The College Solutions Blog

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

Liberal Arts Colleges
October 31, 2008

Runaway College Costs

Here’s a news bulletin that’s certainly appropriate for Halloweeen: The cost of a bachelor’s degree has climbed again. According to the College Board, tuition and fees for the 2008-09 school year jumped anywhere from 4.5% to 6.5%, depending on the type of institution. Here are today’s typical tuition costs: Four-year public institution: $6,585. Four-year private college: $25,143. Community college: $2,300....
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October 29, 2008

A Girl's Dream College

When I woke up this morning I was still thinking about a young woman who I talked to last night. I was in my hometown of St. Louis to give a speech about college strategies to a large gathering of CPAs and I also squeezed in a book signing at a Barnes & Noble during the visit. At the bookstore,...
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October 27, 2008

College Admissions: Playing the Gender Card

When my daughter was looking at colleges I used to worry that Caitlin would get a raw deal from a school simply because she was a girl. At many liberal arts colleges, 60% of the students are girls and 40% are boys. Some college administrators believe that the tipping point is reached when women make up more than 60% of...
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October 6, 2008

The 10 Secrets of America's Best Colleges

I’ve always been a nag about college rankings. It’s unfortunate that the first yardstick that many families grab when they are measuring schools is the annual US college rankings by U.S. News & World Reports. Simply whining about college rankings, however, isn’t very helpful, which is why I’m excited about a new report that was released today by the Association...
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October 2, 2008

Loren Pope: Lessons from a Higher Ed Icon

Loren Pope died last week. If you have ever lingered in the collegiate book section at Barnes & Noble or any other book store, you will probably recognize his name. Pope, a former independent college counselor and New York Times education editor, became famous thanks to his classic book entitled, Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Colleges That Will Change the...
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September 21, 2008

A Fresh, New Way to Evaluate Colleges

Finally, there’s a new way to evaluate colleges. No longer will you have to rely heavily on those monster guide books from such corporate types as The Princeton Review, Fiske and Kaplan. Nor will you have to become a slave to U.S. News & World Report’s stupid ranking system. A whiz kid, who graduated four years ago from Wesleyan College,...
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September 2, 2008

An Undiscovered Gem: The Public Liberal Arts College

Some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in this country are liberal arts colleges. Yet while the education you receive at liberal arts colleges, such as Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams and Pomona, can be incredible, just a teeny tiny percentage of students end up at one. According to the latest figures from The Chronicle of Higher Education, a mere...
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July 31, 2008

One in 5 College Students Transfer

A new report from the federal National Center for Education Statistics documents there are more transfer students at four-year colleges than you’d think. Nearly one in five students transfer from one four-year college to another. When my daughter’s friends came home from their freshmen year in college this summer, most of them were happy campers. The colleges and universities these...
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June 29, 2008

Diversity Friendly Colleges That Welcome Minority Students

Like lots of teenagers, minority students frequently overlook schools that they assume cost too much or are too exclusive. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, however, has collected data over the past decade that strongly suggests that bright minority students should broaden their horizon. The journal’s research documents that many of the nation’s most prestigious liberal arts schools warmly...
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June 18, 2008

The Beauty of a Liberal Arts Education

When my daughter started thinking about college, she naturally wanted to attend one of our state’s biggies — UCLA or Berkeley. It became clear by the 10th grade, however, that her GPA wouldn’t be enough to qualify. If you don’t have at least a 4.0, your chances are grim. This was actually a blessing in disguise because the reality led...
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