Paying for College

Assets, Equity, & Financial Aid

Question: When you are applying for financial aid from an institution such as Yale what assets are looked at in the process in addition to income? Does a parent's 401k retirement plan and the asset value of a home fiqure in the ability-to-pay equation?

Colleges approach financial aid with different "methodologies," and you should feel free to ask officials at each school on your list to explain their process. Many institutions, like Yale, that require the CSS PROFILE will consider home equity when making aid decisions. However, most will put a "cap" on the amount of equity that figures into an aid calculation. That cap is typically the household income multiplied by three.

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