The College Solutions Blog

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

Featured image for “Avoid These FAFSA Mistakes”
December 24, 2014

Avoid These FAFSA Mistakes

Happy holidays everyone! While I’m spending Christmas with family in Colorado, I decided to share this post about avoiding mistakes when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Parents can start filing the FAFSA beginning January 1. If you missed it, here is another post I shared about the FAFSA earlier this month: Getting Ready to Tackle the FAFSA...
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December 9, 2014

Getting Ready to Tackle the FAFSA

FAFSA season officially starts on Jan. 1, which is when students who will be attending college in 2015-2016 can begin completing this critical financial aid form. Families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  to qualify for need-based aid. The FAFSA is the federal financial aid form that roughly 20 million financial aid applicants complete every year. Sadly,...
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November 10, 2014

Why You MUST Use Net Price Calculators!

If your child is in the midst of applying to colleges, do you have an excellent idea of what each school on your child’s list will cost you? If  you don’t, I strongly suggest that you temporarily halt the admission process and find out. Traditionally, parents couldn’t know what any college was going to cost until their child received his...
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November 3, 2014

Getting Help With the FAFSA

FAFSA season is fast approaching, which always brings questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In my post today, I want to share advice about why you should submit the FAFSA and who should be completing the actual financial aid form. I also want to share the link to an excellent and free ebook that will likely answer...
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September 29, 2014

Colleges That Meet 100% of Financial Need

If your family will need to depend on financial aid to attend college, your best bet is to find a school that will offer an excellent financial aid package to your child. A handy way to assess the generosity of any school is to look at the percentage of demonstrated financial need it typically meets for its students. Teenagers, who...
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September 14, 2014

Are You Confused and Frustrated?

If you have a teenager who will be heading to college some day, you probably are frustrated and confused. It’s hard to find answers when you are looking for ways to cut your college costs. It’s equally frustrating for financial advisors, high school counselors and independent college consultants who would like to assist their families make college more affordable, but...
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August 13, 2014

An Inside Scoop on Athletic Recruiting

To learn more about the recruiting process, I talked with Avi Stopper, a former college athlete and a co-founder of CaptainU, which could be called an athletic LinkedIn that helps student athletes to connect with athletic coaches. Stopper, who is a former men’s soccer coach at the University of Chicago, launched CaptainU when he was in the school’s MBA program....
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August 7, 2014

Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances?

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...
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July 18, 2014

The Moneyball Approach to College

The following guest post was written by my friend Michelle Kretzchmar, who created an incredibly helpful college blog called DIYCollegeRankings. Michelle, a data analyst by trade, created her own college rankings when she was looking for a college for her son. She is launching a four-week course in mid August that will help you discover great value schools by using...
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July 6, 2014

A Quick Way to Find Generous Colleges

How can you find the most generous colleges and universities? I’m talking about the institutions that meet 100% of financial need or close to it? And what about the schools that provide merit scholarships for affluent students who don’t qualify for need-based aid? How can you find schools that provide a large number of these scholarships? In the six-minute video...
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