How Much Do I Hear For This Student?

As colleges up their bids for the highest scorers, more scholarships go to kids who don't need them

Julie Mulligan, a senior at New York City's elite Spence School, has a problem many of her college-bound contemporaries would envy. Accepted at five prestigious universities, including Cornell in the Ivy League, she is weighing scholarship offers from two: $10,000 a year from Rice University in Houston, and $25,000 a year from Tulane in New Orleans. Julie's status as an A student with 1520 SATs attracted these offers, even though her father Jerry, a Manhattan lawyer, earns too much to qualify for a financial-aid package based on need.

The bidding war to sign Julie is good news for the Mulligans...

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