The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
December 29, 2010

The Dirty Little Secrets of College Admissions

Today I want to share a piece, which originally ran in the Washington Post, that was written by Dean P. Skarlis, who  is president of The College Advisor of New York in Albany. I liked what Skarlis had to say so much about today’s college admission climate that I asked if I could share it with you. According to the...
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December 18, 2010

A Race to Nowhere Skeptic

Race to Nowhere, a documentary about the stress that college-bound teenagers experience, has gotten a lot of attention. I first heard about Race to Nowhere a couple of weeks ago after I gave a college presentation to a group of financial advisers and their clients in Irvine, CA. An adviser, who raved about the film, wrote its title on his...
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December 15, 2010

The Skinny on College Recommendation Letters

I wrote this post a year ago when my son was asking for college recommendations. He’s in college now, but I thought parents and teenagers could benefit from what I wrote in 2009. This is the time of year when high school counselors and teachers are flooded with requests to write college recommendation letters. Writing a college recommendation letter is...
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October 6, 2010

8 Things High School Seniors Need To Be Doing Now

For high school seniors, it’s crunch time. Deadlines for college applications are looming, so it’s time to get focused. Here are 8 things seniors  need to be doing now. 1. Meet college reps. This is the time of year when admission officers are racking up frequent flyer miles as they meet with prospective students throughout the country. Contact colleges on...
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June 14, 2010

No. 1 Tip for Writing a Great Admission Essay

Hey, how about starting your college admission essay today? Are any parents out there already bugging their soon-to-be high school seniors to start writing their college admission essay? I realize this is going to be a hard sell with teenagers, but summer is the perfect time to write the admission essay. So here’s my No. 1 tip for writing a...
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November 11, 2009

Don't Write Like a College Professor

Do you write like a college professor? If you do, rid yourself of the habit. College graduates who write like their college professors could find their job search even harder. The business world favors employees who can write simple, declarative sentences. In contrast, college professors are masters at obfuscation. They write stilted prose. They embrace words with five or six...
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October 9, 2009

Writing a Winning College Essay

The seniors at my son’s high school are in a panic. They can’t procrastinate any longer. They have to write their dreaded college essay. A lot of college essays fail because students are so afraid of messing up. It’s hard for teenagers to be genuine when they worry about alienating admission officers. I  had the opportunity yesterday to shares some...
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October 4, 2009

College Blog Roundup: University Crisis, High School Applications, Dumbest Generation

For all my faithful visitors, I want to let you know that I’m trying to eliminate all the kinks on my newly remodeled blog. So please be patient! As always, here is my latest weekend round up of my college blog posts that I wrote for CBSMoneyWatch.com. Guess Who the Dumbest Generation Is Are teenagers dumber because they spend so...
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September 8, 2009

Writing Your Way Out of College

One of my most vivid memories at the University of Missouri was of the strange grade that I received on an honors term paper. The English professor gave me a  “B+ +” for the final paper in my existentialist literature course.  When I saw that grade I was ticked off. What the heck, I wondered, was a B + +?...
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August 27, 2009

A College Game Plan for High School Seniors

The other day I brought up the “E” word with my son. Ben is about to start his senior year in high school and he needs to begin thinking about the college admission essay that he’s going to write. Ben’s reaction was typical of a lot of seniors:  He groaned. Undeterred, I  told him that he really needed to start...
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