Families applying for financial aid for college must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a first step in the financial aid process. Within 2-4 weeks after you submit your FAFSA online, you will receive a Student Aid Report or SAR. (If you chose to receive this by email it should arrive within a few days of completing the FAFSA online.) The colleges that you identify on the FAFSA will also receive a copy of this report.
If your FAFSA was incomplete, log onto your FAFSA account and click on Make FAFSA Corrections. Enter your FSA ID and add and submit needed corrections. If your FAFSA application is complete, an Expected Family Contribution (the EFC) is displayed on the top right of page 1 of the SAR. If there is an asterisk next to the EFC, it means your form has been flagged for verification. Verification requires your family to submit additional documentation to qualify for federal financial aid.
The EFC is the number that your colleges use to determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. The EFC is not the amount your family will have to pay for
college, nor is it the amount of federal aid you will receive. Each of your colleges will use the EFC, however, in structuring your financial aid package. The college financial aid office will subtract your EFC from their total cost of attendance to determine your need.
In today’s economic climate, relatively few colleges can guarantee to meet 100% of demonstrated need. Those that do will make up the difference between cost and EFC with a package that consists of grants, work-study, and, often, student loans. Colleges that do not have the financial resources to meet 100% of need will do their best to make their college affordable, but will award the best packages to their most desirable applicants.
When you first completed your FAFSA, you were able to send your SAR to up to ten colleges. Once you have your SAR, you can remove colleges that received the report and add additional
colleges as necessary. Just log in with your FSA ID, click on Make FAFSA Corrections, and then on add/remove colleges. You are also able to make changes directly on the SAR and resubmit it.
Have questions? Contact the U.S. Department of Education Help Desk at: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) as well as your college’s (or prospective college’s) financial aid office.
To learn more about Financial Aid,
Call Us at (626)-821-9181 to Schedule a FREE College Planning Consultation!