The College Solutions Blog

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

net price calculator
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February 14, 2020

Why you need to use college net price calculators

Before you let your teenager apply to colleges, you need to use each college’s net price calculator. Unless money is no object and you can afford to pay full price for any colleges, turning to net price calculators is critical. If you don’t know what these calculators are – and most parents don’t – here are 10 things you need...
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April 6, 2019

Elite Colleges, Entitled Teens and Guilted Parents

The college admission season is winding down at this time of year except for this part: Parents are stressing about how they’re going to pay for the college that their children want to attend. Spring is when I hear from parents who are being guilted by their children to spend dangerously more than they should for a brand name research...
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September 28, 2016

Why You MUST Use Net Price Calculators!

Here is what typically happens during college admission season: Students apply to whatever colleges they want without having any clue about whether these schools will give them grants and/or scholarships. Parents are often nervously okay with their children disregarding price when finalizing their lists. The attitude of these moms and dads can be summed up this way:  Go ahead and...
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November 10, 2014

Why You MUST Use Net Price Calculators!

If your child is in the midst of applying to colleges, do you have an excellent idea of what each school on your child’s list will cost you? If  you don’t, I strongly suggest that you temporarily halt the admission process and find out. Traditionally, parents couldn’t know what any college was going to cost until their child received his...
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September 2, 2014

Applying to College Early Decision

This is the time of year when high school seniors aiming for prestigious colleges and universities contemplate applying Early Decision. When students apply early decision, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. Students must make this commitment before they know what kind of financial aid or merit awards the school might provide. Because students are supposed...
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October 15, 2012

Taking a Chance on an Early Decision

I’m sharing an email that I received from an anxious dad in North Carolina, who asked me for advice about an early decision application.  I ran this post last year, but it will be just as helpful today for those contemplating applying to colleges via early decision. Here is what the dad wrote: Dilemma from a Dad from North Carolina...
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October 5, 2012

Net Price Calculator Hanky Panky

I’d love to hear from parents who have tried using the net price calculators that nearly every college and university must post on their websites. Have you had good experiences or have the net price calculators tried to trick you into believing that a school is going to be affordable? I’ll mention why I am asking in a minute. First...
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August 15, 2012

Case Study: What 66 Schools Would Cost This Family

As I’ve said many times, students shouldn’t be applying to colleges unless they have a good idea of what those institutions will cost them. It’s easy to obtain these formerly elusive cost figures now that schools have installed net price calculators on their web sites. Today I’m sharing the results from a mom (Lynne) who has used the net price...
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July 12, 2012

A Wealthy Mom’s College Questions

I am sharing an email that I got this week from a wealthy single mom, who is anticipating her college costs for her twins. I comment on her situation below and I’d love to hear from you too. If you have any advice, please share it in the comment box below. Mom’s Email: Lynn, I just finished your new book, ...
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July 3, 2012

Hope for the 3.4 GPA Student!

Yesterday I wrote a post about a teenager with a 3.4 GPA who failed to capture a scholarship from any of the schools where he applied. This is hard to do when you consider that two-thirds of college student don’t pay the sticker price for college. If you missed yesterday’s post, here it is:  Getting Stiffed by Colleges After reading...
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