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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. 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 that is deposited in checking accounts and savings accounts
  • Real estate—while your parent’s primary residence is not considered as a FAFSA asset, you will need to declare the net worth of any additional property, whether it is a vacation home, a second apartment building, or a property that is being rented out
  • Businesses—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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