The College Solutions Blog

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

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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Featured image for “Saying No to a Dream College”
April 24, 2017

Saying No to a Dream College

Will your child end up going to his or her dream school? The odds are that your child won’t if the college or university is a rankings alpha dog. And that’s especially true if you don’t enjoy a powerful hook such as being a celebrity or a one-percenter kid, a legacy or an athlete. The story I’m sharing today is...
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Featured image for “Real Story Behind College Wait Lists”
February 27, 2017

Real Story Behind College Wait Lists

This is a previous blog post I wrote on college wait lists (with updated figures) that I’m rerunning now that students are receiving wait list offers. Lynn O’Shaughnessy This weekend I heard from old friends who wanted to share with me stories of brilliant students who got shut out of elite universities. At a party on Friday night, a dad...
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Featured image for “5 Winning College Strategies”
January 20, 2017

5 Winning College Strategies

During the past week, I shared Five Winning College Strategies during a webinar that attracted more than 1,000 viewers. If you missed the webinar, which I offered on four different dates, you can still listen to the replay for a limited time period. Here is the link to Five Winning College Strategies to Finding Great Schools and Cutting Their Price....
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Featured image for “Getting a College Admission Deferral”
January 1, 2017

Getting a College Admission Deferral

What happens if your child recently received a college admission deferral letter? Plenty of students, who applied to schools via early action and early decision applications, have received deferral notices. Students need to understand that a deferral doesn’t mean that their hopes have been dashed. It signifies that a school has not decided whether to accept or reject the applicant...
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