The College Solutions Blog

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

College rankings
Featured image for “15 reasons to ignore U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings”
June 24, 2020

15 reasons to ignore U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings

Most  college-bound teenagers and their parents never look at U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings, which is actually a healthy thing. U.S. News’ college rankings, are much more likely to be a preoccupation of teenagers and parents in affluent households.  I believe the fixation with the rankings is a major reason for the tremendous stress and mental health issues...
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January 8, 2019

Looking Beyond Ivy League Hype

Does your child need to attend an Ivy League college or other elite university to end up getting great jobs with great salaries? The answer is… No. No! Noooo! NOOOO! Got It? At the risk of being obnoxious, I repeated my answer because the parents, who are most likely to obsess about Ivy League colleges or other elite universities, are...
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July 14, 2014

Where to Find the Best College Professors

How do you know if the college or university that your child ultimately attends will provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators, but it’s largely impossible to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment beyond checking  an institution’s graduation rates....
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November 8, 2013

Looking For Great College Bargains

Excuse me if this sounds ridiculously elementary, but here goes: One way to cut your college costs is to look for schools with lower sticker prices. My nephew Matt attends Westminster College in Fulton Mo, a liberal arts college, where the tuition and room/board is $30,490. Ninety eight percent of the students at Westminster don’t pay full price. The average...
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September 23, 2013

Random Thoughts from a College Conference

I was in Toronto for the past several days attending the annual monster conference of the National Association for College Admission Counselors. I was a presenter with a couple of my friends – Paula Bishop and Cyndy McDonald – at a pre-conference, which I hope was beneficial for those who attended. I can’t recall ever sharing the microphone with anybody...
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September 13, 2013

A New College Rankings Darling

I am holding one of my rare workshops at University of California, San Diego on Oct. 5 that will focus on how to find and pay for colleges. This will probably be the last workshop that I do at UCSD because I truly hate doing the marketing for it. If you enroll in this 3.5-hour workshop, I promise you that...
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September 11, 2013

Check Out This College Scorecard

Today I wanted to share what you can find by visiting I discussed the important work that College Measures is doing in my last post: Measuring College Grads’ Salaries As I mentioned earlier, thanks to College Measures you can look at the actual first-year salaries that students are making at colleges and universities in these five states: Arkansas Colorado...
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September 9, 2013

Measuring College Grad Salaries

With out-of-control college costs a reality, it’s not surprising that parents and their children are especially interested in colleges that are springboards to good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what the schools are. Meaningless Grad Salary Data As I’ve mentioned before, the job statistics that colleges and universities share with prospective students are laughably misleading. Low percentages of graduates...
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September 5, 2013

A Change in U.S. News’ Rankings Methodology

Next week, U.S. News  & World Report will receive millions of hits on its website when it unveils its new 2014 college rankings for nearly 1,800 schools. U.S. News will release its latest batch of controversial college rankings on Sept. 10. Robert Morse, who oversees the rankings, announced on his blog that the rankings system has received an overhaul. He...
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August 30, 2013

My Favorite Higher-Ed Stories

Five days a week I start my day reading stories about the higher-ed world. First I digest articles from The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher. I also get links to a long list of higher-ed stories from around the country that somebody at the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis must assemble early, early, early in the morning. Thanks to...
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