Your BLUEPRINT . . . For Finding the Right College at the Right Price . . . right now . . .

A Step-By-Step Blueprint That Will Turn YOU into a Confident and Smart College Consumer.

Does this sound familiar to you...

  • You’re worried about the price of the colleges that excite your teenager.  
  • You have no idea how colleges decide who gets aid and who get merit scholarships. 
  • You wonder which universities would be most generous to your child. 
  • You’re not sure how to find colleges where your teenager would thrive.  
  • You wish someone would just hand you a college road map!! 

Your Own College Solution

If you can relate to all those stressful feelings, HOLD ON . . . 

You can find your college answers—and that road map that you desperately want—by enrolling in . . .

The College Cost Lab with Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Lynn (that’s me) is a nationally recognized higher-ed speaker, journalist and educator. My No. 1 goal is to empower families to make the best college decisions. Roughly 1,000,000 parents, high school counselors and college consultants visit my site (The College Solution) every year. A veteran financial journalist and Los Angeles Times reporter, I have devoted more than a decade to uncovering the insider secrets to help families beat back college prices by becoming the smartest college shoppers. The strategies worked for my two children, who attracted hundreds of thousands of merit scholarships and graduated with no debt, and they can work for yours! I've written or been interviewed on college topics for such national publications as:

The College Cost Lab is One-of-a-Kind Training

The online course provides step-by-step instructions on how to afford colleges and find good schools. Many of the parents who take this course are affluent and will not qualify for financial aid. These parents will discover a variety of ways to reduce their costs including. The course is also loaded with advice for parents who are seeking need-based aid. 

Sampling of What's Inside

Here is a small sampling of what you’ll discover in The College Cost Lab:

  • A 17-step blueprint to shrink what you pay for your child’s bachelor’s degree.  
  • An eight-step road map to finding colleges and universities. 
  • The identity of 70 of the nation’s most generous colleges and universities. 
  • The types of schools that are most likely to award students merit scholarships. 
  • The four main sources of college money and the BIG ONE that is worth pursuing the most aggressively.

You've Got Two Choices

The College Cost Lab offers you the following two options:

1. The College Cost Lab, The Works  

Like its name suggests, The College Cost Lab The Works includes everything I offer in the course. It’s for parents who want to be able to access all the course material and also personally ask me questions and access my interactive webinars.

  • 27 Lessons
  • 11 Resource guides
  • 15 Videos
  • 7 Slide Decks
  • 3 Worksheets/checklists
  • Lifetime access to the course materials
  • 5 Interactive, live webinars, and recordings
  • 2 months to personally ask me questions in the classroom

2. The College Cost Lab, DIY 

The College Cost Lab DIY is designed for self-starters. People in this version of the course get all the materials so they can run with it. They won't direct access to me. For those on a budget, it’s a bargain.

  • 27 Lessons
  • 11 Resource guides
  • 15 Videos
  • 7 Slide Decks
  • 3 Worksheets/checklists
  • Lifetime access to the course materials

A Peak Inside the Class

The College Cost Lab is divided into modules that are designed to help you to make the best college decisions.  

Above is a screenshot of what a typical module looks like with the video on the top and the slide deck, resource guides and lessons below it.

Module 1: Getting Started 

The first module will get you off to a fast start with its blueprint that highlights the key steps to shrinking the cost of your child’s bachelor’s degree.


– Introduction


– Introduction


– Your Step-by-Step Blueprint to Cut Your College Costs


– Course Curriculum Checklist

Module 2: Your First College Step 

You’ll learn an easy and indispensible step that you must take when determining if you should aim for merit scholarships or need-based aid. You’ll also discover a critical tool that can prevent a lot of eventual heartache with college admissions.


– How to use the College Board’s Expected Family Contribution Calculator – What You Need to Know About Net Price Calculators


– Your First College Step – How to Use an Expected Family Contribution Calculator – Why Your EFC is Important After Applying to College – Using Net Price Calculators When Seeking the Best Prices


– EFC Primer: What You Need to Know About Expected Family Contributions


– EFC Calculator Worksheet – Net Price Calculator Results Worksheet

Module 3: Sources of College Money

You will learn what pots of money you should target. Most students attend state universities so it’s critical that you learn the latest on scholarship practices at state universities.


– Main Sources of College Money – Federal Sources of College Money – State Sources of College Money – Video slide decks


– Federal Sources of Colleges – Money Federal Loans – State Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships – Merit Scholarships and Financial Aid at State Universities

Module 4: Private College Sources of Money 

If you’re considering private colleges and universities, this module will explain why being strategic in targeting schools is essential and how to do it.


– Merit Scholarships and Financial Aid at Private Colleges – Video slide deck


– Merit Scholarships and Financial Aid at Private Colleges


– The Ultimate College List Builder: Looking for Gems in a Universe of 742 Colleges and Universities – The Ultimate List of the Nation’s Most Generous Colleges –The Schools That Don’t Provide Merit Scholarships

Module 5: More on College Money Sources

In an eye-opening exercise, learn how to sort the colleges in any state or in the entire country by price. Also discover smart college moves for first-generation and minority students.


– College Diversity Opportunities


– Why College Rankings Impact Prices – Looking for College Bargains – College Diversity Opportunities

Module 6: Tools to Research the Generosity of Colleges 

To target the right schools, you’ll learn how to use invaluable (free) online tools to evaluate aid and merit award practices at individual schools. You’ll also discover a graduation tool that can help you generate college ideas.


– Using the College Board to Evaluate a School’s Generosity – Using COLLEGEdata to Research a School’s Generosity – Researching College Graduation Rates


– College Board Tool: Evaluating School Generosity – COLLEGEdata Tool: Evaluating School Generosity – How to Use a Common Data Set – What You Need to Know About College Graduation Rates

Module 7: What Your Need to Know About Financial Aid

Parents often worry about how their investments and home equity will jeopardize aid. Here you will learn what the truth is. You will also discover ways to boost aid chances.


– How Your Investments and Marital Status Impact Financial Aid – How Your Home Equity Impacts Financial Aid – Video slide decks


– Filing for Financial Aid: Free Application for Federal Student Aid – Filing for Financial Aid: CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE – Understanding How Assets Impact Financial Aid – Divorce, Separation and Financial Aid – Home Equity and Financial Aid – Maximizing Financial Aid – Qualifying as an Independent Student

Module 8: Creating College Lists and Increasing Admission Changes 

Creating a solid college list is intimidating but this module will greatly boost your confidence. You’ll also discover ways to determine what admission factors individual schools consider important and other ways to boost admission prospects.


– Increasing Admission Chances – Video slide deck


– Increasing Admission Chances


– Your Smart Blueprint for Selecting Colleges: 8 Steps to Creating a Strong College List – Early Decision and Early Action – A Guide to Building a Perfect College List

Module 9: Webinars

This ninth module is reserved exclusively for members of The College Cost Lab, The Works. Members will be able to register for five live webinars and watch the webinar replays.

Module 10: Q&A with Lynn 

Members of The Works will be able to exclusively ask me questions for two months. You'll also benefit from seeing what other parents are asking.

Bonus: Enroll now and you'll receive this resource guide:

Class Introductions: A Look at What’s on Parents’ Minds as They Contemplate College Choices

This 205-page guide contains hundreds of questions that parents, who have taken my course previously, have asked me about college selection and paying for college. And my answers.  

When reading the guide, you will almost certainly find parents facing the same situations that you are, as well as answers.

No-Risk 100% Guarantee There is no risk to enroll in The College Cost Lab.

If you don’t find the course helpful within the first 30 days after enrolling, you’ll receive a full refund.  

The price of The College Cost Lab is fraction of what it will cost if you end up overpaying for college. The price tag of some schools has now reached $300,000, which is absolutely crazy!

Join The College Cost Lab right now


Or enroll in The College Cost Lab, DIY 


What People Taking The College Cost Lab Have to Say . . .

I run a Wealth Management firm and just finished Lynn's The College Cost Lab. I'm blown away; Lynn has managed to open the black box that drives the "real price" of your college choice. Certainly for those with a financial need, aid is available, but I didn't realize that there is nearly the same amount given each year as "merit aid" and most of that does NOT go to athletes and valedictorians - it's available to those who know who has it and why they might be motivated to entice YOUR student to choose THEIR school. Brilliant course!

J. David Pattie President, Money management firm, Lake Forest, IL

I was fortunate enough to take The College Cost Lab three times. My daughter Sophia just started her college experience at Yale University. She was accepted to all 11 schools that she applied to and Lynn’s course helped me make the best choices for our daughter and our family. 

Betty Randolph Registered nure, San Diego

Your course was extremely helpful in informing our family's strategy. Our daughter received multiple acceptances from great schools across the country that offered between $15K-$48K/year in merit aid and talent-based scholarships. As a family, we feel like we have achieved an affordable college solution that is aligned with our daughter's passions. Thank you very much for helping make it happen!

Steve Kappes Retired Naval officer, Chula Vista, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need this class when I can get help from my child’s high school counselor? Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that you will get what you need from your child’s school counselor. School counselors rarely receive ANY training in college planning. Public school counselors usually have to earn master’s degree in counseling, but these programs rarely include even one course in college issues. It’s a national scandal.  

Is this class only for parents of teenagers? Absolutely not! Hundreds of college consultants and high school counselors have benefited from this course. I have gotten great feedback from many of these professionals who have said that the class has made them much more confidant and valuable to their families.  

Here is a snippet of one of these endorsements:  

Lynn is absolutely fabulous! She is so knowledgeable and thorough. The amount of information that I walked away with after her course was incredible. This course enabled me to counsel my clients so much more effectively. I can't say enough! —Carolyn Cohen, educational consultant, New York City  

I’m so busy. How much time I will need to devote to this class? Don’t worry if your time is limited. The course is designed for busy people. You can take the class at your own pace. Even devoting a few minutes at a time to the course, can be a huge help.  

For instance, just sitting down for 15 minutes and reading, The Ultimate College List Builder: Looking for Gems in a University of 742 Colleges and Universities will give you valuable information that probably 98% of parents don’t know.  

You can pick up what you need quickly. That’s because I’ve designed the class to cut through all the misinformation, harmful conventional wisdom and vague advice to cut right to what you absolutely need to know.

My child is a high school freshman, should I wait a year or two to take the class? The earlier you take this course the better. While the course is perfect for high school seniors and juniors, the parents of younger teenagers can benefit even more because they will have more time to plan and take action. And the sooner you can reduce your college-related stress, the better.  

What time do I need to sign into the class? You can visit the classroom whenever you want. There are no set times that you need to log in.  

For The Works members, the five webinars are held at scheduled times at night, but they are recorded so you can watch at your convenience.  

I’ve read your book, The College Solution, so will I learn more in the class? Oh my goodness yes! I wrote the second edition of The College Solution way back in 2011 and I have learned so much more since then that I share in the course. I am fond of my book, but there is no comparison with the class that is 100% more valuable and includes far more advice and strategies.  

Is this course only for families who need financial aid? Absolutely not! I estimate that most of the parents in this class are affluent, but there are many people who need financial assistance who have taken this class.  

How long do I have access to the class? You will enjoy lifetime access to the course. When you need it, all the materials will be there for you. Lifetime access will be especially helpful if you have more than one child who will be heading to college.

Let's get started together!

Two More Resources for College Cost Lab Members! 

When joining The College Cost Lab, you’ll get two ADDITIONAL opportunities to jumpstart your college search. You can order and instantly download a pair of one-of-a-kind resources: 

The Ultimate List of Real College Salaries 

This report includes average salaries of college graduates from 1,000 private and public universities.

Here are the figures you’ll get for each college: 

  • Average beginning salaries for new graduates. 
  • Average 10-year salaries for graduates. 
  • Average salary improvement over 10 years. 
  • Average salary improvement over 10 years when controlling for SAT scores.

Here is a sampling of what you’ll discover: 

  • Schools that produce bigger salary results than SAT scores would suggest. 
  • Colleges that excel at providing a salary boost for their grads. 
  • Less expensive schools that produce bigger salary results.
  • Occupations that produce the largest salary boost over 10 years. Some results could surprise you.

With college prices so high, it’s important to understand what kind of return on your investment your child might get with a bachelor’s degree from a specific college. 

Data scientists spent roughly 160 hours compiling these lists from dozens of federal databases.

You won’t find these lists anywhere else! You can buy The Ultimate List of Real College Salaries for 


The Nation's Best Scholarships 

This report includes full-ride and full-tuition scholarships from 570 public and private colleges.

With this invaluable report, it will only take seconds to find the top scholarships when looking for affordable colleges for your child.  

The scholarship list, which contains 1,120 awards, includes: 

  • Academic scholarships 
  • Talent scholarships 
  • Academic major scholarships  
  • National Merit-related scholarships 
  • ROTC scholarships 
  • Valedictorian and salutatorian scholarships 

You won’t find this one-of-a-kind list, which took hundreds of hours to compile, anywhere else.  

You can buy The Nation’s Best Scholarships for: