I'd have to go back and look at ours, but there is, I recall, a section to discuss debt that may not appear on your 1040. We used the section to describe a construction loan (150-year-old house, leaky roof, no insulation)... some schools probably have different approaches to how much of such information they consider, and in what way.
...so by whether your home equity loan (or one you are considering) is "included," the short answer is "it can be." But whether it's taken into account by each school, you might want to speak with FA officers to discuss. From what we've seen, FA officers do want a complete picture. But each school's algorithm is different.