What Counts As An “Asset” On The FAFSA?

You'll be asked to list any assets you or your parents have, but what counts as an asset?

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When you file the FAFSA application, you will have to submit details about the money and other assets that you and your parents have. This allows schools and the federal government to determine how much you and your family can afford to pay and how much you will get by way of grants, loans or work-study.

Submitting the correct details is crucial. The wrong details could potentially lower the amount of financial aid you are eligible for. Submitting wrong details also means filing corrections, which can take some time. Subsequently, your financial aid package could be delayed. In order to submit the correct details, you must first understand what counts as an asset on the FAFSA.

Assets on the FAFSA

An asset is essentially any money that you have readily available. For the purpose of filling the FAFSA, these are counted as assets:

  • Money deposited in checking accounts and savings accounts
  • Real estate. While FAFSA does not consider your parent’s primary residence as an asset, you need to declare the net worth of any additional property. That includes a vacation home, a second apartment building, or a rented-out property
  • Businesses. The net worth of any businesses your parents may own.
  • Investments. This includes all stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or certificates of deposit for which YOU are the owner, not your parents.

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