The College Solutions Blog

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

High school counselors
October 31, 2012

The Weakest Link in the College Admission Process

Just how prepared are high school counselors to do their jobs? The College Board has released a new report that suggests that counselors don’t believe they received adequate training to perform their jobs at the level they would like. I am mentioning this study because it focuses on an area that I feel passionately about. Many high school counselors are...
Read More
August 1, 2012

Finding An Independent College Counselor

In my last college blog post, I wrote about the enmity that admission officers at elite colleges and universities tend to exhibit toward independent college counselors. If you missed it, here it is: Elite Schools Dissing College Consultants While elite schools argue that families can navigate the process by themselves, they ignore this fact:  colleges operate as businesses and their...
Read More
July 30, 2012

Elite Schools Dissing College Consultants

In June I gave a keynote talk at the annual conference of the Higher Education Consultants Association in New Jersey. I decided to tag along on the group’s college tour that took the consultants to a half-dozen campuses. What I found predictable is that the most elite schools were the least hospitable to the consultants. Princeton and Columbia universities told...
Read More
January 11, 2012

California Teen Getting Grief for Liking Southern Universities

I received an email yesterday from a mom in Southern California, whose daughter Nicole is getting grief about the Southern universities that she has applied to.  Karen’s email raises a lot of interesting issues including preconceived notions about schools, the tendency of some parent(s) to push kids to attend their alma mater or state schools and a lack of understanding...
Read More
August 1, 2011

Bad College Advice: Readers Weigh In

I devoted my last two college blog posts to exploring why high school counselors fail so many students with their college advice. If you missed them, here they are: What’s Wrong With High School Counselors What’s Wrong With High School Counselors, Part II  I received many great comments regarding those posts and I wanted to share some today, as well...
Read More
July 29, 2011

What’s Wrong With High School Counselors Part II

I want to thank everybody who commented yesterday on my post: What’s Wrong with High School Counselors? And a shout out to those who shared their thoughts about the post on the Facebook page for The College Solution. (If you haven’t checked it out and “liked” my new Facebook page, please do!) The thoughtful comments that I received prompted me...
Read More
July 28, 2011

What’s Wrong With High School Counselors?

I wrote this post a year ago, but I wanted to share it again because I think it’s important that families understand the limitations of many high school counselors when it comes to sharing advice about critical college issues. Parents and teenagers need to know this because if they rely exclusively on their counselor’s advice, they could make poor college...
Read More
January 27, 2011

One More Stab at the Race to Nowhere

Earlier this week I shared some thoughtful comments from Alice Kleeman, a high school counselor in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Kris Hintz, an independent college counselor in New Jersey, who were responding to a post that I wrote on the higher-ed documentary Race to Nowhere. Here is the post that contains Kris and Alice’s comments: Phooey: Race to...
Read More
December 29, 2010

A College Admission Weak Link

It’s going to be a hectic week for me because our family is having our annual holiday party and I’ll be making all the food for 80 people.  All I’ve gotten done so far is a mousse pate, puff pastry pinwheels and spicy pecans so I’ve got a lot to do. I will quickly share with you a post that...
Read More
December 15, 2010

The Skinny on College Recommendation Letters

I wrote this post a year ago when my son was asking for college recommendations. He’s in college now, but I thought parents and teenagers could benefit from what I wrote in 2009. This is the time of year when high school counselors and teachers are flooded with requests to write college recommendation letters. Writing a college recommendation letter is...
Read More