The College Solutions Blog

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

California universities
October 14, 2011

Should You Apply to an Out-of-State Public University?

I heard from a mom this week, who is worried about some of the schools her daughter has begun applying to. I wanted to share what the mother wrote: As I watch my daughter start her college applications, I’m cringing inside because she’s wanting to apply to out of state public schools such as UCLA, Georgia Tech and Purdue. Although...
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October 7, 2011

Transfer Students: 8 Things You Need to Know

I’ve been running into more and more parents, who are curious about sending their children to community colleges. I can understand the attraction. Community colleges are often much cheaper than four-year schools and they can offer a more personalized education than big state universities. Out here in California, for instance, a freshman can take introductory courses with 30 to 40...
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June 28, 2011

Should Professors Work As Hard As We Do?

Should professors work as hard as many of the rest of us? If you compare the sort of work week and vacation time that many professors enjoy with other highly educated professionals, you could conclude that there are a lot of slackers hanging out in the Ivory Towers. I hope that professor productivity becomes a big issue with the published...
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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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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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February 10, 2011

Going to Extremes To Cut College Costs

Many teenagers that I meet would love to attend a public university outside their state – or at least they think they would. Out here in California, teenagers seem to be particularly interested in other flagships in the West – University of Colorado, University of Washington and University of Oregon. Of course, plenty of teenagers in places where it’s currently...
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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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