Thanksgiving Blessings


Hi everyone – I will be launching a six-week, online course called Cutting the Cost of College beginning Feb. 12. Please scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn more and email me at if you want further notifications! Lynn O’Shaughnessy

I have much to be grateful for during this time of thanksgiving and one of my best gifts this year is you.

I appreciate you and every other person who found their way to my blog this year. And hundreds of thousands of you did.

It makes me happy to know that, in my own small way, I’m helping families navigate what can be an unnecessarily complicated college admission process.

I also appreciate all of you who have spread the word about my blog!

I thought I’d take a moment to update for those of you who have been following me and my children’s progress through college and beyond.


We wish Ben could have been with us for Thanksgiving, but it’s too far of a trek to fly from Beloit College. I am grateful that Ben has flourished in college and is scheduled to graduate on time in May with a degree in mathematics and a minor in studio art.

This is a photo of Ben with his freshman advisor Marion Field Fass, who took all the seniors who were in her freshmen seminar four years ago to dinner earlier this month. I’m grateful that Ben crossed paths with so many caring professors, which, of course, is one the perks of attending a liberal arts college.


Ben has wanted to be a high school math teacher for several years, which is why he has been applying this semester to teacher residency programs. Marion (an award-winning professor) helped Ben out by writing recommendations for his residency applications and she also gave Ben pointers when he asked her to critique a math lesson on infinity that he created. Ben had to give the mini math lesson during a teacher residency try-out in Denver earlier this month that was hosted by the Denver School District and the University of Denver. Ben will be ecstatic if he gets accepted. (UPDATE: Ben got into the program and he is thrilled!)

Here’s a picture of Ben in his dorm room and his dad Bruce during a visit this fall to Beloit:



Caitlin continues to thrive at Rokenbok, the construction toy company, where she’s been working since she graduated from Juniata College in 2011. (Coincidentally, I used to buy Ben these awesome construction sets when he was little.)

Caitlin has been moving up the ladder at this boutique toy company and she’s now Rokenbok’s marketing manager. (Not bad for one of those widely scorned liberal arts graduates. She didn’t take any marketing classes!) She also remains totally committed to playing soccer (which is huge in San Diego) and creating and selling her art, which has included a successful Kickstarter project to sell iPhone cases that she designed.

Below is a photo of Caitlin and I after we made holiday wreaths last week:


Here’s a picture I like of Caitlin when she went snorkeling in the ocean not long ago with friends and Garibaldis.



After a health scare a couple of years ago, my husband Bruce is now running in half marathons. While he spent most of his adult life as a newspaper reporter (that’s how we met 33 years ago at the Kansas City Times), he just celebrated his fifth anniversary as the San Diego editor of Xconomy, a new media start-up that covers technology innovation.  Bruce is a very modest person, but I suspect that he is the most highly respected journalist in San Diego.  Networking is not my strong suit so I am particularly in awe of Bruce’s networking abilities, which my daughter Caitlin is trying hard to emulate.


To relax, Bruce buys blocks of redwood from Home Depot and turns them into these amazing painted trout. His appreciation for trout comes from growing up in Denver and spending as much time as possible in his beloved Rocky Mountains.



I continue to be amazed at just how much I don’t know about the higher-ed world so it’s a good thing that I thoroughly enjoy researching anything that I’m interested in. I do admit that being immersed in this niche was more fun when my children were looking at colleges. I will never forget my last college tour with Ben. I was sitting in the admission office at Lawrence University, the day before we flew back to San Diego, thinking how sad it was that the college road trips with my children were over.

To keep things interesting, I’ve spent months working on creating an online class for parents and who want to learn more about how to cut their college costs. I’ll be rolling that out with my friend Michelle Kretzschmar at DIY College Rankings next year.  See below:

Do You Want to Shrink the Cost of College?

Help is on the way!scissors

Michelle Kretzschmar of Do It Yourself College Rankings and I have been working hard on developing an online class for parents  that will explain how to make college more affordable. We have designed this six-week course to help make you an empowered consumer as you navigate your child’s college choices.

This class will also be extremely valuable for high school counselors and independent college consultants, who want to help their families find generous schools.

Our class starts Feb. 12 and we will be sharing more details soon. If you are interested in learning more about the class, please email me ( and I will put you on the notification list.

We hope to see you in February!






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  1. Yes, I thank you so much, also. Your words are helpful common sense in a sea of hype. As I type, we are waiting for an Early Admission decision from Beloit. Fingers crossed, especially for merit money. We were so impressed with our visit.

    1. Thanks so much for your note! I hope your child gets into Beloit and has as good an experience there as my son Ben!

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  2. I’m thankful for the wealth of information that you share, Lynn! It must be so wild to see how those little kids have grown up to be fine young adults. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks Sona! I just saw your comment. It’s smart that you have started researching college issues early!

      Lynn O.

  3. Thanks so much for the blog, Lynn! I check in on it frequently and have found it to be so helpful as our thoughts have evolved regarding college planning for our children. I’ve recommended it to several friends, as I enjoy the breath of fresh air it injects into the college planning scene! Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Ann for spending time on my blog and recommending it to others. I am glad you are finding it helpful! Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Lynn O.

  4. Dear Lynn,
    Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Your advice has been invaluable, and knowing that you have been through the process as well makes me feel that we’re all in the same boat. Thankfully, some of us have listened and learned from you. And with any luck we will watch our own children find their way and their passions, as Ben and Caitlin have.