The College Solutions Blog

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

Financial aid
Featured image for “How to Decipher a Financial Aid Letter”
April 11, 2017

How to Decipher a Financial Aid Letter

Financial aid awards are often confusing. I believe many colleges and universities intentionally make financial aid awards hard to decipher to trick families into thinking that their institutions are being generous even when they aren’t. Obfuscation is an effective way to keep parents off balance. Since we are heading into the season when students will be receiving their financial aid...
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Featured image for “Should You Pay More Than $66,000 for Northeastern University?”
March 28, 2017

Should You Pay More Than $66,000 for Northeastern University?

This is the time of year when parents and teenagers stress about their college choices. Parents whose children have expensive collegiate tastes can struggle with the some variation of the following question: Should they spend obscene amounts of money so their children can attend their dream school or should they insist that their children stick with more reasonably priced alternatives?...
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Featured image for “My New College Column at Cappex”
March 13, 2017

My New College Column at Cappex

If you like periodically checking out my college blog, I want to alert you to another place where I share my thoughts about college issues. I recently began a college column at Cappex, which is the popular resource for students and parents researching colleges and looking for scholarships. Here is the link to the archive of my new Cappex column...
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Featured image for “5 Winning College Strategies”
January 20, 2017

5 Winning College Strategies

During the past week, I shared Five Winning College Strategies during a webinar that attracted more than 1,000 viewers. If you missed the webinar, which I offered on four different dates, you can still listen to the replay for a limited time period. Here is the link to Five Winning College Strategies to Finding Great Schools and Cutting Their Price....
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Featured image for “11 Common FAFSA Mistakes”
December 19, 2016

11 Common FAFSA Mistakes

If your child will be heading to college next fall, you should be tackling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and, if applicable, the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE now. While filing for financial aid is extremely important, it is incredibly easy to make mistakes which can hurt your family’s ultimate awards. In this post, I’m sharing 11 FAFSA mistakes to...
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Featured image for “9 Signs That Your Teen Graduates with Student Loans”
November 11, 2016

9 Signs That Your Teen Graduates with Student Loans

Today I’m happy to share a guest blog post by Michelle Kretzschmar, who is the creator of an incredibly helpful website called DIYCollegeRankings. If you’re looking for colleges and wondering how you’re going to pay for them, I’d urge you to visit Michelle’s website! Lynn O’Shaughnessy By Michelle Kretzschmar Many people don’t know how much they’ve borrowed from college until...
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Featured image for “10 Things to Know About the New FAFSA Changes”
October 13, 2016

10 Things to Know About the New FAFSA Changes

Big financial aid changes have arrived for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. If you’re hoping that your child qualifies for financial aid, you need to know what these major new developments that kicked off this month. Millions of parents annually fill out the FAFSA. Completing this aid application is necessary to qualify for...
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Featured image for “Why You MUST Use Net Price Calculators!”
September 28, 2016

Why You MUST Use Net Price Calculators!

Here is what typically happens during college admission season: Students apply to whatever colleges they want without having any clue about whether these schools will give them grants and/or scholarships. Parents are often nervously okay with their children disregarding price when finalizing their lists. The attitude of these moms and dads can be summed up this way:  Go ahead and...
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Featured image for “Discover Five Winning College Strategies”
September 4, 2016

Discover Five Winning College Strategies

Are you eager to discover ways to find wonderful colleges and shrink the cost of a bachelor’s degree? I can help. I’ll be holding a free online presentation that will share with you five ways to find wonderful schools and shrink the cost of college. Everyone who attends the one-hour workshop will receive one of my resource guides, The Ultimate...
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Featured image for “10 Things You Need to Know About Expected Family Contributions”
July 28, 2016

10 Things You Need to Know About Expected Family Contributions

One of the biggest questions that parents with college-bound children puzzle with is if their child has a chance for financial aid. This is more confusing than you might think because at some schools a family could qualify for need-based aid if they make $200,000 a year and at another school, the ceiling for aid could be $70,000. The first...
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