How is financial aid calculated?

Do we use the FAFSA or the CSS? It is based on family income or assets? Does the value of homes count - inflated perhaps?

Hello! Financial aid is calculated from your CSS profile and a number of other documents that the college/university may require (such as the IDOC). These are comprehensive forms that ask everything from your parents/guardians’ salaries, assets (businesses, etc.), number of people in your household and how much they contribute financially, etc. From all of this information, each school determines your Expected Family Contribution, which is how much the school determines your family can afford to pay in tuition (think of it as Tuition – Financial Aid Package = Expected Family Contribution). At each school, there is a room full of people that determine this number, so it is difficult to say how each individual school approaches the financial aid.