The College Solutions Blog

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

College rankings
May 3, 2012

The Realities of Merit Scholarships

I am attending something called the Super ACAC conference this week in Reno, NV. It’s a rare combined meeting of three related organizations that cover California, the Pacific Northwest and much of the rest of the western United States. College admission administrators, high school counselors and independent college consultants are attending the conference. On my Facebook page on Monday, I...
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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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April 3, 2012

Getting Stiffed by Harvard

I received an email from a mom over the weekend who was unhappy that her daughter, who beat the odds and got into an Ivy League school, didn’t receive a scholarship from the institution. Here is her note: Our annual household income is more than $750,000 –my daughter is admitted to Harvard – does that mean we have to pay...
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February 14, 2012

Finding Hidden Gems for Your College List

Yesterday I described how you can use College Results Online to help you generate a promising list of college. If you missed it, here it is: Getting Ideas For a College List Here’s another idea:  Head to The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which is the think tank that generates Forbes magazine’s annual college rankings. On the center’s site...
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February 10, 2012

What the Super Bowl Can Tell Us About College Rankings

Today I’m sharing with you a great post from Michelle Kretzschmar, who writes a college blog that focuses on using data to create your own college rankings:  DIYCollegeRankings. I hope you read it and also visit her blog. Football and US News Rankings Like more than 100 million other Americans, I watched the Super Bowl. I always like the part...
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February 3, 2012

How College Rankings Can Hurt You

Yesterday, in writing about the latest college rankings scandal on my college blog, I mentioned that the institutional pursuit of college rankings glory, has hurt millions of students in ways they can’t even imagine. Today I want to elaborate on that observation. If you missed yesterday’s post, here it is: Colleges and Universities That Cheat Millions of students are adversely...
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February 2, 2012

Colleges and Universities That Cheat

Claremont McKenna College recently announced that it had been sending inflated SAT scores to US News since 2005. According to news accounts, the vice president and dean of admissions admitted inflating the scores and resigned. The college’s critical reading scores were inflated by an average of 17 points and the math scores were bumped up by an average of 10.5...
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October 17, 2011

Evaluating Colleges the Moneyball Way

Should colleges be evaluated more like baseball players? I’m raising this question today because the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series! I had the good fortune of growing up in the 1960s in St. Louis when the Cardinals made it to the World Series three times. Among my fondest childhood memories was being able to watch the...
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September 24, 2011

The Man Behind the College Rankings

I’ve been in New Orleans this week attending the annual conference of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. At the conference I’ve been doing short interviews with college experts whom I think you’ll enjoy hearing from. I’m going to start out today with an interview that I conducted with Robert Morse, who is the man behind US News &...
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September 22, 2011

Attending a University Spurned by the Rankings

Last week US News & World Report unveiled its 2012 college rankings to the usual fanfare. What typically gets overlooked during the annual rankings season are the schools that aren’t media darlings. During last year’s ranking season, I devoted a post to these overlooked schools. I want to share what I wrote again because I think it is helpful to...
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