The College Solutions Blog

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

Featured image for “Extracurricular tips for college admissions during a pandemic”
May 6, 2020

Extracurricular tips for college admissions during a pandemic

One of collateral damages from COVID-19 is the ability of teenagers to participate in extracurricular activities before applying to college. Right now, you can’t participate in a school marching band or play Shakespeare on a stage. Showing athletic prowess on a track, ball field or court ain’t happening either. You can’t debate in competitions or run a school club. While...
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April 28, 2020

Will College Campuses Open in the Fall?

Will college campuses open in the fall? It’s frustrating that no one definitely knows yet if colleges campuses will be open in the fall or if online education will predominate or there will be some hybrid of the two scenarios. In the interim, however, The Chronicle of Higher Education has been regularly updating a list of tentative plans that colleges...
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April 20, 2020

SwiftStudent: New tool to appeal financial aid awards

If you want to appeal a financial aid award, there is a new resource to help you write the aid appeal letter. The free tool, called SwiftStudent, guides families through requesting more financial aid for a variety of reasons including because of financial setback due to COVID-19. The brainchild of this easy-to-use tool is Abigail Seldin, who has had a...
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April 17, 2020

Tuitionfit: a tool to find better college deals now

In the midst of a pandemic,  finding a college that is the right financial fit has become even more important than it was just a few months ago. Before COVID-19 became a household word, you might have thought that you knew where your child would be attending college in the fall. What happens now if the colleges on your child’s...
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Featured image for “Researching Colleges During a Pandemic”
April 13, 2020

Researching Colleges During a Pandemic

I’ve gotten questions recently about how to research colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic when you can’t visit campuses. I talked to a mom from Seattle over the weekend, whose daughter was choosing between seven colleges that stretch from the state of Washington to New Jersey. With merit scholarships deducted, the cost of all these schools for the Seattle family were...
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Featured image for “Tackling common college questions during COVID-19”
April 8, 2020

Tackling common college questions during COVID-19

This is an incredibly stressful time for families who have to navigate college admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a practical matter, this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience has generated a great deal of college questions from anxious students, parents, educational consultants and high school counselors. Some answers are known. We know, for instance, that the Advanced Placement tests, with a radically...
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Featured image for “2020 Advanced Placement tests – 8 tips to succeed”
April 5, 2020

2020 Advanced Placement tests – 8 tips to succeed

If you have teenagers who expected to take Advanced Placement tests this year, the College Board recently released detailed information about this year’s unusual roll out of AP exams. How the College Board is dealing with AP tests during the COVID-19 pandemic was bound to be controversial and it is. Some people wanted the College Board to cancel the AP...
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Featured image for “U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19”
April 1, 2020

U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19

High school students are stressed about when they will be able to take the SAT and/or ACT test again, but there is some good news during the COVID-19 pandemic . A steady stream of colleges and universities have been announcing that they will not require SAT or ACT test scores for the 2021-2022 school year and possibly beyond that admission...
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Featured image for “When should you appeal a financial aid letter?”
March 30, 2020

When should you appeal a financial aid letter?

When should you appeal a financial aid letter? I wanted to answer this question from a mother in Seattle because during this coronavirus pandemic, it’s relevant to many more families. If you haven’t received enough help to pay for college, please keep reading and good luck! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question: If you’ve had one financial setback and you think more are...
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March 27, 2020

Fearing the worst: college closings

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the higher-ed world hard. Colleges across the country shut down during a crucial time in the college admission season. It’s the spring when colleges heavily court high school seniors as they urge them to attend their schools in the fall. But this year’s accepted student days were cancelled. Campus visits dried up. Previous freshmen enrollment...
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