The College Solutions Blog

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

Beloit College
Featured image for “CollegeData:  Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships”
July 11, 2022

CollegeData:  Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships

How do you research financial aid and merit scholarships that a student might get at individual colleges and universities? With college sticker prices continuing to climb, it’s an important question to ask because the financial aid and merit award policies at schools will vary widely. Not knowing how to research the generosity or stinginess of individual colleges can cost you...
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May 26, 2015

Colleges vs. Universities: Which Are Bargains?

Here’s a little known but excellent way to cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree: Attend a college rather than a research university. Nearly all colleges provide discounts off their sticker prices versus research universities, which are far less likely to give families a price break. In the chart below that I pulled from the latest tuition discount study from...
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July 14, 2014

Where to Find the Best College Professors

How do you know if the college or university that your child ultimately attends will provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators, but it’s largely impossible to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment beyond checking  an institution’s graduation rates....
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May 21, 2014

My Son Graduates From College

My son Ben graduated from Beloit College on Sunday. With 277 other seniors, Ben received his diploma on a beautiful spring day at this liberal arts college in Beloit, WI, which he considered his home for four years. This native San Diegan left nearly four years ago to move to a state where he had no connections, no relatives, no...
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November 29, 2013

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...
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November 8, 2013

Looking For Great College Bargains

Excuse me if this sounds ridiculously elementary, but here goes: One way to cut your college costs is to look for schools with lower sticker prices. My nephew Matt attends Westminster College in Fulton Mo, a liberal arts college, where the tuition and room/board is $30,490. Ninety eight percent of the students at Westminster don’t pay full price. The average...
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August 28, 2013

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of College

I created a slideshow for my college blog at CBS MoneyWatch today that shares 10 tips for writing a winning college essay. Minerva, my eight-year-old golden retriever, illustrates Tip. No. 3. Please check it out! LO I wrote the following post in August, 2011, but with college students heading back to school, I decided it was well worth running again....
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April 15, 2013

A Visit to Beloit College

I decided to share a few photos that I took during my weekend trip to Beloit College. My husband and I hadn’t seen our son, Ben, who is finishing up his junior year, since the Christmas break. I apologize in advance for sharing family photos! Our excuse for schlepping to Beloit was to attend the college’s biannual parents committee that...
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January 30, 2013

Another Look at Merit Scholarships

In my last post, a mom (Rebecca) expressed her frustration with merit scholarship policies. Many parents responded, which I appreciate. It’s clearly an issue that parents like to vent about. If you missed the post, I’d urge you to read it: Are Merit Scholarships Are Fair? I have been in a position similar to what Rebecca described. When my daughter...
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August 24, 2012

6 Great Ways to Pick College Classes

I wrote the following post last August, but with college students heading back to school, I decided it was worthwhile to run it again. LO Before my son Ben left to start his sophomore year at Beloit College, we talked about the advice in a chapter of The Thinking Student’s Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education....
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