My son currently is a junior in HS and is of mixed heritage. He is predominately African American but has some Filipino, Thai and Caucasian blood as well. He currently attends a 90% or greater Caucasian public high school. The overall SAT score for his school is currently ~1670. His score is as follows: CR 770, Math 730, Writing 750 10 E (2250). He was recognized as a GATE student in the third grade and received a 1980 on the official SAT when he was in 8th grade. His GPA is strong, extracurriculars are average. Like most parents with high achievers I always had Ivy league aspirations for him. Now for my dilemma, we are planning a college tour trip in a few weeks and I asked him where and what types of colleges he wants to visit. His answer was that he wants to leverage his SAT scores/grades to try to get a full ride and he would consider small class size to be optimal. I did some research and he qualifies for Presidential Scholarships at HBCU institutions, meaning full tuition, room/board,meal plan, and in some cases $1000/year for books and a laptop. Our Income is in the $180k/ year range so financial aid is not a reliable option for us, but we are far from rich in the area where we reside. He is considering dental school but he is only 17 therefore he may change direction. Two or three of the HBCu's have accelerated dental programs that he qualifies for and seem like a great fit in terms of merit aid and class size. Question: what would you do if you we're in his shoes? Apply and possibly matriculate in Ivy League school or other top 25 institution with a parent/student loan contribution $20 to 30K/year or matriculate at an HBCU in an accelerated dental program and have zero debt until he matriculates in dental school. Please note: he and his younger sister both have a 529B account that can cover 2 years at a top 25 school at this time. My son stated he does not want to spend it for undergrad as he would rather save it for professional school or use it for his sister. Also, please let's not make this an affirmative action debate :). I really could use some advice it is his life, but it is a family decision overall. Thank you in advance CC'ers!