College recruiting for athletes, warnings for student loan co-signers, advice for parents of freshmen and more.

The latest news you can use, whether college is around the corner or just coming on the radar for your family.

Advice for freshmen parents Smart College Visit posted its Twitter Q&A with advice columnist and best-selling author Harlan Cohen who responded to questions about what to expect as a new college parent.

For more advice, check out my post on surviving your freshman’s first semester.

Julie Scelfo’s recent article in the New York Times focuses on the pressure college students face in their pursuit of the perfect college experience. Before your teenager heads to campus, be sure to help them set realistic goals and expectations about college.

To learn more about how to know the difference between depression and homesickness in your college student, read my post on this topic.

More colleges go test-optional This post on the George Washington University website explains why the college recently chose to go test-optional in terms of college admissions exams. Read my post on what it really means when a college says it’s test-optional to understand the impact on your student.

Accommodations for the ACT & SAT On, Hannah Serota writes about what parents of students with learning disabilities and/or ADD/ADHD need to do to ensure their teens receive the necessary accommodations for college admissions exams.

Athletic recruiting ins and outs In her post on, Kathy Smith Connor explains some important details about college recruiting of high school athletes including when athletic departments are allowed to contact students, how teens can get themselves on a college’s radar and why it’s important to research colleges early. 

College rankings Rich Smith discusses the latest college rankings by Motley Fool that aim to focus on return on investment (ROI). Some experts claim ROI is a better gauge of a college’s quality. Aldamero Romero, Jr. explains the methodology of rankings and looks at their real value in his post for the Intelligencer. Also, read my post about the relevance of college rankings.

When exploring college rankings based on ROI, be aware that the listed tuition for public colleges is the cost for in-state students. That amount can be almost double for out-of-state students, impacting the value.

Becoming a co-signer on a student loan Ann Carrns shares the difficulty co-signers (usually parents) encounter when they try to get their names removed from a student loan after graduation in her article for the New York Times. Read her article before co-signing on a private student loan for your child or someone else to better understand the length of your commitment.

Ending the FAFSA confusion Too often students and parents who searched for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ended up at the .com site, not the .gov. The former, run by Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. (SFAS), offers a fee-based service to assist with filling out the FAFSA and is not the official government site. In his article for HuffPost, Alexander Howard writes that SFAS is transferring its site to the federal government so students will no longer risk signing up on the wrong FAFSA site.

Note that the government discourages students from paying for assistance with the FAFSA because free help is available online and by phone.

College graduation may not be the end of the moneyline Kate Ashford writes for Forbes about a recent survey by Upromise for Sallie Mae which found that 68 percent of college- bound teens expect to lean on their parents for financial help after college graduation. Thankfully, 65 percent of parents have similar expectations about helping their college graduates. Keep that in mind as you create your five and 10-year financial plan.

In the comments section below, please share your thoughts on these articles and others on college admissions that you’ve found helpful.