The College Solutions Blog

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

September 28, 2010

Staying in Touch With College Students

When children head off to college how much contact should parents have with them? This question has generated a lot of angst over the years and maybe it’s because nobody knows how much communication is appropriate. Is one call a week enough? How about a dozen? Do text messages and E-mails count? And what about Skype, instant messaging, Google Voice...
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September 24, 2010

Choosing a College Major

Last spring I bumped into a dad I know whose daughter had attended the same middle school as my son. I asked him where his daughter would be attending college in the fall and he said: She’s going to a community college. I was surprised because Rachel is a very bright girl. The dad explained, however, that his daughter didn’t...
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September 22, 2010

eBook Giveaway: What Do You Want to Know About College?

I’ve been cranking out college blog posts for the past two years. (It makes me tired just thinking about it.) During this time, I’ve been pretty much picking college topics to write about that interest me as a mom and journalist. I hope that the topics that I’ve chosen, including scholarships, college costs,  financial aid, SAT and ACT tests, college...
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September 10, 2010

Applying Early Decision to Brown University

The last two days I’ve been writing about applying early decision in the college admission process. Here are my two posts: Finding the Success Rate of Applying Early Decision Case Study: Applying Early Decision After reading my case study post, a mom posed with her own question about early decision. I decided to answer her here.  I promise this will...
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September 1, 2010

Researching Colleges With the Common Data Set

At the beginning of yet another college admission season, I want to share one of my favorite tools that can help anyone research colleges and universities.  The tool is called the Common Data Set. College and universities all over the country produce their own Common Data Set every year. The Common Data Set is a document about 32 pages long...
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August 29, 2010

Best College Rankings: No. 50 – 100

If you hadn’t already noticed, this is college rankings month. US News & World Report, the big college rankings  gorilla, released its latest lists of the best liberal arts colleges and best universities earlier in August.  Forbes Magazine rolled out its best college list this month too and the Washington Monthly unveiled its picks for  best colleges a few days...
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August 26, 2010

What Are The Most Popular Graduate Degrees?

Yesterday I wrote a blog post for CBSMoneywatch that included lists of the most popular graduate degrees. Here is the post: America’s Most Popular Graduate Degrees Not surprisingly, the MBA was the most popular master’s degree program for both men and women. What I found interesting, however, was how quickly the most popular master’s degree programs diverge for men and...
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August 25, 2010

Case Study: Applying to William and Mary College Early Decision

It’s still summer, but I’ve already gotten my first question about early decision. I thought I’d share the question posed by a mom, lets call her Susanna, whose daughter wants to apply early decision to William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA. If you don’t know what ED is, here is the definition of early decision. This is the mom’s...
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August 23, 2010

What If You're Not a Leader?

Colleges love applicants who are leaders. This collegiate desire to find leaders doesn’t jive with the fact that most teenagers — or Americans of any other age group — just aren’t leaders. But here’s the good news:  A teen doesn’t have to be the president or v.p. of his or her class to be considered a leader. In fact, teenagers...
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August 19, 2010

An AP Nightmare

Is there a downside to Advanced Placement classes? I’m asking this question because many teenagers and their parents seem to believe that you can’t get into a good college without taking a killer load of AP classes. Taking three or four (or more!) AP classes in a semester can suck all the fun out of high school, but many kids...
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