As I've been compiling a list of colleges/universities for me to apply to in the fall I've been asking my parents about financial aid and how much their willing to put towards my education. However, my parents refuse to put their info into the NPC for any college to determine our EFC.
Whenever I try and talk to them about they always just tell me to "not worry about it". My parents said just apply first and then choose the place with the best fin-aid. I think this be the wrong way to go since I don't want to waste their money applying to a place that's unlikely to give aid.
I know I have a college fund (the amount unknown) and I have a year of tuition from my dad (he's in the military). However, while we're not poor we're not rich either and my parents are encouraging me to apply for many outside scholarships like for URMs and military kids.
I have a list of good schools and I'm fortunate enough to live in a state with great state schools. William and Mary, George Mason, and UVA are affordable. However, I'm just concerned about my parents refusal to do the NPC. Even though my parents both went to college and then law school they were both first-gen so a lot of my knowledge on college admissions is from my own prompting. I'm afraid my parents aren't being realistic.
What should I do? Should I keep trying to nudge them towards doing the EFC or follow their advice? They seem like they know what they're talking about, but at the same time I'm still wary. Advice?