The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
August 16, 2019

Saying No to a Dream College: A Success Story

Should you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send your child to his or her dream college? My answer to that dream college question has always been a resounding NO! Some of the universities that U.S. News & World Report loves to gush over now cost $300,000 or higher. And that’s for a SINGLE bachelor’s degree. If you’re really...
Read More
16
Featured image for “College Decision Day is an Illusion”
May 2, 2019

College Decision Day is an Illusion

At many colleges, May 1, officially known as College Decision Day or College Signing Day, is an illusion. The majority of colleges are failing to fill their freshmen class by May 1, which is supposed to be the drop-dead date for high school seniors to plunk down their deposit for the college they will attend in the fall. Because many...
Read More
0
Featured image for “5  Extracurricular Tips to Boost College Admissions”
August 22, 2018

5 Extracurricular Tips to Boost College Admissions

Teenagers can boost their college admission chances by being smart about the extracurricular activities that they pursue in high school. Unfortunately,  a lot of misinformation exists about extracurriculars which prevents students from making the most of their activities outside the classroom. For instance, many parents believe that their children need to be well-rounded to increase their admission chances. That is,...
Read More
0
Featured image for “Early Decision Applications: What You Need to Know”
July 10, 2018

Early Decision Applications: What You Need to Know

High school seniors, who are aiming for prestigious colleges and universities, will soon have to 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 make this ED commitment before...
Read More
0
Featured image for “15 Things to Know About U.S. News’ College Rankings”
May 8, 2018

15 Things to Know About U.S. News’ College Rankings

While U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings are wildly popular, few families know much about how they are created. Before you place too much faith in U.S. News’ college rankings, here are 15 things that you should know about them. 1. U.S. News relies on rankings to stay alive. U.S. News’ college rankings wields tremendous power even though the...
Read More
33
Featured image for “What’s Critical in a College Admission Checklist”
November 27, 2017

What’s Critical in a 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 universities end up transferring somewhere else....
Read More
0
Featured image for “The Best High School Extracurriculars”
November 14, 2017

The Best High School Extracurriculars

I had a mom in my course, The College Cost Lab, ask me a question this week about high school extracurricular activities that I wanted to share with you. Here was the mother’s question on extracurriculars: I was wondering what your opinion is on what my daughter should focus on doing the summer before senior year. I have heard some...
Read More
2
Featured image for “The benefits of attending a less selective college”
August 28, 2017

The benefits of attending a less selective college

It’s only natural that many talented students aim for the most selective school that they can gain into. It’s not always a smart idea, however, for applicants to attend the most selective college or university that admits them. Today I am sharing the observations on this topic from Scott White, the head guidance counselor at Morris High School in New...
Read More
2
Featured image for “How to Increase Your Admission Chances by 40%”
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...
Read More
5
Featured image for “Success Story! Saying No to a Dream College”
May 8, 2017

Success Story! Saying No to a Dream College

Last month I heard from many parents agonizing about whether to let their teenagers attend their dream colleges. These dream colleges were inevitably highly selective to elite universities which cost $65,000 to $70,000 a year! I don’t believe any college or universities is worth paying that kind of money! My most recent blog post, which originally ran in 2014, focused...
Read More
1