That’s what I’ve been doing lately: sending mails to colleges asking specific questions. With the nature of my endeavor, practically all sub-field in linguistics are relevant; the main issue is whether the college is happy or not with a project in this particular direction.
That said, generally a more famous college will have more outstanding people. So in a hypothetical world where research info & policy were undisclosed, aiming for more prestigious colleges makes more sense if money is not a problem.
I totally agree! I might need at least a master’s. That’s when further calculation comes in. I figured that I probably will spend most of my money on UG, so I’ll need to find a fully-aided master’s education. I haven’t looked at this at all, but my guess is that only some top-50 universities provide such aid for MA. So I think my UG school should rank in the top 300 or so, in order for the upstream jump more likely.
You’re absolutely right. My bad: for the purpose of more general discussion, I did skip over this important notion. However, it’s also true that the more expensive the tuition, the better the quality. Customers (parents) are no fools to be tricked, especially when it comes to money. Only BYU is the glaring exception to the trend, and so far I haven’t found similar cases.
That’s my point, too! Look at it more broadly for every student, the situation is like this: every college has a lot of different scholarships (I’ve seen ones with nearly 100!). Combined with the independent fund ones, the total amount of scholarship might be in the range of multiple tens of thousands. Each scholarship, in turn, has a wildly different set of eligibility and evaluation criteria. Therefore, if someone is to delve into the jungle of scholarships, she’s more than likely to be overwhelmed and short-circuited by information. Contrast to the colleges: they almost always have well-defined and more inclusive eligibility for admission, and there are only ~1600 of them in the US (niche). Moreover, once the decision is released, you will know exactly whether you can go or not; meanwhile (I guess) most of the times students will have to stitch small scholarships together, piecemeal.
For those reasons, my course of action has been to ditch the whole notion of scholarships altogether, and focus solely on the groundwork of shortlisting the suitable colleges. Is it the right choice?