After filling out your FAFSA, you can expect a Student Aid Report (SAR). It’s a document (electronic or paper) that will give you information about your eligibility for federal student aid. Colleges use information from your SAR to determine the amount of financial aid you receive. That’s why it’s super important to make sure you review all the basic information, and make sure it’s correct!
Important Elements of the Student Aid Report
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The EFC is the total out-of-pocket money your family can contribute towards your college education. There are all kinds of factors that go into it: your family size, the number of family members enrolled in college, and both taxable and non-taxable family income and assets. Colleges look at your EFC to figure out how much financial aid to award. On your SAR, you will find the EFC at the top right-hand corner of the report.
There are plenty of reasons your Student Aid Report may be selected for verification. Sometimes it’s chosen at random, and other times it’s to confirm misinformation on your FAFSA. If you are selected for the verification process, you and your family didn’t do anything wrong. However, it’s important to resolve so that you can receive your financial aid packages!
Data Release Number (DRN)
If you need to make changes to your FAFSA, you will need your DRN. It is a 4-digit number unique to your application. If you have a paper SAR, You can find it on the first page in the upper right-hand corner. If you have an electronic version, it will be displayed under the EFC in the box with the Application Receipt date.
How Will I Receive My SAR?
If you provide a valid email on your FAFSA…
You will receive email instructions from firstname.lastname@example.org guiding you to your Student Aid Report. If you created an account on FAFSA’s main website, you can log in any time to check the status of your SAR. No matter if you completed your FAFSA through the form online or the myStudentAid app, use your log on once your FAFSA has been processed.
If you do NOT provide a valid email address on your FAFSA…
You will receive a SAR or SAR Acknowledgement in the postal mail. If you think any information is incorrect, use the Information Review Form on the back of the SAR. Then, you will need to mail it back to the address provided on your Student Aid Report.
Upon receiving your Student Aid Report, be sure to review it carefully with a family member or school counselor. Make sure everything is correct, and you will be good to go! You can even take it one step further and invite them to follow along on your college journey in our free college planning platform, myOptions.