Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
January 13, 2018
How Home Equity Impacts Financial Aid
Have you given any thought to how home equity might hurt your 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...
January 4, 2018
Searching for Colleges by Price Tag
College price tags are meaningless. Most students do not pay full tuition price for college. That said, paying attention to college prices can be extremely helpful in making college more affordable. Here’s a simple example: Getting a $20,000-a-year merit scholarship from a school that has a published price of $45,000 will obviously make a college much more affordable than receiving...
September 18, 2017
10 Things You Need to Know About College Net Price Calculators
Here is what typically happens during college admission season: Students apply to whatever colleges they want without having any clue about whether these schools will give them grants and/or scholarships. Parents are often nervously okay with their children disregarding price when finalizing their lists. The attitude of these moms and dads can be summed up this way: Go ahead and...
July 9, 2017
1300 people listened to this webinar. You should too!
Over the past few days I had 1,300 people listen live to my webinar that revealed eight insider secrets that colleges aren’t eager to share, but that you need to know to find good college matches and shrink your college costs. When you start looking for colleges, you need to be on guard just as you would walking onto a...
June 30, 2017
Here is the Best College Loan
As recently as the early 1990s, most students did not take out college loans. Today roughly two out of every three students borrow to pay for college due to the runaway cost of college. The typical student borrower is now leaving school with debt of roughly $37,000. Just the outstanding federal college loan debt now exceeds credit-card debt. Keep this...
June 15, 2017
How To Tell if a College Will Go Bust
I am a huge supporter of families throwing a wider net when looking for colleges. I’m not going to lie, however, I do get push back from skeptical parents. Here is one of the questions that I hear from these folks: What if a promising college is on the verge of going belly up? Even though it’s rarely going to...
May 16, 2017
When College Sticker Prices Can Matter
College sticker prices are often meaningless because most students at state and private universities don’t pay it. Published prices, however, can be a helpful starting point when exploring what kind of price break, in the form of scholarship and grants, your child might get at a particular institution. Here’s an example: Your teenager receives a $15,000 annual merit award at...
May 8, 2017
Success Story! Saying No to a Dream College
Last month I heard from many parents agonizing about whether to let their teenagers attend their dream colleges. These dream colleges were inevitably highly selective to elite universities which cost $65,000 to $70,000 a year! I don’t believe any college or universities is worth paying that kind of money! My most recent blog post, which originally ran in 2014, focused...
April 11, 2017
How to Decipher a Financial Aid Letter
Financial aid awards are often confusing. I believe many colleges and universities intentionally make financial aid awards hard to decipher to trick families into thinking that their institutions are being generous even when they aren’t. Obfuscation is an effective way to keep parents off balance. Since we are heading into the season when students will be receiving their financial aid...
March 28, 2017
Should You Pay More Than $66,000 for Northeastern University?
This is the time of year when parents and teenagers stress about their college choices. Parents whose children have expensive collegiate tastes can struggle with the some variation of the following question: Should they spend obscene amounts of money so their children can attend their dream school or should they insist that their children stick with more reasonably priced alternatives?...