The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
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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Featured image for “11 Common FAFSA Mistakes”
December 19, 2016

11 Common FAFSA Mistakes

If your child will be heading to college next fall, you should be tackling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and, if applicable, the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE now. While filing for financial aid is extremely important, it is incredibly easy to make mistakes which can hurt your family’s ultimate awards. In this post, I’m sharing 11 FAFSA mistakes to...
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Featured image for “Don’t Confuse College Applications with a Lottery”
November 27, 2016

Don’t Confuse College Applications with a Lottery

High-achieving students who apply every year to the Ivies and other elites schools have heard the grim statistics about how ridiculously hard it is to get into these schools. That reality, however, doesn’t deter students from applying even though the chances for most smart students is ZERO percent. Ambitious teenagers aiming to attend the nearly impregnable schools at the top...
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Featured image for “Should I Apply Early Decision?”
October 28, 2016

Should I Apply Early Decision?

This is the time of year when high school seniors aiming for more selective to elite colleges and universities must 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...
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Featured image for “Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree”
October 23, 2016

Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree

I wrote this post last year, but wanted to share it again because the messages are equally relevant today!  Lynn O’Shaughnessy Plenty of parents, who enroll in my online course – The College Cost Lab –  are affluent and highly educated. Quite a few of these moms and dads would like to see their children attend elite schools. Not surprisingly,...
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Featured image for “3 Steps To Writing a Winning College Essay”
August 6, 2016

3 Steps To Writing a Winning College Essay

This is the time to start your college essay. That’s why I am excited to share a three-step method to create a winning college essay. This guest post comes from Janine Robinson, who created Essay Hell, a phenomenal blog that’s stuffed with advice about creating college admission essays. By Janine Robinson After working with thousands of students from all over...
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Featured image for “Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges”
April 25, 2016

Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges

When researching colleges, many families gravitate to what they call “great schools” without having any idea of whether these institutions merit their reputations. In reality, no college or university is a monolithic entity that is uniformly excellent, average or mediocre. That’s why just picking schools by relying on general impressions, U.S. News’ actual rankings or a campus tour won’t be...
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