College Admissions News as Summer Begins

Art school applications, athletic recruiting, 529 mistakes and more.

By Anne Vaccaro Brady

Whether you’re sending your teen off to college or gearing up for application season, check out these articles and posts for helpful advice, tips and information to ease your worries and smooth the transitions.

Beyond the standard application If your teenager plans to study the fine arts or performing arts in college, check out Lucy Ewing’s post on University Parent to learn more about the portfolio/audition portion of the application process. She breaks down the requirements for each area of study and offers insight into how the system works.

P4260036.JPGIn an article for GoLocal PDX, Kathy Smith Connor takes a closer look at applying to college for student/athletes, focusing on assessing your abilities, finding the right colleges and getting recruited.

What’s up with the SAT The new test rolls out in March 2016. Charlotte Alter covers the seven key ways the test is changing in her recent article for Time.

You can visit the College Board site to learn more about the changes to the test and free test prep through Khan Academy.

In June, two different versions of the SAT were mistakenly administered. Nancy Griesemer discusses how the printing error led to some students receiving more time and extra questions in one portion of the test in her article on Here’s what the College Board has to say about the incident and what it’s doing about the section in question.

Paying for college In a recent post, I highlighted the advantages of using a 529 college savings plan. In her article for Fox Business, Allison Kade points out the mistakes parents must avoid in order to get the most from their 529 programs.

Whether your college student is considering taking out loans or has already signed up, read Ann Carrns’ article for the New York Times about repaying student loans. Better to understand the process now so that you and your teen can evaluate if a loan is the right way to go. Check out my post on paying for college to learn more about your options.

Freshman parent and student survival guide If this is your first child heading off to campus at the end of the summer, read Diane Schwemm’s post on University Parent about what to expect the first six weeks of college, including the challenges you both will face.

Also take a look at my Survival Guide for parents of college freshmen, which addresses some of the issues that may arise for your student in the first year.

College and your teen’s mental health Faced with new experiences, a first taste of independence and more demanding coursework, college freshmen are turning to their campus mental health centers in larger numbers. In the New York Times, Jan Hoffman looks at how colleges are struggling to keep up with the demand.

Read my earlier post on how to know when your child’s homesickness is really depression and where to find the resources to help your student.

Making the most of the college admissions essay The New York Times recently ran its annual selection of college essays related to work and class. These essays, compiled by Ron Lieber, provide excellent examples of how to share an important piece of yourself that can’t be found anywhere else on the application.

The Common App essay prompts are up and your rising senior should view them soon and plan to write his essay this summer.

Cristiana Quinn wrote an excellent article for on the benefits of starting college applications now instead of waiting until the fall.

Feel free to share articles and posts you’ve found helpful in the comments section below.

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