Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
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...
May 6, 2020
Extracurricular tips for college admissions during a pandemic
One of collateral damages from COVID-19 is the ability of teenagers to participate in extracurricular activities before applying to college. Right now, you can’t participate in a school marching band or play Shakespeare on a stage. Showing athletic prowess on a track, ball field or court ain’t happening either. You can’t debate in competitions or run a school club. While...
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...
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...
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...
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...
March 25, 2020
Paying $184,000 more for a college near the beach???
During the coronavirus crisis, I am answering a question every weekend day posed by parents on my newsletter list. You’ll find the latest Q&A below. I hope you can benefit from it! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question from an Indiana mom: Our senior has been accepted to University of California, San Diego, which is her top choice as an out-of-state public university....
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...
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...
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...