The College Solutions Blog

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

Featured image for “11 Ways to Appeal for More Financial Aid or Merit Aid”
January 26, 2023

11 Ways to Appeal for More Financial Aid or Merit Aid

An effective way to reduce the cost of college is to know how to successfully appeal for more financial aid. It’s critical to understand that the first financial aid award that a college delivers often doesn’t have to be the only offer. This is especially true since the enrollment management arms of many colleges use sophisticated algorithms in the hopes...
Read More
Featured image for “CollegeData:  Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships”
July 11, 2022

CollegeData:  Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships

How do you research financial aid and merit scholarships that a student might get at individual colleges and universities? With college sticker prices continuing to climb, it’s an important question to ask because the financial aid and merit award policies at schools will vary widely. Not knowing how to research the generosity or stinginess of individual colleges can cost you...
Read More
Featured image for “Applying early decision and early action, part II”
October 19, 2021

Applying early decision and early action, part II

In my last college blog post, I wrote about the pros and cons of applying to college early decision. Here is more to consider before you apply early decision or early action to college: 1. While students who apply early decision to a college must promise to attend the school, as a practical matter, a college can’t force an accepted...
Read More
Featured image for “How colleges assess home equity for financial aid”
June 30, 2021

How colleges assess home equity for financial aid

Plenty of parents worry that their home equity might hurt their child’s chances for financial aid. Luckily, at most state and private colleges and universities, the equity in your primary home is a non-issue. That’s because most schools only require families to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) when applying for financial aid, which doesn’t even ask...
Read More
Featured image for “12 Expected Family Contribution Tips”
May 25, 2021

12 Expected Family Contribution Tips

One of the biggest questions that parents with college-bound children puzzle with is if their child has a chance for financial aid. The first step that you should take when grappling with this issue is to obtain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You should do this before seriously exploring your teenager’s college options. This is more confusing than you might...
Read More
Featured image for “Finding colleges offering big scholarships”
April 21, 2021

Finding colleges offering big scholarships

It’s late in the college admission season, but schools are still giving out college scholarships to those who know where to look. The pandemic caused many colleges to provide better scholarships than they would have liked. And actually, some schools, long before the pandemic hit, were giving out large merit scholarships. I wrote about one aspect of this phenomenon earlier...
Read More
Featured image for “New FAFSA Changes – Winners and Losers”
January 19, 2021

New FAFSA Changes – Winners and Losers

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be undergoing significant changes soon and families, who hope to obtain financial aid, need to prepare for the FAFSA changes. Tucked into federal pandemic relief legislation that Congress passed during the Christmas holidays, was a dramatic overhaul to the FAFSA and financial aid rules. Last week, I talked to Mark Kantrowitz, a...
Read More
Featured image for “Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist”
December 8, 2020

Use this Valuable College Admission Checklist

Using  a college admission checklist is critical when your child is applying to colleges and universities. Allowing  a teenager to apply to any colleges without a solid game plan can be a financial and academic disaster. In fact, ignoring advance planning is one reason why ONE OUT OF THREE students who start at four-year public and private colleges and universities...
Read More
Featured image for “How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19”
September 7, 2020

How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19

No matter when COVID-19 finally disappears, the college admission practices that changed due to the pandemic, will not completely disappear. In a recent webinar, I discussed how the pandemic has impacted college admissions in significant ways and how families can take advantage of these changes going forward. COVID-19 and College Admissions Here are some COVID-19 developments that you should know...
Read More
Featured image for “During a pandemic, getting more money from a college”
June 8, 2020

During a pandemic, getting more money from a college

During the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of colleges are worried about not only attracting enough freshmen for this fall, but also for the 2021-2022 college admission season. Many colleges have made the calculation that it’s better to pay too much to attract a new student than to lose that prospect – and the revenue he or she generates – all together....
Read More