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Two important reasons for the Student Aid Report

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

February 16, 2023

Compared to the financial aid offer, the Student Aid Report (SAR) may seem like an unimportant document when it comes to getting funding for college.

However, there are two important reasons for the Student Aid Report and those reasons are necessary steps to receiving a financial aid offer.

Reason #1: The SAR gives the student an opportunity to make sure their information is accurate before a college prepares a financial aid offer. A student should review the SAR, which includes the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and make any corrections if necessary. Students are required by law to provide accurate information and, by doing so, will receive a financial aid offer that best addresses their situation.

Reason #2: The SAR provides information that enables a student to prepare financially for college. The SAR will include the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the amount that a family can reasonably be expected to pay for college based on the information provided on the FAFSA. The college financial aid office calculates whether the student qualifies for need-based aid by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attendance. Students and parents can also use that formula to estimate whether they will receive any need-based aid or if they will need to seek merit-based aid or apply for student loans.

Most students will receive a notification via email about one or two weeks after they've completed the FAFSA that their SAR is ready to review. To view the SAR, the student will need to log into their account at or, in some rare situations, students will receive a paper SAR via postal mail.