Harvard announced today that it would ease the burden that Middle-class families would have to bear to send their kids to the second-best university on the planet. I have always stated that Ivy League schools are actually more affordable than many other universities. They just have a ton of money to help those who genuinely need it.
By the time I got to college, my family was relatively poor. I came from a single family parent where my mom was making under 30K a year. When choosing colleges, I did not let cost factor into the equation because I believed that a good education from the right school was worth it at almost any price. What I discovered was that these schools had fantastic need-based financial aid.
I left Princeton (the best university in the world) with about $17,000 in debt (all of which is already paid off). If I had actually been about two years younger, I would have left with $0 in debt as Princeton has switched all it's need based financial aids to grants rather than loans. The last two years I attended the university, my family paid $0 to the university. I only paid my fees to my eating club.
I actually talked to several people in my high school who did not apply to some of the better schools because they were not sure how they would afford a private school tuition. I wish they had known how affordable it really can be. So for all those of you who find this page and are wondering if you should apply my advice to you is this. APPLY! Worry about how you will get the money later. The worse thing that could happen is that somehow you might not be able to afford and you won't go, but you will never know unless you try.