The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
Featured image for “Is a Trophy School Worth the Price?”
April 5, 2016

Is a Trophy School Worth the Price?

I’ll be launching my latest online course – The College Cost Lab – in June. If you’d like to be among the first to know when I have more details,  just email me at Lynn@TheCollegeSolution.com. Lynn O’Shaughnessy In my last post, I wrote about smart teenagers who worked hard to get into elite schools only to have their dream schools...
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Featured image for “Stunned at College Rejections”
March 28, 2016

Stunned at College Rejections

I’ve been getting emails from parents, who are bitter that their bright teenagers have been getting rejection letters from elite colleges and universities. What follows are two email excerpts. From a dad named Jeff: My son is his high school’s valedictorian. He scored 35 on the ACT and had straight A’s all four years at an academically competitive school. He...
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Featured image for “Why the Odds Are Terrible”
November 7, 2015

Why the Odds Are Terrible

Note: I wrote this post last year, but it’s just as relevant today. Lynn O’Shaughnessy 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...
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Featured image for “College Essay Tips for Parents and Students”
October 26, 2015

College Essay Tips for Parents and Students

It’s college essay time. That dreaded stretch of the college admission process that high school seniors AND their parents often hate. I feel for everyone going through this right now, which is why I want to help. In this post, you’ll see a video that provides college-essay tips for high school seniors and another video that gives parents advice on...
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Featured image for “Should Juniors Take the New SAT Test?”
October 5, 2015

Should Juniors Take the New SAT Test?

Should juniors in high school take the new SAT test? This is a question that many 11th graders are stressing out about as the rollout for the new SAT approaches. The dramatically overhauled test will make its premiere on March 5, 2016. Juniors will be the first to grapple with this question because the launch date of the new test...
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Featured image for “The Benefits of a Less Selective College”
August 3, 2015

The Benefits of 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 “A favorite college essay tip”
June 14, 2015

A favorite college essay tip

I’ve looked at plenty of college essays over the years and the vast majority of them have been b-o-r-i-n-g. The mediocre essays that I’ve seen have usually been guilty of one or more of these no-no’s: 1. They lacked details. 2. They didn’t convey the student’s voice. 3. They covered too much territory. (Writing about something that lasted seconds, minutes...
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Featured image for “How Many AP Classes Do Elite Colleges Require?”
April 7, 2015

How Many AP Classes Do Elite Colleges Require?

If your child is aiming for the most elite schools – the Ivies, MIT, Stanford and a few others at the very top of the rankings heap – you might be wondering how many Advanced Placement courses he or she must take. The short answer is “a lot.” But how many are necessary, depends greatly on how many AP classes...
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Featured image for “New York Times Columnist Weighs in on Ivy League Mania”
March 19, 2015

New York Times Columnist Weighs in on Ivy League Mania

Are you freaking out about your teenager getting into an elite college or universities? If you are, you need to read the following guest column by Frank Bruni, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, who has created a powerful antidote for the Ivy League jitters. In his excellent book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to...
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Featured image for “Skip the College Wait List”
March 11, 2015

Skip the College Wait List

This is the time of year when students are getting offered spots on waiting lists. I wanted to share a previous post that I wrote about waiting lists that is just as relevant today.  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...
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