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It is irrelevant how the kids got the money. The fact is that it belongs to them, and they actually get to spend it however they want, so they could choose to blow it on a fancy sports car, fritter it away on small things, or save it to spend on college....and I especially think people need to remember that any money given to the child in a UTMA belongs to them, regardless of if they choose to go to college or not.

We made it quite clear that the money we put in the Utma was for college. Are they legally able to spend it elsewhere? Yup. Just as we have the option of leaving our estate to charity.

You said you had hoped they get more in financial aid. Typically, the only way that more aid comes to a student is through more loans,...

That's making some major assumptions. I've had several nieces and nephews who have done quite well via aid that is not in the form of loans, though it will certainly depend on the school in question. Princeton, for example, provides very little of their aid in the form of loans. Yale paid out big time for my niece. Either way, since the way I would get them to qualify for more aid would be through repositioning the assets, at this point by spending down the funds in the kids name first, and and following through on a planned early retirement, we would have the option to accept or reject those loans if that was all that was available. The only way our kids will have to pay for school is if they don't keep their grades up.

We are working on broadening our options, not limiting them.

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