By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
When you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), make sure all the information you provide is accurate and reflects your standing as of the day you completed the FAFSA. However, there may be circumstances when your FAFSA might need to be corrected or updated.
There are three major reasons why you might need to change your FAFSA. You should be in contact with your school’s financial aid office if you feel your FAFSA needs corrections or updates.
- Adding or deleting a school – After filling out the FAFSA, you may decide to add or delete a school that receives your FAFSA information. Remember, you can only have 10 school codes on your FAFSA, so send your information only to schools you are seriously considering.
- Correcting a mistake – If you make an error on your FAFSA, correct it as soon as possible. Common mistakes include the wrong date of birth, a misspelled name or transposed digits in your Social Security number.
Most mistakes in your FAFSA can be changed online. However, if you made a mistake with your Social Security number, please contact the financial aid office at your school and ask them how you should proceed.
- Major life event – It is possible that after filling out the FAFSA, you could get married, divorced, have a child, have a death in your immediate family or lose your job. All of these events could affect either your dependency status or your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If a major event occurs in your life, contact your school’s financial aid office immediately to determine what to do.
If it is determined that a correction or update to your FAFSA is necessary, there are three options to pursue.
- For minor corrections (errors), log in to your account at fafsa.gov and follow the “Make FAFSA Corrections” tab instructions.
- If you filled out the paper version, write in the corrections or updates on the paper copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR), sign it and mail it back to the address provided on the SAR.
- Contact your school’s financial aid office before making any changes to any of the following data: changes in your household size, tax, income or marital status.
Remember, when you file a FAFSA, you attest that the information you provided is accurate and correct as of the date on which it was signed. Once a FAFSA is on file for the award year, you should not complete a brand-new FAFSA for that same year.
Instead, correct or update your current FAFSA. However, your financial aid office will be your best resource for determining if or when any changes should be made. This will help the school to properly determine your financial aid eligibility.