The Princeton Review Has Released the First of Five Books Fast-Tracked for Fall 2020 to Help Students and Parents Navigate Education Challenges During COVID-19

  • Available Now: College Admissions During COVID
  • On Sale November 10: 1st Grade at Home, 2nd Grade at Home, 3rd Grade at Home and 4th Grade at Home

NEW YORK, October 29, 2020 / — The Princeton Review® — known for its services and products that help students master their schoolwork, score their best on tests, and gain admission to colleges — has published the first of five books the education services company fast-tracked this summer to serve kids, teens, and parents facing education challenges due to COVID-19.  

"When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, the nation's health and safety were of course our major concerns," said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief. "As school closings, remote learning, test cancellations, and campus shutdowns upended our country's education systems, we shared the concerns of parents and students about the impact the pandemic was having on their ability to progress in school. Our teams of teachers, tutors, and editors pivoted to expand the education services we had long been providing remotely via virtual and online formats. We also worked to develop additional resources in our line of books.  Among them are these five new books we are proud to release as the 2020–21 school year begins."

Available now, College Admissions During COVID: How to Navigate the New Challenges in Admissions, Testing, Financial Aid, and More (Penguin Random House, October 27, 2020, $12.99) is the only college admissions book with advice for applicants impacted by COVID who will be graduating from high school in 2021 and 2022. Authored by Rob Franek, it provides his answers to more than 70 questions that students and parents have asked him and his fellow teachers and editors this year via the company's courses, website, YouTube channel, and college night virtual talks. Among them are basic questions about college admission (What do college admission officers most look for?) as well as pressing concerns due to COVID-related developments, including:

  • Will pass/fail grades hurt my GPA?
  • What does it mean when a college is "test optional?"
  • Can I – and should I – still take the SAT® or ACT®?
  • What kinds of extracurriculars can I do during a pandemic?
  • How can I check out colleges when I can't visit the campuses?
  • Should I take a gap year?  Will that affect my admission status or financial aid offer?

Brimming with college-related statistics and survey findings, College Admissions During COVID also includes application timelines and checklists. An appendix presents gems of advice from some of the nearly 13,000 college applicants and parents who were respondents to The Princeton Review's 2020 College Hopes & Worries survey. Asked what they would tell next year's applicants, the advice most proffered by students and parents alike was "Start early!"

Available November 10th, The Princeton Review's new Learn at Home books are illustrated resources for parents of children in grades one through four. Authored by the staff of The Princeton Review, 1st Grade at Home, 2nd Grade at Home, 3rd Grade at Home, and 4th Grade at Home (Penguin Random House, $12.99 each) provide structured lessons parents can use to help their kids master grade-specific math and reading skills, no matter what the school year brings. Each book has 16 math and 16 reading units. Each unit features sub-sections for parents and for kids.

The books' sub-sections for parents include:

  • "The Skill": information on what the child is expected to learn
  • "Just for You": advice from educators on how to teach it
  • "Nth-Graders Are": insights on developmental and grade-level stages
  • "Watch Out!": common pitfalls and how to avoid them. 

The books' sub-sections for kids include:

  • "Jump Right In!": quizzes the child can do independently
  • "On Your Way to an 'A'": activities the child and parent can do together
  • "Study Right": suggestions of ways the child can study more efficiently
  • "Using Your Head": activities that encourage the child to show off what he/she knows.

The Learn at Home books are ideal homeschooling resources and tools for combatting the summer slide as well as home library look-it-up guides. As such, they may be most welcomed by parents who may be a bit rusty on elementary school units and need help to help their children tackle such subjects as polygons and probability (both of which, yes, are taught in 4th grade).

See Rob Franek's videos on College Admissions During COVID and the Learn at Home books as well as his ongoing COVID-19 education updates here on The Princeton Review's YouTube channel.

The Princeton Review also provides COVID-19-related advice for college applicants and parents in the recently published 2021 edition of Paying for College, the company's annually updated guide to college funding and financial aid. The book's author, Kal Chany, explains how best to inform aid officers of major changes in family income when FAFSA® data no longer accurately reflects the family's financial circumstances. He also discusses aid implications for students weighing whether or not to take the SAT or ACT, the benefits of tuition insurance, and other topics for 2021–22 college applicants and their parents.

The Princeton Review has been helping learners of all ages throughout the pandemic (and for many years prior) via its Homework Help tutoring services available online 24/7 in more than 80 subjects, as well the services provided by, The Princeton Review's affiliate company.

College Admissions During COVID, 1st Grade at Home, 2nd Grade at Home, 3rd Grade at Home, 4th Grade at Home, and Paying for College are part of a line of more than 150 books developed by The Princeton Review and published by Penguin Random House. Others published in 2020 in the line include The Complete Guide to College Application Essays (October 6), The Best 386 Colleges  (August 6), The Best Value Colleges (February 4) and guides to the SAT and ACT as well as guides to other standardized tests.

About Robert Franek

Rob Franek, Editor-in-Chief, The Princeton Review, is a nationally recognized expert on colleges and higher education. Over his 26-year career, he has been a college admissions administrator, editor, author, publisher, and lecturer. Rob has visited hundreds of high schools, colleges and universities and each year he gives presentations to audiences of students, parents, teachers, counselors and higher education administrators. He has been sourced in publications from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on NBC TODAY more than two dozen times as well as on other national network and cable broadcast programs. 

About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The company’s brand is one of the largest online tutoring services in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 19 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit and the company's Media Center. Follow the company on Twitter (@ThePrincetonRev) and Instagram (@theprincetonreview).

SAT® is a trademark registered and owned by the College Board which is not affiliated with and does not endorse this product.
ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education. 

College Admissions During COVID: How to Navigate the New Challenges in Admissions, Testing, Financial Aid, and More by Robert Franek
Penguin Random House • October 27, 2020 • $12.99 (Canada $17.99) • 224 pages • ISBN 978-0-525-57181-0
Kindle Edition: $9.99. This book is an updated edition of College Admission 101 (May 2018).

The Learn at Home series books are all authored by the Staff of The Princeton Review and subtitled A Parent’s Guide with Lessons & Activities to Support Your Child’s Learning (Math & Reading Skills). Published by Penguin Random House, they are on sale November 10, 2020. Each book is $12.99 (Canada $17.99). Kindle editions: $9.99.

1st Grade at Home: • ISBN 978-0-575-57173-5
2nd Grade at Home • ISBN 978-0-575-57174-2
3rd Grade at Home • ISBN 978-0-575-57175-9
4th Grade at Home • ISBN 978-0-575-57176-6

Contact: Jeanne Krier, Publicist for The Princeton Review,, 212-539-1350 or Mary McCue, Director of Publicity, Penguin Random House Children's Books,, 212-882-9317.

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