Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
February 2, 2012
Colleges and Universities That Cheat
Claremont McKenna College recently announced that it had been sending inflated SAT scores to US News since 2005. According to news accounts, the vice president and dean of admissions admitted inflating the scores and resigned. The college’s critical reading scores were inflated by an average of 17 points and the math scores were bumped up by an average of 10.5...
October 17, 2011
Evaluating Colleges the Moneyball Way
Should colleges be evaluated more like baseball players? I’m raising this question today because the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series! I had the good fortune of growing up in the 1960s in St. Louis when the Cardinals made it to the World Series three times. Among my fondest childhood memories was being able to watch the...
October 11, 2011
How Happy Are the Freshmen?
How happy are a college’s freshmen? It’s a question that any families should be asking as they evaluate schools. Ideally you want to attend a college or university where the vast majority of freshmen return for a second year. The schools that enjoy the highest freshmen retention rate are going to be the most selective institutions. This makes sense because...
October 5, 2011
SAT Test Takers: Pay Attention to US News’ Footnote No. 9
If you do poorly on the SAT or ACT, you can always apply to colleges and universities that are test optional. It’s been awhile since I wrote about this subject and you can find the link to a previous post below, but today I want to share with you a new twist to the trend. Getting Into Great Schools With...
September 24, 2011
The Man Behind the College Rankings
I’ve been in New Orleans this week attending the annual conference of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. At the conference I’ve been doing short interviews with college experts whom I think you’ll enjoy hearing from. I’m going to start out today with an interview that I conducted with Robert Morse, who is the man behind US News &...
September 22, 2011
Attending a University Spurned by the Rankings
Last week US News & World Report unveiled its 2012 college rankings to the usual fanfare. What typically gets overlooked during the annual rankings season are the schools that aren’t media darlings. During last year’s ranking season, I devoted a post to these overlooked schools. I want to share what I wrote again because I think it is helpful to...
September 13, 2011
College Rankings: A Weird Beauty Contest
As many of you know, I’m not a fan of US News and World Report’s college rankings even though I write a college blog for the magazine. The methodology is flawed and the rankings sponsor does not try to measure what kind of education students receive at their schools. What I find even more troubling is the fact that college...
August 29, 2011
4 Ways To Check Out Colleges and Universities
I spent last week urging, some might say browbeating, people to look beyond the most obvious name schools when drawing up a college list. Beyond their local schools, I urged people to look at more than super expensive private East Coast schools, as well as prestigious state flagships that are charging obscene amounts of money — in some cases over...
August 26, 2011
Using College Rankings to Find Great Schools
If you’re willing to cast a wider net to find colleges, where do you start? Here is one way: Look at alternative college rankings. While US News & World Report’s college rankings hog the press coverage, I much prefer the college rankings that Forbes releases every summer. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a nonprofit education think tank, developed...
August 11, 2011
Measuring the Worth of a College
Some things about college are easy to measure. It’s easy to determine the win-loss record of the football or basketball teams. It’s easy to find out how many kids graduate in four years. (Nationally only about 35% pull this off.) It’s easy to determine if the campus is pretty or if the dorm food sucks. It’s awfully hard, however, to...