The College Solutions Blog

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

May 26, 2011

Do I Dare File For Financial Aid?

A couple of days ago I asked my blog visitors to submit questions that I could direct to college admission officers at the annual conference of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. Now I want to start sharing answers. The admission experts whom I talked to today came from such disparate schools as Colgate University, Carroll College, Chapman University,...
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May 22, 2011

Latest College Admission Trends

While it might not look like it, the college admission landscape is constantly changing. This month The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a fascinating article about admission trends at colleges across the country. I’m going to share the article with you and also highlight the trends that the Chronicle reporter uncovered: State universities continue to struggle. State budget cuts are...
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May 19, 2011

Financial Aid Chances With a 2.9 GPA

I got an email the other day from a mom, whose son is brilliant. I assume he’s brilliant because he will be attending the California Institute of Technology in the fall as a freshman. The acceptance rate at Cal Tech is 13% and many of its student get near perfect SAT scores. This teenage boy applied to 21 schools (way...
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May 12, 2011

Ivy League: West Coast Tech Advantage

I once calculated that only .2% of freshmen who start college every year head off to the Ivy League, but these eight schools still monopolize much of the national coverage of college issues. The spotlight on the Ivy League has helped to make it nearly impossible to get into these eight schools, as well as a small group of other...
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May 4, 2011

Getting Into College With Learning Disabilities

Today I’m quite pleased to share some valuable and hopeful advice for high school students who possess learning disabilities and are wondering how that will impact their college search. The expert suggestions come from David Montesano, a very smart admission strategist in Bellevue, WA, who operates College  Match Educational Consultants, which maintains multiple offices on the West Coast, as well...
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April 27, 2011

Asking a College For More Financial Aid

When you appeal a college’s financial aid award what happens to your request? The Chronicle of Higher Education provided an inside glimpse on how a financial aid appeal is handled internally in a fascinating article today entitled: When Families Ask Colleges for More Money A Chronicle reporter observed a financial aid deliberation that took place among senior admission and financial...
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April 4, 2011

Financial Aid and Divorce

In the financial aid process, many schools treat students with divorced parents differently. As someone who has been married for more than 26 years, I don’t think this is always fair, but it’s the reality. Today I’m going to illustrate how schools can treat families of divorce differently by using the story of a girl, who I’ll call Sophia. Sophia...
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April 3, 2011

Grinnell College: A College Admission Success Story

In recent days I’ve been hearing from all sorts of people – strangers, friends and acquaintances – about their college admission successes and failures. It’s been fascinating to hear the experiences of teenagers who have now received all their college acceptances. In general, the teenagers who created an unrealistic list of colleges, otherwise known as reach schools, now have far...
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April 1, 2011

Getting Rejected by Harvard

The Ivy League schools sent out their acceptance letters this week and most students who had dreamed of going to these universities and other highly selective schools are disappointed. I’m going to share the experience of one highly accomplished girl during this admission season to illustrate why you need to cast a wide net when applying to colleges. The girl,...
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March 28, 2011

The Hazards of Dreaming About Colleges

This is an excerpt of a post that I wrote for my college blog at CBS MoneyWatch last week after attending the biggest annual college fair in San Diego. You can read the entire post here: What’s Wrong With America’s Dream Colleges When I looked at The Princeton Review’s newly released lists of America’s most popular dream colleges, Iimmediately saw...
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