The College Solutions Blog

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

Featured image for “Fearing the worst:  college closings”
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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March 26, 2020

Should you make a college deposit during the coronavirus pandemic?

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I decided to answer a college question a day for stressed out parents and students. In today’s question, I am tackling the question of a dad from Los Angeles regarding making a college deposit during the coronavirus pandemic. I hope you find it helpful! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question: Our original plan was to visit colleges after...
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March 25, 2020

Paying $184,000 more for a college near the beach???

During the coronavirus crisis, I am answering a question every weekend day posed by parents on my newsletter list. You’ll find the latest Q&A below. I hope you can benefit from it! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question from an Indiana mom: Our senior has been accepted to University of California, San Diego, which is her top choice as an out-of-state public university....
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March 24, 2020

Appealing a Financial Aid Award During COVID-19

COVID-19 has made the college admission and financial aid process unbearably stressful and scary. As my small way of helping, as I remain holed up in my house in San Diego, I decided to start answering your college questions beginning today. Via my blog – The College Solution – I will tackle at least one question on most week days....
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March 2, 2020

Capturing a 529 tax break in just 24 hours

Here’s a super quick way to cut your college costs:  Deposit money into a 529 account for  just 24 hours. After putting money into a 529 account, you can quickly turn around and withdraw the cash to pay for your child’s college tuition and other qualified expenses. In most states, you can claim a state tax deduction – or even...
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February 14, 2020

Why you need to use college net price calculators

Before you let your teenager apply to colleges, you need to use each college’s net price calculator. Unless money is no object and you can afford to pay full price for any colleges, turning to net price calculators is critical. If you don’t know what these calculators are – and most parents don’t – here are 10 things you need...
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January 13, 2020

Evaluating a Financial Aid Letter: What’s Usually Missing

Financial aid awards are often confusing. Plenty of colleges and universities intentionally make financial aid awards hard to decipher to trick families into thinking that their institutions are being generous even when they aren’t. Obfuscation is an effective way to keep parents from effectively evaluating a financial aid award. Since we are in the season of financial aid letters, I...
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October 14, 2019

Applying Early Decision: What You Need to Know

Should your child apply early decision to college? This is the time of year when high school seniors aiming for more selective to elite colleges and universities must decide if they will apply early decision. When students submit an early decision application, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. A student accepted via early decision must...
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August 16, 2019

Saying No to a Dream College: A Success Story

Should you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send your child to his or her dream college? My answer to that dream college question has always been a resounding NO! Some of the universities that U.S. News & World Report loves to gush over now cost $300,000 or higher. And that’s for a SINGLE bachelor’s degree. If you’re really...
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May 2, 2019

College Decision Day is an Illusion

At many colleges, May 1, officially known as College Decision Day or College Signing Day, is an illusion. The majority of colleges are failing to fill their freshmen class by May 1, which is supposed to be the drop-dead date for high school seniors to plunk down their deposit for the college they will attend in the fall. Because many...
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