The College Solutions Blog

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

Paula Bishop
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August 7, 2014

Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances?

Have you given any thought to how home equity might hurt your child’s chances for financial aid? Luckily, at most state and private colleges and universities, the equity in your primary home is a non-issue. That’s because most schools only require families to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) when applying for financial aid, which doesn’t even...
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September 23, 2013

Random Thoughts from a College Conference

I was in Toronto for the past several days attending the annual monster conference of the National Association for College Admission Counselors. I was a presenter with a couple of my friends – Paula Bishop and Cyndy McDonald – at a pre-conference, which I hope was beneficial for those who attended. I can’t recall ever sharing the microphone with anybody...
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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 8, 2012

What’s Missing From This Financial Aid Letter?

Many financial aid letters  — heck almost all of them —  are confusing. I’ve always wondered why award letters are so difficult to understand. Perhaps the staffers generating these letters in the bowels of universities have been conversing in financial-aid speak for so long that they have lost their ability to communicate in standard English. Of course, the cynical explanation...
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December 30, 2011

Avoiding 10 Common FAFSA Mistakes

FAFSA season begins on Sunday. New Year’s Day is always the first day that parents can file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While it’s been simplified in recent years, the FAFSA still isn’t what I’d call a user friendly document and it’s easy to make mistakes. Paula Bishop, a CPA friend of mine in Bellevue, WA., who fills...
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December 8, 2010

How Will My Home Equity Impact Financial Aid?

I’ve been getting emails about home equity and financial aid. Consequently, I decided to run a college blog post that I wrote last year on the topic: Before the housing bubble burst, plenty of parents worried that their home equity was going to scotch any chance of receiving college financial aid. Even in this environment, it’s still going to be...
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