Archive | Admission practices

Don’t Confuse College Applications with a Lottery

High-achieving students who apply every year to the Ivies and other elites schools have heard the grim statistics about how ridiculously hard it is to get into these schools. That reality, however, doesn’t deter students from applying even though the chances for most smart students is ZERO percent. Ambitious teenagers aiming to attend the nearly […]

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Should I Apply Early Decision?

This is the time of year when high school seniors aiming for prestigious colleges and universities must decide if they will apply early decision. When students apply early decision, they promise that they will attend if the institution accepts them. A student accepted via early decision must withdraw all other college applications. Early Decision Gamble […]

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Don’t Pay $280,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree

I wrote this post last year, but wanted to share it again because the messages are equally relevant today!  Lynn O’Shaughnessy Plenty of parents, who enroll in my online course – The College Cost Lab –  are affluent and highly educated. Quite a few of these moms and dads would like to see their children […]

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Realities of National Merit Scholarships

This is the time of year when parents of teenagers, who are excellent test takers,  start thinking about National Merit Scholarships. Next month, high school juniors will be taking the PSAT, which is a requirement to qualify for National Merit honors. Meanwhile, the National Merit Semifinalist score cut offs for high school seniors who took […]

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Stunned at College Rejections

I’ve been getting emails from parents, who are bitter that their bright teenagers have been getting rejection letters from elite colleges and universities. What follows are two email excerpts. From a dad named Jeff: My son is his high school’s valedictorian. He scored 35 on the ACT and had straight A’s all four years at […]

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How To Decipher a Financial Aid Letter

Financial aid awards are often confusing. I believe many colleges and universities intentionally make financial aid awards hard to decipher to trick families into thinking that their institutions are being generous even when they aren’t. Obfuscation is an effective way to keep parents off balance. Since we are heading into the season when students will […]

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Why the Odds Are Terrible

Note: I wrote this post last year, but it’s just as relevant today. Lynn O’Shaughnessy High-achieving students who apply every year to the Ivies and other elites schools have heard the grim statistics about how ridiculously hard it is to get into these schools. That reality, however, doesn’t deter students from applying even though the […]

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