Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
July 31, 2017
How to Increase Your Admission Chances by 40%
Should you visit a college before you apply? According to a new study, for some students there is a powerful benefit to visiting highly selective schools. According to the researchers, teenagers, who apply to highly selective colleges and visit the campuses, are up to 40% more likely to be admitted than comparable students. The study suggests that the applicants who...
March 13, 2017
My New College Column at Cappex
If you like periodically checking out my college blog, I want to alert you to another place where I share my thoughts about college issues. I recently began a college column at Cappex, which is the popular resource for students and parents researching colleges and looking for scholarships. Here is the link to the archive of my new Cappex column...
February 27, 2017
Real Story Behind College Wait Lists
This is a previous blog post I wrote on college wait lists (with updated figures) that I’m rerunning now that students are receiving wait list offers. Lynn O’Shaughnessy This weekend I heard from old friends who wanted to share with me stories of brilliant students who got shut out of elite universities. At a party on Friday night, a dad...
January 1, 2017
Getting a College Admission Deferral
What happens if your child recently received a college admission deferral letter? Plenty of students, who applied to schools via early action and early decision applications, have received deferral notices. Students need to understand that a deferral doesn’t mean that their hopes have been dashed. It signifies that a school has not decided whether to accept or reject the applicant...
November 27, 2016
Don’t Confuse College Applications with a Lottery
High-achieving students who apply every year to the Ivies and other elites schools have heard the grim statistics about how ridiculously hard it is to get into these schools. That reality, however, doesn’t deter students from applying even though the chances for most smart students is ZERO percent. Ambitious teenagers aiming to attend the nearly impregnable schools at the top...
October 28, 2016
Should I Apply Early Decision?
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 apply early decision, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. A student accepted via early decision must withdraw all other college applications. Early Decision Gamble Students must...
October 23, 2016
Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree
I wrote this post last year, but wanted to share it again because the messages are equally relevant today! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Plenty of parents, who enroll in my online course – The College Cost Lab – are affluent and highly educated. Quite a few of these moms and dads would like to see their children attend elite schools. Not surprisingly,...
September 18, 2016
Realities of National Merit Scholarships
This is the time of year when parents of teenagers, who are excellent test takers, start thinking about National Merit Scholarships. Next month, high school juniors will be taking the PSAT, which is a requirement to qualify for National Merit honors. Meanwhile, the National Merit Semifinalist score cut offs for high school seniors who took this test as juniors, was...
March 28, 2016
Stunned at College Rejections
I’ve been getting emails from parents, who are bitter that their bright teenagers have been getting rejection letters from elite colleges and universities. What follows are two email excerpts. From a dad named Jeff: My son is his high school’s valedictorian. He scored 35 on the ACT and had straight A’s all four years at an academically competitive school. He...
January 31, 2016
How To Decipher a Financial Aid Letter
Financial aid awards are often confusing. I believe many 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 off balance. Since we are heading into the season when students will be receiving their financial aid...