Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
October 7, 2008
The Beauty of Learning Communities
I promised in my last blog that I would devote my next one to learning communities. So I called my nephew Kevin O’Shaughnessy tonight before the presidential debate got started. I wanted to talk to Kevin, who is a freshman at the University of Missouri, about his learning community. Mizzou, as well as an increasing number of schools across the...
September 29, 2008
The Four-Year Graduation Rate Scandal
Whenever I talk to other parents about college, there’s one higher-ed statistic that almost always makes them gasp in disbelief: The four-year graduation rates at state universities. Most parents have no clue about how few students graduate from state universities in the traditional eight semesters. According to UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, only 28% of students at public institutions earn...
September 13, 2008
College & Disneyland
For the last three days, I’ve been attending the 100th anniversary of the journalism school at the University of Missouri. My alma mater. The most amazing thing that I saw while I was on campus for the first time in 28 years didn’t occur at the journalism school though it was bustling with J School graduates. Attendees during the celebration...
September 6, 2008
Public Universities That Are Addicted to Out-of-State Students
I read a story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the flood of students from the Northeast who have been heading west to attend Indiana University. Among Indiana’s newest crop of freshmen, there are roughly 260 kids from the New York City area alone. With the snootiest schools on the East Coast continuing to reject nearly all comers, more...
July 31, 2008
One in 5 College Students Transfer
A new report from the federal National Center for Education Statistics documents there are more transfer students at four-year colleges than you’d think. Nearly one in five students transfer from one four-year college to another. When my daughter’s friends came home from their freshmen year in college this summer, most of them were happy campers. The colleges and universities these...
July 6, 2008
Teaching Assistants You Can't Understand
Undergraduates have complained for decades about their teaching assistants. If you attend a university, chances are excellent that you will have at least some classes where a graduate student will serve as the teacher. TA’s are cheap and when they are teaching introductory courses, the professors don’t have to do it. And tenured professors love shirking that responsibility. This is...
June 16, 2008
Getting an Academic Bargain Across State Lines
If you want to attend a public university outside your state, the price tag can often be outrageously high. It’s easy to understand why. States are usually only interested in holding down the costs for their own residents. You might, however, be able to capture a higher-ed bargain if your state maintains a reciprocal agreement with its neighbors. States commonly...
April 12, 2008
Learning in a Crowd
Last week, I promised that I’d post a portion of my upcoming book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, that focuses on how to make attending a large public university a more intimate learning experience. Since 84% of Californian students attend state public schools, I thought it was worth sharing....
April 6, 2008
Californians and College-One More Thought
I just wanted to share the comment that I sent a father, who reacted favorably to my latest post, Getting Into College in California. To see what he said, just click on “1 Comment” below that post. Here’s my response to Bill: I couldn’t agree with you more. If Californians would just entertain the possibility of looking at wonderful colleges...
April 4, 2008
Getting Into College in California
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you may not have heard the good news yet. The number of high school graduates, which has been growing every year, is peaking this spring. The numbers will continue to shrink until about 2015. Of course, this won’t seem like much of a consolation if you’ve read the annual media dispatches that bemoan...