The College Solutions Blog

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

College Savings
Featured image for “Are Flagships Worth the Price for Outsiders?”
April 9, 2014

Are Flagships Worth the Price for Outsiders?

I received an email recently from a mom who was upset because her smart daughter didn’t receive any scholarships from the schools on her list. All the school were prestigious public flagships outside her state. These institutions will be among the toughest to receive meaningful scholarships from because they are most demand from their own state residents and they can...
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March 26, 2014

How to Cut the Cost of College

Along with Michelle Kretzschmar at DIY College Ranking, I am launching a five-week course  – Cutting the Cost of College – on April 16 that will provide you with a step-by-step blueprint on how to make college more affordable. This class is recommended for the parents of teenagers, independent college consultants, high school counselors and financial aid professionals, who want...
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Featured image for “Erasing College Assets With Life Insurance”
March 3, 2014

Erasing College Assets With Life Insurance

Today I’m sharing an article that Stephanie Hancock, CFP, who is a financial aid expert at College Aid Consulting in Los Angeles, wrote about the potential dangers of  using life insurance to hide assets. What families, who are eager to qualify for more financial aid, don’t understand is that insurance agents, who are suggesting this move, are almost always doing...
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Featured image for “Claiming Valuable Education Tax Credits”
February 20, 2014

Claiming Valuable Education Tax Credits

If you have a child in college, do you qualify for a federal tax credit or tax deduction? These are valuable tax benefits that can help you defray the rising cost of a college degree and yet some parents have no idea that they exist or whether they would qualify. Edvisor Network just launched a valuable online resource that explains...
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Featured image for “It’s Time for FAFSA Questions”
January 6, 2014

It’s Time for FAFSA Questions

You can learn much more about how to afford college by enrolling in my upcoming online course –  Cutting the Cost of College. I designed this course to help you save money by making you a smart college shopper.    Lynn O’Shaughnessy Now that we’re officially into the 2014-2015 FAFSA season, I wanted to answer some questions on my college blog...
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January 14, 2013

Answering a Dad’s Financial Aid Question

Today I’m answering a question from a father, who is puzzled by the Expected Family Contribution figure he generated when using an EFC calculator. I think my answer to him will be helpful for just about anybody who will eventually be filing for financial aid. If you don’t understand what the term EFC is, please read this post first:  What...
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August 9, 2012

Look Who Is Borrowing the Most for College

The unrelenting cost of college is hitting upper-middle-class families hard. According to a front-page analysis today in The Wall Street Journal, it’s these families who are experiencing the largest rise in college-loan debt. In its analysis, the newspaper categorized upper-middle-income as households with yearly incomes in the 80th to 90th percentiles that range from $94,000 to $205,000. Among families with...
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June 27, 2012

Is It Okay to Hide Home Equity?

If you missed it, on Monday I wrote a post for my college blog on the dramatic impact that home equity can have on a family’s financial aid package. Here is the link:  Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances: A Case Study If you read the post, you’ll see that even a huge amount of home equity (in...
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March 30, 2012

A College with 942 Different Prices

College price tags are meaningless. If you’ve spent much time on my college blog you already appreciate that these numbers don’t mean anything, but most families don’t. About two thirds of students attending state and private schools receive scholarships or grants and the number rises to about 88% at private institutions, which have to offer more discounts for students to...
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March 22, 2012

An Email from a Disillusioned Mom

I received an email yesterday from a disillusioned mom, who wanted to share what she has learned after receiving her oldest daughter’s financial aid packages. I can totally sympathize with this mother and I want to pass on Lisa’s observations before I comment on them. After receiving Lisa’s email, I sent her a message asking what kind of merit aid...
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