I just bought I'm Going to College—Not You!: Surviving the College Search with Your Child and there are a few things I like about it already.
1. The author is both the dean of admissions at Keynon College and the mother of a college student, so she's certainly got plenty of experience to guide parents in this area.
2. The book includes short essays from prominent writers about their own experiences with their children during the college application process. I think parents appreciate empathetic reminders that other parents have been through all of this before and survived.
3. She doesn't excuse the colleges for contributing to the stress of the process, as she revealed in this interview:
We are culpable. We have upped the ante with this whole arc of
marketing. We’ve had 20 years of this amped-up competition, and it’s
kind of like a gyroscope—it’s got its own momentum. We have an
obligation to serve the institution at the same time we’re serving the
student, and sometimes it’s impossible to do both. So we have to
acknowledge our responsibility in this. We have to take a chill pill
ourselves while telling parents to do the same thing.