The College Solutions Blog

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

July 26, 2012

Busting the Ivy League Myth

Do you need to graduate from an Ivy League school or other ultra elite college to earn the highest salaries? Many families believe that graduates who can put a school like Princeton or Yale on their resume will fare significantly better financially than smart students who end up earning their degrees from elsewhere. In a famous study, two economists tackled...
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July 10, 2012

What Advice Would You Give This Mom?

Today I’m sharing an email from a mom from New Mexico, who is understandably stressed about the college bill she is gearing up to face for the third of her four children. I’ve got my own thoughts, but I’d love to hear what advice you might give this family. A Mom’s Question Here is the mother’s note: Do colleges take...
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July 6, 2012

When Should You Visit Colleges?

Is there a strategy to deciding which colleges to visit? That was the question on the mind of a California mom who emailed me this question: In your opinion, is it better to spend the money now and visit out-of-state schools and meet with the admissions and/or financial aid offices or spend money to visit California colleges that she probably...
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June 28, 2012

Why College Costs Are Rising

My favorite higher-ed commentator is Kevin Carey. I’ve got him on my Google Alert because I always enjoy reading anything he writes. Carey recently became director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, which is a respected think tank in Washington, DC. You can learn more about him here. Carey has no interest in writing about college...
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June 18, 2012

College + Degree = Joke?

With the cost of college so daunting, families are understandably more interested than ever in finding schools where their children can grow academically and secure good jobs when they graduate. That’s not an unreasonable request and yet quite a bit of evidence exists that millions of students have not been learning much in college. In fact, the diplomas that many...
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May 1, 2012

Agonizing Before the Buzzer Rings

The time for agonizing is over. It’s college decision day which means the parents of high school seniors have little time left before they must put down their college deposits. As the deadline loomed, I heard from families, who were stressed about their decisions and, in some cases, how they were going to pay the tab. I thought I’d share...
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April 30, 2012

An Awesome College Admission Success Story

May 1 is college decision day. That’s the day each year when many colleges and universities across the country require high school seniors to make a final decision about where they will attend school in the fall. Seniors must notify their No. 1 pick by putting down a deposit to secure their spot in the next freshman class. I’d love...
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April 12, 2012

Should You Blow the Budget for Cornell?

If you don’t have the cash, is an Ivy League school or any other university that the college rankings gods worship worth the cost? Affluent families have been asking me that lately. Yesterday afternoon, for instance, I got a call from a dad in Maryland, who wanted my opinion about the three schools on his daughter’s short list. The father...
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April 4, 2012

What’s Wrong With College Dream Lists

I recently took a look at The Princeton Review’s latest lists of America’s most popular dream colleges and I immediately saw a problem. Before I explain why, check out the dream colleges that teenagers and parents cited most often. Teenagers’ Dream Colleges Stanford University Harvard University New York University Princeton University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Yale University UCLA University of...
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February 28, 2012

Where More Upper-Middle Class Students are Heading

At this time of year, lots of families are realizing that their high school seniors can’t attend their dream schools. Seniors are receiving their financial aid packages in the mail and for some of them the numbers don’t look good.  Among those who are struggling are upper middle-class families that you might assume would be in better shape to pay...
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