How to update and correct your FAFSA
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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides your college with your personal and financial information, which your college uses to put together your financial aid package. However, mistakes can happen. If you need to update your FAFSA, you can make changes online or submit corrections via mail. In some cases, you can also contact your school to update your FAFSA for you.
Reasons to make updates or corrections to your FAFSA
The FAFSA is meant to capture your financial information at the moment you submit it. There are only a few life changes that warrant an update to your FAFSA:
- Your financial information has changed: You can’t change your FAFSA based on new debt or a smaller savings account, but you should contact your financial aid office if your family has experienced a significant financial change like bankruptcy.
- You need to change your tax information: While tax information cannot be updated after submission, if you submitted a 1040X amended return after submitting your FAFSA, you should contact your school’s financial aid office.
- You need to correct your information: If you made a mistake in your personal information, or if your contact information or dependency status has changed, you will need to submit a correction either online or by mail.
- You’re applying to a new school: If you’ve decided to apply to additional schools beyond what you originally listed on your FAFSA, you can add them after the fact.
How do I correct my FAFSA after submitting?
If you need to make changes to your FAFSA after you have submitted it, there are a few different ways you can do so.
The easiest and quickest way to make changes to your FAFSA is on the FAFSA website. To update your form:
- Log in using your FSA ID.
- Click “Make FAFSA corrections” on the “My FAFSA” page.
- Create a save key.
- Make your changes.
- Submit your new information.
You can also submit changes by making corrections to a paper Student Aid Report (SAR) and sending it via mail. You may have received a paper SAR if you filled out a paper FAFSA and didn’t include an email. If you didn’t receive a paper copy, you can print one out from your profile online or request a copy by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.
Once you have a paper SAR, you can make corrections using the following steps:
- Write any changes on your paper SAR document.
- Sign the form.
- Mail the form to the address provided on the SAR.
In some cases, you can contact your school’s financial aid office, which can make changes for you. This is typically the best option if your family income has changed drastically since you originally filed the FAFSA or if your marital status has changed.
When is the deadline to correct FAFSA mistakes?
The deadline to correct FAFSA mistakes is typically around three months after the federal closing date. For the 2022-23 award year, the deadline to make corrections is Sept. 9, 2023. For the 2023-24 award year, the deadline is Sept. 14, 2024.
Is it bad to make corrections on the FAFSA?
In most cases, it is not bad to make corrections to your FAFSA. In fact, most allowed changes will ensure that you get a financial aid package that fits your situation best. Some changes are necessary — if you submit an incorrect Social Security number or if you become pregnant, for instance, it’s important to file a correction. If you are selected for FAFSA verification, you are also required to make corrections to your household status.
However, some changes are not allowed; if you drain your savings account after starting college, for example, you cannot file a correction. Also remember that submitting your form again online will change the date your FAFSA is received and processed. This can present issues if you make changes past the FAFSA deadline for your school. Always check with your school’s financial aid office before resubmitting to avoid missing a deadline.