Gift Cash - how does it impact aid from CSS schools?

<p>My senior daughter is waiting to hear on acceptance from 10 private schools that all use the CSS profile. On the FAFSA, our EFC was about $10,500. We need all the help we can get!</p>

<p>Her grandparents, 86 and 88, recently offered to gift me or their grandchildren some money, as part of their estate planning, of up to $20,000 a year for several years. </p>

<p>Q: Are gifts to parents required to be reported on the CSS? If so, is it under "cash"</p>

<p>If so, I need to recommend the best way for them to make a gift(s), in a manner to have the LEAST impact on my daughter's aid from CSS schools.</p>

<p>My assumption is that it would be best, from the aid perspective, for them to make gifts in the following order:
1) 529 account for my son (age 12, no 529), held in their name preferably, or mine
2) Fund a Roth for me, that I could borrow against
3) Give a cash gift to me
4) Give a cash gift to my daughter</p>

<p>If anyone out there knows if this is correct, or who else I could ask, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!</p>