The College Solutions Blog

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

Liberal Arts College
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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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April 2, 2012

Visiting Ben at Beloit College

My husband Bruce and I visited Beloit College over the weekend to attend a biannual parent committee meeting and – of course – we were excited to see Ben, who is finishing up his sophomore year. When you live in San Diego, it’s hard to pinpoint when spring arrives since it is green year round. Actually, more greenish/brownish. At Ben’s...
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January 30, 2012

Getting A College Education for Free – Really!

I wrote a post for my CBS MoneyWatch college blog on Friday that blew out Antioch College’s server. How did I do that? Actually, it wasn’t me. I was just the messenger for the liberal arts college that had a dramatic announcement to make. For the next three years, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH, is offering all its incoming...
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April 15, 2011

8 Tips for Taking the College Plunge

It’s decision time for high school seniors who typically have until May 1 to decide where they’re going to attend college in the fall. Recognizing it’s crunch time, someone at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, sent me a list of eight tips that Suzanne Holland, an ethics and religion professor at the liberal arts college, compiled. Most...
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October 24, 2010

Visiting My Son in College

When I dropped my son Ben off at Beloit College (WI) in mid August, I left with a lot of questions. Would he adjust well to college? Could he handle his classes? Would he make friends?  And would he tell his mom or dad if the answers to any or all of the preceding questions were  “no.” The first positive...
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September 8, 2010

Finding the Success Rate of Applying Early Decision

Should you apply early decision? I got an email last night from a psychologist who asked if his daughter should apply early decision to The College of New Jersey, which is a public liberal arts college. Last month, I wrote about the early decision dilemma that a mom from Minnesota was facing regarding her daughter’s desire to apply early decision...
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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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August 15, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Ben

Saturday evening I said goodbye to my son Ben, who officially started his four years at Beloit College. I am grateful that the send-off was better than the one that Scott Bierman, the president of Beloit College, experienced years ago when he dropped his second daughter off at Kenyon College. As the drop-off day wore on, Bierman told a gathering...
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July 29, 2010

What Size is a Small College?

This week, I’ve been looking at the size of colleges and explaining why size matters. It drives me nuts that students routinely pick schools by size without understanding the educational ramifications of their choices. Here are my three previous posts on this subject: My Pet Peeve: Picking Colleges By Size Research Universities: What You Need to Ask What’s a Medium-Sized...
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July 25, 2010

My Pet Peeve: Picking Colleges By Size

Here’s one of my biggest pet peeves about how teenagers look for colleges: When teenagers put together a list of potential colleges, a campus size requirement is often way up at the top of their criteria. I want to go to a big school. I don’t want to go to small school. I’m interested in a medium-sized school. Hardly anyone...
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