Can I subtract farm equipment storage from Investments on FAFSA?

My parents own a small family farm (2 part-time employees). My parents bought a plot of land with a house on it for the purpose of storing more farm equipment (tractors, machinery etc.). They rent the house out to one of our farm hands and use the garage, basement, backyard, and sheds for storage. Could these parts of the house be subtracted from the overall value of the house on the investments section of the FAFSA?

How are you going to assign a monetary fair market value to those parts of the property (garage, basement, backyard, sheds) that are not available for use by the renter?

I’m less concerned about the exact monetary value. I’m more concerned about the principal, and if it’s something I should spend my time and resources on.

I would be very careful to make sure that you apply to at least one and preferably two universities that you know that you will get accepted to, that you would be willing to attend, and that WILL be affordable.

I know quite a few farmers. The ones who live in the US have in nearly every case had to send their children to in-state public universities because that is all that was affordable. Most or all of them have kids who are academically very strong (one for example became a neurosurgeon – on one occasion after a snow storm we were able to get to the main road and thus to the airport only because we were led out by a neurosurgeon driving a John Deere). Children of farmers who are academically outstanding definitely do occur. Children of farmers who attend top private universities in the US are much rarer.

This is a “pet peeve” of mine, but is something that you need to watch out for.


I am a Sophomore and part of a need-based scholarship program. Due to the entire property being considered as an investment on the FAFSA right now, I am “making too much” to qualify for my scholarship, whereas, if the parts of the house my family uses for farm use are removed, I would qualify for my scholarship, hence why I’m very concerned. It’s also a huge pet peeve of mine, as the only reason I went to the university I did is because of this scholarship program.

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Your parents are using that additional space as part of their farm really. Not sure how that would be “deducted”.

It sounds like they chose to purchase this second house recently. Is that correct?

Please be honest about how you present anything in terms of your need based aid award. You will need to show documentation of this deduction, if it’s even allowed.

I am sorry you are in this position, but it’s not surprising that purchasing additional assets would change the financial aid picture. Beyond the asset impact, your parents also have to include the rent from the tenant in income. I would also encourage you to go speak with someone in your financial aid office. Best to deal with this upfront and see if there are any options.

Go meet with a fin aid officer, but I think you’ve got a problem here. The business doesn’t own the property - your parents do. Plus they own the business, too. But wouldn’t the money that they spent on the property have come out of their assets? Didn’t cash money assets drop when they bought the investment property?

How much equity do they have in this rental home?