When it comes to financial aid formulas, there is a man behind the curtain and it’s important to find him. The FAFSA 4caster is great for getting an estimate, but it doesn’t tell you how it came up with that estimate. And knowledge is power: understanding the formulas gives you some room to adjust your financial picture to improve your chances of getting aid.
Here is the actual worksheet with the specific calculations in the FAFSA formula. Go get ’em.