question about calculating EFC

<p>When I try and calculate our EFC, when I use the FINAID website I get different figures than when I use the collegeboard site. The FinAid site disregards our assets because it says "family qualifies for simplified needs test"? What does this mean?</p>

<p>The collegeboard uses our house and retirement money in its calculations.</p>

<p>Is using retirement money normal?
How do we know what our house is worth? What we bought it for?
How do I calculate the worth from the country I live in into dollars, knowing that this may change?
Anybody have any experience?</p>


<p>The only thing I know for sure is that the worth of the house is its CURRENT MARKET VALUE and NOT what you purchased it for.</p>

<p>When you use the FINAID website you are trying to calculate your EFC for federal methodology. THis figure is used for eligibility for government grants, loans, workstudy. This is the first layer of US financial aid and the EFC is the governing number. Please keep in mind that the EFC which is your Expected Family Contribution is not necessary going to net what you need to go to any particular school. That is just the number that the government has calculated and colleges can do what they want with it. If your assets are disregarded, it is because your income is below that threshhold given your spouse' s and your ages, and your family size. </p>

<p>Most colleges just use the EFC as their basis for giving aid. But a number of schools, particularly private ones want more information. That is where Profile, which is done by collegeboard comes in. They will ask more in depth questions including home equity and sometimes retirement money. Actually if your retirement money is in certain qualified programs, it should not count. Since you are in Britain, you need to find out via phone call or letter whether you retirement money is considered qualified and therefore exempt from consideration from most financial aid analyses. I only know one school at the present that considers qualifed pension funds, but things change quickly.Some colleges also want to know what the equity is for your house. That value can be the amount you would be able to borrow on it as a home equity loan if your ages were not the obstacle. Just use the exchange date on the date you are calculating or on the last day of the preceding month. Lots of things change. When you do it for real, it would be the value on that day, just as they may want to know how much is sitting in your checking account "now" which is a highly variable amount.Really, you cannot fill out Profile meaningfully until you have a college list. This is because different colleges ask for different info. Some take into account siblings in other educational programs, some have qualifications for home equity. You may not even need Profile depending on what schools your son ends up applying to. </p>

<p>Good luck on this tedious process.</p>

<p>actually both sites (collegeboard and FINAID) said they were using Federal and Institutional so I'm still stumped.</p>

<p>Just out of curiousity? How do they check if you tell the truth about the value of your house? Who judges what the market value is?</p>

<p>In general, they do not. If you are pulled for audit which you may well be since you may qualify for some federal grants, they can do a quick check. If I have your address, I can call a realtor in your area and get a ball park figure on what a house like yours is worth on the market. If it is too out of range from your reported figure, further investigations would ensue. I do not recommend lying in any case, but on federal forms, it is particularly unwise. But you do not need to go for the last penny on estimates. </p>

<p>Collegeboard sponsors profile which askes for home equity. FAFSA does not ask for home equity as it does not figure in the calculations. So if they are asking for home equity, you are filling out Profile. Otherwise you most likely filling out FAFSA</p>

<p>For those instances where you need to estimate the value of your house, one method is to use the purchase price and inflate it by the percentage increase in housing prices in your area since the time of purchase. A market analysis or an appraisal would be other methods. I don't think anyone is expecting you to spend a lot of money on appraisals, but rather make a good faith effort to determine the current value.</p>

<p>We live in the East Suburbs of Paris (the unchic side), our house is about 1000 square feet. We bought it five years ago for about 1.200 000 FF. (200 000 dollars)? We live right next to public housing... and our garden is about 1500 square feet.
Does that help? Just kidding....</p>

<p>thanks, we will try to have that done... but with the Euro so strong against the dollar and the fact that it could change any day, I'm really not sure how to count it... I will check with the Embassy. Thanks</p>

<p>in washington your property taxes are based on the assessed value of your house, so everyone knows at least what the county thinks your house is worth.
We pay taxes on an estimated value of over 4 times what we paid for our house, that is assessed value. your equity is what is left after subtracting your loan from your assessed value.
I imagine schools have figures that state average price of home, corolate it with your income to what assessed value your house has. If you have $150K in income you probably are not going to be living in a house that is only worth $70K but you might only have that much in equity.</p>