The College Solutions Blog

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

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...
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June 28, 2012

Why College Costs Are Rising

My favorite higher-ed commentator is Kevin Carey. I’ve got him on my Google Alert because I always enjoy reading anything he writes. Carey recently became director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, which is a respected think tank in Washington, DC. You can learn more about him here. Carey has no interest in writing about college...
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May 15, 2012

The Last Colleges Left Standing

Today I am reprinting an article written by Lee Bierer, a friend of mine, who is a nationally syndicated columnist and independent college counselor in North Carolina. Lee writes the Charlotte Observer’s weekly Countdown to College column, which is syndicated nationally to McClatchy Newspapers. I asked Lee if I could reprint her column because it reinforces what I’ve been saying...
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May 1, 2012

Agonizing Before the Buzzer Rings

The time for agonizing is over. It’s college decision day which means the parents of high school seniors have little time left before they must put down their college deposits. As the deadline loomed, I heard from families, who were stressed about their decisions and, in some cases, how they were going to pay the tab. I thought I’d share...
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April 30, 2012

An Awesome College Admission Success Story

May 1 is college decision day. That’s the day each year when many colleges and universities across the country require high school seniors to make a final decision about where they will attend school in the fall. Seniors must notify their No. 1 pick by putting down a deposit to secure their spot in the next freshman class. I’d love...
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April 17, 2012

A Recruiter’s Take on Hiring Students from No-Name Schools

I’ve been receiving some fascinating comments lately that were triggered by recent posts that shared the agony of students who aimed for the Ivies and other elite schools and got spurned or who couldn’t afford the tab. If you missed the posts, here they are: Should You Blow the Budget on Cornell? The Odds of Getting Off a Wait List...
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April 12, 2012

Should You Blow the Budget for Cornell?

If you don’t have the cash, is an Ivy League school or any other university that the college rankings gods worship worth the cost? Affluent families have been asking me that lately. Yesterday afternoon, for instance, I got a call from a dad in Maryland, who wanted my opinion about the three schools on his daughter’s short list. The father...
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April 4, 2012

What’s Wrong With College Dream Lists

I recently took a look at The Princeton Review’s latest lists of America’s most popular dream colleges and I immediately saw a problem. Before I explain why, check out the dream colleges that teenagers and parents cited most often. Teenagers’ Dream Colleges Stanford University Harvard University New York University Princeton University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Yale University UCLA University of...
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March 15, 2012

Financial Aid Letters from Alabama, Ohio and Colorado

State universities are often the cheapest places to obtain a bachelor’s degree, but not always. In fact, for a smart student who needs financial aid, expensive private schools will sometimes be more affordable. Out here in California, a story that generated a lot of attention recently carried a variation of this headline: Believe It: Harvard Cheaper Than Cal State.  Of...
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January 11, 2012

California Teen Getting Grief for Liking Southern Universities

I received an email yesterday from a mom in Southern California, whose daughter Nicole is getting grief about the Southern universities that she has applied to.  Karen’s email raises a lot of interesting issues including preconceived notions about schools, the tendency of some parent(s) to push kids to attend their alma mater or state schools and a lack of understanding...
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