the student aid report

Posted : February 5, 2007
Last Updated : January 23, 2013

the student aid report

The Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizes the information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The schools you list on your FAFSA will have access to your SAR and will use the information to determine if you are eligible for federal student aid.

Arrival of SAR
If you filed the FAFSA online and provided a valid e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail within a few days of filing that contains a secure link so you can access your SAR on the Web. You can also check the status of your FAFSA and print a copy of your SAR at If you filed a paper FAFSA or did not provide a valid e-mail address, you will receive a paper SAR in about three to four weeks after submitting the FAFSA. In whatever form you receive the SAR, it is crucial that you review it and make sure it is accurate and complete.

Items to Review
When you receive the SAR, be sure to locate and review the following items:

  • FAFSA Info. The information you provided on your FAFSA will be listed on your SAR. Review this section carefully to make sure all the information is correct. If you find any errors, you can make corrections online or on the paper SAR. Your SAR will contain instructions on how to make corrections.
  • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount the government believes your family is able to contribute to college expenses. This number is based on information that you supplied on your FAFSA such as family income, assets, number of children in college, etc. The EFC listed on your SAR is subject to change based upon your school's verification of provided information.
  • Verification. If there is an asterisk next to your EFC, this means that your SAR has been selected for verification. Verification is a process used to verify the accuracy of information provided on your FAFSA. Some students are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Others are selected by the school. Usually only a certain percentage of students are selected for verification, however some schools choose to verify 100% of their student files. Here are steps to take if your SAR has been flagged for verification. Above all else, don't be upset if you have been selected for verification. The Financial Aid Office may even discover errors in your report that could actually increase your eligibility for more aid.

Next Step
The schools you listed on your FAFSA will receive your SAR information electronically. The financial aid office staff at your school(s) will use this information to determine if you are eligible for financial aid and put together an award package for you. In March, you will begin receiving award notifications from your schools. These notifications will tell you the type of aid (i.e. scholarships, grants, work-study, student loans) and the amount of aid the school is offering. You should compare the award offers before you make a decision on which school to attend. Once you have made a decision, you must let the school know whether or not you are accepting or declining the awards.

For more information about the SAR or the financial aid process, contact your school's Financial Aid Office.


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