Need help filling out my FASFA form...can anyone help?

  1. I already have a call into my financial aid officer, but she's out of the office until Thursday so I thought I'd tap into your expertise! I'm new at this financial aid stuff, and I'm stuck the portion of the FASFA form that talks about net worth. Do I include the following in my net worth:

    1) Value of my car? It's paid off, but it's not worth much and it's not like I could sell it off if need be for tuition. How would I get to school?!

    2) The equity that I have in my own home? We have about 20% equity in our home right now (the bank owns the other 80%). It looks like the FASFA form states not to include in your net worth the real estate that you currently live in, but it's not all too clear.

    3) The value of our 401Ks? These are retirement 401Ks, not education ones. I don't want to liquidate it b/c of all the penalties we'd be forced to pay, but I'm not sure if it is considered net worth or not.

    ARRRRGGGG this is all so frustrating! There are alot of things that I feel like this FASFA form does not take into consideration (like the fact that I'm quitting my full time job in Aug to go back to school full time). Does anyone know anything about contacting your financial aid office to make adjustments once you submit the form? I'm just worried that this report is going to paint a prettier financial situation for myself than what it really is - I'm definitely in need of some financial aid! Thanks for your help.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ARmickie
    Yes, your financial aid office CAN make corrections on your form and resubmit it for you. From what I understand, once you put in the information, when you talk to your fin aid office about it, if there are other circumstances (you quitting your job, for example), they can make even greater allowances for that.. but they have to be the ones to do so. My school adjusted mine and in the end, I got a grant to pay for everything.
  4. by   smileystudent
    Quote from NCNurse2be
    I already have a call into my financial aid officer, but she's out of the office until Thursday so I thought I'd tap into your expertise! I'm new at this financial aid stuff, and I'm stuck the portion of the FASFA form that talks about net worth. Do I include the following in my net worth:

    1) Value of my car? It's paid off, but it's not worth much and it's not like I could sell it off if need be for tuition. How would I get to school?!

    2) The equity that I have in my own home? We have about 20% equity in our home right now (the bank owns the other 80%). It looks like the FASFA form states not to include in your net worth the real estate that you currently live in, but it's not all too clear.

    3) The value of our 401Ks? These are retirement 401Ks, not education ones. I don't want to liquidate it b/c of all the penalties we'd be forced to pay, but I'm not sure if it is considered net worth or not.

    ARRRRGGGG this is all so frustrating! There are alot of things that I feel like this FASFA form does not take into consideration (like the fact that I'm quitting my full time job in Aug to go back to school full time). Does anyone know anything about contacting your financial aid office to make adjustments once you submit the form? I'm just worried that this report is going to paint a prettier financial situation for myself than what it really is - I'm definitely in need of some financial aid! Thanks for your help.

    The way I understand FASFA you don't include your 401K because it is your retirment pension. also if you live in the house you don't include it as your net worth because you have to live somewhere. however if you own properties that are for making money like you rent out a house or something to that effect I believe you have to count that as net worth. Now for the car thing I didn't count that either because it is a need and not for enjoyment like say a boat or something like that. I hope this helps.

    When you do FASFA online you can go back and correct your forms if need be. But just to be safe talk to financial aid in case I gave you inaccurate info.

    The good thing about doing it online also is that you can fill it out and save it while you wait for financial aid to get back to you and not submit till after talking to financial aid then double check your forms and send it in.
  5. by   Carolanne
    I had the same situation on my application - a car which is much needed for transportation and not worth big bucks, an IRA (which should always be free and clear and not able to be touched), and a home which the bank still has most of its claws into. So even though these are things you "own," I think they're looking for bank accounts, stocks, bonds, things that are definitely tangible and don't have a lien on them. So by the time I was done with my application and signed the bottom line, I think my net worth was the jar of pennies on my kitchen counter, but at least I qualified for financial aid!! :chuckle :chuckle
  6. by   CaterpillarGirl
    UGH! kinda makes me glad I'm so broke!! I don't have to go through all that extra stuff since I have nothing.
  7. by   RNSuzq1
    Quote from NCNurse2be
    ARRRRGGGG this is all so frustrating! There are alot of things that I feel like this FASFA form does not take into consideration (like the fact that I'm quitting my full time job in Aug to go back to school full time). Does anyone know anything about contacting your financial aid office to make adjustments once you submit the form? I'm just worried that this report is going to paint a prettier financial situation for myself than what it really is - I'm definitely in need of some financial aid! Thanks for your help.
    NCNurse - I was wondering the same things. I just helped our oldest Son fill out the Federal Aid form for his 2nd year of College and as a parent it's much more straight forward than if you're the Student. Like you, I'll have to leave my job to attend school full-time in the Fall - but the way the Federal Aid forms are worded - you have to let them know if you "currently" have a job. Leaving a full-time job makes a huge difference in your families income and they should take that into consideration.

    I wish there was a place on the form to say - I'm making X amount of $ now, but once school starts that will drop to "0" and I'll need some help... I'm really hoping someone will offer some great advice here because I'm also new to all of this and not quite sure how to fill out all this paperwork.

    Just wondering - where in NC do you plan on going to school? Take Care, SusanNC
  8. by   Achoo!
    did anyone try filling it out online?? I don't remember answering a question on my job now, just listing our income off of our tax forms from last year.
  9. by   NCNurse2be
    Thanks everyone for your help! This has been one daunting task.

    Achoo - I just filled out the majority of my form last night, and while there isn't a specific question asking about your current job, you have to fill out your 2003 income from your 1040 IRS form. While it looks like I made out alright in 2003, I'm going have nothing come August when school starts up full time. I'm hoping that the above poster was right, and my school will allow me to make an adjustment once I submit it. I also had a hard time with the "net worth" question. It's hard to know what they expect you to include in that. I guess I'm just going to have to wait for the financial aid person to get back to me.

    SusanNC - I'll be attending the Duke University Accelerated BSN program. The tuition is outrageous (initally I have to take out loans for that), but Duke hospitals actually has a very good tuition reimbursement program if you agree to work there for 3 yrs after graduation (you get 1/3 tuition back at the end of each year). Will you be attending school in NC? Best of luck to you!
  10. by   Achoo!
    For net worth, we owe 60,000 on our house yet, so I listed the difference from the total value. It showed I should still get a disbursement.
  11. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from NCNurse2be
    Thanks everyone for your help! This has been one daunting task.

    Achoo - I just filled out the majority of my form last night, and while there isn't a specific question asking about your current job, you have to fill out your 2003 income from your 1040 IRS form. While it looks like I made out alright in 2003, I'm going have nothing come August when school starts up full time. I'm hoping that the above poster was right, and my school will allow me to make an adjustment once I submit it. I also had a hard time with the "net worth" question. It's hard to know what they expect you to include in that. I guess I'm just going to have to wait for the financial aid person to get back to me.

    SusanNC - I'll be attending the Duke University Accelerated BSN program. The tuition is outrageous (initally I have to take out loans for that), but Duke hospitals actually has a very good tuition reimbursement program if you agree to work there for 3 yrs after graduation (you get 1/3 tuition back at the end of each year). Will you be attending school in NC? Best of luck to you!
    Once you fill out your FAFSA, you should be able to go into your financial aid office and fill out a special considerations form or something like that. A couple years ago I had to do that because my mom lost her job in the spring right after we filled out FAFSA so of course their income was way different. Most schools are more than helpful if there has been a large change in income.

    And also on the lines where you have to fill out the balance of checking & savings accounts, my FA advisor told us if there is money in there that is going to be specifically used for rent, car payments, etc then don't include that in the total.
  12. by   ARmickie
    I filled out my papers online, and I'm glad I did. My reason is that I was notified via email that the papers were accepted, and once my school *did* make adjustments, I received notification about that as well, along with the amount of change in the EFC and such. I have an ex who pays child support. I was filling out papers for the summer term, and I overestimated his contribution. The school asked me to provide verification of child support received and that's when we noticed the error. From what I learned at my school, if the difference is less than 400., it need not be reported. However, we were looking at a 2000 difference that would work in my favor. The school made adjustments and I was notified via email that the amount would go up considerably in my favor.
    I did a lot of research from the different websites about grants and such before I ever filled out my papers, and I can't remember exactly which site I saw it on, maybe www.finaid.com , it does state that you can ask for special consideration once you meet with your school Fin Aid office. Good luck.

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