Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
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...
May 26, 2015
Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?
Here’s a little known but excellent way to cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree: Attend a college rather than a research university. Nearly all colleges provide discounts off their sticker prices versus research universities, which are far less likely to give families a price break. In the chart below that I pulled from the latest tuition discount study from...
March 27, 2015
Research Universities: A Dirty Little Secret
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...
March 4, 2015
A Young Alum from Georgetown Weighs In
In my last post, I urged parents, who are stressed about how their kids are going to get into the most elite schools, (these are mostly affluent families) to ditch this toxic worry. If you missed the post here it is: Stop Fixating On These Colleges I had a young alum from one of those elite schools write a thoughtful...
December 2, 2014
Why Affluent Teens Are Miserable
In my experience, high quality, independent test-prep firms produce some of the best college newsletters. One newsletter that I always make sure I read comes from Compass Education Group, which offers test prep in Northern and Southern California. Today I am sharing a thought-provoking post that Matt Steiner, who is Compass Education’s marketing director, originally wrote for the test-prep firm’s...
July 14, 2014
Where to Find the Best College Professors
How do you know if the college or university that your child ultimately attends will provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators, but it’s largely impossible to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment beyond checking an institution’s graduation rates....
May 30, 2014
A Great Book for High School Grads
I’ve always felt that parents and teenagers spend too much time worrying about getting into college. I wish teenagers, in particular, diverted some of their energy into making sure that their college years will be successful. For everybody who agrees with me that the latter goal is vastly more important, I want to recommend a book, The Thinking Student’s Guide...
May 8, 2014
How My Daughter Made The Most Out of College
A new survey conducted by Gallup and Purdue University indicates that the type of institution that college graduates attend matters less to their future happiness at home and work than the experiences they have in college. I felt vindicated when I saw the Gallup results because I’ve been saying for years that what’s most important is not where you go...
February 26, 2014
Are Colleges Preparing Students for the Workplace?
A new Gallup survey that polled business leaders on higher-education issues revealed that executives hold a low opinion of the ability of colleges to prepare students for the workplace. American adults also believe just as strongly that higher-ed institutions are not readying students for employment. According to the survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Lumina Foundation, only 11%...
February 13, 2014
This Could Be the Wrong Question to Ask About AP Classes
The College Board released its latest annual AP report this week. You can also see the entire report here: 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation AP classes are a creature of the College Board so keep in mind that the organization will always spin the AP statistics in a positive way in its report. One of the great unresolved...