You don't have to spend that much money to get into a prestigious university! My sister (who graduated from Stanford two years ago) likes to brag how my parents didn't even need to spend money on SAT prep courses. All you need is intelligence and passion. To get into elite private colleges, it's vastly preferable to be truly passionate about something but not nationally ranked, than to be really good at something but hate it. You can't fake this mindset - that's what the interviews and personal essays are for. When I find out that someone is from Stanford, I'm always like, "Oh, that makes so much sense!" because they're always like my sister in their effortless intelligence and drive. I think it's still a common belief (especially among Asian parents) that all you need is good stats to get into prestigious private colleges. Unfortunately, figure skating is not a lucrative NCAA sport so she wouldn't get any favors from their athletic departments if her academics weren't up to snuff.