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CSS Profile how do they look at 401K?

foto2gemfoto2gem Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
Just filling out the Profile and see that we have to put down retirement. We have saved for retirement for years and now have a nice sum in our account. How do they determine need using retirement information...anyone know??
Post edited by foto2gem on

Replies to: CSS Profile how do they look at 401K?

  • sblake7sblake7 Posts: 1,691Registered User Senior Member
    The ASSETS you currently have in your retirement accounts are exempt from the aid formula-- you won't be penalized for saving for your retirement.

    However, the portion of your INCOME that you put into a retirement account in '07 gets added back onto your AGI for purposes of the '08/'09 Profile or FAFSA. So you can't shelter "current" income from the formula by placing it in the retirement account.

    Remember-- the formulas look at income and assets very differently.
  • jjcddgjjcddg Posts: 508Registered User Member
    I think the OP is refering to questions on the CSS profile that ask for the total amount of retirement savings.

    Despite some very lean years, my policy had always been to "pay myself first" and with an EFC of about 8000 we have retirement savings that equal about 3-4 times our income.

    I remember being concerned about this this question on the CSS profile as well and I'd read a thread about how schools only ask this to get your whole financial picture, and don't really consider this money.

    However, the the more I learn about the financial aid process the more I've come to realize that there are no set "rules" for using profile info. Each school has their own formulas and policies for using the profile info. In other words, when it comes to institutional aid they can "play by their own rules"

    I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I don't think there is one.
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