I've been a fan of Lynn O'Shaughnessy for several years. I loved her column in the San Diego Union Tribune and was disappointed when they went with a syndicated columnist who was good, but not as good as Lynn. I've kept in touch with Lynn and since leaving the Tribune she has been doing more writing.
Lynn has recently published The College Solution, a book in which I am going to be reading this week and am quite excited about.
From Lynn's website:
Here are just a few of the things that you'll discover when reading The College Solution: A Guide for Finding the Right School at the Right Price:
1. Bachelor degrees are priced like airline tickets. Passengers routinely pay different prices for plane tickets and so do families paying for college. Price tags are meaningless. Learn how to find the best prices for wonderful schools.
2. Pinpoint academic and financial matches. Some schools are extremely generous with financial aid for needy families, while others shower money on affluent students. Learn how to find the most generous schools for your child.
3. Answering the financial aid question is critical. It's extremely important to figure out if you've got a shot at financial aid before looking at ANY schools. You'll find out why in Chapter 3.
4. College rankings are flawed. There's no reason to rely heavily on U.S. News & World Report's flawed college rankings. Learn how to research academic majors, as well as evaluate individual departments within colleges and universities.
5. Downsize big universities. Sharing intro classes with hundreds of other students may be inevitable when attending state universities, but ways exist to make the educational experience more intimate. Learn how in Chapter 27.
6. Capture opportunities for minorities. Chapter 39 explains how minority students can boost their chances of attending excellent schools with great financial aid packages. Discover a list of top liberal arts colleges that accept minority students at dramatically higher rates than other applicants.
7. Avoid lender rip offs. The recent student lender scandal illustrates why families must be careful when borrowing for college. Discover proven ways to find the best loans.
8. Learn from higher ed good guys. The College Solution pulls from research conducted by many of the organizations that wear white hats in this industry. The include: the Education Conservancy, the Education Trust, The National Survey of Student Engagement, the Teagle Foundation, FinAid.org, the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the Higher Ed Watch blog, the Project on Student Debt, and the Education Sector.
I encourage anyone with kids to pick up this book (heck, pick up a couple copies and give one away!).
I'll hopefully have my review up in a few weeks, but I'm confident that if Lynn wrote, I'll like it.
Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF