Best Answers to Confusing FAFSA Questions

One challenge you might face as you complete a FAFSA form is knowing how to answer questions to maximize aid. Here are some tips to give you an edge:


  • Question 31 – Work Studies: This question asks if you or your student is open to participating in a work/study program. Unless you are 100 percent sure this is not an option, it’s OK to answer yes. This doesn’t obligate you or your student to accept a work/study job. Also, work/study earnings don’t impact the next year’s aid, but a part-time job might be counted as income.


  • Question 42 – Net Investment Value: In this field, you’ll enter the net worth of your investments. This includes real estate properties other than your primary home, as well as trust funds, stocks, bonds, and other bank accounts. With real estate, it’s important to remember this is the property value LESS what you owe. If you have $100,000 property, but still owe $80,000, the net investment value is $20,000.


  • Question on Business Worth: If you do own a business, keep in mind that if you have under 100 employees, under FAFSA rules, your business assets are not assessed when determining the Expected Family Contribution.


  • Question 95 – Household Size: You want to include anyone who receives half or more of their support from you during the academic year. This would include all family members living in your home, as well as children not living with you but whom you support. If you are expecting, count the baby if he or she will be born during the academic year.

Answers to these questions can help you determine how much aid your student receives.