Judging from your posts here, your daughter is entering her sophomore year of high school. It’s good that you are thinking about this now, and can help her get some good options for when the time comes.
But right now, she is at least two years away from actually applying for colleges. What has made her think the elite schools are the only ticket to a successful future, or even medical school.
There are several thousand colleges in this country. And many of them are fine schools where she can get a great college education at an affordable price.
Really, in terms of merit aid, she needs her end of junior year GPA and a real SAT or ACT score. Until she has these, it’s all guesswork.
She also wants to do well on the junior year PSAT as that is the National merit qualifying test score used. If she attains NM status, that would open up some merit aid doors.
In terms of the net price calculators, there are a few issues.
The NPC for your daughter won’t be available until late summer 2023. That’s when the NPC will be updated for students starting college fall 2024. And yes, financial aid policies DO change so anything you might get now would be a very very gross estimate.
The net price calculators are not particularly accurate for students with divorced parents…or for students who have parents who are self employed. You have both issues…so again, you might find these NPCs to be inaccurate.
The most important number is the actual amount you realistically think you can spend to send your daughter to college each year. As others have stated, it is good to let her know up front that any acceptance with a net cost above your price point will need to be off the table.
And lastly, not to be a Debbie downer, but tons of kids think they want to be doctors. Many never even get to the application stage. Of those who do, only 40% are accepted. Your daughter needs a plan B. Everyone considering medical school needs a Plan B. There are lots of other very worthwhile health care professions she might want to at least learn about.
@WayOutWestMom can you post the link to other health care professions, please.