The College Solutions Blog

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

Applying
Featured image for “Need FAFSA Help? Here are 6 Resources”
January 2, 2014

Need FAFSA Help? Here are 6 Resources

January 1 marks the start of the FAFSA season. If you will be applying for financial aid this year for a new or returning college student, it’s time to tackle the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Unfortunately,  it’s easy to make mistakes on the forms and these errors could cost you a ton of money. Resources exist, however, to...
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Featured image for “Who Should Complete the FAFSA?”
December 10, 2013

Who Should Complete the FAFSA?

FAFSA season is fast approaching, which always brings questions about who should complete this federal financial aid application. For the 2014-2015 school, year, the Department of Education has issued new rules impacting some parents about who should be completing the FAFSA. Here is a rundown of what you need to know: Traditional Married Couples If you are part of a...
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Featured image for “Why Colleges Are Stressed About Filling Their Seats”
November 25, 2013

Why Colleges Are Stressed About Filling Their Seats

The prospect of rejection is one of the most stressful aspects of the college admission process. In reality, however, most students don’t have to fear rejection. In its annual survey of college freshmen, UCLA always seems to find that at least 75% of students are accepted into their first-choice school. Today, I wanted to share a study, conducted by Inside Higher...
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Featured image for “Video Guides to Completing 2 Popular College Applications”
November 21, 2013

Video Guides to Completing 2 Popular College Applications

Today I am sharing two excellent how-to videos from a friend of mine, Tamika Lewis, who is an independent college consultant and a counselor in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Tamika put together an excellent tutorial on how to complete the Common Application, which is the document that more than 500 colleges are now using. In October I wrote...
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Featured image for “How to Spot a Lousy Net Price Calculator”
November 4, 2013

How to Spot a Lousy Net Price Calculator

As I’ve mentioned in previous college blog posts, net price calculators allow you to obtain a personalized estimate of what a school will cost after deducting any scholarships and grants that your child might be receiving. Before you let your child apply to any colleges, make sure you have used each school’s net price calculator. Unfortunately, not all calculators are...
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Featured image for “What’s Happening In Your College Essay?”
November 1, 2013

What’s Happening In Your College Essay?

Since we’re in the midst of college essay season, I wanted to share some wonderful advice about how to write a great college essay. Janine Robinson, my go-to-person for the best college-essay tips, who shares her tremendous knowledge on her website – Essay Hell. What’s Happening In Your College Essay? Here’s one way to check if your college admissions essay...
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Featured image for “A Dirty Little FAFSA Secret”
October 30, 2013

A Dirty Little FAFSA Secret

If you’ll be filling out the FAFSA during this admission season for a high school teenager, be careful how you list the colleges that your child will be applying to. Colleges could use that information against you. Some schools — no one knows how many – are checking the FAFSA to see in what order an applicant lists his or...
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Featured image for “More Thoughts on Applying Early Decision”
October 3, 2013

More Thoughts on Applying Early Decision

Should a student apply early decision? Today I am sharing a post written by Peter Van Buskirk, a veteran admission expert, on his take on Early Decision applications. My own cautionary comments are at the bottom. This is a second post on this topic, if you missed the first one, here it is: Should Your Child Apply Early Action or...
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Featured image for “Should Your Child Apply Early Action or Early Decision to College?”
September 30, 2013

Should Your Child Apply Early Action or Early Decision to College?

Applying early action and early decision has become an increasingly popular practice among teenagers who are aiming for highly selective colleges and universities. Today I am happy to share with you a post written on this important topic by Peter Van Buskirk, a former admission dean,  higher-ed speaker and educational advocate for families. You can learn more about Peter by...
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Featured image for “Why You Shouldn’t Be a Stealth College Applicant”
September 25, 2013

Why You Shouldn’t Be a Stealth College Applicant

Do the schools that your children are interested in attending know that they exist? Or will they be stealth college applicants? As you’ll learn momentarily, stealth applicants can unwittingly hurt their admission chances at some colleges and universities. Growing Stealth Applications The number of teenagers who are applying as stealth applicants has been growing at both public and private colleges...
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