The College Solutions Blog

Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.

Featured image for “Taking the ACT and SAT Going Forward – Or Not”
February 8, 2021

Taking the ACT and SAT Going Forward – Or Not

If your child is a high school junior, it could be trickier this year to decide whether to take the SAT or ACT in 2021 (assuming greater availability) and also whether to submit scores. To help with this decision, I am running an informative post written by Bruce Reed, a cofounder of Compass Education Group, which regularly creates high quality...
Read More
0
Featured image for “New FAFSA Changes – Winners and Losers”
January 19, 2021

New FAFSA Changes – Winners and Losers

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be undergoing significant changes soon and families, who hope to obtain financial aid, need to prepare for the FAFSA changes. Tucked into federal pandemic relief legislation that Congress passed during the Christmas holidays, was a dramatic overhaul to the FAFSA and financial aid rules. Last week, I talked to Mark Kantrowitz, a...
Read More
14
Featured image for “Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist”
December 8, 2020

Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist

Using  a college admission checklist is critical when your child is applying to colleges and universities. Allowing  a teenager to apply to any colleges without a solid game plan can be a financial and academic disaster. In fact, ignoring advance planning is one reason why ONE OUT OF THREE students who start at four-year public and private colleges and universities...
Read More
1
Featured image for “Researching whether a college will close”
October 12, 2020

Researching whether a college will close

For most colleges and universities, competing for high school seniors has been a cutthroat Hunger Games exercise for many years. Before the pandemic hit, the majority of colleges were failing to meet their freshmen admission goals every year. At the start of the pandemic, some respected higher-ed observers predicted that many colleges would close by the summer, but that hasn’t...
Read More
2
Featured image for “How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19”
September 7, 2020

How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19

No matter when COVID-19 finally disappears, the college admission practices that changed due to the pandemic, will not completely disappear. In a recent webinar, I discussed how the pandemic has impacted college admissions in significant ways and how families can take advantage of these changes going forward. COVID-19 and College Admissions Here are some COVID-19 developments that you should know...
Read More
0
Featured image for “Should you write about COVID-19 for your college essay?”
July 30, 2020

Should you write about COVID-19 for your college essay?

Janine Robinson, the creator of the incredibly valuable blog, Essay Hell, wrote a post on whether students should devote their college essay to COVID-19. I’m delighted that she gave me permission to share it with you. Robinson thinks students should avoid using the pandemic for their college essay. Here is what she wrote: When counseling students on finding great topics...
Read More
2
Featured image for “Why college essays are more important during COVID-19”
July 29, 2020

Why college essays are more important during COVID-19

College essays should be more important during the 2021-2022 college admission season than in any other admission cycle in modern times. Why would the college essay be so critical for this admission cycle? Simple. It’s because most colleges – including the vast majority of the most elite and prestigious institutions – have gone test-optional due to the pandemic. Without standardized...
Read More
1
Featured image for “8 things you should know about final college plans during the pandemic”
July 6, 2020

8 things you should know about final college plans during the pandemic

Colleges have been running out of time to release their final plans for the start of the fall school year. Higher-ed observers assumed that colleges would have to start revealing their final plans sometime in July. Problem was, the vast majority of schools didn’t want to go first. A Midwestern college, for instance, would be loath to announce it was...
Read More
11
Featured image for “15 reasons to ignore U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings”
June 24, 2020

15 reasons to ignore U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings

Most  college-bound teenagers and their parents never look at U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings, which is actually a healthy thing. U.S. News’ college rankings, are much more likely to be a preoccupation of teenagers and parents in affluent households.  I believe the fixation with the rankings is a major reason for the tremendous stress and mental health issues...
Read More
8
Featured image for “During a pandemic, getting more money from a college”
June 8, 2020

During a pandemic, getting more money from a college

During the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of colleges are worried about not only attracting enough freshmen for this fall, but also for the 2021-2022 college admission season. Many colleges have made the calculation that it’s better to pay too much to attract a new student than to lose that prospect – and the revenue he or she generates – all together....
Read More
9