Part: 2 - - The Application Process for Financial Aid
SectionTitle: Corrections and Updating
If the student's application information on the SAR, ESAR, or ISIR
is incorrect, the information will have to be CORRECTED OR
UPDATED. A financial aid administrator may recalculate the
student's EFC for the federal campus-based and FFEL Programs
without having the student report the corrected or updated
information to the processing system. However, for the Federal Pell
Grant Program, all corrections must be reported to the CPS for
recalculation of the EFC.
When a student files a FAFSA, it creates a "snapshot" of the
financial situation of the student's family as of the date the
application was signed. However, errors may occur as a result of a
student filling in the wrong information on an application or from
typographical errors by the data entry process at the FAFSA
processor. A student may use the SAR to correct most application
errors that were made on an initial application.
For instance, a dependent student reports $24,000 taxed income for
her parents on an application filed on March 10, 1994. While
reviewing her application information, she notices that she used her
parents' total taxed income from the tax return, rather than the
adjusted gross income figure, which was $19,000. Since the correct
amount was $19,000, the student may make this correction to this
item on Part 2 of the SAR, under the column headed "The correct
answer is," and return it to the FAFSA processor that printed the
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However, the student may not UPDATE income or asset information
to reflect changes to her family's financial situation that took place
after the initial application. For example, if the same student's
family sold their business on June 1st, the student may not update
her information to show a business value of zero unless there is also
a change in marital status. (Nor would she have to update to report
the income from the sale.)
To correct the SAR, the student must enter the correct information
for that line item on Part 2 of the SAR, and mail Part 2 back to the
FAFSA processor that produced it. (The student and spouse, if the
student is married, must sign Part 2 when submitting corrections; at
least one parent of a dependent student must also sign.) If the
student's corrections are being made through EDE, the corrected
data will be processed by the CPS and an ESAR will be returned to
the school. Since there is no way to sign the SAR when making
electronic corrections, the ESAR that is printed out AFTER
corrections have been made must be signed by the student (and
spouse or parent, if student is married or dependent). Note that
corrections made through EDE will not be transmitted to any
As noted previously, most of the information on the application may
not be updated to reflect changes after the application has been filed.
However, there are three items that a student MUST update if the
information on the application changes for a reason other than a
change in marital status:
- DEPENDENCY STATUS. All dependency status changes
made DURING THE AWARD YEAR must be reported by
using a Correction FAFSA, the SAR, or through EDE. Note
that a student's dependency status may not be updated as a
result of a change in marital status.
- NUMBER OF FAMILY MEMBERS (HOUSEHOLD SIZE).
The student may use the SAR or EDE to report a change in
household size. Household size must be updated to be accurate
as of the date the student submits the SAR to the school--or the
date verification is completed, if the student is being verified.
- NUMBER OF COLLEGE STUDENTS. The student may use
the SAR or EDE to report a change in the number of family
members who are attending postsecondary school. The number
in college must be updated to be accurate as of the date the
student submits the SAR to the school--or the date verification
is completed, if the student is being verified.
Note that the Correction FAFSA is considered to be a separate
application, even if the student has previously filed a regular
application. If the student has previously filed an application, the
Correction FAFSA will create a "second picture" of the family's
financial situation--the student answers ALL of the questions on the
Correction FAFSA based on the family's situation on the day the
Correction FAFSA is signed. In essence, then, ALL of the student's
information is updated to the time of application on a Correction
An FAA may only override an applicant's dependency status to
make a dependent student independent. The override is not used in
reverse, to make an independent student dependent.
For 1994-95 you may use the SAR to override a student's
dependency status. This is done by checking the dependency
override box in the "School Use Only" box on the SAR. Whenever
an FAA uses professional judgment to change dependency status,
that decision must be made on an individual basis and documented
in the student's records.
If the student's answers to the questions in Section E of the FAFSA
appear to make the student dependent, the FAA is required to fill
out the "School Use Only" box, to override the dependency status.
The student fills out the gray and white areas of the form (for
independent students), even though the instructions state that the
blue and white areas (for dependent students) should be used. The
FAA then authorizes the dependency override by filling in the
override code, the school's Title IV Institution Number, and signing
in the "School Use Only" box. Note that the FAA does not have to
fill out the "School Use Only" box on the Correction FAFSA unless
a dependency override is involved.