The College Solutions Blog

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

August 1, 2012

Finding An Independent College Counselor

In my last college blog post, I wrote about the enmity that admission officers at elite colleges and universities tend to exhibit toward independent college counselors. If you missed it, here it is: Elite Schools Dissing College Consultants While elite schools argue that families can navigate the process by themselves, they ignore this fact:  colleges operate as businesses and their...
Read More
July 12, 2012

A Wealthy Mom’s College Questions

I am sharing an email that I got this week from a wealthy single mom, who is anticipating her college costs for her twins. I comment on her situation below and I’d love to hear from you too. If you have any advice, please share it in the comment box below. Mom’s Email: Lynn, I just finished your new book, ...
Read More
July 10, 2012

What Advice Would You Give This Mom?

Today I’m sharing an email from a mom from New Mexico, who is understandably stressed about the college bill she is gearing up to face for the third of her four children. I’ve got my own thoughts, but I’d love to hear what advice you might give this family. A Mom’s Question Here is the mother’s note: Do colleges take...
Read More
July 6, 2012

When Should You Visit Colleges?

Is there a strategy to deciding which colleges to visit? That was the question on the mind of a California mom who emailed me this question: In your opinion, is it better to spend the money now and visit out-of-state schools and meet with the admissions and/or financial aid offices or spend money to visit California colleges that she probably...
Read More
June 25, 2012

Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances? A Case Study

Is your home equity going to hurt your chances of receiving need-based financial aid? The majority of families don’t need to worry about this because most schools don’t consider home equity. These  institutions use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA doesn’t even ask if the family owns a home. Some of these schools, however, will use an...
Read More
April 26, 2012

Why Private Student Loans Are Scary

On my college blog this week, I’ve been focusing on what you need to know about borrowing for college. If you missed them, my previous two posts shared advice on federal student and parent loans: What You Need to Know About Borrowing for College How Parents Can Borrow for College Today I’m exploring private college loans. Before turning to private...
Read More
April 24, 2012

How Parents Can Borrow for College

Are you a parent who needs to borrow for college? Most of the attention is focused on college loans that students take out, but there are parent loans as well. In case you missed it, I wrote about federal student loans in my last college blog post: What You Need to Know About Borrowing for College Today, I’m going to...
Read More
April 19, 2012

Should a Kid Borrow $80,000 for a Brand Name University?

I am sharing an email that I received Tuesday from a Wisconsin mom, who is stressed about the admission decision that her teenage son must make by May 1. What follows is a cautionary tale for any families which have not been through the college admission process yet. Read on to discover how to avoid the kind of mistakes that...
Read More
April 13, 2012

Avoiding College Snake Oil Salesmen

For many years I was a financial journalist who wrote about such garden-variety investment topics as 401(k)’s, IRA’s, mutual funds, bonds and how investors can assemble a retirement portfolio that will last longer than they do. I enjoyed what I was doing until I stumbled across a financial topic that I knew nothing about when my daughter was in high...
Read More
April 2, 2012

Visiting Ben at Beloit College

My husband Bruce and I visited Beloit College over the weekend to attend a biannual parent committee meeting and – of course – we were excited to see Ben, who is finishing up his sophomore year. When you live in San Diego, it’s hard to pinpoint when spring arrives since it is green year round. Actually, more greenish/brownish. At Ben’s...
Read More