I really don't know whose terrible idea it was. There was no chance I would ever be accepted into Middlebury, Colby, Smith, or Wellesley. If it was my idea, I wish there'd been someone around who'd known the ins and outs of need-blind admissions and could have saved my parents the application fees.
I was an engaged student in high school. Our school in Maine was small - a little under 300 students. Parents in the area scraped out a living digging clams, lobstering, tipping balsam to sell to the two wreath-making companies.
On college-fair day at our school, I asked the rep from Colby, “If two students apply that present exactly alike, except for financial need, would you accept the one who could pay or the one who needed help?” He must have been new, because he told me honestly they'd accept the one who could pay.
I was the one who couldn't, and with no other options, I attended the “safe school,” University of Maine at Farmington. It had the same check-the-boxes routine nature of high school.