My son is targeting schools that range from about $40,000 per year to over $60,000 per year. We know we can't afford that without financial aid.
What I found by doing a bunch of "cost to attend" calculations using the College Board website, is that the okay private schools, some public schools, and the great private schools including Ivies all end up costing us the same!
Is that because if we use the same numbers for each school, the amount we can pay would be the same for all of them, regardless of the real fees?
It seems that if he can get into an Ivy, it would cost us the same as if he went to a state school as an out-of-state resident. For the past 10 years, we have been thinking that the Ivy would give us less aid, but they would give us more.
All of the colleges come up as $30,000 per year plus or minus a few thousand. The only difference appears to be most Ivies commit to grant only aid, so going to a "worse" school would put him much further in debt than an Ivy. One school that had been a top choice for him would put him in debt for $60,000 after he graduates; the Ivy with the least grant money would put him in debt for $20,000 after he graduates.
My other question is about home equity, why it matters. We own about 20% of our house, but we cannot access it at all. Why does that count against us when calculating needed aid? It's not liquid, and we can't get a loan for over 80% of the house value. I guess if we were able to sell in this market, we could get the money, but they can't expect people to sell their only house can they?