We all love and appreciate what UM has done for us. My sister's son was accepted last month, and he has a really good shot at ND and Northwestern too. I don't think he has any idea what he wants to study, so far he's just really well rounded. I know my sis and BIL will come to me and ask if the $30K per year premium over UM's in-state is worth it for that status badge. Even as an alum, it's a really tough question to answer. I know for a fact Notre Dame is nearly impossible to get into if you're not a legacy.
I'm sort of responsible for getting him hooked to even caring about NU and ND in the first place. I visited the campuses with him when he was in 9th and 10th grade, as I figured if he shot for them, he'd be a lock for UM. It worked, but he tried so hard that he has a very legit shot at both ND and NU, which kind of blows me away.
Is there a $XXXK household income threshold you should be at where this decision is a non-issue? e.g. under $200K go to UM, $350K+ let the kid go where he wants?