What’s a SAR? If you’re not sure, you’d better keep reading!
After you complete your FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from Federal Student Aid. This document will be sent to the email address you supplied on your FAFSA, usually within a few days after you submit the FAFSA. If you haven’t seen it in your inbox yet, be sure to check your spam or junk mail folders.
The SAR contains all data reported on your FAFSA. Read your SAR carefully to make sure all of your information is correct. Most errors can be fixed through your FAFSA online at FAFSA.gov. If there is an error in a field you can’t access, call the Federal Student Aid hotline at 1.800.4 FED AID (1.800.433.3243), or send your question to FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov. You should receive an answer to your email within one business day.
Your SAR will also tell you if your FAFSA has been selected for verification. If it has, you’ll be given instructions about what to do next. Supplying the information required for verification is mandatory. You can’t receive federal financial aid until the verification process is complete.
Reading your SAR lets you know what’s going on with your financial aid application before you visit a financial aid office. It can help you prepare for your visit by having any necessary documents with you when you arrive. This will save time and reduce the number of visits you’ll have to make to the financial aid office. That’s a win-win situation for everyone!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve redesigned our website at UCanGo2.org! The refreshed look and enhanced navigation are designed to help students and parents quickly find the information they need to plan, prepare and pay for college.
Be sure to check out our scholarship section to find our scholarship of the week and to search for scholarships by deadline or category.
High school students: Are you counting the days until your school year is over? Of course you are! But don’t let your summer bliss distract you from one very important deadline. Students in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade must submit their Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship applications by June 30, 2015.
Sophomores, June 30 is your final deadline. Any application not submitted by this deadline will be removed from the application system, and you could miss out on thousands of dollars in scholarship funds that do not have to be paid back. Don’t make this costly mistake! Submit your application right away.
To learn more about Oklahoma’s Promise and the qualifications for receiving the scholarship, visit OKPromise.org.
If your student needs your information for the FAFSA, you’ll need to create an FSA ID separate from your student’s FSA ID. You can create an FSA ID, consisting of a username and password, at FSAID.ed.gov. As a parent, your FSA ID will allow you to electronically retrieve your tax information and sign your student’s FAFSA. If you have more than one child completing the application, you can use the same FSA ID for all applications.
After you’ve created an FSA ID, you can update your information on your student’s FAFSA by choosing the option to “Enter the student’s information” from the FAFSA login page. We recommend you create an FSA ID before accessing your student’s FAFSA to help avoid additional steps in the login process.
To learn more about the FSA ID process visit studentaid.gov/fsaid.
Beginning May 10, 2015, Federal Student Aid will require both new and existing users to create an FSA ID consisting of a username and password to access the following websites: FAFSA on the Web, The National Student Loan Data System, Federal Direct Consolidation Loans, Federal Student Aid and Agreement to Serve. The FSA ID will be used to replace PINs.
Use the following steps to create an FSA ID:
Step 1: When logging in to one of the websites listed above, click the link to create an FSA ID. Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID.
Step 2: Create a username and password, and enter your email address.
Step 3: Enter your name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information, and challenge questions and answers.
Step 4: If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to your FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN.
Step 5: Review your information, and read and accept the terms and conditions.
Step 6: Confirm your email address using the secure code, which will be sent to the email address you entered when you created your FSA ID. Once you verify your email address, you can use it instead of your username to log in to the websites.
For more information about this change, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/filling-out/pin#fsaid-intro.
It’s award letter season! If you submitted your FAFSA and responded to all requests for information from your college of choice, you should soon receive a financial aid award letter. This letter, which may arrive by email or snail mail, shows the different types of financial assistance you’re eligible to receive to help cover your college expenses. If you haven’t received your letter yet, check with your school to find out how they will send it you. Follow these steps when it arrives:
- Read the letter and make sure you fully understand each type of financial aid you’re offered.
- Know the cost of your school and, if you are still considering more than one, compare the schools’ award letters.
- Decide how much and which types of financial assistance to accept or reject.
- Accept grants and scholarships first, because they’re considered free money and typically don’t have to be repaid.
- Loans will have to be repaid. Beyond grants and scholarships, only accept the loans you’ll need to cover your college costs. You don’t have to accept the entire amount offered and, if necessary, you can usually apply for remaining loan funds later in the academic year.
- Submit your response on time. Many award letters have deadline dates, so pay attention to the details.
For questions about financial aid, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website at StudentAid.gov or contact your school’s financial aid office.
We know you’re busy preparing for the end of the year, and applying for financial aid for college can feel a bit like taking a course in a different language—especially with so many programs, terms and acronyms to decipher. We’ve compiled a list of common financial aid terms and definitions below to help you save time when completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Cost of Attendance (COA) is usually stated as a yearly figure. It’s comprised of the average expenses for tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, student loan fees and some personal expenses.
- Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal loan available to students with demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while the student is attending college on at least a half-time basis.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students. The interest on an unsubsidized loan isn’t paid by the federal government so borrowers are responsible for all interest accrued from the date the loan is disbursed.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated based on the financial information you and your parents provided on the FAFSA. Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It’s a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you’re eligible to receive.
- Financial Need is defined as the difference between what it costs you to attend a college and your Expected Family Contribution. Many forms of financial assistance are based on your ability to show financial need.
- Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) is a need-based grant program for Oklahoma residents who attend eligible colleges, universities and career technology centers in Oklahoma.
- Pell Grant is awarded to eligible undergraduate students to help cover college expenses. The Pell Grant typically does not have to be repaid.
- Work-Study is a federal student aid program that provides students with part-time employment while they’re enrolled in school. The earnings are used to help pay for educational expenses.
To learn more about financial aid terms, check out the glossary through the U.S. Department of Education.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow to help you pay for college? As luck would have it, a free ride to college just isn’t in the cards for most folks. Your next best bet is to submit the Free Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By submitting the FAFSA, you’re able to determine how much federal and state aid you may be eligible to receive to help pay for college.
Already submitted the FAFSA? It’s never too late to start applying for scholarships. Be sure to take advantage of the helpful information provided in UCanGo2’s Scholarship Success Guide to help you as you go.
If you complete and submit your FAFSA online each year, the system will double check your entries against your information from previous years and it will offer you helpful information along the way. However, even with the advantages of online completion, you may find that your FAFSA contains an error, or you may need to update your tax information.
To correct an error or update your FAFSA online, visit FAFSA.gov and enter your login information. Then, on the My FAFSA page, click “Make FAFSA Corrections.” After you’ve finished your corrections, don’t forget to click submit.
Once you resubmit your application and receive a confirmation number, the correction will be processed in 3-5 days. You cannot submit a second correction until the first one is processed and a Student Aid Report (SAR) is generated, so try to make all of your corrections at once to avoid a processing delay.
You can expect several things after you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- If your application is error-free, you’ll be directed to a confirmation page with a confirmation number. This page will be emailed to you, but it’s also a good idea to save or print it for your records.
- Your information will be made available to the schools you included on your FAFSA application. They will have access to your information about a day after your application is processed. However, it may take them longer to retrieve your information, depending on their system. Want to add more schools? See our previous post for more information.
- About 3-5 days after you submit the FAFSA, you’ll receive an email containing instructions for accessing your Student Aid Report (SAR). If the email address you provided is not valid, your SAR will be mailed to you within 7-10 days.
- Be sure to check your SAR for accuracy. It contains important information including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which schools use to determine how much federal financial aid you qualify for, including grants, scholarships, work-study and student loans.
- Once the colleges you listed on your application process your information, they’ll send you a financial aid award letter detailing the aid you’re eligible to receive. The schools may request additional information and if they do, be sure to send it in promptly.