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The reason why it could be cheaper to send a child to a top Ivy League School that to a state college is because of the formula for financial Aid. The financial aid awarded for the education is based on a formula which basically takes into account at least 5 factors. This formula creates what is called Expected Family Contribution or EFC. The EFC is calculated taking into account parents income, parent’s assets, Student’s income, student assets and the age of the older parent. The expected Family Contribution is the minimum amount that each family should contribution for the cost of education of their children regardless the school their choice. There are two different Methodologies that every school uses, the Federal Methodology and the Institutional Methodology. Basically the Federal Methodoly is used to get the federal & state financial aid, and the Institutional Methodology is used by “many” private schools to determined the financial aid they are willing to give to those students that qualify from their endowment funds.