We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Student Aid Report?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A Student Aid Report (SAR) is a document which summarizes the information provided in a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a government document which students in the United States who want to receive financial assistance must fill out. Many colleges and universities use the FAFSA as a primary financial aid application, occasionally requesting additional information from students. The SAR is the document which will be sent to financial aid offices, and it is used to prepare financial aid packages.

After students fill out a FAFSA, they will be sent a copy of the Student Aid Report. Students are responsible for reviewing the report to ensure that it is accurate. Review is recommended because inaccuracies could impact financial aid eligibility.

The bulk of the report consists of a summary of the information provided by the student, from the student's name and address to information about income. It's common for students to make small mistakes when filling out the form, like adding a zero where one shouldn't be, or accidentally transposing an address, making review of the information critical. If there are errors, the student will need to submit an amended FAFSA, and it can be a good idea to notify the financial aid office so that they are aware of the issue.

There's some other information on the Student Aid Report that can very useful. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) indicates how much the government thinks that the student's family can afford to contribute to educational costs. The loan summary provides a list of outstanding student loans in the student's name, and it can be checked to confirm that the data is accurate. The document may also have a note indicating that the student has been selected for verification, which means that he or she will need to submit supporting documents like copies of tax returns.

The Data Release Number (DRN), a four digit number on the Student Aid Report, is important to take note of. This number can be used when a student calls to make changes or to have the FAFSA sent to additional schools. Knowing the DRN can make it easier to submit corrections and updates.

For students who fill out an online FAFSA, the Student Aid Report will be available online, and changes can be submitted over the Internet as well. This option is much faster than filing a paper document, and it can ensure that all of a student's materials are in by the financial aid deadline. Because financial aid is awarded on a first come, first serve basis, students should take every advantage to get in ahead of other applicants.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.