The College Solutions Blog

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

Colleges
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March 13, 2011

Do You Really Need an Ivy League Education?

Do you need to graduate from an Ivy League school or other super elite college to earn the highest salaries? Many families believe that graduates who can put Harvard or Yale on their resume will fare significantly better financially than smart students who end up earning their degrees from elsewhere. In a famous study, two economists tackled this question nearly...
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March 8, 2011

Is Any College Really Worth $50,000 a Year?

Affluent families, who can afford to send their children anywhere to college, are becoming more discriminating. Some are questioning whether a private college that costs $50,000 or more is really worth the price. That’s one of the take-home messages of a podcast that I listened to recently on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s website. The newspaper interviewed John T. Lawlor,...
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March 4, 2011

Flagship Universities Going Rogue

With support from their state governments dwindling, some state flagship universities are seeking greater autonomy. Among the schools clamoring for more freedom are the University of Oregon, Louisiana State and University of Wisconsin, where my mother earned her master’s degree decades ago. I read a story in The New York Times yesterday about these universities lobbying for more freedom here:...
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February 9, 2011

The Thinking Student's Guide to College

I’ve always felt that parents and teenagers spend too much time worrying about getting into colleges. It’s too bad that teenagers, in particular, don’t divert some of this energy into making sure that their college years will be successful. For everybody who agrees with me that the latter goal is vastly more important, I want to recommend a new book,...
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February 2, 2011

Public Universities With the Best Grad Rates

Yesterday I wrote a post that explored what types of schools enjoy the best graduation rates. If you missed it, here it is: Who Graduates In 4 Years? Today I’m sharing the 25 public universities where students enjoy the best chances of earning a diploma in four years. I pulled these figures off the federal database that goes by the...
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January 31, 2011

Who Graduates in 4 Years?

Time is money and that is especially true when it comes to college. College students usually don’t graduate in four years and that comes as a shock to most parents. It should be no surprise that students at private non-profit schools graduate sooner than students at state universities, but there is variation within those two broad categories, according to statistics...
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January 21, 2011

Why You Don't Need to Major in Business

When I ask teenagers what they want to major in, I’m never surprised when many of them respond this way: I want to be a business major. The most popular college major in America is business. According to federal statistics,  21% of undergrads leave college with a business degree. That statistic drives me nuts. Contrary to conventional wisdom, students don’t...
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January 18, 2011

Do Undergrads Learn Much in College?

Do undergrads learn much in college? Many students don’t. That’s the conclusion of a new book that’s got the higher-ed world buzzing today. The book is Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, which was published by the University of Chicago Press. A pair of professors at New York University and the University of Virginia wrote the book based on...
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January 17, 2011

25 Ways for Colleges To Cut Their Costs

American colleges and universities are continually getting slammed for costing too much, but there are precious few people suggesting concrete ways to shrink these costs. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, however, has produced a white paper that lays out: 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College There are some excellent suggestions on the center’s list. What do...
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January 12, 2011

Crisis Time for California Universities

If  your teenager is hoping to attend a state university in California, brace yourself. The grim financial challenges consuming the University of California and the California State University systems, as well as the state’s huge community college system are of historic proportions. Remember the student protests at UC Berkeley, UCLA and elsewhere last year? I think things could get much...
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