Part: 2 - - The application process for financial aid
SectionTitle: Reviewing the Student Aid Report
The SAR comes in two parts, with each part serving a different
purpose; if a student has applied through EDE, however, the SAR
comes in one part as a SAR Information Acknowledgement. A
student should follow the instructions on the SAR which states if this
form is to be submitted to the school(s) the student is planning to
attend. The student does not need to take the SAR to a school he or
she listed which participates in EDE, since these schools already will
have received the student's EFC and application information
electronically from the CPS. These schools may award aid based on
this data without receiving the printed SAR from the student. To pay
a Federal Pell Grant to a student, the school must have either a valid
ISIR or valid SAR for that student. To pay other federal student aid,
the institution must have either an ISIR or SAR with an official EFC.
PART 1 - INFORMATION SUMMARY
Part 1 of the SAR is the Information Summary. This part serves as
an ELIGIBILITY LETTER TO THE STUDENT AND SCHOOL.
The EFC is printed on the front (at the upper right) along with an
explanation of the calculation and instructions for the student. A
summary of the student's information is printed on the back of
Part 1. The Statement of Educational Purpose and the Statement
on Overpayments and Defaults have been moved to the FAFSA,
though they were included in Part 1 in previous years (as was the
Statement of Updated Information, which students are no longer
required to sign as of the 1995-96 award year). The Department has
determined that both statements can be signed as part of the initial
application process. The Statement of Selective Service Registration
Status is not printed on either the FAFSA or the SAR, since it is no
Part 1 has a separate section titled "FAA Information." This space is
used to provide a coded summary of information about the
application and to provide the EFC. Additional information for the
financial aid administrator (FAA), such as the results of data
matches, is also provided in this section.
Changes to the "FAA Information" section are explained in A Guide
to 1996-97 SARs and ISIRs.
Part 1 also reports National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
information on the student. This NSLDS Information Summary Page
(on both the SAR and the ISIR) has been revised to provide student
financial aid history. (It therefore provides most of the information
required to replace financial aid transcripts.) The page will provide
information on overpayments and defaulted loans, and also on a
student's most recent loans and aggregate loan amounts for all
applicable loan programs. The NSLDS page is produced only for
students whose financial aid information is found in the database, not
for every SAR or ISIR.
If the NSLDS match is completed but no student data are present, a
new comment #140 is generated. The school can thus assume that the
student has no financial aid history. If the match is partial--that is, if
a student's SSN matches a record in the NSLDS database, but the
student's name does not match--a new comment 138 is generated. In
this situation, the loan history in the database does not appear on the
student's SAR or ISIR (identification was not complete), but the
comment alerts the financial aid administrator that some financial aid
history is associated with that student's SSN.
Students who transmitted electronic applications or corrections
through their schools using EDE receive a new, noncorrectable SAR
Information Acknowledgement from the CPS. This acknowledgement
comprises Part 1 only, and allows the student to review the processed
information and results. Institutions that transmit applications or corrections to
the CPS electronically are no longer required to provide printed copies of
ISIRs to these students for review.
This one-part SAR is an eligibility document for the Student
Financial Assistance (SFA) Programs just like a two-part SAR. A
student may take it to another institution and receive SFA funds just
as in the case of a two-part SAR.
Please note that the SAR Information Acknowledgement may not be
used to submit corrected data. If corrections are needed, they must be
made through EDE or a duplicate SAR can be requested and used for
a paper correction.
PART 2 - INFORMATION REVIEW FORM/INFORMATION
The student uses the "Information Review Form" to make
corrections, if necessary, and to update certain items if they have
been changed since the FAFSA was completed and submitted. Part 2
lists the student's information under the "You told us" column, with
space, if needed, for the student to correct the information under the
column headed "The correct answer is." Data elements that are
questioned are highlighted in bold type in Part 2. Parental data fields
are printed on all SARs. These fields are shaded to distinguish
parental data from the student's data. If the student does not provide
parental data, the parental data fields are blank. If the student
provides parental data on the original application, the data will be on
the SAR and ISIR even if the student is independent, and the
information will be carried forward on all subsequent transactions.
The "Information Request Form," rather than the Review Form, is
sent when information provided by the student was incomplete and
an EFC could not be calculated. This form provides space for the
student to confirm data and provide new data. The Information
Request Form MUST be completed correctly and returned to the
FAFSA processor for the student to receive federal student aid.
Corrections to the SAR information may also be made electronically
through the EDE system. Part 2 of the Information Review
Form/Information Request Form also contains helpful hints on
reviewing the SAR and a "For Your Information" section. The "For
Your Information" section tells the student the approximate time
needed to review and complete the SAR, informs the student that, if
he or she is convicted of drug distribution or possession, his or her
eligibility for Title IV student financial aid is subject to suspension or
termination, and instructs the student what to do in case of special
PART 3 - FEDERAL PELL GRANT PAYMENT VOUCHER
Please note that, as stated in Action Letter GEN-95-10 (A Guide to
95-96 SARs and ISIRs), Part 3 of the SAR has been eliminated. This
was the paper Payment Voucher.
As noted on page 23 of this part, beginning in 1996-97 all
institutions are required when making Pell Grant awards to use an
automated method of payment: the electronic payment system
(EDE), the Recipient Data Exchange (RDE), or the Floppy Disk Data
Exchange. These methods are described briefly in the chart
"Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Services" at the end of the "How
to Apply" section of Part 2.
TYPES OF STUDENT AID REPORTS
There are several different types of SARs depending on whether the
student is eligible or ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant and whether
the student's information is consistent.
PELL-ELIGIBLE -- The EFC falls beneath the cut-off for Pell
If the student has a Pell-eligible EFC, the student will receive
notification of this on the SAR. However, the student still needs to
make any necessary corrections on Part 2 or through EDE.
PELL-INELIGIBLE -- The EFC exceeds the Pell eligibility cut-off
or the student reported that he or she had a bachelor's degree, was a
graduate/professional student, or both. In this case, the EFC can still
be used to determine the student's eligibility for other aid.
If corrections are necessary, they can be made by using Part 2 of the
SAR or by using EDE. Please refer to "Mastering the School Use
Only" box later in this part for more information on making
corrections and on professional judgment adjustments.
REJECTED -- Before an EFC can be calculated, the student must
either (1) provide missing information or (2) correct or confirm
information that is questioned.
If the student receives a rejected SAR (a SAR with no EFC), the
student must correct the information using Part 2 of that SAR. The
comments on Part 1 of the SAR will tell the student how to proceed.
Please note that the one-page "void" SAR was eliminated in the
1995-96 academic year. This change has, in turn, nearly eliminated
the correction FAFSA because one of its purposes was to provide
instructions to students whose applications were rejected for
Also as of 1995-96, the conditions for which a student's application
were considered "void" are now considered "rejects"--except for one:
if an application is signed outside of the processing deadlines (if it is
signed before January 1, 1996 or received after June 30, 1997), it
will be returned unprocessed with a letter of explanation.
As noted on page 26, if a student does not submit a signature page
within 21 calendar days after he or she transmits the FAFSA using
FAFSA Express, the CPS will print and mail a rejected SAR (one
without an EFC) to the student. The SAR must then be signed and
returned to the FAFSA processor.
To request a duplicate SAR, the student should call the FEDERAL
STUDENT AID INFORMATION CENTER AT 1-319-337-5665.
This is a toll call. The student must provide his or her name, SSN,
and date of birth. The Information Center does not change an address
over the telephone in order to send a duplicate SAR to a correct
address. A request for a change in address must be made in writing
(see APPENDIX A).
If the student's information has minor inconsistencies, the CPS may
be able to make ASSUMPTIONS to calculate an official EFC. In this
case, the CPS sends the student Parts 1 and 2 of the SAR; the
inconsistent information is highlighted on Part 2. The student must
review this information carefully for errors before submitting the
SAR to the financial aid office.
If the SAR contains incorrect information or certain items that need
to be updated, the student may have to make changes. We discuss
these changes in the next section.
Of course, there is another possibility that we haven't mentioned: the
perfect SAR or ISIR, on which all the information is consistent and
accurate on the first transaction. Hopefully, most of the SARs and
ISIRs that you receive are in this category.
The effectiveness of the federal student financial aid programs
depends, in large part, on the ACCURACY OF THE DATA
REPORTED BY STUDENTS. It directly affects the eligibility of
millions of applicants for these programs. Because of this, schools
must verify information provided by students selected by the CPS,
following the procedures established by regulations. The CPS prints
an asterisk next to the EFC on the SAR to identify students who have
been selected for verification. A school's financial aid administrator
must check the information the student reported on the financial aid
application, usually by requesting a copy of the signed tax returns
filed by the student and, if applicable, the student's parent(s) or
spouse. Many schools conduct their own form of verification; they
may select other applications for verification in addition to those
selected by the CPS. Please refer to The Verification Guide 1996-97
for more information on this process.
Also, please note that verification worksheets will no longer be
mailed with SARs. Attached to Action Letter #6 of December 1995
are verification worksheets (Dependent and Independent) that
schools may copy and use if they wish. Worksheets can also be
printed and customized using the EDExpress software and, as in the
past, schools may create and customize their own verification forms.