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Just looking for some advice on college funding. Specifically how to lower my EFC figure.

We have 4 kids currently in grades 10, 8, 6 and 6. So we are 2 years away from the start of college bills. Actually DW and I have always thought we'd help as much as possible (knowing it wouldn't be a huge amount) and our children would do what we did which was work to pay for most of the college costs. But we do want to help as much as possible and helping them to get aid is important.

We have been setting some money aside for the last few years for college, as well as some other personal things (future expenses). Our income isn't real high (60k filing jointly) but our savings including investments is around 150k right now. About 30k of that is earmarked for college (some in a 529, most in our own taxable account at Vanguard).

When I go to the online EFC estimators, it says we are not eligible for grants/financial aid because our EFC is too high. I didn't get the actual number.

Would it be worth directing some of these funds to a retirement account so it is not counted? We already max our IRAs, but have room to contribute much more to an employer sponsored Roth 403b. A portion of these saved funds are just in case we decide to buy a home, or for future wedding expenses, or whatever may come up in 10-15 years or so. My understanding is that Roth IRA contributions (not sure about Roth 403b) can be withdrawn penalty free, so I guess that is the plan in the event we need those funds before retirement.

Any other thoughts or advice on paying for college? We could potentially have 4 in college at the same time!

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