BIGGEST FAFSA MISTAKE
Stocks, bonds, real estate investments, money in checking and savings accounts, and other assets are very valuable to have. I am a huge advocate of parents teaching their children early on about these things. It is even better if the children learn how to and actually invest in these assets themselves.
However, it is NOT a good thing when it comes to filling out the FAFSA and other financial aid forms for college.
Assets that are in the student’s name will get penalized heavily when it comes to the FAFSA and other financial aid forms. When it comes to financial aid from the FAFSA form, 20% of the student’s assets will be counted in the FAFSA’s financial aid calculations as opposed to only 5.64% of the parent’s assets being counted in the financial aid calculations on the FAFSA form. This is a difference of nearly 14%. Also, parents can “protect” some of their assets. This means that the FAFSA form will not count a percentage of the assets at all when trying to determine the amount of financial aid that the student will qualify for.
Overall, putting assets in the students name versus the parent’s name could be the difference between your child qualifying for some financial aid through the FAFSA form and not qualifying for any financial aid.