News on College Admissions and Financial Aid

Insight on the Common App essay prompts, the basics of fin aid, athletic recruiting and more.

By Anne Vaccaro Brady

With college application season underway for high school seniors (yes, yours should have at least started the Common App by now), your family might have a few questions. This week I’ve compiled links to articles and posts that can provide some answers.

College admissions One of the main reasons I write this blog is to help parents avoid the pitfalls I experienced as I helped my two kids through the college admissions process. On HuffPost College, Khanh Ho discusses the top five mistakes parents make with their seniors during this time.

Daniel Goldstein shares 10 secrets of college admissions in his article on MarketWatch.

According to Liz Weston of Reuters, applicants have the edge in college admissions. With many private, non-profit colleges struggling to meet their enrollment numbers the last few years, prospective students have a better chance of gaining admission and aid at these schools.

The south building of Berkeley College at Yale...

If your child is interested in attending an Ivy League college, check out these tips to improve his chances for Ivy admission by former Yale application reader James Marshall Crotty for Forbes. 

For those students still working on their college admissions essay, this post on the Ivy League Essay blog analyzes each of the Common App essay prompts.

On USA Today College, Erica Cirino provides the three questions students should ask during a college admissions interview.

Richard Perez-Pena writes in the New York Times about colleges that allow applicants to submit alternative materials in place of a high school transcript or the standard application. Though still new and being tested at a handful of schools, it’s a good option for a student who has a better way to tell his story.

Student-athletes who want to understand how the process of college athletic recruiting really works should read the post by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on her College Solutions blog.

MoneyPaying for college After your child is accepted, she will receive a financial aid package. But in her post on, Jodi Okun explains where to find scholarships now and defines the various types of aid your student might be offered.

Once you understand the details of financial aid, read Jodi Okun’s article for parents on HuffPost Financial Education about what to look for when exploring loans to pay for college.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy lists the colleges that meet 100 percent of a student’s financial need in a post on her College Solutions blog that also defines “financial need.”

Scholarships, grants and loans are the traditional way to pay for college, but now students are turning to crowdfunding to help with tuition. Amy Carrns shares how some teenagers have approached this potential funding source in her article in the New York Times.

Though the expectation is that federal college ratings will help lower the price of tuition, in the New York Times, Susan Dynarksi explains in practical terms why this likely won’t happen.

Please feel free to share any articles or posts you’ve found useful in the comments section below.

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