The College Solutions Blog

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

Colleges
May 6, 2011

What Is a Research University?

In my last blog post I complained that too many high school students pick schools based primarily on size. And most of these students only want to look at schools that are large. Here is where I vented: Do You Know the Difference Between A College and University? What’s more important, I argued, is a school’s mission. Today, I want...
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May 5, 2011

Do You Know the Difference Between a College and University?

When I’ve been giving college presentations lately, I’ve begun asking the members of the audience this question: How many people here know the difference between a college and a university? It’s rare that even one person raises his or her hand. Yikes. I think it’s important to understand the distinctions before exploring a student’s higher-ed choices. Consequently, I’m going to...
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May 3, 2011

Colleges and Universities With the Best Graduation Rates

In my last post, I shared how you can pinpoint the four-year graduation rates of any college or university. If you missed it, here is the post: Will Your Child Graduate From College in 4 Years? As I mentioned yesterday, it should be no surprise that students at private non-profit schools typically graduate sooner than students at state universities, but...
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May 2, 2011

Will Your Child Graduate from College in 4 Years?

One of the best ways to cut the cost of college is to graduate in four years. This might seem like a no-brainer, but most college students can’t pull it off. Just over 50% of students, who started out as full-time freshmen, end up graduating in six years. In general, private schools do a better job than state schools of...
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April 28, 2011

2 Colleges: Which One Is Stingy?

How do you know if a school is going to be generous to your child? Here’s a quick answer:  Check the numbers. Or as I like to say, check the financial fingerprint of any school that’s on your teenager’s list. There are many ways to determine whether a school is generous or not, but today I’m going to focus on...
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April 16, 2011

Jump Start Your Search for the Right Colleges

Where do you begin a college search? When you research colleges, you’re going to want to find schools that will provide your teenagers with an excellent education and get them out the door in four years. But how do you even start such a daunting college search? Scattered around my blog, I’ve written plenty about how to conduct a college...
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April 15, 2011

8 Tips for Taking the College Plunge

It’s decision time for high school seniors who typically have until May 1 to decide where they’re going to attend college in the fall. Recognizing it’s crunch time, someone at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, sent me a list of eight tips that Suzanne Holland, an ethics and religion professor at the liberal arts college, compiled. Most...
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April 11, 2011

Finishing Year One at a Liberal Arts College

I got an opportunity to visit my son Ben this weekend at Beloit College in Wisconsin and I was surprised about what he wanted to talk about when we met up for dinner. Moral relativism. Ben has been studying moral relativism in his philosophy class and he finds the concept intriguing.  Over a meal of tacos and burritos (truly dreadful...
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April 7, 2011

Should This Teenager Go to Penn?

I received an email this week from a dad, whose daughter is weighing three college choices. Here they are: University of Texas at Austin University of Texas at Dallas University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School The dad explained to me that his daughter had won a full-ride scholarship to both Texas schools. The Penn degree would not be free. After subtracting...
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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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