Financial Aid & Home Ownership

<p>I understand that the "primary residence" is not considered in the SAR/Family Contribution when applying for Financial Aid. Does is it matter as to whose name the home is in and whose name the mortage is in? I am a single mother with 2 girls in college who currently qualify for financial aid. We are condsidering purchasing a home as a primary residence. We have 2 options for financing. The first is to have the home and mortgage strictly in my name. The second is for my oldest daughter and I to purchase the home together with the mortagage and home in both our names. Would one option be better than the other or does it matter?</p>

<p>Thank you in advance for your input.</p>

<p>The primary residence is NOT counted on the FAFSA AT ALL. But typically the primary home is in the parent's name. I would put the home in your name only. You don't want the school to view this as a student asset...it's really not. If your child attends a school that requires a CSS Profile or a school form, I would suggest you put the house in your name (the parent). I'm not sure how Profile schools treat homes that are owned by the student but all other student assets are typically tapped at a higher rate than parent assets.</p>

<p>Thank you. That was kind of how I was thinking it would play out.</p>

<p>Again, is there a reason why you want to put it in your daughters name i.e. is it for some sort of tax/estate planning purposes. In that case you may want to get a professional opinion. </p>

<p>Also, let us say your elder daughter is in her final year of college, then value of asset would be about the down payment. Let us say you buy a house with $15000 down payment, and your daughter puts up $7500. This $7500 could cause her aid to go down, but then if she has $7500 in cash anyway, it may not matter much as cash on hand or in an asset (even if you cannot get it out easily) is treated the same.</p>

<p>As Thumper1 says, In general putting in only your name is the least risky and most straightforward. However, if there was a specific reason why you want to consider this, then the answer may be different. Also, a lot depends upon if it is a FAFSA school or CSS school.</p>

<p>Typical advice for estate planning purposes would be to put it only in the parent's name.</p>

<p>I know someone whose parents put their house in the older daughter's name. The parents died. Later, the older daughter died suddenly without a will (or without an updated will; I don't know which). The older daughter's husband and his sisters were delighted with the windfall. The younger daughter was left with nothing.</p>