If possible, consider deferring income to reduce your wages and subsequently your financial aid income. Since the value of a non-qualified deferred compensation plan is not counted as an asset and the current years contribution is not assessed as
Julies employer offered a non-qualified deferred compensation plan in addition to their qualified plan. Since Julie had a senior in high school, she decided to defer $5,000 into the non-qualified deferred compensation plan. Because this amount would not be included in her current years income, she would increase her childs financial aid eligibility by $2,350 (47% x $5,000). It is also not included as an asset which potentially increases aid eligibility by another $280 (5.6% x $5,000).
If you are in a financial aid income assessment rate of 47%, you could increase your financial aid eligibility up to $470 for every $1,000 of income reduction by lowering financial aid income, plus an additional $56 for every $1,000 that is not included as an asset.