undergraduates at Stanford between 1984 and 1991, the discussion is not limited to the Stanford experience. Most of the topics covered are relevant to the procedures followed in many four-year colleges throughout the United States. There are sections devoted to the use and abuse of standardized tests and to special considerations such as extracurricular talents, alumni parents and siblings, and donors; and one chapter considers various ethical dilemmas, notably the possibility of dishonesty by applicants and high school and college admissions officials. Two chapters deal in detail with subjects that frequently engender passionate controversy and deep misunderstandings: the underlying philosophical issues and practical applications of affirmative action policies and the multitude of problems associated with varsity athletics. Though the book is not about "how to get into" Stanford or any other college or university, the information presented will inevitably be helpful to all those concerned with the admissions process.