The College Solutions Blog

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

Colleges
Featured image for “Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist”
December 8, 2020

Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist

Using  a college admission checklist is critical when your child is applying to colleges and universities. Allowing  a teenager to apply to any colleges without a solid game plan can be a financial and academic disaster. In fact, ignoring advance planning is one reason why ONE OUT OF THREE students who start at four-year public and private colleges and universities...
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Featured image for “How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19”
September 7, 2020

How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19

No matter when COVID-19 finally disappears, the college admission practices that changed due to the pandemic, will not completely disappear. In a recent webinar, I discussed how the pandemic has impacted college admissions in significant ways and how families can take advantage of these changes going forward. COVID-19 and College Admissions Here are some COVID-19 developments that you should know...
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April 28, 2020

Will College Campuses Open in the Fall?

Will college campuses open in the fall? It’s frustrating that no one definitely knows yet if colleges campuses will be open in the fall or if online education will predominate or there will be some hybrid of the two scenarios. In the interim, however, The Chronicle of Higher Education has been regularly updating a list of tentative plans that colleges...
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Featured image for “Tackling common college questions during COVID-19”
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...
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Featured image for “U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19”
April 1, 2020

U of California and other colleges rush to dump SAT and ACT tests during COVID-19

High school students are stressed about when they will be able to take the SAT and/or ACT test again, but there is some good news during the COVID-19 pandemic . A steady stream of colleges and universities have been announcing that they will not require SAT or ACT test scores for the 2021-2022 school year and possibly beyond that admission...
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Featured image for “Mythical Golden Tickets and the Ivy League”
May 16, 2018

Mythical Golden Tickets and the Ivy League

Affluent parents and teenagers often believe that “golden tickets” are plentiful if you attend an elite university and preferably one of the Ivies. Earn a bachelor’s degree from a place like Harvard, Princeton or Stanford and job opportunities will magically appear. Equally important, conventional wisdom suggests that unless smart, ambitious students graduate from one of these $70,000-a-year (!!!), gold-plated universities,...
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April 2, 2018

Don’t Overlook College Graduation Rates

When building a college list, it’s critical to check college graduation rates. Paying for college is hard enough without adding a fifth or six year to the tab! And yet most students do not graduate from college in four years. Many parents whom I’ve talked to over the years seem shocked by this reality.  It is understandable since schools with...
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Featured image for “Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors”
August 14, 2017

Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors

How do you know if the colleges that interest your teenager 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 Professors To get a...
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Featured image for “When College Sticker Prices Can Matter”
May 16, 2017

When College Sticker Prices Can Matter

College sticker prices are often meaningless because most students at state and private universities don’t pay it. Published prices, however, can be a helpful starting point when exploring what kind of price break, in the form of scholarship and grants, your child might get at a particular institution. Here’s an example: Your teenager receives a $15,000 annual merit award at...
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Featured image for “Saying No to a Dream College”
April 24, 2017

Saying No to a Dream College

Will your child end up going to his or her dream school? The odds are that your child won’t if the college or university is a rankings alpha dog. And that’s especially true if you don’t enjoy a powerful hook such as being a celebrity or a one-percenter kid, a legacy or an athlete. The story I’m sharing today is...
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