Everyone should be applying for financial aid. There are many variables that factor into the eligibility equation such as parent and student assets and income, in addition to the number of children in college. The institutional methodology, adopted by College Board and its PROFILE form, takes into account a broader range of assets. Also, some schools look at only the custodial parent in the case of divorce and some both parents.
Self-employed parents, filing a schedule C, have an advantage in that only their net income from the schedule C is taken into account. Additionally, all federal loans, unsubsidized and subsidized, are issued only with the submission of the FAFSA.