Raising children is like herding cats. They learn by watching, not by being told. If we try to prepare them for college by pushing them in one direction, they will head in a different direction.
Thankfully, they will be successful in spite of what we try to teach them. But, perhaps we can give them a nudge in the right direction.
These 32 books focus on providing practical tips and concise advice, plus a bit of tough love, about the transition from high school to college and the real world.
Some of these books are written for the parents, about how they can survive their baby’s first year in college without hovering too much. Some of them are written for the student, teaching them the real-world lessons that aren’t taught in a college classroom. All are rooted in reality.
Our own books, Savingforcollege.com’s Complete Guide to 529 Plans and How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid, provide helpful hints about saving and paying for college.
Middle School Students
- The Middle School Student’s Guide to Academic Success: 12 Conversations for College and Career Readiness by Blake Nemelka and Bo Nemelka
- Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond–and How Parents Can Help by Phyllis L. Fagell
- The Everything Guide to Study Skills: Strategies, tips, and tools you need to succeed in school! by Cynthia C. Muchnick
High School Students
- Secrets to Winning a Scholarship by Mark Kantrowitz
- Now What? The Young Person’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore
- What Color Is Your Parachute? by Carol Christen
- Worthless: The Young Person’s Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major by Aaron Clarey
- The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
The Transition to College
- Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College by Jennifer Worick and Joshua Piven
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy
- Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College by Patricia Pasick
- Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn
- When Your Kid Goes to College; A Parent’s Survival Guide by Carol Barkin
- College Rules! How to Study, Survive and Succeed in College by Sherrie Nist-Olejnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh
- Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting the College Years by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller
Life After College
- When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent Graduates To Know by Nancy Barry
- 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College: The Skills You Need to Succeed by Bill Coplin
- What They Don’t Teach You in College: A Graduate’s Guide to Life on Your Own by James M. Kramon
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman
- Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner
- Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By by Cary Siegel
- Making Money Simple: The Complete Guide to Getting Your Financial House in Order and Keeping It That Way Forever by Peter Lazaroff
- The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
- Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times: 250+ Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter, and Save Money by Clark Howard
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- The Little Book of Common-Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John C. Bogle
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Malkiel
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
- The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by Dave Bach
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Saving for Retirement
- Saving for Retirement (Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery) by Gail MarksJarvis