Understanding your Student Aid Report
What is a Student Aid Report?
A Student Aid Report, or SAR, is the report that summarizes the information that you submitted on your FAFSA and discloses the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount. Once you complete your FAFSA, a Student Aid Report will be sent to you and the school(s) that you listed on the FAFSA.
What to do With Your Student Aid Report
Make sure you check your Student Aid Report carefully for any errors. Remember, the financial information shown on the Student Aid Report will be used to determine your eligibility for federal aid and other types of financial aid.
Your Student Aid Report also contains an important dollar figure, called your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated based on the information you provided in the FAFSA. Your EFC is the amount of money that your family is expected to contribute to your college education for one school year. Your school will subtract your EFC from the total cost of attendance to determine your financial need.
|Your school’s total cost of attendance
||= Your Financial Need
Your school will craft a financial aid package based on your financial need. A financial aid package can include federal, state and private aid, such as scholarships, grants and loans. This package will be presented to you in a financial aid award letter. If you are deciding between several schools, you should compare your award letters from each school.
Repeating the Process
You will need to fill out the FAFSA every year, which means that each time you complete the process you will receive a new Student Aid Report. If your family’s financial situation changes drastically, you may see a major change in your EFC. Keep in mind that the lower your EFC, the greater your financial need and the more financial aid you may qualify for.