The College Solutions Blog

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

Universities
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 “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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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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December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year’s to you! I hope you had a lovely holiday. My husband and I were fortunate to be able to spend this time with our daughter Caitlin and our son Ben over the break. The photo you see is of our family earlier this week at the lighthouse at the Point Reyes National Seashore, which is the windiest...
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Featured image for “What Is a Research University, Part II”
December 1, 2015

What Is a Research University, Part II

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 “The Benefits of a Less Selective College”
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...
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Featured image for “Thinking Outside the College Box”
June 29, 2015

Thinking Outside the College Box

How do you generate ideas for a college list that doesn’t look like everybody else’s? Students typically end up looking at a fairly narrow lineup of schools, which is not always a smart strategy if you want to find good academic fits, as well as colleges that will be more affordable. Today I want to share the following three helpful...
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Featured image for “A State University Arms Race”
June 22, 2015

A State University Arms Race

Many students who aren’t interested in attending a public university in their own state tend to look at state institutions elsewhere. Choosing public universities outside your border can sometimes be a relative  bargain. In other cases, the price you pay as a nonresident will be exorbitant and comparable to private universities that are stingy with financial aid and/or merit awards....
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Featured image for “Ben Graduates Again”
June 8, 2015

Ben Graduates Again

Over the weekend, my son graduated from college again. A year ago, Ben left Beloit College with his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in studio art. On Friday, my 22-year-old son received his master’s degree in education from the University of Denver. Denver Teacher Residency After graduating from Beloit, Ben was only home in San Diego for 10...
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Featured image for “Some Surprising College Super Stars”
June 1, 2015

Some Surprising College Super Stars

Can you guess what the following schools have in common: More Than a Mish Mash Admittedly, this list looks like a mishmash of institutions that includes some of the nation’s prestigious research universities along with specialty engineering schools, liberal arts colleges and master’s level universities. These colleges and universities emerged as super stars in a new value-added college ranking system...
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