Originally Posted by zerogravity
Awesome information, do you have a link that I could refer to help explain this further? Your explanation is great and makes me want to know more. I would like to understand the fafsa calculations better so that I could a) plan and b) shift $$ around if beneficial. ( what is IIRC?)
IIRC=If I Recall Correctly (it's a CYA for people who don't want to validate a "fact" but they still want to spew it, hehe!)
The problem you might have is that you must move assets into the retirement accounts before the first FAFSA filing, or they'll see you're suddenly poorer. Since the FAFSA calculation is a guideline, the financial aid officer can change the offer based on this other information.
The calculation for the federal methodology is public (http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/a...aGuide1415.pdf
). Some schools use that as well as the institutional methodology (that's from collegeboard.org). The institutional methodology's calculations are now not public information. Last time they were public was 2010 IIRC
There's a book called Paying for College Without Going Broke, and the old books had the institutional methodology calculations. You might be able to find an old one on half.com or something.
Looking at the forms in the PDF, above, it's not obvious how it's working, so I built a spreadsheet that did the calculations (for both IM and FM). The numbers in the sheet are outdated now, but I'll see if I can find that sheet.