The College Solutions Blog

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

Admission practices
March 17, 2010

Financial Aid Award: What to Do When You Need More

Can you get a better financial aid award if you are laid off from your job? That’s the question that many parents, including my sister Julie and brother-in-law Mike are grappling with right now. Last night, I got a call from Mike, who recently received a financial aid award letter from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where my niece Molly...
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March 12, 2010

UC And Cal State Crisis Prompts Students to Look Elsewhere

The University of California and the Cal State universities are in serious financial trouble. This reality is finally resonating with teenagers, which is why more of them have applied outside the state instead of assuming that their Cal State or UC admission applications will be successful. With the UC And Cal State schools experiencing their biggest financial crisis ever, the...
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March 11, 2010

Why You Shouldn't Apply to a Reach School

In my last post on deciphering financial aid letters, I focused on college grants. Grants are the best kind of aid that you can snag in a financial aid letter because these awards don’t have to be repaid. College Grants: Decoding a Financial Aid Letter Part II My son has been receiving financial aid awards from colleges during the last...
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March 9, 2010

College Grants: Decoding a Financial Aid Letter Part II

This is my second post on deciphering college financial aid packages. Yesterday, I explained what sort of federal financial aid assistance you might find in your financial aid award. How To Decode a Financial Aid Letter Today, I’m going to cover the types of college grants that parents typically find in a financial aid letter. College Grants Many families believe...
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February 23, 2010

Getting an Extra $30,000 Scholarship from Rutgers

I heard today from a dad named John, who got Rutgers to quadruple the academic scholarship that it is offering his daughter. After hearing from John, Rutgers scotched the original $10,000 scholarship and replaced it with a $40,000 college scholarship instead. How did he do it? It was simple. On February 17, John sent an email to Rutger’s undergraduate admissions...
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February 20, 2010

Acing a College Interview: 27 Interview Questions

How do you ace a college interview? That’s what my son was wondering this weekend during his visit to Beloit College. About 130 high school seniors were on campus to compete for one of the school’s Presidential Scholarships, which are worth up to $68,000. Have fun and relax. That’s what everyone told the hopeful teenagers, who arrived from places as...
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January 14, 2010

Why Students at State Flagships Are Richer Than Most

Close to one out of every three students who attend a state flagship university is affluent. Specifically, 30% of students at flagship universities have parents with incomes in the top 20% of all American households. This is just one of the findings of a new study released this week by The Education Trust, which is a nonprofit that promotes education...
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January 6, 2010

Be Careful How You Answer These 2 College Application Questions

If you plan to apply to college as a “stealth candidate” listen up. Stealth candidates are teenagers who never contact a college before sending in their application. Stealth college applications used to be rare.  Most teenagers contact colleges through traditional means such as requesting materials, talking to admission counselors at college fairs and visiting schools. Today, however, teenagers can learn...
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December 30, 2009

College Acceptance Letter Etiquette

High schools students have started receiving college acceptance letters. A student writing on The New York Times’ college blog today suggests that teenagers shouldn’t brag when they start getting acceptance letters. Specifically, she believes that sharing college admission news on Facebook is in poor taste. The freshman at Northwestern argues that bragging about college acceptances will crush the spirits of...
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December 29, 2009

Should You Share Dirty Secrets With College Admission Offices?

What happens if your teenagers has made a bad mistake during his or her high school years? I’m talking about a suspension from school. A drunk driving ticket. A cheating incident. How do you handle these kinds of mistakes on your college application? Lee Bierer, an independent college counselor in Charlotte, NC, and a syndicated columnist, tackled this thorny college...
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