I have considered Hand's quote about taxes when discussing financial aid, but came up with a big distinction. If I reduce my tax liability in any legal way possible, I get to keep more of MY money. If I arrange my affairs to maximize my financial aid, then I am recieving more of OTHER PEOPLE's money. (yes, some of it is a return of the tax dollars I pay.) I'm still tossing it around in my head, but meanwhile I will be teaching a workshop this week showing parents how using ESA's, 529's, VUL's and all the other strategies may benefit them taxwise or financial-aid wise.
I'm curious about the comment regarding "millions unclaimed each year in federal college funds". In my reading I have come across many references to unused financial aid, but mostly scholarships or institutional funding, not federal aid (Pell, SEOG, loans & work-study). I suppose there are some schools that may not use up their entire loan or work-study allocation. Is that what you are referring to or is there other information that you can point me toward?