The College Solutions Blog

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

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June 14, 2016

Professor Ratings: Some Surprising Results

How do you know if the colleges or universities that your child is looking at would provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators and other tools,  but it’s difficult to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment. Evaluating an Institution’s...
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July 18, 2013

Where Should This Teen Attend College? Part II

I was delighted with all the insightful comments that parents sent me this week after they read my last blog post entitled: Where Should This Teen Attend College? I’d urge you to read the post about a high-achieving, future valedictorian from North Carolina, who wants to attend the University of Virginia and has other elite public and private schools on...
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November 26, 2012

The Dangers of Being Taught by Part Timers

When your teenagers reach college, who will be teaching them? Chances are excellent that many of your children’s professors will be part-timers or full-time professors without any chance of getting tenured. The number of adjunct professors on college campuses has soared in the past decade. Today only thirty percent of college professors have tenure or are on the tenure track....
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October 19, 2012

Where to Find the Best College Professors

How do you know if the college or university that your child ultimately attends will provide him or her with an excellent education? You won’t. College pricing is inching closer to transparency thanks to net price calculators, but it’s largely impossible to form an educated opinion about the strength of a school’s learning environment beyond checking  an institution’s graduation rates....
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August 31, 2011

8 Ways to Pick Great College Classes

Before my son Ben left to start his sophomore year at Beloit College, we talked about the advice in a chapter of The Thinking Student’s Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education. I’ve mentioned before how much I love this book and I think every college-bound student should read it. Andrew Roberts, an assistant professor of political...
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June 28, 2011

Should Professors Work As Hard As We Do?

Should professors work as hard as many of the rest of us? If you compare the sort of work week and vacation time that many professors enjoy with other highly educated professionals, you could conclude that there are a lot of slackers hanging out in the Ivory Towers. I hope that professor productivity becomes a big issue with the published...
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February 21, 2011

Can We Blame Professors for College Slackers?

Last month, I wrote a couple of posts about this reality:  many students are graduating from college without absorbing much of an education. From a parent’s perspective that’s a lot of wasted money. And, of course, there are serious ramifications for students who have spent their college years living in a Bud Lite commercial. Here are the two posts: Do...
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December 2, 2010

50 Colleges With the Best and Worst Professors

Can anybody pinpoint which colleges have the best college professors and the worst professors? I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean people won’t try. Yesterday I wrote a college blog post for CBSMoneyWatch that made a stab at establishing which colleges and universities have the best and worst professors. Here are the controversial posts: 25 Colleges With the Best Professors...
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May 20, 2010

Avoiding Part-Time Professors

When you are researching colleges, be sure to ask this question: What percentage of professors are part time? At many schools, the percentage is going to be high.  I’ll explain why you should care in a minute, but first here are some startling statistics from the Association of American Colleges and Universities about tenured professors: Tenured college professors now represent...
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March 5, 2010

What's Happening to the Average GPA?

Are college students getting smarter? If you looked at the grades they are “earning,” you might assume the answer is yes.  The average GPA in college is 3.1. At private schools, the norm is a 3.3 GPA. In contrast, the typical college student had an average GPA of 2.52 in the 1950s. In nearly every decade, the GPA has inched...
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