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Unfortunately, there wasn't anything else in the article pertaining to my situation, so I don't know why the check should go to the parents as opposed to the student or straight to the school. Any thoughts?

Don't know why you would send the $$ to the parents. Depending on dollar amount, you can avoid gift taxes by paying the college directly. If the college set up is anything like the school Eldest goes to, the student can authorize access for you to make direct payments on their behalf.

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