The College Solutions Blog

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

Academic quality
Featured image for “My New College Column at Cappex”
March 13, 2017

My New College Column at Cappex

If you like periodically checking out my college blog, I want to alert you to another place where I share my thoughts about college issues. I recently began a college column at Cappex, which is the popular resource for students and parents researching colleges and looking for scholarships. Here is the link to the archive of my new Cappex column...
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Featured image for “What Is a Research University?”
February 13, 2017

What Is a Research University?

Most students who hope to earn a bachelor’s degree will enroll at a university. The schools that students dream of attending are almost always research universities. It’s far less common for teenagers to end up at a college. I find that reality unfortunate because a college can often provide a better education for undergraduates than a research university. And it’s...
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Featured image for “Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree”
October 23, 2016

Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree

I wrote this post last year, but wanted to share it again because the messages are equally relevant today!  Lynn O’Shaughnessy Plenty of parents, who enroll in my online course – The College Cost Lab –  are affluent and highly educated. Quite a few of these moms and dads would like to see their children attend elite schools. Not surprisingly,...
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Featured image for “Professor Ratings: Some Surprising Results”
June 14, 2016

Professor Ratings: Some Surprising Results

How do you know if the colleges or universities that your child is looking at would provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators and other tools,  but it’s difficult to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment. Evaluating an Institution’s...
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Featured image for “Shocking College Graduation Rates”
May 9, 2016

Shocking College Graduation Rates

When building a college list, it’s critical to check graduation rates. Paying for college is hard enough without adding a fifth or six year to the tab! And yet most college students do not graduate in four years. Many, many parents whom I’ve talked to over the years seem shocked by this reality. In fact, when I give talks to...
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Featured image for “Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges”
April 25, 2016

Digging Deeper When Researching Colleges

When researching colleges, many families gravitate to what they call “great schools” without having any idea of whether these institutions merit their reputations. In reality, no college or university is a monolithic entity that is uniformly excellent, average or mediocre. That’s why just picking schools by relying on general impressions, U.S. News’ actual rankings or a campus tour won’t be...
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Featured image for “How To Measure College Grad Salaries”
April 18, 2016

How To Measure College Grad Salaries

When searching for schools, parents are increasingly asking admission reps this question: Will my child earn a good salary after graduating from your college? College and university admission staffs will enthusiastically answer yes (!!!) to that question, but proof is almost always flimsy at best. Schools typically brag about high job placement statistics for their graduates because they rely on job surveys of...
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Featured image for “Is a Trophy School Worth the Price?”
April 5, 2016

Is a Trophy School Worth the Price?

I’ll be launching my latest online course – The College Cost Lab – in June. If you’d like to be among the first to know when I have more details,  just email me at Lynn@TheCollegeSolution.com. Lynn O’Shaughnessy In my last post, I wrote about smart teenagers who worked hard to get into elite schools only to have their dream schools...
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Featured image for “3 Great College Search Tools”
March 21, 2016

3 Great College Search Tools

Most families don’t look far when searching for colleges. The vast majority of students, who go to four-year schools, attend public universities within their own state. And most find schools within 100 miles of their homes. Only 14% or so of students attend institutions more than 500 miles away. Nearby state schools can represent the best option, but that won’t...
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Featured image for “Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?”
May 26, 2015

Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?

Here’s a little known but excellent way to cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree: Attend a college rather than a research university. Nearly all colleges provide discounts off their sticker prices versus research universities, which are far less likely to give families a price break. In the chart below that I pulled from the latest tuition discount study from...
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