The College Solutions Blog

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

Academic majors
Featured image for “Do you know the differences between a college and a university?”
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...
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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)...
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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 “Changing College Majors: It’s Really Common”
December 12, 2017

Changing College Majors: It’s Really Common

Are you worried that your teenager doesn’t know what college major he or she wants? In my experience, it’s a common worry that parents of high school students experience. Some of these parents have even told me that they want their children to start at community colleges if they can’t pick out a college major in advance. My response is...
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Featured image for “Stop Stressing About Picking the “Right” College Major”
October 3, 2016

Stop Stressing About Picking the “Right” College Major

Are you stressing about what your teenager’s college major is going to be? If you’re worried about your child not picking the right college major, you must ABSOLUTELY watch the video and read the blog post below! In the video I interview Jane Horowitz, who is a phenomenal career-launch coach for college students and new college grads and the founder...
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Featured image for “College Majors and Graduation Odds”
August 22, 2016

College Majors and Graduation Odds

Will your children graduate from college? And will they graduate with their declared academic major? These are critically important questions that families routinely overlook. Unfortunately, families focus primarily on getting into college and not on whether their children will actually succeed and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Too often students fail to graduate. Or they fail to earn a degree in...
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Featured image for “Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges”
April 25, 2016

Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges

When researching colleges, many families gravitate to what they call “great schools” without having any idea of whether these institutions merit their reputations. In reality, no college or university is a monolithic entity that is uniformly excellent, average or mediocre. That’s why just picking schools by relying on general impressions, U.S. News’ actual rankings or a campus tour won’t be...
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April 18, 2016

How To Measure College Grad Salaries

When searching for schools, parents are increasingly asking admission reps this question: Will my child earn a good salary after graduating from your college? College and university admission staffs will enthusiastically answer yes (!!!) to that question, but proof is almost always flimsy at best. Schools typically brag about high job placement statistics for their graduates because they rely on job surveys of...
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March 21, 2016

3 Great College Search Tools

Most families don’t look far when searching for colleges. The vast majority of students, who go to four-year schools, attend public universities within their own state. And most find schools within 100 miles of their homes. Only 14% or so of students attend institutions more than 500 miles away. Nearby state schools can represent the best option, but that won’t...
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Featured image for “What Is a Research University, Part II”
December 1, 2015

What Is a Research University, Part II

Most students who hope to earn a bachelor’s degree will enroll at a university. The schools that students dream of attending are almost always research universities. It’s far less common for teenagers to end up at a college. I find that reality unfortunate because a college can often provide a better education for undergraduates than a research university. And it’s...
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