My mom lives here, in TX, but my dad lives in China for work with basically most of our family (they came here before I was born) and will probably stay there for awhile. Fortunately, even before I was even thinking about college, my parents have always agreed to pay for all for my undergrad and then I'd take care of anything after. However, only after I started frequenting CC did I realize how generous this was and if I make my mom pay all of our EFC (I have an estimation because of my brother, around 10-15K) paying for both of our college tuitions will hold her back from going back to China and she wants to go back and be with all of her family again (she hasn't said it explicitly to us but we can tell). She also works really, really, really hard (nurse in OR) and isn't as young as she used to be and might overwork herself while we're gone and she's alone. I've asked my brother and while he understands, he also says that I shouldn't limit the places I'm applying to because of it. Anyways, I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable parents had any advice on our situation and/or any places I might get good merit aid at.
Here are some details that might help.
-All As in all honors/3 APs (5s on all), going to be taking about 11 APs in all
-top 1% of about a thousand kids (pretty competitive school) but rank will probably go down to 5% because we're merging with another school although it'll probably become 1500 kids or so)
-2080 practice PSAT but I've been studying so it should go up to 2100-2200 safely maybe more.
-Decent ECs but not great by any means (decent by 'normal' standards, not CC ones, lol)
For those competitive schools with merit aid I know and was thinking about Rice or Vandy but I wanted some 'safer' schools that I would have a better chance at getting aid at (for example, I was looking at Rhodes, which seems really great). Not too small (Rhodes at 1600 is probably the smallest I'd go), nice people, accessible professors, reqs because the idea of being forced out of my comfort zone is good, etc.
Absolutely no idea what I want to major in or do, but right now I really love history and the social sciences, and reading.
I'd appreciate any advice anyone could share. Thanks for your time!