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Option 1: pay off my mortgage to lower my EFC.

Some colleges, mostly private IIRC, have you fill out a second financial aid form which takes home equity into account, so paying down your mortgage may just make you less liquid and just as much liable for tuition payment, depending on where your child goes.

There are certain investments, like annuities, that can be counted as retirement funds and not count in your EFC. This again makes you less liquid, however.

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