My wife is an immigrant, and she has read many books to learn about the college admissions process in the U.S., so that she can advise our children. Information is out there, but people need the brains to understand it and the initiative to look for it.

Are you saying that poor students who fail to successfully negotiate the college admission process to their best advantage just don't have enough brains or iniative? They should be able to figure out FAFSA etc at 16/17/18 with no assistance? (Parents may not be supportive at all.) I wonder how many of their middle-class and UMC peers would do with zero support or help from parents or counselors. Why must students with no college background or family support be so much MORE organized and competent than those who are fortunate enough to have been born with advantages?