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If there are errors on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or you need to update the information on your application, there are a few ways to make changes. You can submit a FAFSA update through the mail or do so online and you can also contact your school’s financial aid office. Ensuring that your FAFSA is accurate and up-to-date is an important step, as colleges use this information to determine eligibility for financial aid.
Reasons to make updates or corrections to your FAFSA
The FAFSA is meant to capture your financial information when you submit it, even with the understanding that it may update after. Because of this, only a few life changes 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. However, you should contact your financial aid office if your family has experienced a significant financial change like bankruptcy or a drop in income.
If your family has experienced these changes, you may be eligible for additional financial aid. If this occurs, contact the financial aid office at any schools you hope to attend to share the changes. The school may be able to adjust your award based on your family’s current financial picture.
You need to change your tax information
While tax information cannot be updated after submission, you should contact your school’s financial aid office if you submitted a 1040X amended return after completing your FAFSA.
A 1040X is used when you didn’t claim the correct filing status or in cases where you need to change the income, deductions or credits included in your tax filing. These changes could impact your financial aid award.
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 must submit a correction either online or by mail.
You should update your mailing address, email address and other contact information when it changes. You must update your FAFSA if your dependency status has changed. Dependency status changes might include becoming pregnant or if you’re now in a legal guardianship.
If you’ve gotten married since submitting your FAFSA, speak with your school’s financial aid office.
You’re applying to a new school
It’s not unusual to change your mind about applying to a certain school or to want to add more schools to your application list. If you’ve decided to apply to additional schools beyond what you originally listed on your FAFSA, they can be added after the fact. You can also delete schools after completing a FAFSA submission.
In cases when you would like to have your FAFSA information made available to additional schools, you can add that school’s Federal School Code to your FAFSA. The FAFSA website has a search function for you to find a new school’s code.
How do I correct my FAFSA after submitting it?
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 change 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 correcting 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.
Sometimes, you can have your school’s financial aid office make the changes. This is typically the best option if your family income has changed drastically since you originally filed the FAFSA or 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 2023-2024 award year, the deadline to make corrections is Sept. 14, 2024.
Is it bad to make corrections on the FAFSA?
In most cases, it is not bad to correct your FAFSA. Most allowed changes will ensure you get a financial aid package that fits your situation best. Some changes are even required. For instance, if you submit an incorrect Social Security number or become pregnant, it’s important to file a correction. If selected for FAFSA verification, you must also correct your household status.
However, some changes are not allowed. For example, f you drain your savings account after starting college, you cannot file a correction. Also, 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.
The bottom line
Keeping your FAFSA information up-to-date is important to ensure your financial aid award is accurate. It’s not unusual to have changes to your financial information, contact information or other relevant personal details after filing a FAFSA application. You may even alter the list of schools you’d like to send your FAFSA information.
If you’ve experienced any changes, visit the FAFSA website to confirm the best approach for submitting the new information. Sometimes, you may be able to do so online or via mail. Depending on the change in question, you may also need to contact your school’s financial aid office directly.