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One thing that seems common is that second and third-tier private schools will give merit aid for a student who is at the top of their typical range of students.

Many of these schools sent Eldest offers based on the info they got from the SAT scores. While there may be a way to block it, schools seem to be able to access the scores and profiles the student fills out. He got flooded with mail, sadly not from any school he would consider, and the worse the schools reputation the better the award. He also got a great offer from a university where he did a summer program the summer between his Sophomore and Junior year. They had 6 weeks to observe him and clearly went to battle for him, so these programs can be a good way to get a leg up on the competition.

That school was his second choice. He chose an out of state state school that is well known for his major, so we get absolutely nothing in aid. Frankly he probably got in because they were interested in the out of state tuition. That seems to be a very real strategy at state schools these days. While being an out of state student at a state school is the worst scenario for aid, choosing a school with a good reputation is a sound strategy for getting his career off the ground. He is doing an internship this summer, in his field, and bringing in very good money. I am a strong believer in schools that have strong coop and internship programs. It not only helps you pay for school, but gives you a leg up when you graduate.

now getting flooded with college marketing letters for Youngest
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