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The most sagacious financial-aid director I knew (now retired) said that there was almost an inverse relationship between a family's *ability* to pay and its *willingness* to pay.

That is, he said that families with very low incomes usually volunteered more than he thought they could afford, while families with much higher incomes often volunteered considerably less than the EFC as he calculated it.

Now, a cynic could say that an obviously poor family might was well volunteer more money, because it's going to be obvious that it's too much. But what the FA director meant was that more affluent families have also found more ways to spend their money, and sometimes education is just one among several of them.
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