Back from biking.
Although I can’t say that I feel much better, I do feel as though some of my angst has resolved itself into a contempt for my recurring credulity. I don’t think it’s optimism, per se, that leads me to somehow picking up that one thread of probability that’s sure to disappoint. I mean normally, I’d have discounted Georgetown until actually I had the letter in hand (aid, not acceptance) that said “you can go.” I think my mistake was in using the aid calculator , which I was referred to by the financial aid office.
With this calculator, no matter what set of parents I plug in (or for that matter, if I combine them all into one fictional (the brain reels) “family”) I get a minimum grant amount that’s twice as much as my actual offer. Even if I pad the financial numbers upward (which would depress the grant), which, of course, being me, I did.
Also, since the calculator lists the 04-05 budget, and single year Stafford awards, I just sort of assumed that the figure the calculator produced was a yearly grant amount. (If it is, my actual award isn't less than half the calculator's total, it's more like one fifth or one sixth.)
I based some of my mental projections on the calculator.