Talking to students and parents initially about college choice often involves a discussion about the relationship between college choice and cost. Most are unaware that the colleges where they choose to apply will differ greatly in how much scholarship money will be offered to them.
There is an inverse relationship between college prestige and scholarships. The more prestigious the college, the less likely the college offers large merit awards. The most prestigious colleges often award most money based on need. It is also often true that a college that is considered less prestigious or at least less popular is more likely to offer money to students whose GPA and test scores are higher than average for that college.
When you son or daughter opts for Most Popular U, they are often also opting to pay more. It is important for parents to share information on how much they are prepared to give or borrow toward college tuition early in the college process so that the student can apply to colleges accordingly.