How grandparents can help pay for college

If you’re fortunate enough to have a generous grandparent who’s willing to help pay for college, please consider Mark Kantrowitz’s advice on the topic here. In fact, failure to do so could result in a considerable hit to your eligibility for financial aid.

Kantrowitz stays true to his form here and isn’t making any recommendation that would teach affluent families how to hide their assets or otherwise avoid paying their fair share. But the mechanics of the financial aid formula are such that some seemingly innocuous decisions, like the type of account you choose, or gifting the money to the student instead of the parent, can have significant impact on the other side of the financial aid formulas. Avoiding those mistakes is just being smart, not deceptive.