The College Solutions Blog

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

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Featured image for “Quick way to capture a 529 tax break when a student is in college”
December 2, 2021

Quick way to capture a 529 tax break when a student is in college

An easy way for you to cut your college costs can be as easy as depositing money into a 529 account for  just 24 hours. After moving money into a 529 account, many savers can quickly turn around and withdraw the cash to pay for their child’s college tuition and other qualified expenses. Here’s why you would want to make...
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Featured image for “How grandparents can help with college costs without hurting financial aid chances”
November 24, 2021

How grandparents can help with college costs without hurting financial aid chances

Upcoming changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will make it easier for grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents and anyone else outside the nuclear family to help with college costs without hurting eligibility for financial aid. Before explaining the change, it’s important to understand what the situation is right now. Currently, parents are supposed to share on...
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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...
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Featured image for “When should you appeal a financial aid letter?”
March 30, 2020

When should you appeal a financial aid letter?

When should you appeal a financial aid letter? I wanted to answer this question from a mother in Seattle because during this coronavirus pandemic, it’s relevant to many more families. If you haven’t received enough help to pay for college, please keep reading and good luck! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question: If you’ve had one financial setback and you think more are...
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Featured image for “Fearing the worst:  college closings”
March 27, 2020

Fearing the worst: college closings

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the higher-ed world hard. Colleges across the country shut down during a crucial time in the college admission season. It’s the spring when colleges heavily court high school seniors as they urge them to attend their schools in the fall. But this year’s accepted student days were cancelled. Campus visits dried up. Previous freshmen enrollment...
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Featured image for “Should you make a college deposit during the coronavirus pandemic?”
March 26, 2020

Should you make a college deposit during the coronavirus pandemic?

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I decided to answer a college question a day for stressed out parents and students. In today’s question, I am tackling the question of a dad from Los Angeles regarding making a college deposit during the coronavirus pandemic. I hope you find it helpful! Lynn O’Shaughnessy Question: Our original plan was to visit colleges after...
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Featured image for “College and My Father”
June 17, 2018

College and My Father

In honor of Father’s Day, I am rerunning a post that I wrote back in 2009 about my dad. In the main photo, he is watching one of his granddaughter’s play basketball with family including my daughter Caitlin with the broken arm. Lynn O’Shaughnessy Today I’d like to share a 65-year-old story that illustrates the power of a college degree,...
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Featured image for “Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors”
August 14, 2017

Colleges with the Best and Worst Professors

How do you know if the colleges that interest your teenager would provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators and other tools,  but it’s difficult to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment. Evaluating an Institution’s Professors To get a...
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Featured image for “Getting Inspired For the Holidays”
December 20, 2013

Getting Inspired For the Holidays

Want to take your mind off college for the holidays? I don’t blame you. Here’s my suggestion to do just that. Sit back and listen to some fascinating lectures from some of the most intriguing people on the planet. You can find more than 1,500 lectures by visiting the website of TED, a nonprofit which originally got its name by...
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Featured image for “A Need-Blind Admission Controversy”
October 23, 2013

A Need-Blind Admission Controversy

For years, George Washington University has told families that it observed a need-blind admission policy. Students were accepted regardless of their ability to pay.  GW’s student newspaper wrote an excellent article this week that revealed that the university’s stated need-blind admission policy was actually a need-aware practice. The university admitted that it put hundreds of students on its wait list...
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