Tips for Completing Financial Aid Forms

Income information:

Be sure to put the AGI on the required line.

Do not forget to put down income from all sources, i.e. wages, interest, dividends, taxable and untaxable Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, untaxed interest, pension benefits, etc.

When reporting income tax, be sure to put down income tax paid, not income tax withheld.

When reporting mother's and father's individual wages from the W-2, be sure to use the amount shown on box 1 of the W-2. If you are self-employed you should report the net earnings on schedule SE.

Other:

Be sure to include on the forms only people in the household for whom the parents provide more than 50% of their living expenses. In most cases, this will be those family members listed on the 1040.

List only the amount of loan that parents are repaying for their educational expenses.

Report only the amount of tuition and fees paid for private elementary and secondary school; do not include any amount if the younger sibling is being homeschooled or attends a public school. Do not include any amount if it is a second child in college.

Do not report child support paid when in fact it is child support received.

When parents are divorced and do not live together, report information for only the parent with whom the student lives or receives the majority of support from in "Parent Information."

Be sure to include income from step parent when parent is remarried.

Medical/Dental Expenses - if you incur un-reimbursed medical expenses, it is helpful if you report that amount on schedule A of your tax return, even if it is less than the amount that may be deducted.

Assets:

Be sure to include the assets of the step-parent if the custodial parent is remarried.

Be sure to report retirement contributions (tax-deferred pension and savings plans), which are shown on W-2 forms in Boxes 12a through 12d, codes D,E,F,G,H, and S.

If your reported assets do not support your interest or dividend income, we will impute at the current market rate - 1.5% and 2.5% respectively - for 2008 reported interest and dividends

When we see rental income and no other real estate value, we will impute the value of the rental property at 20 times the rents paid and calculate the mortgage balance at 7.0%; i.e. if rents received are equal to $20,000 and there is no value or a relatively small value shown, we will impute a value of $400,000 for the property. If there is interest paid shown on schedule E for the property, we will divide the amount by .070 to calculate the mortgage owed.

If you have capital gains or losses reported on Schedule D and line 13 of your 1040, you need to let us know if the funds were re-invested or were funds received during the previous year as a sale only.