College Admissions News Roundup

Big data and college admissions, organizing college essays, the facts about athletic scholarships and more.

By Anne Vaccaro Brady

With a new high school year underway, college application season is here for seniors. For underclassmen, especially juniors, it’s time to start college planning. Here are some articles and posts that can help you through whichever stage you’re in with your teenager.

Picking a college The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) shares a comprehensive guide to the various types of colleges. Read it with your teen as your family embarks on the college planning process.

IMG_1534.JPGCristiana Quinn makes the case for choosing a state university in her article on GoLocal/Worcester.

If your student meets the admissions requirements of an Ivy League college, shouldn’t she apply and go if accepted? Not necessarily, according to Frank Bruni in his op-ed piece for the New York Times, where he gives reasons for passing on an Ivy acceptance.

The college essay We all want to know what admissions officers are looking for in the anxiety-inducing college admissions essay. Eric J. Furda, Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, gives us a glimpse in a post on Page217, in which his staffers share their advice on the essay.

Your senior may need to write more than one essay, or adapt his primary one, depending upon where he’s applying. Keeping track of the different versions can get complicated. On Road2College, Alex Thaler, founder of Zoomita, explains how his site helps organize those essays.

College success Surviving freshman year of college may depend on how hard a school works to help their students acclimate and adjust to college life. That’s the theory of Joan Grangenois-Thomas in her editorial for the Journal News.

Dr. Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman share the 14 habits of top college students on University Parent. 

Managing money in college For many teens, college is the first time they’ll be handling their own money. Michael Schramm explains how to help your kids manage their money at college in his article for USA Today.

I’ve written about college banking options and the precautions to take when dealing with college-linked bank accounts and debit cards in previous posts. Ann Carrns explores more questions to raise about college bank accounts in her article for the New York Times.

IMG_0759 Grown & Flown shares one of the benefits of being a college student—the student discount, and includes a list of national brands that offer them.

College admissions—the process The rumor that colleges use social media in the admissions process is true, but not in the way you think. Emmanuel Felton of the Hechinger Report shares how colleges are using big data in admissions decisions in his article for PBS NewsHour.

Are falling SAT scores a comment on American education? The answer isn’t that simple. On Vox, Libby Nelson explains the real reason SAT scores are going down.

If you’re the parent of a high school junior, read this post by Debbie Schwartz on Road2College for a guide to college planning for 11th graders.

Paying for college I’ve written about the benefits of saving for college via a 529 savings plan. But in her Wall Street Journal article, AnnaMaria Andriotis points out that paying the tuition bill completely from a 529 account may cause you to miss out on a significant college tax credit.

Like me, you may have assumed that athletic scholarships are designed as one per student. But a scholarship can either be a head count (one per student) or an equivalency (divided among two or more students). This and other facts are included in Michelle Kretzschmar’s post on the 11 things you need to know about athletic scholarships on DIY College Rankings. 

If you’ve read an article or post that you found helpful as you navigate the college admissions process with your student, please share it in the comments section below.

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