State 529 plans affecting needs-based aid

<p>My daughter is attending a school that does not give merit aid, only needs-based aid. We saved $15,000 in each of our two children's 529 plans. The EFC will eat up the oldest child's entire 529 plan this year alone, and I noticed that on the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE that there is no place to show that the combined "parental asset" is actually divided among two children. Does anyone know if Financial Aid offices take into account that the other child is graduating high school in two years and will need her "half" of the parental asset? If not, is it worth it to raid the second child's account in order to get more needs-based aid sooner?</p>

<p>For FAFSA it will not be having that much affect on your EFC. You have a certain amount of asset protection before it will have any affect on it at all. The asset protection is based on the number of parents and the agr of the older parent. For instance a 2 parent family where the older parent is 50 would have asset protection of $55,000. For assets over that the impact on the FAFSA EFC would be a maximum of 5.6%.</p>

<p>For CSSprofile each school would have their own procedures.</p>

<p>There really isn't any way to find out for sure how a given CSS Profile school will consider the second kid's 529. I mean, you could call them and ask. That might be interesting. I believe on the CSS Profile there is a place for "Explanations/Special Circumstances", and you could mention it there.</p>

<p>Thanks, Swimcatsmom, I didn't know that about asset protection. 'rentof2, I thought about calling the school but I did fill out the "special circumstance" portion of the CSS profile, so they probably do know already. I guess my soon-to-be-freshman will have to make an appointment with a Financial Aid councelor when she gets to school and see what they say!</p>