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paying the college directly is the way to go, IMHO, with the scenario you have described.
Based on the article I found on - I disagree that it's the best option.
It *might* still work out well enough - for example if there is a lot of loans in the aid package, a gift may just reduce the amount of loans by 50% of the gift (ex. Grandpa pays $10K of the tuition, $5k less in loans is available the next year)
I'd talk to someone from the financial aid office of the campus - but maybe wait a little bit to do that - as I'm sure they're busy right now with the start of school.
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