The College Solutions Blog

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

Columbia University
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July 16, 2013

Where Should This Teen Attend College?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from parents this month and I’ll share some of them with you in posts this summer. I’m starting with an email from a mom from North Carolina whose son has his heart set on the sort of schools that top students tend to dream about. If you have some suggestions for this teenager,...
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September 5, 2012

Answering the College Major Question

In my last post, I shared a question that Mike, a frequent college blog visitor, asked. Mike’s daughter is struggling with this college application question: Why do you want to attend this college? If you missed the post here it is:  A Puzzling College Application Question Today I wanted to focus on the second college application question that is perplexing...
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March 9, 2012

Are These Financial Aid Letters Misleading?

If you didn’t see my college blog post from yesterday, I’d urge you to take a peek. I wrote about misleading financial aid awards, which can cause parents to think that a school is going to be more affordable than it really is. Here is the post: What’s Missing From This Financial Aid Letter? Today I want to offer three...
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March 5, 2012

Are the Professors Any Good?

Have you ever taken a look at I’m assuming that you haven’t. It never occurred to me to head to the extremely popular site when my two kids were checking out colleges, but it might be worth a look. At RateMyProfessors, you’ll find more than 13 million student comments and ratings of professors at colleges and universities across the...
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November 8, 2011

Playing Hide and Seek With Net Price Calculators

Are colleges and universities playing hide and seek with their net price calculators? As I’ve mentioned in the previous posts below, net price calculators can be extremely valuable tools for families wondering what a specific college will cost their families. I don’t think anyone should be applying to schools unless they have used these college cost calculators in advance. College...
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July 25, 2011

Is Graduate School Worth the Money?

Is it worth it to get a graduate degree? A lot of young college grads are asking that question as they face lousy job prospects. Telling people that you work as a barista doesn’t seem nearly as satisfying as mentioning that you are heading off to graduate school. I wrote a post about the grad school decision earlier this month:...
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December 13, 2010

What Ivy League Professors Don't Want You to Know

Ivy League schools always hog the top spots in the college rankings, but are Ivy League professors the best teachers? Heck no. I’ve written a college blog post for CBS MoneyWatch that reveals that the undergrads who attend Ivy League schools aren’t nearly as happy with their teachers as you might expect. I drew that conclusion after looking at the...
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September 7, 2010

A Hidden Jewel: 3-2 Engineering Degree Programs

My family lives in California where roughly 84 percent of the state’s college-bound students enroll in public colleges and universities here. With such a strong tradition of students staying put for college, my son Ben wasn’t surprised at the reaction he routinely received this spring when students at his high school in San Diego asked him this question: “Where are...
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