Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
October 9, 2008
College Essays: Winning One Liners from Stanford
Tis the season of the cursed college admission essay. You can tell that simply by looking at what’s selling on Amazon.com. One of the brisk sellers on Amazon today is a book that was published in 1987: On Writing the College Application Essay: The Key to Acceptance and the College of your Choice. I hope the college essay advice is...
September 20, 2008
Gaming the System: College Legacy Admissions
Everybody knows how ridiculously hard it is to claw your way into an elite school like Harvard, Princeton or Notre Dame. Every year though plenty of students who possess lower grades and less impressive resumes find a way to game the system. What’s their secret? They’ve got the right parents. Schools hate to talk about the students who saunter through...
September 18, 2008
You Have What On Your Facebook???
Do you know what’s on your teenager’s MySpace or Facebook? You might not care, but plenty of colleges might. A story in today’s Wall Street Journal reports that some colleges are skulking around on the MySpace and Facebook pages of their applicants. In a survey of 500 top colleges, 10% of admission officers acknowledged that they take a peek at...
August 30, 2008
College by the Numbers
I thought I’d pass along today some of the statistics from the The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual almanac, which was released this week. Unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber so you can’t take a look yourself. In no particular order, here goes: Graduation rate at four-year colleges & universities: 56.4% (Women 59.2%) (Men 53%) Where high school graduates...
August 26, 2008
A College Admission Hoax Uncovered
Whenever I’ve been in the vicinity of a bookstore lately, I’ve felt compelled to walk in. I wander over to the section with the college guides and the ponderous SAT prep titles and I look to see if my book, The College Solution, is on the shelf. If I can’t find a copy of my book I wonder if that’s...
July 18, 2008
The Value of a College Degree
It’s been imprinted on the brains of millions of teenagers that the best way to make money in life is to earn a college degree. The College Board conveniently reminds us all of this with its periodic releases about the financial value of a degree. Over a lifetime, for instance, the typical person with a bachelor’s degree will earn about...
June 25, 2008
Getting Into College at the Last Minute
Every year this nightmare happens: Teenagers get rejected at every school where they’ve applied. Others students simply mess up and skip all the admission deadlines. If that happens to you, you shouldn’t necessarily panic. Each year plenty of schools welcome late comers. Lots of schools continue taking applications after the traditional May 1st application response deadline. In fact, some public...
June 16, 2008
Getting an Academic Bargain Across State Lines
If you want to attend a public university outside your state, the price tag can often be outrageously high. It’s easy to understand why. States are usually only interested in holding down the costs for their own residents. You might, however, be able to capture a higher-ed bargain if your state maintains a reciprocal agreement with its neighbors. States commonly...
October 6, 2007
Finding Free Money for College
Last week I talked about how it’s important to determine whether your family will qualify for financial aid or not before you embark on that great college odessey. Once you’ve got a pretty good idea of where you stand on that score, you’ll want to look for schools that are either generous with financial aid, merit aid or both. A...