Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
July 9, 2012
6 College Essay Topics
If you (or your child) is a rising senior, now is a good time to get started on the dreaded college essay. If you’re applying to a Common Application school – and there are now nearly 500 colleges and universities that use this form – you will have six college essay choices. If it’s any consolation, schools don’t want a...
October 26, 2011
Can a Guinea Pig Be In a College Essay?
Last night my nephew Matt sent me his college essay to check out. We had talked a couple of weeks ago about what might make a compelling topic. I told Matt that he needed to write an essay that conveyed in vivid detail what kind of teenager he is. You can write a college essay that’s humorous, reflective, inspiring…it doesn’t...
August 2, 2011
5 Things High School Seniors Should Be Doing Now
If you are a rising high school senior, you probably thought you had all summer to get prepared for the upcoming college admission frenzy. But guess what? You’re running out of time. To avoid the time crunch in the fall, here are five things you can do now: 1. Examine school prices. I think it’s reckless to apply to a...
June 13, 2011
Winning College Admission Essays
Summer is a great time to write those dreaded college admission essays. Teenagers have more time to devote to college essays, but a surplus of time won’t necessarily make an admission essay better. While students will find plenty of advice about how to write a college essay, here is one of my favorite tips: Don’t bore the admission readers with...
June 14, 2010
No. 1 Tip for Writing a Great Admission Essay
Hey, how about starting your college admission essay today? Are any parents out there already bugging their soon-to-be high school seniors to start writing their college admission essay? I realize this is going to be a hard sell with teenagers, but summer is the perfect time to write the admission essay. So here’s my No. 1 tip for writing a...
November 11, 2009
Don't Write Like a College Professor
Do you write like a college professor? If you do, rid yourself of the habit. College graduates who write like their college professors could find their job search even harder. The business world favors employees who can write simple, declarative sentences. In contrast, college professors are masters at obfuscation. They write stilted prose. They embrace words with five or six...
October 9, 2009
Writing a Winning College Essay
The seniors at my son’s high school are in a panic. They can’t procrastinate any longer. They have to write their dreaded college essay. A lot of college essays fail because students are so afraid of messing up. It’s hard for teenagers to be genuine when they worry about alienating admission officers. I had the opportunity yesterday to shares some...
October 4, 2009
College Blog Roundup: University Crisis, High School Applications, Dumbest Generation
For all my faithful visitors, I want to let you know that I’m trying to eliminate all the kinks on my newly remodeled blog. So please be patient! As always, here is my latest weekend round up of my college blog posts that I wrote for CBSMoneyWatch.com. Guess Who the Dumbest Generation Is Are teenagers dumber because they spend so...
August 27, 2009
A College Game Plan for High School Seniors
The other day I brought up the “E” word with my son. Ben is about to start his senior year in high school and he needs to begin thinking about the college admission essay that he’s going to write. Ben’s reaction was typical of a lot of seniors: He groaned. Undeterred, I told him that he really needed to start...
July 16, 2009
Write That College Essay Now!
A strange thing happened to me last night. I had started a post about dealing this summer with one of the real pains of the college application process – the college essay. But then I got distracted and walked out of my office. I wandered out to the patio to talk to my son’s girlfriend about what she was doing...