Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
March 28, 2016
Stunned at College Rejections
I’ve been getting emails from parents, who are bitter that their bright teenagers have been getting rejection letters from elite colleges and universities. What follows are two email excerpts. From a dad named Jeff: My son is his high school’s valedictorian. He scored 35 on the ACT and had straight A’s all four years at an academically competitive school. He...
November 7, 2015
Why the Odds Are Terrible
Note: I wrote this post last year, but it’s just as relevant today. Lynn O’Shaughnessy High-achieving students who apply every year to the Ivies and other elites schools have heard the grim statistics about how ridiculously hard it is to get into these schools. That reality, however, doesn’t deter students from applying even though the chances for most smart students...
October 26, 2015
College Essay Tips for Parents and Students
It’s college essay time. That dreaded stretch of the college admission process that high school seniors AND their parents often hate. I feel for everyone going through this right now, which is why I want to help. In this post, you’ll see a video that provides college-essay tips for high school seniors and another video that gives parents advice on...
October 5, 2015
Should Juniors Take the New SAT Test?
Should juniors in high school take the new SAT test? This is a question that many 11th graders are stressing out about as the rollout for the new SAT approaches. The dramatically overhauled test will make its premiere on March 5, 2016. Juniors will be the first to grapple with this question because the launch date of the new test...
August 3, 2015
The Benefits of a Less Selective College
It’s only natural that many talented students aim for the most selective school that they can gain into. It’s not always a smart idea, however, for applicants to attend the most selective college or university that admits them. Today I am sharing the observations on this topic from Scott White, the head guidance counselor at Morris High School in New...
June 14, 2015
A favorite college essay tip
I’ve looked at plenty of college essays over the years and the vast majority of them have been b-o-r-i-n-g. The mediocre essays that I’ve seen have usually been guilty of one or more of these no-no’s: 1. They lacked details. 2. They didn’t convey the student’s voice. 3. They covered too much territory. (Writing about something that lasted seconds, minutes...
April 7, 2015
How Many AP Classes Do Elite Colleges Require?
If your child is aiming for the most elite schools – the Ivies, MIT, Stanford and a few others at the very top of the rankings heap – you might be wondering how many Advanced Placement courses he or she must take. The short answer is “a lot.” But how many are necessary, depends greatly on how many AP classes...
March 19, 2015
New York Times Columnist Weighs in on Ivy League Mania
Are you freaking out about your teenager getting into an elite college or universities? If you are, you need to read the following guest column by Frank Bruni, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, who has created a powerful antidote for the Ivy League jitters. In his excellent book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to...
March 11, 2015
Skip the College Wait List
This is the time of year when students are getting offered spots on waiting lists. I wanted to share a previous post that I wrote about waiting lists that is just as relevant today. This weekend I heard from old friends who wanted to share with me stories of brilliant students who got shut out of elite universities. At a...
February 22, 2015
Stop Fixating on These Colleges!
A lot of the parents attending my current online class on how to cut the cost of college are affluent and highly educated. Quite a few of these moms and dads attending my course have indicated to me that they would like to see their children attend elite schools. Not surprisingly, these parents have expressed concern about the cost of...