First-time parent poster here... I'm looking into whether to complete the FAFSA for my eldest, so am new to all this. Thanks for any help and pardon my cluelessness...
Son is a senior - ACT 31, weighted GPA 3.6/4.0, Honors/AP student (9 AP). He has about 10 out-of-state schools on his list and all are, I think, somewhat selective, big state universities (e.g. Wisconsin, Indiana, Penn State, Ohio, Colorado...). I feel they are match or reach schools for him, particularly the business schools. I do not know how our FAFSA would affect application decisions, or if it would hurt his chances.
Every school he's looking at takes the FAFSA, and not the CSS form. We own a business where we do not have to report assets/income on FAFSA, so wondering if we'd qualify for financial aid.
Here is some financial background...
Spouse and I own 100% shares in a profitable business and FAFSA does not require that family business value be reported. This is our most valuable asset, however because FAFSA does not report it, we will look poor on paper. Is that good for financial aid, but bad for acceptance decision?
We did take a low salary for the last 2 years ($120k income for both parents).
We have $60k personal debt (about to pay off from business earnings - or should we not?)
Real Estate Value
- 6 rental properties that we operate at a break-even cashflow, though they have equity ($400k).
- equity in 2 homes (1 primary residence, 1 vacation home) which we've greatly improved, but haven't reappraised. ($400k equity if not reappraised).
- a home in Canada that's in a larger, shared family trust.
- In 2017, I acquired and sold a house for profit.
- In 2017, I acquired 50 acres of land that is not surveyed/appraised, so difficult to value.
Quite a bit in 401k, profit sharing, IRA's - Is this all reported on FAFSA?
Some misc. stocks/savings
Also, we pay our son a salary for working at the business, so he has some savings - maybe $5000. We also have a small 529 college account set up for him.
So would it be worthwhile to complete the FAFSA? Any other recommendations on how I can report/restructure investments?