The College Solutions Blog

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

California universities
April 1, 2009

Public University Bargains for Affluent Students

While everyone likes to gripe about the cost of college, in the world of state flagship universities true bargains exist. UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, are two of them. The tuition at each of those schools is below $7,000. In comparison, Harvard’s tuition is more than $36,000. The protests against annual rises at state institutions, however, has masked...
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March 13, 2009

The Pros and Cons of A Double Major

A double major in college seems like a no brainer to many students today, who want to capture a competitive advantage in the work world. Some academics, however, argue that double majoring doesn’t necessarily provide that edge. Even worse, double majoring keeps many students from graduating on time. The double major issue came up when I was talking to a...
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February 5, 2009

University of California Admission Changes

The University of California Board of Regents is expected today to approve the most sweeping admission changes to admissions in at least a decade at the nine UC campuses for undergraduates. The new requirements will allow 40% more high school graduates to be eligible for admission to the UC system. Many high school students are going to be relieved to...
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January 13, 2009

Getting into the Top University of California Campuses

Between my daughter’s sophomore and junior year in high school about 40 of her classmates disappeared. The students ditched the private girls’ school for one chief reason:  It was going to be impossible to gain admission to UCLA, the UC Berkeley or another top UC campus. The girls, and more likely their parents, decided that their best hope to earn...
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November 22, 2008

University of California: A Fading Reputation?

The University of California has been living on a starvation diet for a long time. For the past 18 years, state support for the campuses has dropped 40% and now Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed draconian mid-year cuts. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today, Stanton Glantz, a prominent UC professor, had this to say: I think what...
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November 16, 2008

The Double Major Bind

I was talking to a professor at the University of California, San Diego, at a dinner party earlier this year about colleges (naturally) and we ended up discussing why it’s taking so long for kids to get college degrees today. At UCSD the four-year graduation rate is 53%. While that number is underwhelming for a top research university, if you...
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September 29, 2008

The Four-Year Graduation Rate Scandal

Whenever I talk to other parents about college, there’s one higher-ed statistic that almost always makes them gasp in disbelief: The four-year graduation rates at state universities. Most parents have no clue about how few students graduate from state universities in the traditional eight semesters. According to UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, only 28% of students at public institutions earn...
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July 6, 2008

Teaching Assistants You Can't Understand

Undergraduates have complained for decades about their teaching assistants. If you attend a university, chances are excellent that you will have at least some classes where a graduate student will serve as the teacher. TA’s are cheap and when they are teaching introductory courses, the professors don’t have to do it. And tenured professors love shirking that responsibility. This is...
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April 6, 2008

Californians and College-One More Thought

I just wanted to share the comment that I sent a father, who reacted favorably to my latest post, Getting Into College in California. To see what he said, just click on “1 Comment” below that post. Here’s my response to Bill: I couldn’t agree with you more. If Californians would just entertain the possibility of looking at wonderful colleges...
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