College loans for dummies? (high school sophomore dummy here)?

I live in Georgia and my dream school is UNC Chapel Hill. I have good grades and all, but I know it's incredibly selective, especially for out-of-state applicants. If I am lucky enough to get in, I don't even know if I'll be able to go, and here's why: My parents are of an upper-middle class... show more I live in Georgia and my dream school is UNC Chapel Hill. I have good grades and all, but I know it's incredibly selective, especially for out-of-state applicants. If I am lucky enough to get in, I don't even know if I'll be able to go, and here's why:
My parents are of an upper-middle class socioeconomic status (our house costed roughly 1/2 million, if that puts our "wealth" into perspective), but they are assholes and are claiming that they will not pay a drop for my college tuition no matter where i go (in or out of state) b/c they're apparently saving up for retirement. B.S. I.e. they'd only pay for books, rooming, food, clothes, recreation, etc, NOT TUITION :-(

They keep telling me that I'll attend UGA or GA Tech using college loans. The thing is, I have no idea really what a college loan is. Well, I know the basic concept, but not much more than that. Do you think any one would be willing to loan me $26,834 each year for four years to go to UNC, plus grad/medical school afterwards?! Did my parents basically screw my future over because they're cheap and selfish?
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