I was reading an article about Pomona College and the dean of admissions said, "if someone can show me how applying ED hurts a student applying to Pomona needing financial aid, we'd sure like to see it."
Pomona, like Amherst, is very transparent in their application of needs-based aid (including loan caps, and in Amherst's case, loan replacement starting next year). So my question is, if my son's first choice school is Amherst (which it is at the moment), and we have a very simple financial situation (married parents, income <60K, and some home equity built up in our home, no other investments or real estate or retirement accounts or anything like that), can the accurate numbers I plug into Amherst's online calculator give me a reasonable expectation of our EFC? (It says about $6500 for us, and about $1500 for my son to earn.) With the loan replacement program, then, wouldn't that be enough for us to know for him to apply ED without a lot of anxiety about cost?