Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
March 4, 2022
TuitionFit: How to find better college award offers in minutes
By now, most students, who will be college freshmen in the fall, have received their award letters from colleges. Families, however, are at a disadvantage when they look at these college awards. They typically have no idea if the offer of financial aid or a merit scholarship is a good one. Families don’t know if teenagers with similar financial circumstances...
January 11, 2022
Reach, target and safety schools: Don’t slip when creating a smart college list
A critical part of the college search process is creating an excellent list of colleges, which often includes reach, target and safety schools. Families often slip badly on this extremely important yet tricky task of pulling together a solid college list. If a teenager creates a problematic list, parents can easily pay too much money for college. One of the...
October 19, 2021
Applying early decision and early action, part II
In my last college blog post, I wrote about the pros and cons of applying to college early decision. Here is more to consider before you apply early decision or early action to college: 1. While students who apply early decision to a college must promise to attend the school, as a practical matter, a college can’t force an accepted...
October 19, 2021
18 things to know about applying early decision to college
Applying early decision to college is often a highly effective way to increase the odds of getting accepted at many schools that offer this admission option. At plenty of colleges, applying early action can also boost admission odds. Not surprisingly then, teenagers are increasingly applying early decision and early action to schools and the pandemic helped escalate this trend. Applying...
September 7, 2021
Writing a great college essay
I’ve read many college essays over the years and the vast majority of them have been b-o-r-i-n-g. Unlike a great college essay, the bad essays have been guilty of one or more of these essay no-no’s: 1. The college essay lacked details. 2. The admission essay didn’t convey the student’s voice. 3. The essay covered too much territory. (Writing about...
April 21, 2021
Finding colleges offering big scholarships
It’s late in the college admission season, but schools are still giving out college scholarships to those who know where to look. The pandemic caused many colleges to provide better scholarships than they would have liked. And actually, some schools, long before the pandemic hit, were giving out large merit scholarships. I wrote about one aspect of this phenomenon earlier...
April 13, 2021
Looking beyond highly rejective colleges to get better deals
As usual, the highly rejective colleges** have attracted the most media attention during this latest admission season. The Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Duke, Northwestern, USC and other highly rejective colleges outdid themselves this year by crushing the college dreams of an historic number of applicants. What gets lost in this slavish attention to the nation’s highly rejective schools is the inside...
March 10, 2021
Taking advantage of today’s college admission landscape
Earlier this month, I discussed the current college admission landscape with Mark Salisbury, the creator of TuitionFit, a nonprofit that’s been compared to the Kelly Blue Book of college pricing. We shared our thoughts about what happened to college admission landscape last year and also shared our predictions about what will happen to college admissions in 2021. If you are...
February 8, 2021
Taking the ACT and SAT Going Forward – Or Not
If your child is a high school junior, it could be trickier this year to decide whether to take the SAT or ACT in 2021 (assuming greater availability) and also whether to submit scores. To help with this decision, I am running an informative post written by Bruce Reed, a cofounder of Compass Education Group, which regularly creates high quality...
December 8, 2020
Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist
Using a college admission checklist is critical when your child is applying to colleges and universities. Allowing a teenager to apply to any colleges without a solid game plan can be a financial and academic disaster. In fact, ignoring advance planning is one reason why ONE OUT OF THREE students who start at four-year public and private colleges and universities...