The Best College Admissions Blogs

As a first time parent going through the college admissions process I was continually lost and confused. I often turned to parents who had preceded me on this path, but in truth their advice was often specific to their own kid or contradicted what another parent had told me.  

Then I stumbled on a font of insight and expert information. I discovered College Admissions Blogs. In the college admissions, desert I found an oasis.

Somehow my internet travels led me to Dean J’s College Admissions blog at the University of Virginia. My son was not applying to UVA, but that hardly mattered because the posts that Dean J wrote, with such humor and kindness, were valuable insights for any parent whose kid was applying to almost any university. I became an avid reader and soon found there were admissions professionals on other campuses, most notably Georgia Tech and MIT,  who wrote expert blogs that took parents and students by the hand and helped them on their way.

It is well worth having your teen delve into any college admissions blogs for the colleges that interest them. It is great to have a peek behind the curtain and schools offer much insight and advice.

Best college admissions blogs

While many schools have great blogs about their particular college, each of the sites listed here speaks to the general process of admissions in a way that can be instructive to any parents:

UVA Admissions Blog: Notes From Peabody with Cav Dog

Some of their Best Posts:

The Role Of Parents in the Process

In my opinion, most parents are completely appropriate when it comes to their involvement in the process. There are some that go a bit overboard. Here are a few areas where parents might be tempted to overstep…

Should I Apply Under Early Action or Regular Decision?

What Does Holistic Admission Mean?

I spend five months of the year cloistered away, dedicating most of our waking moments to file review. Students don’t want to be reduced to numbers and admission officers don’t want the process reduced to them, either.

Georgia Tech Admissions Blog: A Dialog on College Admissions 

Some of their Best Posts:

Holistic Admission The Struggle Is Real: “Be sure your essays and short answer questions broaden our understanding of who you are—not simply what you’ve done. We can pick up your accomplishments from your transcripts or extracurricular record. We want to hear your voice and deepen our understanding of “why and how” you would thrive on our campus or contribute to the dynamics.”

Lies We Tell Ourselves: Parents   Lie 2 “Where my son or daughter goes to college is a reflection on my parenting achievement. This is a tough one to admit, but is a very common, incredibly insidious lie. We have already established (hopefully) a few key things that refute this:

  1. Admission decisions are not character judgments
  2. Holistic admission by nature means that incredible students don’t always get into certain elite schools
  3. Where you go to college does not dictate your future success or happiness”

MIT Admissions Blog 

One of their Best Posts:

50 Things  At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. The night before my freshman year psych final, my roommate somehow scored front row seats to the Indigo Girls at a venue 2 hours away. I didn’t do so well on the final, but I haven’t thought about psych since 1993. I’ve thought about the experience of going to that show (with the guy who is now my son’s godfather) at least once a month ever since.”

Tufts Blog: Inside Admissions   

One of their Best Posts:

Juniors: A Guide to Senior Schedules That Colleges Will Love  Now is the time to pull out all the stops and make the most of your abilities.  If you’ve just had a solid three years, try to take it up a notch.  We often see students who we wax and wane about but, if that file has a REALLY challenging senior year, it can be enough to make us pause and say, “Ok, the heat’s on.  Let’s see how they’re doing at the mid year.”  A very strong first semester performance can make you a real contender in this process.”

USC Undergraduate Admissions Blog

One of their Best Posts:

Making the College Admission Process About You

While it is very easy (and sometimes a good thing) for outside influences to shape your decisions, the college process should be one where you let your own thoughts and ideas navigate your choices. Here are three basic principles I think every high school student should keep in mind while they decide where they are going to apply to college:

Tulane Admissions Blog

One of Their Best Posts:

Love Will always Be Stronger Than Hate 

This blog is for every single high school student out there who is scared right now. This blog is for those who are fearful of the people in this world who have hate in their hearts. This blog is for any gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning student who is feeling that there is a little less love in the world tonight. Or for anyone who is struggling to make sense of Sunday morning’s events. Or anyone who just needs to feel… love.

admissions @ lawrence

One of Their Best Posts:

What to do about those looming deadlines?

I frequently found myself asking – usually as he was watching Sunday football or late-night SportsCenter – “When do you think you might want to start working on your college applications?” This question usually elicited one of the following (wonderfully verbose) responses

“When they’re due.”  “Soon.”  “When I’m ready.”

I countered with some award-winning questions myself: “Do you know when they’re due?”  “What does ‘soon’ mean?”  “When do you think you will be ready?”

The conversation usually ended there. So, I spent weeks encouraging, cajoling, nagging and yes, at times, raising my voice (OK, yelling); still no movement toward the college application websites. I went through ALL my “internal mom rationalizations.”

Maybe if I stop asking, he’ll actually work on them. (Reverse psychology)

Maybe he’s silently trying to tell us he’s not ready to go to college. (Oh, really?!)

Maybe I just need to be patient and let him figure this out for himself. (But this might bring about my early retirement from motherhood, if you know what I mean.).

University of Illinois Admissions Blog

One of Their Best Posts:

Starting Your College Search: Here Are A Few Tips


11 Reasons Why College Admissions is Harder than You Expected 

Dear Parent of High School Junior 

Last Call List for Senior Year 

Photo Credit: Annie Berning

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