eBook Giveaway: What Do You Want to Know About College?

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I’ve been cranking out college blog posts for the past two years. (It makes me tired just thinking about it.) During this time, I’ve been pretty much picking college topics to write about that interest me as a mom and journalist.

I hope that the topics that I’ve chosen, including scholarships, college costsfinancial aid, SAT and ACT tests, college rankings, have been helpful to all of you who have dropped by. I am assuming that I’m on target at least some of the time since the number of my blog visitors continues to grow.

Yesterday, however, it occurred to me that I should ask my college blog readers what they’d like me to cover.  I figured this is a good time to pose this question because I will be attending a huge college conference late next week in St. Louis (my hometown). The annual convention of the National Association for College Admission Counseling will be crawling with smart, savvy higher-ed folks who know far more than I do about any college issues.  I particularly like talking with the experts who will candidly share with me the real scoop about what’s going on in the higher-ed industry. And folks, it is an industry.

College eBook Giveaway

Anyway, if you have topics that you’d like me to cover on my college blog in the future, please post a comment on this blog post. I will send an electronic copy of my college eBook (it’s in PDF form) to the visitors who post the best comments/questions. The eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Price of a Bachelor’s Degree, which is only available on my website, is a money-saving workbook that can help families, regardless of their incomes, make college more affordable.

Can’t wait to hear from you.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also blogs about college for CBSMoneyWatch and USNews.com.

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12 Responses to “eBook Giveaway: What Do You Want to Know About College?”

  1. Rita Marcotte says:

    Lynn, I’d like to know more about how to choose the best school for a particular major. For example, if my daughter is interested in Equine Science, how do I know which school will best prepare her?


  2. m says:

    Some of the colleges my son is considering vary widely in terms of their selectivity. He is a strong student who tests well, and wants to give himself a range of options, financially and academically.

    But I have read that some schools will deny an applicant that they think is unlikely to attend, to control that all-important “yield” number.

    So my question is: How often do schools ask applicants where else they are applying? Are students obligated to answer? And can recipients of test scores see where else the student sent those scores? I don’t want my son turned down by a college just because their admissions office knows that he applied to a couple of more competitive schools and is likely to be accepted there.

    I would love to read a post on this topic. Thanks!

  3. m says:

    Another topic on my mind (is it cheating to suggest more than one?):

    For financial reasons, more and more students are flocking to their own state universities. Given that this is the case, and given the state budget woes facing many of these schools, how committed are these schools to continuing to attract top students? And how compromised is the education and the opportunities being offered to them?

    At our state’s university, the budget is cut, funding is down, dorms are overcrowded, yet applications are on the rise. My high school junior is a strong student who (we are told) would likely get honors status and some merit money. But are the tradeoffs worth it?

    I would be very interested to hear what the “higher ed folks” feel about the future of education at state schools, esp. for kids in the top 5-10% of their high school classes.

  4. Mo says:

    Hi Lynn, assuming grades and test scores are almost the same for two students of the same sex, race, from similar schools and from the same region of the country (I know this is very possible from regions like the North Eastern U.S.), do you think highly selective colleges are more impressed by the student who has participated in several activities as a leader (“well-rounded leader”) or the student who has concentrated all her energies in one activity and reached state or even national distinction (“narrowly focused star”)? Or do you think there no pattern about how colleges consider extra-curricular activities?

  5. Mo says:

    I have another question. There are many college counsellors and advisors, some who charge thousands of dollars for their services. Under what circumstances are the services of private college counsellors worth paying? How can parents find a college coounsellor who can provide valuable services (e.g., should they be former college admissions officers, professors)?

  6. Brian Greene says:

    Lynn, I’m a relative newbie to your blog and to college planning in general. Our family lives in Florida, and my two sons are 3 and 4 years, respectively, from college enrollment. They are now beginning to consider college majors. One son is really interested in digital arts & media, and the other engineering (ideally with ROTC- oh, and he wants to live near home, too). As these are fairly specific, professional-type areas of study, they don’t seem to lend themselves well to majors at most liberal arts colleges which, as you’ve blogged, have some clear educational benefits. Given my sons’ interests, and the fact that my wife is convinced liberal arts colleges are just for rich families, how do I get my sons to at least consider even looking into a liberal arts college? And if so, which ones? I see that Juniata College offers a digital media concentration and Bucknell U offers engineering degrees, but those schools seem to be a rarity in offering that. We’ve got some LACs near us (e.g., Rollins College) that offer “do-it-yourself” degrees where, theoretically, my one son could piece together an Arts major and a Computer Science minor curriculum to get something close to a digital media program. I’m a graduate of a Big-U, so I really don’t know much about DIY majors at liberal arts colleges.
    Although we’ve got some solid research universities here in Florida that offer (on paper) exactly what my kids are looking for, I guess I want my kids to be as open-minded as possible when it comes to applying to colleges….but I definitely need some argumentative support.

  7. svennemn says:

    Lynn, I found your book “The College Solution” to be a great resource of information last year when my daughter was a senior in High School and we were going though all the steps to prepare her for College. Now she is a freshman at a large University and I’m looking for more topics that are related to being a College student vs. preparing to be one.
    Examples: Learning abroad programs, living off campus vs. on, parent involvement, security suggestions, what are Fraternities and Sororities all about and so on. I found your blog on finding cheaper textbooks a large money saver and passed on the 50 weight loss tips to avoid the freshman 15 to my daughter. Thanks for all the valuable information – keep it coming.

  8. Jun Zhu says:

    Hi, I have a question which I could not find answer anywhere. I’d appreciate your comments and hope to receive your ebook. I believe to have a good employment after graduating from whatever college is far more important than the name of the college itself. So how can I find any clue on this while searching the “best dream college”? Thank you very much for your kind offer.

  9. Lynn says:

    Hi Jun, I don’t think you need to go to an elite school to get a very good education that will lead to a job. Please read the blog posts in these two links to find out how you evaluate schools and avoid getting sucked in by the ratings mania.

    Here arei the links:

    Good luck.

    Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  10. Sonia says:

    Lynn- I share your blog with everyone I know! I appreciate all your information and often share it with others, as a parent of a senior and freshman in HS your knowledge of the college application and selection process is essential to me helping my children find the best fit. That being said I would like to hear more about inexpensive ways to travel to visit schools of interest as well as for students to use once they are at school and what to go home at breaks or for Parents to visit students at schools. Thanks!

  11. Randy Dykstra says:

    Lynn – I recently learned from a friend that the engineering firm where he works recruits for new hires from a major public university in another state. Besides networking and asking questions, is there an efficient way for us to research who is recruiting on what campuses so we can learn how employers evaluate which universities are best preparing students for particular careers?

    Thank you.

  12. Ted Shaw says:

    Hi, Lynn, I am a new follower of your blog and a recent recipient of your College Guide Book. I can’t get it away from my wife. Our Sr. daughter is interested in Michigan Colleges and has seen Central Michigan Univ., Western Michigan Univ., Grand Valley State Univ. and will apply to these.

    Has anyone ever rated the safety of Universities as it relates to crimes against students?? I ask because a friend recently told me that CMU has 4 police networks in their vicinity and responded in minutes to a case where his daughter was being stalked.

    Our visit to Western Michigan Univ. pointed out the safety phone system where a student in trouble can hit a button at one station, then the next and so on and the police will figure out the tendency for interception. The dorms there are 15 min. walk from campus and it seems a concern late at night….

    Sending a daughter off to a college where the crime factor may be out of wack is frightening and an important consideration.

    Thank you for helping us sort all this out. Our parents had it easy! -Ted Shaw

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