HK, I don't see that admissions to a higher ranked college gives you any leverage in the financial aid for a lower ranked or equivalent college. I have heard no stories on College Confidential of success with that strategy... What I have heard is asking for a "review" of your Financial Aid. The colleges will all say they don't "match" FA offers from other colleges. But if you can show them evidence of lower cost of attendance at a higher ranked or comparable college (they want the financial aid letter and/or any scholarship letters to look at), SOME schools will negotiate to match that FA (even though they hate that word). In our case my D's top choice school looked back over our FA information, asked a question about one account (did not require any written proof of the answer), then granted more aid. But just for freshman year, who knows what will come in the future? It may very well evaporate after that point. But you have to show a cheaper cost of attendance at a comparable or higher ranked school to even have a chance with this strategy.

Val, honestly... your kids will probably not thank you for opting out entirely. To some extent you are in anyway if your kids are going to college. Some of my D's friends had pretty awful senior years due to lack of planning and preparation in their families for the college process.

Last edited by intparent; 07/16/13 02:37 PM.