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Here’s how much wealthy parents spend to legally give their kids an edge in the college acceptance race

The college admissions scandal exposed the amount of money some parents will spend to guarantee their children a spot at a top college.

But across the country, families with more modest means regularly shell out to give their kids every advantage possible. In some cases, like SAT prep courses or independent college counseling, that spending is directly related to ensuring a student’s college application is as competitive as possible.

In others, such as buying a home in a good public school district or paying for violin lessons, the spending theoretically provides benefits beyond a college application.

Assuming students attend private school, participate in at least four years of each of these categories of extracurricular activities, and parents hire SAT tutors and independent consultants to help students prepare their college applications, families could wind up spending more than $200,000 preparing a student to apply to college before they ever get there.

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