Every family has their own way of putting together a plan, but it sounds like you are saying your parents are offering to pay 2/3 of whichever school you choose, no matter how expensive, and that any scholarships you get will go toward your 1/3. If you get into a higher priced school, but receive a scholarship, they are willing to pay much more in order to send you there. But, if you get into a lower priced school, they will draw the line at paying much less (2/3 of the original COA in both cases.)
If I understand correctly: hypothetically, this plan would essentially force you to choose a school that offers you a scholarship, even if the school is much more expensive and significantly less prestigious. (I’m not saying this is the case with your particular schools, I’m just describing the plan.) Ironically, your parents would then end up paying an amount that is GREATER than the full cost of the less expensive, more prestigious school. Do I have this correct… that their objective is to require you to pay 1/3 of anything, minus scholarships, even under the circumstances I’ve described?
I guess that’s one way of doing things, but I wonder if they would see their idea as a good one if it was laid out this way. So many parents would be thrilled if their own total expense was less!
I am NOT saying that I know anything about these two schools or that the difference in prestige, quality of education, or any other factor is particularly significant. I’m just pointing out that your parents may not realize that there are two ways that you as a student can contribute to a lower COA… one is scholarships; another is choosing a school that costs much less.
As a parent, if you willingly turned down the higher-priced school for a lower-priced one, I would consider that to be similar to taking responsibility for 1/3 COA at the more expensive school. I would see that you lowered my contribution by MORE than if you chose the more expensive school. Personally, if I was willing to pay 2/3 of the COA at the more expensive school, and the entire COA at the less expensive school cost less than that, I would pay the whole thing and send you there without you needing to incur the debt. I get what your parents are trying to teach you in terms of fiscal responsibility, etc., but maybe it would help to frame it for them in this way.
Ironically, you actually WANT to go to the less expensive school. So many times, it’s the other way around. I hope your parents will reconsider their plan, and appreciate that, scholarship or no, you would actually be significantly cutting family expenses (yours and theirs put together) and flat-out saving them money by choosing school #2.
Like I wrote, I think I understand your parents’ financial plan and the comparative cost of the two schools in question. It goes without saying that if I’ve gotten all of this wrong, please go ahead and ignore the post.