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