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February 08, 2007


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Also, don't get divorced. Because whether or not a child's noncustodial parent participates in the child's life or contributes financially to the household, both parents' financial information must be supplied in order for any federal aid (or most college-based aid) to be granted.

Don't have the student work and save the money. For every dollar the student earns and subsequently saves, his expected contribution to the cost of college will rise by $1.25. (Money earned and spent also counts agianst him, but at a lower rate.)

Don't put college savings in the student's name. All savings are penalized, but savings that belong legally to parents are penalized far less than savings that belong to students.

Remember, the government and most colleges expect students to graduate not merely broke, but with a substantially negative net-worth due to accumulated debts...if this doesn't happen, they perceive it as their failure to squeeze hard enough. But while they expect that parents will contribute, they don't expect them to bankrupt themselves. Any assets or earning capacity that the student can't hide from the FAFSA will be ruthlessly exploited. Parents get off far easier. So to whatever extent it's possible to do so, structure earnings and savings so that as much as possible belongs (legally, at least) to the parents, rather than the student.

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