3. What if I use my liquid assets to pay off my car, lower my mortgage, buy a new car, a new real estate property? Will this make me more eligible for financial aid?

The short answer: No. The financial aid formulas look at your overall situation, sometimes over a few years, and are likely to consider your new real estate property and increased equity in your home as “available assets” for funding education.

What may sound logical can actually backfire, because not only have you not reduced the amount considered “available assets” for education, but you have made those assets much more difficult to access.