17. Finding the Right Match

It used to be that you could try for that reach school and if you got in, you didn’t have to worry because everybody who got in, who needed money, got money. Today, however, as colleges are asked to fund more and more of their own operations with less and less assistance from the government, foundations, and families, they are increasingly reluctant to part with their money to enroll students who don’t raise their academic profile.

The Real Deal on Financial Aid, Muhlenberg College Office of Admissions

A teenager from Seattle—let’s call him Matt—had spent his high school years at the top of his class. He had experienced one academic success after another, which made him assume that getting into an Ivy League university ...

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