A Straightforward, No-Nonsense Guide to Collegiate Achievement, From One of America’s Top Educators


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By Malcolm Gauld

For the high school senior looking toward the fall, the prospect of starting college can seem as daunting as entering a foreign country, with their high school diploma serving as a visa. What better for those seniors, their parents, and new college freshmen than a simple guidebook, an easy-to-read read roadmap to the exciting, intimidating, often overwhelming world of higher education. Now, one of the country’s leading educators shares straightforward advice in COLLEGE SUCCESS GUARANTEED: Five Rules to Make it Happen (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), by Malcolm Gauld, President of the Hyde Schools.

Written with honesty, insight, and a touch of humor, COLLEGE SUCCESS GUARANTEED originated from a speech that Malcolm Gauld delivers every spring to college-bound seniors called his “5 Rules for College Survival Talk.” In response to the positive feedback he has received over the years, Gauld decided to expand on his talk by interviewing college students and recent graduates about their experiences in college—specifically, what works, and what information they’d like to share with those entering college. The result is a book that includes candid feedback from students and grads of dozens of colleges and universities in the United States, with a focus on the simple things to “do” after enrolling in college, as opposed to the “don’ts,” or negative actions to avoid.

“I have taught and coached teenagers for more than three decades and have watched thousands of them go off to college. Some just take off like rockets from the get-go. Others either fail to launch or crash-and-burn before midterms,” says Gauld. “Independent time-management is the key.”

Using an irreverent, no-nonsense approach combined with the wisdom of those recently immersed in collegiate life themselves, Gauld breaks his plan down into Five Rules, going into detail on each:

  • GO TO CLASS—Why “just show up” is a much more powerful mantra than it may seem, how attending class regularly is important not only for obvious reasons but in forging positive relationships with professors, what to do once you’re in class, and why it can take only 12 hours a week to get it done;
  • STUDY—Why 3 hours a day, 5 days a week is a basic formula that works, the merits of group vs. individual study, music vs. quiet, and how to “rip the guts out” of any book in 2 hours;
  • COMMIT TO SOMETHING—How getting involved in a recreational or extracurricular activity can be the key to not drowning in the ocean of free time that college offers, why tried-and-true activities like sports, drama, student government, campus politics, and even getting a job can be vital not only to an enriching overall experience but in terms of the time-honored notion, “If you need something done, ask a busy person,” and the pros and cons of Greek life;
  • GET A MENTOR—What having a support system as a resource in college can mean, how mentors come in all shapes and sizes—including professors, coaches, advisors, and boosters, and the value of occasional critiques and “reality checks” as well as praise and encouragement;
  • PROSCRASTINATION KILLS—Why this unforgettable line from a Hartwick College student says it all, the surprising importance of basics like eating, sleeping, and showering in terms of getting things done, and why one Hobart student warns others to “Beware the Internet.”

Infused with a spirit of keeping it simple and filled with essential information and the words of actual students and recent grads, COLLEGE SUCCESS GUARANTEED: Five Rules to Make it Happen is the perfect guidebook for anyone venturing off on one of the most impactful journeys of their life. This book is available in paperback or Kindle format on Amazon.com.

Five Rules to Make it Happen is the perfect guidebook for anyone venturing off on one of the most impactful journeys of their life.

Malcolm Gauld is President of the Hyde Schools, a network of public and boarding schools and programs dedicated to the development of character in students and families, with locations in Bath, ME, Woodstock, CT, New Haven, CT, Washington, DC, and Bronx, NY. An educator for more than three decades, he is co-author of The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have (Scribner), written with his wife, Laura Gauld.

COLLEGE SUCCESS GUARANTEED: Five Rules to Make it Happen
By Malcolm Gauld
Rowman & Littlefield Education
Publication date: May 16, 2011
Price: $14.95 paperback
ISBN: 978-1610480420