Unlike the FAFSA, which specifically excludes the value of your primary residence, the CSS Profile factors home equity into algorithms for your EFC.
Be sure you don’t overestimate your home’s value, and if you have mortgages, make sure to enter these, too.
“If the primary home has significant debt – mortgage, home equity loan – the only way a school may factor the cash flow needed to pay for the debt is if they are assessing the home,” Sirot said. “A common misconception is that all schools provide aid in the same way, so it is important for each family to examine their particular situation.”
Second or vacation homes will need to be listed, and rental properties count, too.
Any income or loss from a rental property would be part of the income portion of the application, Sirot said.