That answer above sure is great, except for the 5% tax. Since neither the government or the financial institution deserve any money from you (look what the government does with it, and for a 4 year bachelor's degree, you'll be taking 2 years of worthless weed out courses and paying heavily for them). You can buy silver bullion (coins), or Gold if you're feeling risky, Silver might fluctuate too, but not as much as Gold may (either way). You need to buy coins though, because if you by more than so many ounces, you have to report.
In any case, you're assumption is correct, and since we arbitrarily decide who gets the aid based on lies anyway, always make it so you have ZERO money (or a trivial amount)in your savings and checking on the date you sign the application, to avoid perjury charges.
Then, once approved for aid, cash out whatever you have (or invest it in whatever you want to).