Dumb question, probably

<p>My daughter is only in 10th grade, so I'm not in financial aid hell yet, but ... I did fill out the FAFSA before, when she went to a private middle school. I remember questions about how much did we spend on vacations. That year, we had spent very little, and I filled in the numbers. But it got me wondering ... how do they know what you spend on various optional expenses such as vacations?</p>

<p>You are probably recalling a application/form other than FAFSA. FAFSA does not apply to private middle schools and does not ask any questions about expenses. The questions on the FAFSA apply primarily to your income and assets. The CSS profile, does ask some questions related to expenses, but those for the most part are related to college expenses and items like your mortgage payments.</p>

<p>Print out the current FAFSA formula, so you can see what it asks for: <a href=“https://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/2012-13-efc-forumula.pdf[/url]”>https://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/2012-13-efc-forumula.pdf</a></p>

<p>For a test run of the CSS Profile, use this link, and check the box for “institutional methodology”:
<a href=“Expected Family Contribution Calculator”>Expected Family Contribution Calculator</a></p>