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Indeed. And it could potentially have gone further had it been saved in our names instead of the kids' names. That way aid potentially could have kicked in after we spent 5% of savings, vs the 20% that was expected from the kids accounts.

We also saved for the kids' college, and with the exception of some very small merit aid that DS gets, they get no financial aid.

You do realize that for the vast majority of kids, any aid they get is in the form of loans and not grants, right? So based on that, why do you think it makes more sense for your kids to spend more on their education because of that interest they'll also have to pay back than to just use up savings that is earmarked for their college? I personally see no benefit at all to spending my money or not saving enough just so that my kids can spend more at the end of the day.

And as far as the kids having to use more of their own money to fund their college than the parents, both in real terms and in terms of financial aid, why does it sound odd to you that a kid spends his own money on his own education that supposedly will lead to a better job and life? What else should that kid be spending his money on exactly?

I'm paying a ton of money every year for my kids' college, but we saved for it, and that is its purpose. We've turned down the 'aid' they've been offered to date because it has all been in the form of loans, and I don't want them coming out of school owing a lot of money. They pay for their own books and spending money, so they have some skin in the game.

I think folks assume that most of the aid a child could possibly get is in the form of grants, and that is not true. It's in the form of loans.
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