About Lynn

Meet Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Lynn O’Shaughnessy (that’s me!) is a nationally recognized college expert, who is a higher-ed journalist, speaker and educator.

My chief goal is to help families with teenagers become smart college shoppers as they search for schools.

I also focus on educating high school counselors, college consultants and financial advisors, who need to understand how they can assist families with evaluating their choices and bringing their college costs down.

College is often the second biggest expense in a family’s life, but high school counselors and consultants usually don’t understand how to make college more affordable and neither do financial advisers.

Best-Selling Author/Journalist

I am the author of an Amazon bestseller: The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.  I write about college at my own popular blog, The College Solution, which attracts roughly 1 million visitors a year.

Course Instructor

I  offer an online course  – The College Cost Lab – for parents, high school counselors and college consultants that provides a blueprint for how families can make college more affordable.  The courses includes written lessons, videos, discussion boards, handouts and webinar.

I also created a college-planning program for financial professionals for Horsesmouth, a New York firm that helps financial advisors become better at their jobs.  lab

Lynn O'Shaugnessy


I give popular presentations about college strategies for schools,  conferences, such as the Financial Planning Association annual conference ,and companies.

Media Contributor

A former Los Angeles Times reporter, I have written and/or been interviewed about college issues for such national outlets as The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Consumer Reports, National Public Radio, USA Today, Money Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, WealthManagement.com, Newsweek, Associated Press, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Fox Business News and Reuters. For six years, I was the college columnist for CBS Moneywatch.

Financial Journalist

Prior to focusing on college issues, I was a veteran financial journalist who wrote for many consumer and financial industry publications such as BusinessWeek, Forbes, Money and Bloomberg publications since the 1990’s. I wrote three financial books, The Unofficial Guide to Investing (MacMillan), as well as Retirement Bible and Investing Bible (John Wiley & Sons). In addition, I ghost wrote two additional financial books, including one New York Times bestseller. 

Where Lynn attended college

I am a proud native of St. Louis. I started college 1 1/2 blocks away from my house at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Thanks to the encouragement from a professor at UMSL, I switched my major from history to journalism and transferred to the University of Missouri in Columbia, where I graduated from the nation’s oldest journalism school. One of my greatest professional joys was giving the commencement speech at the J School.

A job offer from the Los Angeles Times got me out to West Coast and I’ve lived the last 25 years in San Diego.

Mom of two college graduates

My son Ben graduated from Beloit College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in studio art in 2014. Ben graduated in June 2015 with his master’s degree in education from the Denver Teacher Residency program and is teaching math in a high school in the Denver Public School system.

My daughter Caitlin graduated from Juniata College in 2011 with a degree in Spanish and entrepreneurship and is the marketing director of a toy company in San Diego.

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