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I think I've mentioned this on another of my threads, but I'd like to bring it up more specifically and in more detail.
My parents will not (unless something really crazy happens) be paying my college tuition.
Is this very unusual? I know that I won't qualify for financial aid; my parents have an excellent income and would not get a low EFC rating. However, they spend a lot of money on private school for us (a non-negotiable expense), which makes the number very inaccurate.
My parents are wonderful people who provide for me in every way. They paid for their own college (my dad only needed a BA for his profession, my mom paid for her BA and her employer paid for her MBA). If when I'm in college I need help, they will be glad to provide it for me. They plan to help me pay for room and board, and to possibly help me with some of my tuition. However, the burden is on me to pay my own way for college.
They do worry- they don't want me to go all-out in debt. They encourage me to apply to average colleges where I can get a lot of aid, and to increase my PSAT score to get NMSF/NMF and add to my application, to do really well on standardized tests, to take a lot of AP classes (which they pay for) to possibly bypass a year of college, etc. I've got the stats for a good school and possibly a great school.
What helpful comments/strategies do you have for me when it comes to applying for college? (I'm a junior.) Is legally declaring independence a good idea? What are strategies for reducing college debt? Anyone else in my situation?