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Jenn wrote:

there is a question relating to "other income" which is where any gifts should be shown.

Ah, found it. I blew by it the first time by looking at "other income" from an income tax standpoint, but this looks like something different. Also I'm not sure what you mean by "trigger a change in assets". I don't see where this would show up anywhere.

You are certainly correct about using the assets before taking loans and that is our plan. The only exception would be in the case of subsidized loans that don't begin accruing interest until post graduation. In that case we would take the loans, let the assets earn interest, and pay off the loans at graduation.

The whole thing may be more trouble than it is worth since we would likely qualify for little if any aid regardless of who's name the assets are in. Another option is to bite the bullet Freshman year and arrange finances for the later years to keep income under $50k and allow for the filing of a 1040A tax return. This would allow us, on subsequent FAFSA's, to qualify for the simplified needs test which ignores assets altogether when calculating expected family contribution. My only problem with this is that once you are in the university you have obviously lost most of your bargaining power with the financial aid office.

Thanks for your reply.

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