I might suggest that you look harder at the true cost of attendance at some of these schools. It has been my experience that the schools calculate these things out on the high side. 1. They use more than the minimum full-time schedule when calculating tuition. 2. They DO use the most generous meal-plan when they advertise room and board costs. 3. Books can be obtained for less than they generally allow. 4. Travel and "Misc" expenses don't have to be as high as their figures. Sure, you need money for unexpected expenses, but if you're frugal, you can get by for less than the advertised "cost of attendance". It might not be a lot, but every thousand dollars helps. If you're parents won't help, you will have to find a job to pay your way. How much are you willing to give up in order to be able to attend your dream school? If you don't mind living "poor" and working hard, you don't necessarily have to write off all these schools.