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Something that I haven't seen anyone suggest yet regarding this post....

Contact the school(s) financial aid office. I have worked as a full-time/part-time counselor in the financial aid office at the school I attend (will do so again this next year).

It will still be considered income, for purposes of filling out the FAFSA.

Some schools will look at the "one-time" income and possibly take this into account, potentially even removing the entire sum, as though you never received any of it.

I routinely looked at cases exactly like this..ranging from inheritance, to gambling winnings (yes, sometimes even that is taken out), insurance settlements, etc.

Each school has its own way of doing things, some may not even help at all. You just have to check. Also, how the money was used (pay debts. vs taking an extended vacation) may also impact the outcome.

I hope this helps. Just my $0.02.

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