Katherine Cohen's book has practical tips and examples of what to do as well as what not to do when applying to top colleges. For students who are considering applying to less than top colleges, this book is also helpful.
We bought lots of books about college admissions when my son was applying as a senior, and this was one of the best. Easy to read, well laid-out, it has lots of questionaires to help you decide what sort of college is best, and how to answer interview questions. We especially liked all the worksheets and samples given, from essays to recommendations. It's a great book! (P.S. - My son was accepted into USC, and will be attending this fall, 2007, Class of 2011. Fight On!)