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You ask:
"In other words, does an Education IRA have a negative impact on the student's ability to obtain financial aid?"

Well, an Education IRA has a *positive* impact on the student's ability to pay for college. Thus, it does lessen the student's *need* for financial aid.

I regard this as positive, not negative. The more that a student and family can save for college through a variety of methods, the more control they have over their choices for college education -- which college to choose, whether or how much to work while attending, etc.
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