the student aid report

Posted : February 5, 2007
Last Updated : November 12, 2018

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

Depending on whether you provide an email address on your FAFSA determines whether you receive an online or paper SAR.

If you provide a valid email address when filing the FAFSA, you will receive an email within a few days of filing that contains a secure link so you can access your SAR on the Web. Be sure to add to your email contact list so that your SAR notification email won't go to your spam or junk folder.

If you don't provide a valid email address when filing the FAFSA, you will receive either a SAR or a SAR Acknowledgement via postal mail:

  • SAR - The SAR outlines your FAFSA information and provides space for you to make corrections. If you file a paper FAFSA and don't provide an email adress, you will receive a paper SAR in about three to four weeks after submitting the FAFSA.
  • SAR Acknowledgement - The SAR Acknowlegement also outlines your FAFSA information but does not provide space for corrections. Instead, you will need to make any corrections at If you file the FAFSA online and don't provide an email address, you will receive a SAR Acknowledgement.

In whatever form you receive the SAR, it is crucial that you review it and make sure it is accurate and complete. Regardless of whether you file the online or paper FAFSA or provide an email address or not, you can always view SAR information at as long as you have an FSA ID and your FAFSA has been processed.

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. You might see a note on your SAR saying that you have 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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