When a student files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), it creates a “snapshot” of the financial situation of the student’s family as of the date the application was completed. Errors may occur, however, because the student and family filled in the wrong information on the FAFSA. The student must correct this information so it is accurate as of the day the FAFSA was originally signed.
Applicants can make corrections to their FAFSA by:
- using the "Make FAFSA Corrections" button on FAFSA Online (the student may use regardless of the method originally used to file the FAFSA); or
- using a paper Student Aid Report (SAR);
Postsecondary schools can make corrections to a student's FAFSA by:
- submitting changes via FAA Access to Central Processing System (CPS) Online (the college may use regardless of the method originally used to file the FAFSA). The college must have signed documentation from the student and parent (Certification statement on the SAR, a signed copy of the correction or update or a signed verification document). Refer to the Application and Verification Guide of the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Handbook for signature requirements.
Any student who has an FSA ID – regardless of how he or she applied – may correct any data already processed, except the SSN and IRS-related data. Corrections can be made via FAFSA Online, on the paper Student Aid Report (SAR) or by a Financial Aid Advisor (FAA). IRS-related data transferred to the CPS during the IRS DRT process will be masked on FAFSA Online and the SAR and SAR Acknowledgement output documents. If a correction to that data is needed, only the Financial Aid Advisor (FAA) can make the corrections to IRS-related date via the FAA Access to CPS Online.
- FAFSA Online – select the "Make FAFSA Corrections" button on the My FAFSA page and correct the applicable data. If dependent students change parental data, a parent must either sign electronically with his or her own FSA ID or print out and sign a signature page.
- Paper SAR – Students who received a paper SAR can make corrections or updates on it, sign it and return it to the FAFSA processor at the address given at the end of the SAR. One parent of a dependent student, must also sign the SAR unless the only corrections are to the institution or housing codes, the address or telephone number.
- FAA Access to CPS Online – An FAA at the college can make corrections and updates electronically. The college must have signed documentation from the student and/or the parent for the correction(s). After the changes are processed, the school will receive an ISIR and the student will receive an e-mail with a link to the SAR information on FAFSA Corrections or a one-page SAR Acknowledgement (if the CPS does not have the student’s e-mail address). The notification sent will be in Spanish if the application or correction record is in Spanish.
A student can add or delete school codes or change his or her address, e-mail address or telephone number using one of the following three ways:
- by submitting a correction electronically using FAFSA Corrections;
- by submitting the corrections on a paper SAR; or
- by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) by phone (1-800-4-FED-AID) and providing his or her DRN.
Again in 2020-21, the Federal School Code information on the SAR will not change. Applicants will continue to receive SARs that list all the Federal School Codes selected on each transaction and will continue to have the same options for entering, updating, and viewing up to ten college choices when filing the FAFSA electronically and up to four choices on a paper SAR. FAAs will see only their school information (Federal School Code, Name, and Housing Plans) in FAA Correction Entry, Student Inquiry, and ISIR Compare and on the eSAR (PDF and HTML).
The student should contact each Financial Aid Office at colleges they designated on the FAFSA if there will be a significant change in the family’s income for the present year or other special circumstances that cannot be reported on the FAFSA or the SAR. One college isn’t required to make the exact same changes as another college does or special consideration.
There are situations where the original application information may need to be changed: when errors need to be corrected; when dependency status, household size or the number in college must be updated; and when an aid administrator makes an adjustment based on professional judgment. Refer to the FSA Handbook Application and Verification Guide Chapter 4 - Corrections, Updates and Adjustments to learn how to make these changes to application information.