The College Solutions Blog

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

Admissions
Featured image for “Should you write about COVID-19 for your college essay?”
July 30, 2020

Should you write about COVID-19 for your college essay?

Janine Robinson, the creator of the incredibly valuable blog, Essay Hell, wrote a post on whether students should devote their college essay to COVID-19. I’m delighted that she gave me permission to share it with you. Robinson thinks students should avoid using the pandemic for their college essay. Here is what she wrote: When counseling students on finding great topics...
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Featured image for “Why college essays are more important during COVID-19”
July 29, 2020

Why college essays are more important during COVID-19

College essays should be more important during the 2021-2022 college admission season than in any other admission cycle in modern times. Why would the college essay be so critical for this admission cycle? Simple. It’s because most colleges – including the vast majority of the most elite and prestigious institutions – have gone test-optional due to the pandemic. Without standardized...
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Featured image for “8 things you should know about final college plans during the pandemic”
July 6, 2020

8 things you should know about final college plans during the pandemic

Colleges have been running out of time to release their final plans for the start of the fall school year. Higher-ed observers assumed that colleges would have to start revealing their final plans sometime in July. Problem was, the vast majority of schools didn’t want to go first. A Midwestern college, for instance, would be loath to announce it was...
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Featured image for “During a pandemic, getting more money from a college”
June 8, 2020

During a pandemic, getting more money from a college

During the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of colleges are worried about not only attracting enough freshmen for this fall, but also for the 2021-2022 college admission season. Many colleges have made the calculation that it’s better to pay too much to attract a new student than to lose that prospect – and the revenue he or she generates – all together....
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Featured image for “Will College Campuses Open in the Fall?”
April 28, 2020

Will College Campuses Open in the Fall?

Will college campuses open in the fall? It’s frustrating that no one definitely knows yet if colleges campuses will be open in the fall or if online education will predominate or there will be some hybrid of the two scenarios. In the interim, however, The Chronicle of Higher Education has been regularly updating a list of tentative plans that colleges...
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Featured image for “Tuitionfit:  a tool to find better college deals now”
April 17, 2020

Tuitionfit: a tool to find better college deals now

In the midst of a pandemic,  finding a college that is the right financial fit has become even more important than it was just a few months ago. Before COVID-19 became a household word, you might have thought that you knew where your child would be attending college in the fall. What happens now if the colleges on your child’s...
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Featured image for “Researching Colleges During a Pandemic”
April 13, 2020

Researching Colleges During a Pandemic

I’ve gotten questions recently about how to research colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic when you can’t visit campuses. I talked to a mom from Seattle over the weekend, whose daughter was choosing between seven colleges that stretch from the state of Washington to New Jersey. With merit scholarships deducted, the cost of all these schools for the Seattle family were...
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Featured image for “Tackling common college questions during COVID-19”
April 8, 2020

Tackling common college questions during COVID-19

This is an incredibly stressful time for families who have to navigate college admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a practical matter, this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience has generated a great deal of college questions from anxious students, parents, educational consultants and high school counselors. Some answers are known. We know, for instance, that the Advanced Placement tests, with a radically...
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Featured image for “2020 Advanced Placement tests – 8 tips to succeed”
April 5, 2020

2020 Advanced Placement tests – 8 tips to succeed

If you have teenagers who expected to take Advanced Placement tests this year, the College Board recently released detailed information about this year’s unusual roll out of AP exams. How the College Board is dealing with AP tests during the COVID-19 pandemic was bound to be controversial and it is. Some people wanted the College Board to cancel the AP...
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Featured image for “U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19”
April 1, 2020

U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19

High school students are stressed about when they will be able to take the SAT and/or ACT test again, but there is some good news during the COVID-19 pandemic . A steady stream of colleges and universities have been announcing that they will not require SAT or ACT test scores for the 2021-2022 school year and possibly beyond that admission...
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