how to decide where to apply early decision? (if anywhere)

<p>Chasing a 'dream school' can be its own cautionary tale. Like the family across the way that spent 150+K sending their son away to another state for four years to a private school to increase the perceived chance of him getting into his dream school (not to mention the 60K during the period in town taxes to support a fine public school that their son isn't using. Four years of only seeing their son during the summer, holidays and school vacations. Four years with limited time for their son to enjoy the company of his siblings or local relatives or old friends to hang with. All to deal with the reality of their son not only not getting into his dream school but the reality of him NOT getting into any of his 'meet' schools and wait-listed at his safety school. They are not getting those four years back with their son. To say they are enraged about the whole experience would be an understatement. Yet, they too will be seeing the list of his many middle-school peers he grew up with in the local paper - that graduated the local public school and see those going to their son's dream school. What a living nightmare.</p>

<p>OMG....how stupid!!! some people create their own nightmares.</p>

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Chasing a 'dream school' can be its own cautionary tale. Like the family across the way that spent 150+K sending their son away to another state for four years to a private school to increase the perceived chance of him getting into his dream school (not to mention the 60K during the period in town taxes to support a fine public school that their son isn't using. Four years of only seeing their son during the summer, holidays and school vacations. Four years with limited time for their son to enjoy the company of his siblings or local relatives or old friends to hang with. All to deal with the reality of their son not only not getting into his dream school but the reality of him NOT getting into any of his 'meet' schools and wait-listed at his safety school. They are not getting those four years back with their son. To say they are enraged about the whole experience would be an understatement. Yet, they too will be seeing the list of his many middle-school peers he grew up with in the local paper - that graduated the local public school and see those going to their son's dream school. What a living nightmare.

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<p>Sorry to veer off topic, but these parts are full of similar stories. The most common is the family that scrapes together private HS tuition for their star athlete. They do this b/c (apparently) private schools have a better record with kids getting athletic scholarships to college. Time and time again the parents grin ear to ear as they report that The Academy of Metro Snobbery lead their kid to a full ride at Podunk U. (A tier 4 college with 60% freshman retention and 75% graduation rate.) </p>

<p>I smile and nod, then wander off wondering if that $100,000 they spent on the HS diploma might have been just as useful at the state flagship U. Oh well. Different families, different priorities.</p>