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CSS and FAFSA re: business assets

Classof2015Classof2015 Posts: 3,376Registered User Senior Member
Hoping someone has direct experience with this one: this is my 1st time applying for financial aid for D (high school senior applying now). I own my own business 50/50 with a partner. From what I've read, since our business employs < 100 people and I do not own it 100%, EFC calculations INCLUDE business assets as part of available monies to pay for tuition. But my business which is heavily regulated requires a certain net worth to operate (i.e., I cannot access my 50% of business assets without putting the business out of business). How does CSS Profile and/or FAFSA take that fact into account (or maybe they don't/can't)? If so, should I send each school a separate note from our business accountant stating that fact?
Post edited by Classof2015 on

Replies to: CSS and FAFSA re: business assets

  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Posts: 4,104Registered User Senior Member
    Is the 50% equity that is yours exactly the amount needed to allow the business to operate with none left over? It's my understanding that they allow a certain amount of assets before they start counting it as money you can use, so maybe your share would be less than that?
  • 2blue2blue Posts: 1,604Registered User Senior Member
    Classof2015, I read elsewhere that your D is considering an ED application. If you are at all concerned about FA, I would urge you as a business owner NOT to have her apply ED unless you have gotten a financial aid estimate in advance from the school and are happy with the offer. If she is accepted she is supposed to withdraw any other apps and go to that school.

    There is a slight ambiguity about it being okay to get out of ED if FA isn't sufficient, but if the school says it meets need, then they consider their offer to be sufficient. The big problem is you may view the offer very differently! Here is a thread from a fellow business owner who got a pre-read on FA and was shocked at the results:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/1013184-shocker-pre-read-ivy.html

    If your D has already submitted her app as ED, if I were in your shoes, I would contact the school and ask to be moved to the RD pool.

    As I said, I'm not a business owner but I have read plenty of posts here from those who are, and who were dismayed at how their situation was treated. Since you mention this is your first time through the FA process, I would hate for you to be caught unaware. Please check out other posts here. Perhaps doing a search of "business" here in the parents forum or the FA forum may pull up more info.
  • Classof2015Classof2015 Posts: 3,376Registered User Senior Member
    2Blue -- thanks for the honest advice -- you're right -- she is considering applying ED. I am really really torn -- I've heard from others that financial aid can be very limited if you go ED, but D (1st child) has worked so hard and (of course I'm biased) she has insight and intelligence that aren't reflected in her test scores, so she sees ED as her only leg up to a school she really wants to be at, so it's hard for me to say no. I also suspect she may be deferred/rejected, if the "chances" people on this site are any indication. If she gets in and the fin aid is minimal, we will make lifestyle changes, some severe, some not. I just feel like if she has a shot ED at a great school, somehow I will make it work.
  • Classof2015Classof2015 Posts: 3,376Registered User Senior Member
    Good question Sylvan. my 50% is only very slightly more than half of what we need to operate, so I guess they could think I have something there to use, but it wouldn't be much.
  • 2college2college2college2college Posts: 1,523- Senior Member
    Colleges will see your business assets as something you can borrow against, they won't ignore the asset because you need to leave it in the business unfortunately. The old joke: EFC=every friggin cent.
  • Classof2015Classof2015 Posts: 3,376Registered User Senior Member
    "Colleges will see your business assets as something you can borrow against' -- wow. They must have a very outdated view of the lending environment...
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Posts: 4,104Registered User Senior Member
    I asked about that (the lending environment) at one of the "parent instructional meetings" and the "expert" just shook his head and said "try to get merit money".
  • 2college2college2college2college Posts: 1,523- Senior Member
    What I've seen with colleges is that they need to draw a line somewhere. If you have assets and they are not liquid they still view them as assets. We went over this with several colleges known to be very generous with aid last year. They all took the same position: we had more money than folks with less assets, liquid or not. One even asked if the grandparents could help!
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