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For schools that offer merit aid, it is possible to have a general idea as to whether or not the student is at all competitive for schools' available scholarships. If their stats are not in the top 25%, they are not going to be in the running for competitive scholarships. If all they have are test scores and no ECs and lacking top rigorous courses, they are not going to be in the running for competitive scholarships. If that type of scholarship is the only thing that will make a school affordable, again, there is not point applying.
How about a university that sends promotional material (on a weekly basis) to a high performing student promising merit aid for a combination of certain test scores and GPA?
Saving for college can also backfire when it comes to time file FAFSA as the amount asset protection afforded even average earning households has dropped significantly meaning your savings could easily disqualify you for federal grants and subsidized loans. A better way is put the savings in grandma or grandpa's name and then use it for the final year of college or to pay off any subsidized loans you may have taken.
A better way is put the savings in grandma or grandpa's name and then use it for the final year of college or to pay off any subsidized loans you may have taken.
BelknapPoint anything to add?