The College Solutions Blog

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

Liberal Arts Colleges
Featured image for “Thinking Outside the College Box”
June 29, 2015

Thinking Outside the College Box

How do you generate ideas for a college list that doesn’t look like everybody else’s? Students typically end up looking at a fairly narrow lineup of schools, which is not always a smart strategy if you want to find good academic fits, as well as colleges that will be more affordable. Today I want to share the following three helpful...
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Featured image for “Ben Graduates Again”
June 8, 2015

Ben Graduates Again

Over the weekend, my son graduated from college again. A year ago, Ben left Beloit College with his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in studio art. On Friday, my 22-year-old son received his master’s degree in education from the University of Denver. Denver Teacher Residency After graduating from Beloit, Ben was only home in San Diego for 10...
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Featured image for “Some Surprising College Super Stars”
June 1, 2015

Some Surprising College Super Stars

Can you guess what the following schools have in common: More Than a Mish Mash Admittedly, this list looks like a mishmash of institutions that includes some of the nation’s prestigious research universities along with specialty engineering schools, liberal arts colleges and master’s level universities. These colleges and universities emerged as super stars in a new value-added college ranking system...
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Featured image for “Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?”
May 26, 2015

Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?

Here’s a little known but excellent way to cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree: Attend a college rather than a research university. Nearly all colleges provide discounts off their sticker prices versus research universities, which are far less likely to give families a price break. In the chart below that I pulled from the latest tuition discount study from...
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Featured image for “Building a College List:  A Free Resource”
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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Featured image for “Research Universities:  A Dirty Little Secret”
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 “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 “My Son Graduates From College”
May 21, 2014

My Son Graduates From College

My son Ben graduated from Beloit College on Sunday. With 277 other seniors, Ben received his diploma on a beautiful spring day at this liberal arts college in Beloit, WI, which he considered his home for four years. This native San Diegan left nearly four years ago to move to a state where he had no connections, no relatives, no...
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Featured image for “How My Daughter Made The Most Out of College”
May 8, 2014

How My Daughter Made The Most Out of College

A new survey conducted by Gallup and Purdue University indicates that the type of institution that college graduates attend matters less to their future happiness at home and work than the experiences they have in college. I felt vindicated when I saw the Gallup results because I’ve been saying for years that what’s most important is not where you go...
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Featured image for “Why Colleges Are Stressed About Filling Their Seats”
November 25, 2013

Why Colleges Are Stressed About Filling Their Seats

The prospect of rejection is one of the most stressful aspects of the college admission process. In reality, however, most students don’t have to fear rejection. In its annual survey of college freshmen, UCLA always seems to find that at least 75% of students are accepted into their first-choice school. Today, I wanted to share a study, conducted by Inside Higher...
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