I'm a student at Cornell University, which has a fairly good financial aid policy that provides me with free tuition. The yearly fees are prohibitively high for my family, essentially more that what my whole family earns every year, so without this aid, I would not be able to attend the school.
This year I took a semester off to work at a company under a school sponsored program. Since I've been working full time for 4 months, my salary has become quite significant.
As you guys may be aware, the way financial aid works is that only a fraction of the parent's salary goes into tuition, but the majority of a student's income goes in it. This isn't too big of an issue when I did odd jobs during the school year. But I earned something near 20k, before tax. This could mean that my next school year will be very expensive.
How can I go about avoiding this? I'm not too keen on having all my salary put into tuition. Half of the salary is actually for housing so I could argue that aspect with financial aid, but the other half is just as significant.
What should I do with this money? Invest it? Give to my parents?