5 of the Best Podcasts for Parents of College Kids

Amanda Ronan Updated on May 17, 2018

If you have a child in college, or if you’re getting ready to send one off to school in the fall, chances are you have a lot on your plate.  You want to stay up-to-date to make the college process easier for your family, but when can you fit in all that research and reading?

Here’s the secret: podcasts.

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 You can listen to podcasts during your commute, while you’re at the gym, and even while you’re walking the dogs. You don’t have to squint at tiny text or even spend hours in front of the screen. Instead, you can listen to friendly voices share information about the college application process, financial aid, dorm room essentials, and everything else college-related.

Not sure where to get started? We’ve got you covered.

What you should be listening to

 

1. USA College Chat

This weekly podcast is for parents and high school students who are preparing for college. It was created by the non-profit Policy Studies in Education (PSE).

There is content about nearly every college-related topic you can think of. The 150+ episodes are grouped into “series” by topics, so if there’s something specific you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it.

For example, there’s a series called “The Last Minute.” It has ten podcasts that cover topics ranging from late admissions to college who accept applications year-round, to profile on specific colleges that have high numbers of late admissions.

2. Freakonomics Radio

This award-winning podcast is hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, author of popular book by the same name. It explores topics ranging from business to money to psychology through interviews with experts and everyday people.

You might wonder how this relates to the college process. We suggest checking out this episode: Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1.

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3. Getting In

This 42-episode series produced by Slate followed a group of high school seniors in New York through the process of apply for and being accepted to college.

It played in “real-time” meaning the series technically ended in June 2016. But each episode is wonderfully narrated and informative. Each episodes contains the stories of students who are advised by a panel of experts, including a former admissions officer from Princeton and experienced high school counselors.

In addition to the students stories, the experts answer questions submitted by the listeners. This series gives a detailed look into the lives of the students and their families, so when you listen, you won’t feel like you’re doing this alone. Start with episode one: Meet the Students, Meet the Experts.

4. nprED

The npr ED site collects all of the radio news and written content related to education that is shared in NPR stations across the country.

So, while it’s not technically a podcast, it’s a way to get concise, well-reported news about the higher ed landscape in one place. Most of the recordings are less than 5 minutes long. Check out the story titled Congress Changed 529 College Savings Plans, and Now States are Nervous to find out how these changes may impact how your family saves for college.

 5. Stuff You Should Know

This podcast covers everything ... and we mean EVERYthing. The purpose is to help the public understand how common things work or worked in history. This isn’t a podcast specifically about the college admissions process, instead, it’s about educating yourself on a diverse cross section of topics.

Curious about Trickle-Down Economics? How about walruses? These are a great option for car listening when you're road-tripping to visit schools.  

Podcasts are a great way to learn information on the go. You don’t have to have your face in a screen to learn about scholarships or the costs of meal plans. No matter where you listen, podcasts keep you up to date about the latest trends in higher ed.

See also: 4 Ready-to-Go Checklists You Need Before College

About the Author
Amanda Ronan

Amanda Ronan is a writer and editor focused on education. She was a classroom teacher for nearly a decade. Now she spends her time writing for students, teachers, and parents. Her work has been featured on sites like EdSurge, Edudemic, and Teach.com. She also writes curriculum for entrepreneurial learning and financial literacy programs. Amanda lives in Austin where she enjoys splashing in creeks with her husband and two dogs, swaying in a hammock when it’s not cedar season, and sampling all the breakfast tacos the city has to offer. Read more by Amanda Ronan

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