Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
May 12, 2009
Lowering the Cost of College Textbooks
You don’t need to read this blog post to know that the prices of college textbooks are obscene. Amazon.com, however, is aiming to change this. I wrote a post about Amazon’s efforts to crack the electronic textbook market with its launch of the Kindle DX at my other college blog at CBSMoneyWatch.com. On that post I also explain why college...
May 11, 2009
Cutting the Cost of College With Better Grades
One morning at a breakfast chat with parents at my son’s high school, the principal mentioned that he is always amazed at how few students at the end of each semester ask teachers how they might improve their grades. It should be a no brainer, the principal suggested, for students to ask their teachers if they can do extra credit...
May 3, 2009
Student Health Insurance at College
If your child is heading to college this fall will he or she be covered by your health insurance? Unfortunately, it’s no longer a given that students will be protected by their parents’ health insurance policies. In fact, the federal government has estimated that roughly 20% of students don’t have college student health insurance. Here’s one reason for the lack...
April 10, 2009
How to Negotiate for a Better Financial Aid Package
Colleges loath the “N” word. Administrators hate it when parents call them up and want to negotiate a better financial aid package. Well, that’s too bad. Colleges cost too much money for families to automatically agree to a six-figure commitment. If you’re going to negotiate, however, you’re nearly out of time. The traditional deadline for deposits to secure a spot...
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...
March 2, 2009
Colleges & Home Equity
Before the housing bubble burst, plenty of parents worried that their home equity was going to scotch any chance of receiving college financial aid. Even in this environment, it’s still going to be a concern for families who have owned a home for a long time. Here’s what you need to know: If your teenager applies to a state school,...
February 23, 2009
Budget Bachelor's Degrees, Anyone?
With the economy in unspeakably bad shape, higher ed insiders have begun wondering if the frills that students and parents have been demanding for years are endangered. Do college students really need sushi bars, omelet stations, full vegan menus and lobster nights? For that matter, how many cereal brands is enough? “Is having seven cereals in the dining hall instead...
February 15, 2009
Getting A Break on Out-of-State Tuition
No doubt most teenagers who attend state universities never look beyond their borders. If you’re a kid living in Los Angeles, the cost of going to UCLA or Berkeley is going to be cheaper than attending another flagship like the University of Texas or the University of Michigan. What keeps plenty of kids from wandering too far from home is...
January 19, 2009
Cutting the Cost of College Textbooks
My daughter called me yesterday to complain about the cost of her college textbooks. One of Caitlin’s upper level Spanish books was going to cost her close to $200. She was thrilled, however, when she found a used older textbook edition — missing the CD — for a mere $15 online. Ironically, it’s the frugality of students like Caitlin which...
January 11, 2009
Cutting the Cost of College by Getting Good Grades
My son’s principal holds a breakfast chat with parents each month and at the last one, Brett mentioned that he is always amazed at how few students at the end of each semester ask teachers how they might improve their grades. It should be a no brainer, Brett suggested, for students to ask their teachers if they can do extra...