I've posted about a friend's son before, but I wanted to give you the outcome. He applied to MIT and about 5 other schools, with Caltech being his second choice. Good student, good scores, in the mid-range of those schools, but zero extracurriculars and no oomph. Everyone told them to have safeties and especially financial safeties. Well, he didn't get into MIT and only got into one school, a very expensive one with no financial aid. They were so sure that their kid was "the one" that these wonderful people didn't plan realistically. Now he has one admission to an incredibly expensive school that he will have to pay the whole way for and there is no way that's possible. He may end up in our community college which doesn't have anything near his chosen major. All for lack of a plan and a realistic assessment. They are all devastated. My daughter has seen this situation this weekend and it was a wake-up call for her, too. I certainly learned a lesson.