The College Solutions Blog

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

New York University
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July 24, 2013

Beware of the College Bait and Switch

I heard this week from a father from Southern California whose son will soon be starting his sophomore year at American University in Washington DC. He has a daughter who is also interested in attending college on the East Coast. Here is part of his email: My son loves AU which fits his interest in politics and government, but as...
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April 26, 2013

Part II: College Prestige vs. Cost

Should you attend a prestigious university if it’s going to cost a crazy amount of money or attend a state university? The post that I wrote this week addressing this question – Deciding Between College Prestige and Cost – generated a lot of discussion so I decided to take one more stab at the topic before May 1. That’s the...
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April 22, 2013

Deciding Between College Prestige and Cost

Is it worth it to attend an expensive private university with a recognizable brand name if you have to borrow heavily? That was a question that a New York Times reporter tackled in an article on Saturday entitled  Measuring College Prestige vs. Cost of Enrollment. I wasn’t surprised that the article, which included a few observations from me, was the...
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August 29, 2012

A New Tool to Explore Colleges

I’m always excited when I run across a new resource to help families research colleges. Today I’m happy to share a valuable one from The Chronicle of Higher Education. College Completion is a microsite within the website of the higher-ed trade publication. I mentioned the tool briefly in this recent college blog post: 12 Ways to Find and Research Colleges....
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June 28, 2012

Why College Costs Are Rising

My favorite higher-ed commentator is Kevin Carey. I’ve got him on my Google Alert because I always enjoy reading anything he writes. Carey recently became director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, which is a respected think tank in Washington, DC. You can learn more about him here. Carey has no interest in writing about college...
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September 27, 2011

Are Colleges As Generous to Upper Classmen?

When families look at financial aid packages they often assume that a school’s financial aid support will remain the same for four years. That, however, is a dangerous assumption to make. The financial support that some colleges and universities give students will shrink after their freshmen year. Bait and Switch? Why would this happen? I can’t speak for schools that...
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April 28, 2011

2 Colleges: Which One Is Stingy?

How do you know if a school is going to be generous to your child? Here’s a quick answer:  Check the numbers. Or as I like to say, check the financial fingerprint of any school that’s on your teenager’s list. There are many ways to determine whether a school is generous or not, but today I’m going to focus on...
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January 8, 2011

Do You Need to Go to Film School?

If you want to get into the movie industry, do you need to go to film school? That’s what I was wondering after two stressed dads, within the space a few days, emailed me about how they are going to pay for their teenagers’ dreams to attend a film school. Film schools tend to be located in extremely expensive universities...
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May 30, 2010

New York University: Tale of 2 Students

Today I’m going to use New York University as a punching bag. I’m going to use NYU to illustrate how too many well-meaning families muddle through the college process and end up looking for the most highly ranked colleges without considering the price. Some of these families end up like Cortney Munna, a 26-year-old woman, who is facing nearly $100,000...
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