Originally Posted by intparent
Most colleges take about 5% of your assets into account when awarding aid -- I would much rather be the family that saved 1/3 or 1/2 of what is needed than the family that has no savings.
What matters is the cumulative "tax" on savings, not just the annual levy. Let c = 5%, the "tax rate" on savings.

If your children will be in college for N years, the fraction of your savings you get to keep is


which equals 81% for N = 4 (1 child) and 54% for N = 12 (3 children).