I've been working for five years and have a little money in a Roth IRA. I know that the FAFSA does not consider money held in those when calculating need, but do individual schools consider it when offering supplementary aid? I really don't want to withdraw it and possibly pay a penalty. Anyone know the story?
They took my Roth money into account for my expected financial contribution. I have also been putting money in it for about five years.
You are allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 from a Roth IRA for educational expenditures (in addition to the original money you put in) without penalty. However, I would not suggest doing that, this is probably the only vehicle you have for tax free growth over a lifetime. I know I am not touching mine (and will continue to add to it through the three years of law school).
Law school is so expensive that I don't think your Roth will have an effect in how much loan money you can get and the types of loans. I still qualified for the maximum unsubsidized and subsidized stafford loans, and the amount of investments you have doesn't affect how much you get in private loans since they are private.