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.

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.

Online

The easiest and quickest way to make changes to your FAFSA is on the FAFSA website. To update your form:

  1. Log in using your FSA ID.
  2. Click “Make FAFSA corrections” on the “My FAFSA” page.
  3. Create a save key.
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Submit your new information.

By mail

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:

  1. Write any changes on your paper SAR document.
  2. Sign the form.
  3. 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 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

The FAFSA does not allow you to change most financial information after you submit it. Draining your savings or taking on more debt, for instance, are not valid reasons to update your FAFSA.

With that said, if you or your parents have significant financial changes or if you anticipate big life changes in the upcoming year that aren’t reflected in the FAFSA, you should contact your financial aid office to discuss your options.

You need to change your tax information

Tax information cannot be updated once you submit your form. However, if you submitted a 1040X amended return after submitting your FAFSA, contact your school’s financial aid office to find out what you should do.

You need to correct your information

If you made a mistake in your personal information or your contact information has changed, you will need to submit a correction either online or by mail. This includes changes to your dependency status.

If you put the wrong Social Security number on your FAFSA, you can either submit a paper SAR or contact your financial aid office to see if it can change it for you. To correct your Social Security number online, you’ll need to submit a new online FAFSA form, which will change the date your FAFSA was submitted. This could be an issue if you’ve already passed the FAFSA deadline for your school or state.

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. You can have up to 10 total school codes on your FAFSA; if you add any more, you will have to choose which other schools to remove from your FAFSA.

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, such as an incorrect Social Security number or if you become pregnant. If you are selected for FAFSA verification, you are also required to make corrections to your household status.

However, some changes are not allowed, like certain financial changes. Also remember that submitting your form again online will change the date your FAFSA is received and processed. This can be bad 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.

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Written by
Emma Woodward
Contributing writer
Emma Woodward is a freelance writer who loves writing to demystify personal finance topics. She has written for companies and publications like Finch, Toast, JBD Clothiers and The Financial Diet.
Edited by
Student loans editor