Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
November 28, 2022
Do you know the differences between a college and a university?
What is the difference between a college and a university? I have always found it depressing and frustrating that few parents and teenagers know what the differences are between a college and university. And the differences are substantial. Americans use the terms college and university interchangeably, but these two types of higher-education institutions are quite different. Families who understand how...
April 13, 2021
Looking beyond highly rejective colleges to get better deals
As usual, the highly rejective colleges** have attracted the most media attention during this latest admission season. The Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Duke, Northwestern, USC and other highly rejective colleges outdid themselves this year by crushing the college dreams of an historic number of applicants. What gets lost in this slavish attention to the nation’s highly rejective schools is the inside...
July 6, 2020
8 things you should know about final college plans during the pandemic
Colleges have been running out of time to release their final plans for the start of the fall school year. Higher-ed observers assumed that colleges would have to start revealing their final plans sometime in July. Problem was, the vast majority of schools didn’t want to go first. A Midwestern college, for instance, would be loath to announce it was...
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...
April 28, 2020
Will College Campuses Open in the Fall?
Will college campuses open in the fall? It’s frustrating that no one definitely knows yet if colleges campuses will be open in the fall or if online education will predominate or there will be some hybrid of the two scenarios. In the interim, however, The Chronicle of Higher Education has been regularly updating a list of tentative plans that colleges...
April 8, 2020
Tackling common college questions during COVID-19
This is an incredibly stressful time for families who have to navigate college admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a practical matter, this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience has generated a great deal of college questions from anxious students, parents, educational consultants and high school counselors. Some answers are known. We know, for instance, that the Advanced Placement tests, with a radically...
April 6, 2019
Elite Colleges, Entitled Teens and Guilted Parents
The college admission season is winding down at this time of year except for this part: Parents are stressing about how they’re going to pay for the college that their children want to attend. Spring is when I hear from parents who are being guilted by their children to spend dangerously more than they should for a brand name research...
March 15, 2019
College Admission Scandal: Symptom of a Larger Problem
The college admission scandal that saturated the press this week made me think of a disturbing anecdote, which I heard last month, that blew my mind. I want to emphasize that shocking me is tough to do since covering the higher-ed industry – and it is very much an industry – has made me quite cynical and disgusted about how...
May 16, 2018
Mythical Golden Tickets and the Ivy League
Affluent parents and teenagers often believe that “golden tickets” are plentiful if you attend an elite university and preferably one of the Ivies. Earn a bachelor’s degree from a place like Harvard, Princeton or Stanford and job opportunities will magically appear. Equally important, conventional wisdom suggests that unless smart, ambitious students graduate from one of these $70,000-a-year (!!!), gold-plated universities,...
March 5, 2018
Getting Rejected From Elite Universities
This is the time of year when elite universities, which have kept applicants in suspense for months, notify teenagers of their admission decisions. Most of these applicants are going to be terribly disappointed, but I want to EMPHASIZE that the majority of teenagers get into their first choice school. (They can’t always afford to go their favorites, but they get...