Unlike other major purchases in life, families know little about what they will actually pay for a college education when they begin the search.
Without clarity on the eventual price, families think more about the academic and social fit of campuses rather than the financial fit. They believe, often incorrectly, that they can figure out a way to pay the cost through a combination of scholarships, loans, and savings. After all, they’ve heard that every school offers a discount to entice you to enroll (hint: they don’t).
As a result, emotions steer choices, and many wind up disappointed when the hoped-for financial aid doesn’t materialize.
During the year I spent inside the admissions process, what I came to see, and prospective students and their families should too, is that colleges are either “buyers” or “sellers” of spots in the freshman class.
Sellers are the “haves” of admissions.