FAFSA changes (Pandemic relief package) and small business assets

I’m getting conflicting information on the upcoming changes to the FAFSA (beginning 2023-24) that were passed as part of the pandemic relief package. I’ve put links to two articles below, but here’s an excerpt from one:

The SAI formula also eliminates the family farm and small business asset exclusions, meaning that families would have to report the net value of any business or farm they own if they did not qualify for the simplified formula that excludes assets from consideration.

I know you shouldn’t trust everything you read on the internet, but if these articles are correct, then will we have to report a dollar amount for the value of our small business? I’m not loving the prospect as our income isn’t that high but the value of our small business is pretty decent.

One reason I’m questioning it is because I’ve read lots of other articles summarizing the changes and they don’t mention this one (big) change.


The change of the SAI formula eliminating the family farm and small business asset exclusions IS in the ACCFS (second) article you linked in the ‘Assets’ section.

Note this is just a FAFSA change for Federal Financial Aid purposes, schools that use CSS Profile to determine need may or may not make this change.

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We received NO fin aid, from the most generous school in the country, because of the value of our small business (mom and pop rentals). Cousins with similar employed income (both with excellent benefits, excellent retirement plans, and similar total assets) received 20K/yr fin aid from a similar Ivy, because their assets were in the value of their home in a sky-high real estate city. Essentially, the school felt that we should sell or mortgage the real estate to pay the tuition - which would have led to our then qualifying for fin aid by means of reduced income and reduced assets… after the child had been graduated.

You have to file both the FAFSA and the CSS for many private schools. The CSS is very comprehensive; unless you lie and conceal, and plan several years ahead to do so, if you have it, they will see it.

We told our kids to work their behinds off in high school to qualify for merit money, with the backup of our excellent flagship state U. I am under the impression that many other families are doing the same, by virtue of the steep rise in selectivity of our flagship state U, and the fact that most of my kids’ friends, even though they are from very well off families, are choosing the flagship state U.


Thanks. Yes, the change is mentioned in both of those articles, but in lots of other ‘summarizing the FAFSA changes’ articles I came across, I didn’t see it. Is there a way to see all the changes from an official source (ie government entity website)? I’d love to see them in full instead of reading summaries in random articles :slight_smile:

You would have to pull the details out of the bill that passed in January, I assume that is somewhere on the interwebs, but haven’t seen it.

Those two articles above are from organizations that are in the know…I would believe they have a much higher level of accuracy than a summary article from Forbes and the like.

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Here is a link to a summary of changes, put together by National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Search for business, and you’ll see the legislation. You can Google the legislation & read it in full. https://www.nasfaa.org/uploads/documents/Legislative_Changes_to_Federal_Methodology_Pell_Program_2021.pdf


Thank you! That’s really helpful.

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@stars2006 - just want to say that this financial aid part of the forum is amazing; the posters are wise. No one is trying to push anything. for example, Kelsmom used to work in college FA. They have helped hundreds and hundreds of families and kids here. come back with questions any time. :slight_smile:

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