A: While that process makes you eligible for university-level scholarships,
you must fill out an online application for our the College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences college-level scholarships. Also, be sure to check with
your academic department for their scholarships.
A: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is filed each
year by students to qualify for institutional and federal financial aid. It
is important to remember to file the FAFSA each year between January 1 and
March 1 in order to be considered for priority financial aid.
The FAFSA differentiates between a 'family' farm and an 'investment' farm.
A 'family' farm is defined as a farm that the family lives on and operates.
In that case none of the assets would be included.
For those individuals who have 'investment' farms (i.e., they are not living
on the land that they operate), they are instructed to include 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.
Here is some language from the Federal Student Aid Handbook (the Department
of Education's handbook for financial aid officers) that provides some
A farm (including equipment, livestock, etc.) isn't reported as an
investment on the FAFSA if:
it is the principal place of residence for the applicant and his family
(spouse or, for dependent students, parents), and
the applicant (or parents of a dependent student) materially participated
in the farming operation
The FAFSA asks for the net worth of investments, which is their total
current market value minus their associated debts. If their net worth is
negative, the student reports a zero.
Similarly for businesses and investment farms, the current net worth is
reported for land, buildings, machinery, equipment, livestock, and
inventories. The current market value of a business or investment farm is
reduced by the debt owed on it to determine the net worth. Business or farm
debt means only those debts for which the business or farm was used as
Family-owned and controlled small businesses (which can include farms) that
have 100 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees do not count
as an asset. 'Family-owned and controlled' means that more than 50% of the
business is owned by persons who are directly related or are or were related
by marriage (family members do not have to be counted in the household size
for this question).
So there are some options for farm families to not have assets included. We
suggest that families complete the FAFSA even if they don't believe they
will qualify for gift aid simply because some scholarships require that a
FAFSA is on file. Additionally, the low-interest loans also require a FAFSA.