The College Solutions Blog

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

Evaluating Schools
Featured image for “Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist”
December 8, 2020

Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist

Using  a college admission checklist is critical when your child is applying to colleges and universities. Allowing  a teenager to apply to any colleges without a solid game plan can be a financial and academic disaster. In fact, ignoring advance planning is one reason why ONE OUT OF THREE students who start at four-year public and private colleges and universities...
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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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Featured image for “Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors”
August 14, 2017

Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors

How do you know if the colleges that interest your teenager would provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators and other tools,  but it’s difficult to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment. Evaluating an Institution’s Professors To get a...
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October 28, 2016

Should I Apply Early Decision?

This is the time of year when high school seniors aiming for more selective to elite colleges and universities must decide if they will apply early decision. When students apply early decision, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. A student accepted via early decision must withdraw all other college applications. Early Decision Gamble Students must...
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May 21, 2015

Building a College List: A Free Resource

Creating a college list can be intimidating. And it’s no wonder since there is a lot riding on drawing up a solid list of promising colleges and universities. Getting it wrong can lead to students being miserable at their schools. It also is a reason why so many unhappy undergrads end up transferring to different institutions. In extreme cases, creating...
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May 15, 2015

4 Favorite Tools to Cut College Costs

I was amazed when I had roughly 950 people register to attend my two webinars this week. If you missed it, don’t worry, I am sharing a link to a recording of one of the webinars below. In the 70-minute webinar, I shared four of my favorite tools to cut the cost of college. Here are the tools that I...
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March 27, 2015

Research Universities: A Dirty Little Secret

Most students who hope to earn a bachelor’s degree will enroll at a university. The schools that students dream of attending are almost always research universities. It’s far less common for teenagers to end up at a college. I find that reality unfortunate because a college can often provide a better education for undergraduates than a research university. And it’s...
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Featured image for “Colleges That Meet 100% of Financial Need”
September 29, 2014

Colleges That Meet 100% of Financial Need

If your family will need to depend on financial aid to attend college, your best bet is to find a school that will offer an excellent financial aid package to your child. A handy way to assess the generosity of any school is to look at the percentage of demonstrated financial need it typically meets for its students. Teenagers, who...
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Featured image for “Where to Find the Best College Professors”
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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Featured image for “A New Tool to Measure College Costs”
May 13, 2014

A New Tool to Measure College Costs

Today I’m sharing with you a new online tool that you can easily use to generate quick cost estimates and comparisons at individual colleges. All you need is to start playing with the universal net price calculator that you’ll find on the website of the Cost of Learning.  This new website aims to make it easy for families to retrieve...
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