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Financial Aid: SAR

About 4 to 5 weeks after you submit your FAFSA, the Central Processor will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which acknowledges receipt of your materials and informs you about important financial aid considerations.

The Student Aid Report states the amount of your Expected Family Contribution and tells you if you qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. It also provides you with a detailed review of the information that you and your parents provided in your FAFSA form. This report provides you with the opportunity to review your data and make any corrections or revisions if necessary. You may have to make changes because of errors or if your family's financial situation has changed since you sent in the FAFSA. You may also add the names of additional colleges and programs to receive your SAR.

If you find that revisions are necessary, just mail the revised data back to the Central Processor. The FCP will then re-evaluate your data and make another estimate of your need. A revised SAR will be returned to you. This process should take about two to three weeks.

You may want to compare the Estimated Family Contribution figure the Central Processor sends to you in this report with your own calculations. There are  worksheets and services that help you get a good idea of what your contribution should be. If the figures provided in your SAR seem substantially different than what you were expecting based on your own calculations, be sure to double check both sets of figures to see if the Processor missed something or if you failed to provide some needed information. For information about the internet Expected Family Contribution worksheets, see the section on the Financial Aid Road Map that focuses on the Expected Family Contribution.

(Source: Rosen, Rochelle, S.College in California: The Inside Track.)