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Private College or Out-of-State Public University for Family With High Financial Need?

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My son is looking at a few big Southern state schools (such as Alabama, Old Miss, University of Georgia, etc.), but we live in Chicago so I have some confusion. When it comes to financial aid, how do these out-of-state schools award money? Our family has high need and our EFC is only $15,000. But I've been told that state schools outside my state only have a small amount of money to give to out-of-state students and we would probably get more financial aid at a private college than at a big state school that isn't in Illinois. Can you tell me if this is accurate? And if so, can we still get federal financial aid even if the states don't give us any?

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