The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
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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July 16, 2009

Write That College Essay Now!

A strange thing happened to me last night. I had started a post about dealing this summer with one of the real pains of the college application process – the college essay. But then I got distracted and walked out of my office. I wandered out to the patio to talk to my son’s girlfriend about what she was doing...
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November 20, 2008

The Dreaded College Essay

It was my morning to drive the carpool and since there was one high school senior slumped in the back seat of my aging Volvo station wagon, the topic of college applications arose. Shannon began stressing out loud about the essay she had to write for her application to a University of California campus. Like all other teenagers that I’ve...
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October 11, 2008

The College Essay Word Count

Today I wanted to pass along some advice about college essays from Bruce Hammond, a former high school counselor and the co-author of numerous Fiske Guides, including one on writing college essays. I read his advice this week on a list serve for members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. There has been a lot of chatter on...
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October 9, 2008

College Essays: Winning One Liners from Stanford

Tis the season of the cursed college admission essay. You can tell that simply by looking at what’s selling on Amazon.com. One of the brisk sellers on Amazon today is a book that was published in 1987: On Writing the College Application Essay: The Key to Acceptance and the College of your Choice. I hope the college essay advice is...
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