Info on college searches, financial aid forecasting, essay writing and more.

Whether you’re the parent of a high school senior or a college freshman, I’ve found some recent articles and posts that will help as you navigate the remaining weeks of summer.

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Some perspective on the college admissions essay Elizabeth Benedict tries to alleviate the fear of writing the perfect essay in her post on HuffPost.

Students can really hurt themselves in the essay by oversharing. In his op-ed piece in the New York Times, Frank Bruni explains what he learned from a former Yale admissions officer about providing too much personal or inappropriate information and why that doesn’t impress.

Finding financial aid info You would love to know how much financial aid your student will qualify for before they start applying to college. Now you can get a better handle on the situation. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, has created the FAFSA4caster, an online tool that allows you to fill in basic financial information and receive an estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This is especially helpful if cost plays a major role in where your son or daughter goes to college. Note: the link is down on the bottom lefthand side of the homepage under “Early Aid Estimate.”

On her College Solutions blog, Lynn O’Shaughnessy writes about the Edvisors website and the financial aid resources available there.

Assistance with picking colleges All public colleges are not created equal. Nina Friend of HuffPost College shares what are considered the 14 “best buy” public colleges as ranked by Fiske Guide for 2015.

With so much focus on top tier colleges and their meager acceptance rates, most parents and students lose sight of all the very good institutions most high school graduates end up attending. In his post on Teen Life Blog, Andrew Belasco points out that 75 percent of students who applied to college in 2012 were accepted to their first choice school. He also concentrates on the hardworking B students and the colleges that are a good fit for them.

Getting ready for freshman year, maybe What happens when your teenager tells you that they changed their mind about going to college this fall? College Parent Central shares advice on the best way to approach this sudden change of plans and help your child make the right decision.

Talking with your teenager about college With her third child leaving for college in the fall, Lisa Heffernan of Grown & Flown finally writes the letter she had always meant to compose for her sons as they headed off. Check it out to get some ideas for your own letter or just advice you may want to impart on your own child during the ride to campus.

Suzanne Rust has written an A-Z guide for parents whose children are beginning college in the fall for Family Circle magazine. Read to the very end where you’ll find observations and recommendations from experienced parents and students.

Summer reading for the entire family Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog shares suggestions from college admissions counselors on the best books to read this summer for parents, students and everyone else.

Please share advice and links to other helpful articles in the comments section below.