Navigating the Student Aid Report

February 9, 2012

SMBC is a diverse, yet unified community. As an interdenominational college, students, faculty and staff represent various denominations and nationalities

So you’ve filed your FAFSA. Congratulations! Now what? Let’s take a look at the next step in the process… the Student Aid Report. After you’ve submitted your FAFSA, you’ll get your SAR within 3-5 days.

What it is?

The Student Aid Report is summarizes all the info you provide on your FAFSA, it is essentially your processed FAFSA results. This document will contain your EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, to the cost of tuition. Using information you provide on your FAFSA and taking into account several factors (the size of your family, the number of family members in college, earnings), this number is calculated.

What does the SAR do?

The schools you’ve selected to receive your FAFSA will use the information to¬†determine your eligibility for federal and institutional student aid funds. Once those schools¬†receive your EFC, they can determine how much aid to give you and your family.

To figure out how much aid to give you and your family, schools use this formula: Cost of attendance – EFC = Financial Need

Am I eligible?

If you’re eligible for federal student financial aid, the schools listed on your FAFSA will send you an award letter. The letter will tell you the type of aid you’re eligible to receive and how much you may receive.

College tuition is a big investment, even with financial aid. Whether you are happy with the amount of aid you’ve received, or you were hoping for more, consider applying to private scholarships, and get in touch with your university to see what opportunities they may offer. As with any risky investment or venture, consider taking steps to protect your investment in college tuition. Tuition insurance could be a fit for you and your family.

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