Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
January 26, 2023
11 Ways to Appeal for More Financial Aid or Merit Aid
An effective way to reduce the cost of college is to know how to successfully appeal for more financial aid. It’s critical to understand that the first financial aid award that a college delivers often doesn’t have to be the only offer. This is especially true since the enrollment management arms of many colleges use sophisticated algorithms in the hopes...
November 28, 2022
Do you know the differences between a college and a university?
What is the difference between a college and a university? I have always found it depressing and frustrating that few parents and teenagers know what the differences are between a college and university. And the differences are substantial. Americans use the terms college and university interchangeably, but these two types of higher-education institutions are quite different. Families who understand how...
October 13, 2022
Applying Early Decision: Advantages and Disadvantages
From Applying early decision to college is often a highly effective way to increase the odds of getting accepted at many colleges that offer this admission option. At plenty of colleges, applying early action can also boost admission odds. Students and parents, who are interested in applying early decision or early action, need to know the advantages and disadvantages of...
September 20, 2022
Check the Return on Investment (ROI) for Colleges and Academic Majors
College degrees cost too much to ignore the return on investment (ROI) for colleges on your list, as well as the ROI for a particular academic college major. Luckily, a handful of resources, which rely on federal data, can help you pinpoint the ROI for not only specific colleges, but also academic majors within particular schools. Return on Investment (ROI)...
July 11, 2022
CollegeData: Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships
How do you research financial aid and merit scholarships that a student might get at individual colleges and universities? With college sticker prices continuing to climb, it’s an important question to ask because the financial aid and merit award policies at schools will vary widely. Not knowing how to research the generosity or stinginess of individual colleges can cost you...
March 4, 2022
TuitionFit: How to find better college award offers in minutes
By now, most students, who will be college freshmen in the fall, have received their award letters from colleges. Families, however, are at a disadvantage when they look at these college awards. They typically have no idea if the offer of financial aid or a merit scholarship is a good one. Families don’t know if teenagers with similar financial circumstances...
January 11, 2022
Reach, target and safety schools: Don’t slip when creating a smart college list
A critical part of the college search process is creating an excellent list of colleges, which often includes reach, target and safety schools. Families often slip badly on this extremely important yet tricky task of pulling together a solid college list. If a teenager creates a problematic list, parents can easily pay too much money for college. One of the...
December 2, 2021
Quick way to capture a 529 tax break when a student is in college
An easy way for you to cut your college costs can be as easy as depositing money into a 529 account for just 24 hours. After moving money into a 529 account, many savers can quickly turn around and withdraw the cash to pay for their child’s college tuition and other qualified expenses. Here’s why you would want to make...
November 24, 2021
How grandparents can help with college costs without hurting financial aid chances
Upcoming changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will make it easier for grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents and anyone else outside the nuclear family to help with college costs without hurting eligibility for financial aid. Before explaining the change, it’s important to understand what the situation is right now. Currently, parents are supposed to share on...
October 19, 2021
Applying early decision and early action, part II
In my last college blog post, I wrote about the pros and cons of applying to college early decision. Here is more to consider before you apply early decision or early action to college: 1. While students who apply early decision to a college must promise to attend the school, as a practical matter, a college can’t force an accepted...