Back to FAFSA® Guide 2024-25

How to answer FAFSA® questions about student assets

Here’s a guide for how to correctly fill in 2024-25 FAFSA® questions about your financial assets and any child support you may have received.

Annual child support received

Why do they need this info?

  • The FAFSA® includes the amount of child support you received when calculating your eligibility for aid.
  • Child support isn’t reported with your tax returns so you need to enter it here.

Can I skip this question?

No, but you can answer zero (0) if you didn’t receive child support.

How to answer this question

  • Enter any child support you received in the calendar year 2022.
  • Enter zero (0) if you didn’t receive any.


21 Annual Child Support Received

Enter total amount the student received in child support for the last complete calendar year. If the answer to question 3 was “Married” or “Remarried,” enter the combined amount the student and their spouse received.


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Student assets

Why do they need this info?

  • FAFSA® requires details about your (and your spouse’s, if you’re married) financial assets to help calculate how much aid you’ll need to pay for college.

Can I skip these questions?


What else should I know?

  • Net worth means the current value, as of today, of investments, businesses, and/or investment farms, minus debts related to those same investments, businesses, and/or investment farms. When calculating net worth, use 0 for investments or properties with a negative value. 
  • Investments include real estate (do not include the home in which you live), rental property (which may include a unit within a family home that has its own entrance, kitchen, and bath rented to someone other than a family member), trust funds, UGMA and UTMA accounts, money market funds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, stock options, bonds, other securities, installment and land sale contracts (including mortgages held), commodities, etc. 
  • Investments also include qualified educational benefits or education savings accounts (e.g., Coverdell savings accounts, 529 college savings plans,  and the refund value of 529 prepaid tuition plans). For a student who does not report parental information, the accounts owned by the student (and/or the student’s spouse) are reported as student investments in question 22. For a student who must report parental information, the accounts are reported as parental investments in question 40, including all accounts owned by the student and all accounts owned by the parents for any member of the household. 
  • Investments do not include the home you live in, the value of life insurance, ABLE accounts, retirement plans (401[k] plans, pension funds, annuities, non-education IRAs, Keogh plans, etc.) or cash, savings and checking accounts reported in the previous question. 
  • Investments also do not include UGMA and UTMA accounts for which you are the custodian, but not the owner. 
  • Investment value means the current balance or market value of these investments as of today. Investment debt means only those debts that are related to the investments. 
  • Business and/or investment farm value includes the market value of land, buildings, machinery, equipment, inventory, etc. Business and/or investment farm debt means only those debts for which the business or investment farm was used as collateral.

How to answer these questions

  • Don’t include your parents’ assets.
  • Enter the current total of any cash you have, and the combined total of all your checking and savings accounts.
  • Enter the total value of your (and your spouse’s) investments, subtracting any debts.
  • Enter the current value of your (and your spouse’s) businesses and/or farms, subtracting any debts owed on them.

Fafsa guide screenshot student assets 

22 Student Assets

If the answer to question 3 was “Married” or “Remarried,” enter the combined amounts held by the student and their spouse.

Current total of cash, savings, and checking accounts
Don't include student financial aid.

Current net worth of investments, including real estate
Don’t include the home the student lives in.
Net worth is the value of the investments minus any debts owed against them.

Current net worth of businesses and investment farms
Enter the net worth of the student’s businesses or for-profit agricultural operations. Net worth is the value of the businesses or farms minus any debts owed against them.


2024-25 FAFSA® questions 

Choose the FAFSA® questions you would like help with

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

footnote FAFSA® is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.

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