I tend to stick to the parent forums on CC, and I stay off the Ivy forums altogether. I do like the financial aid forum. Have also gotten some good info in the past on the summer program forum, and the national merit scholarship one. I have also found it valuable to go back and read old posts on the colleges that aren't tippy top (so there aren't a zillion posts). You can learn a lot about the college isn't mentioning in their marketing materials. Must admit, I have developed a sort of morbid fascination with one school that D considered that is going through a lot of issues -- I still read their forum for the soap opera entertainment value (and to remind myself to be glad D did not pick that school).

It's also a more thoughtful population since only a few of us are really into the stage of being processed by this particular machine.

I would use a different word... I would say this is a more "theoretical" population vs "thoughtful". Some of the comments remind me of what people without kids say to those of us with kids. "My kid will never..." fill in your blank. It is easy to say you "won't pay the rent" when you have no concrete options with the various pros and cons in front of you and it is all 10 years away. A lot harder when you start looking at the imperfect world of options in the college admissions process with an actual kid involved.

3. Defaults to paying out of pocket because it's too Byzantine to be WORTH figuring the rest of it out at multiple institutions.

Or there is #4 - Defaults to paying out of pocket because when you do figure it out, it does appear to be the best option for your particular kid. That would probably be us -- although we did (via negotiation using another college's FA package) get D's college to give us $10,000 in grant money for her freshman year (they had offered none). So not entirely out of pocket for year #1. smile But I am guessing it may be for years 2, 3, and 4. She has been STRICTLY informed (as my father did with me 35 years ago) there there are NO EXTRA SEMESTERS beyond four years. So no changing majors junior year, losing track of graduation requirements, etc.

Last edited by intparent; 07/23/13 11:05 AM.