The College Solutions Blog

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

Admissions
Featured image for “Appealing a Financial Aid Award During COVID-19”
March 24, 2020

Appealing a Financial Aid Award During COVID-19

COVID-19 has made the college admission and financial aid process unbearably stressful and scary. As my small way of helping, as I remain holed up in my house in San Diego, I decided to start answering your college questions beginning today. Via my blog – The College Solution – I will tackle at least one question on most week days....
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Featured image for “Why you need to use college net price calculators”
February 14, 2020

Why you need to use college net price calculators

Before you let your teenager apply to colleges, you need to use each college’s net price calculator. Unless money is no object and you can afford to pay full price for any colleges, turning to net price calculators is critical. If you don’t know what these calculators are – and most parents don’t – here are 10 things you need...
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Featured image for “Applying Early Decision: What You Need to Know”
October 14, 2019

Applying Early Decision: What You Need to Know

Should your child apply early decision to college? 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 submit an early decision application, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. A student accepted via early decision must...
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August 16, 2019

Saying No to a Dream College: A Success Story

Should you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send your child to his or her dream college? My answer to that dream college question has always been a resounding NO! Some of the universities that U.S. News & World Report loves to gush over now cost $300,000 or higher. And that’s for a SINGLE bachelor’s degree. If you’re really...
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Featured image for “College Decision Day is an Illusion”
May 2, 2019

College Decision Day is an Illusion

At many colleges, May 1, officially known as College Decision Day or College Signing Day, is an illusion. The majority of colleges are failing to fill their freshmen class by May 1, which is supposed to be the drop-dead date for high school seniors to plunk down their deposit for the college they will attend in the fall. Because many...
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Featured image for “Elite Colleges, Entitled Teens and Guilted Parents”
April 6, 2019

Elite Colleges, Entitled Teens and Guilted Parents

The college admission season is winding down at this time of year except for this part: Parents are stressing about how they’re going to pay for the college that their children want to attend. Spring is when I hear from parents who are being guilted by their children to spend dangerously more than they should for a brand name research...
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Featured image for “College Admission Scandal: Symptom of a Larger Problem”
March 15, 2019

College Admission Scandal: Symptom of a Larger Problem

The college admission scandal that saturated the press this week made me think of a disturbing anecdote, which I heard last month, that blew my mind. I want to emphasize that shocking me is tough to do since covering the higher-ed industry – and it is very much an industry – has made me quite cynical and disgusted about how...
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Featured image for “Looking Beyond Ivy League Hype”
January 8, 2019

Looking Beyond Ivy League Hype

Does your child need to attend an Ivy League college or other elite university to end up getting great jobs with great salaries? The answer is… No. No! Noooo! NOOOO! Got It? At the risk of being obnoxious, I repeated my answer because the parents, who are most likely to obsess about Ivy League colleges or other elite universities, are...
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Featured image for “Getting Help with the FAFSA and CSS Profile”
October 16, 2018

Getting Help with the FAFSA and CSS Profile

If you need assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the CSS Profile – or wondering where to start – you’ll find helpful resources below! If your child will be in college for the 2019-2020 school year, you can file the FAFSA and the CSS Profile now. The official release date for both financial aid applications was...
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Featured image for “5  Extracurricular Tips to Boost College Admissions”
August 22, 2018

5 Extracurricular Tips to Boost College Admissions

Teenagers can boost their college admission chances by being smart about the extracurricular activities that they pursue in high school. Unfortunately,  a lot of misinformation exists about extracurriculars which prevents students from making the most of their activities outside the classroom. For instance, many parents believe that their children need to be well-rounded to increase their admission chances. That is,...
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