Once you have received your Student Aid Report or SAR, be sure to review it carefully to determine that the information listed is accurate. Often, colleges and universities accepts your application based on the information listed on this report to determine the amount of money you will be awarded. This can affect your decision in determining which school to attend.
Should there be any discrepancies on your SAR, be sure to correct those changes immediately and resubmit your FAFSA. Here are some options on how to make changes on your SAR & FAFSA form:
- If you completed the FAFSA online, simply go directly to the “Make Corrections To A Processed FAFSA” section of the Federal Student Aid website to make the changes.
- If you received your SAR by mail, simply make the appropriate changes directly on the paper report and mail the corrected SAR back to the address listed on the form. Be sure to first make a copy of the corrected SAR for your own personal copy just in case it gets lost in the mail.
- Get assistance from your HIFE Coach to direct you on what changes you need to make on the SAR.
- You can also make some changes by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center. However, these changes are limited to your current email, mailing address, as well as the college or university you want to receive your FAFSA information. You will need to have your Data Release Number or DRN (which can be found on your SAR) available before your contact the FSAIC office.
Message From The Dean – Bob Fulcomer
Your Expected Family Contribution or EFC is the number the federal government expects for you to contribute toward the your college cost and it helps determine how much financial aid you may qualify for. This number is predicated on the information you provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Your EFC is generally used by colleges and universities to help calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. The EFC can be found on your Student Aid Report SAR) once your FAFSA is processed.
This is why it is so important for you to complete the FAFSA as accurate as possible. Ask your HIFE Coach for assistance in reviewing both the FAFSA and SAR.
How Your EFC Determines Your College Cost
Your Expected Family Contribution or EFC helps determine your financial need. Typically, the lower your EFC, the more financial aid you will receive. Your financial need can be found by subtracting your EFC from a school’s Cost of Attendance (COA) which is typically: tuition, books, supplies, transportation, room, and board.
COA – EFC = Your financial need
Based on this formula, your school’s financial aid office will prepare a financial aid package. You will be notified with a financial aid award letter detailing your financial aid award, and how much you will be expected to pay out of pocket.
While the cost of attendance varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend. Keep in mind that it’s possible that the most expensive school on your list might not cost you the most. Don’t let a school’s sticker price sway your decision to apply. The fact is, most students receive some kind of financial aid including grants, scholarships, and/or work-study. It all depends on the total financial aid package awarded by each school.
The first step in estimating your EFC is determining your dependency status. There are specific criteria that the Department of Education uses to consider whether a student is dependent or independent. You are considered independent if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- You are working on a master’s or doctorate program during the 2014- 2015 school year.
- You are married as of the date you apply for aid.
- You are a ward/dependent of the court, or you were a ward/dependent of the court until age 18.
- You have legal dependents other than a spouse.
- You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
If you do not meet at least one of the criteria above, you are considered dependent for the purposes of federal financial aid.
What To Do The Summer Before Your Senior H.S. Year
As you get ready to enter your senior high school year, this is a great opportunity for you to prepare for your college career. Here are some ideas for you to keep yourself busy during your summer vacation.
- Take the college assessments through the HIFE Kuder Program to help assist you in your career goals, interest and college search
- Make a list of your Top 3 College Choices
- Compile a List of Deadlines and a Create a Folder to Store Everything in
- Create a Resume and Make a List of All Your Achievements/Activities
- Work on your College application Essay
- Study for the October SAT
- Consider taking AP classes
- Visit 3 to 5 different colleges and get a feel for what suits you best
- Practice college admissions tests and/or placement tests (SATs and/or ACTs)
- Register for fall tests
- Volunteer in your church or local community
- Work to save some money for any additional expenses for your college as well as gain some experience in the real world.
- Intern at a place related to a career you want to pursue to see if you really want to be in that field
What We Do In The HIFE College Planning Program
The HIFE College Planning Program provides many areas of support for both students and parents in preparation for a college career. The success of the program ultimately lies on how proactive each participating student is when it comes to doing the actual work that is assigned by the HIFE Coach.
Although many parents’ primary goal is to find funding for their student’s education, the college planning and preparation provides an incredible amount of value for the student in determining their career goals.
Here is the summary of what the HIFE CPP entails:
- We assign you and your student a personal College Coach to discuss with the student his or her career/ major choices, college selections, as well as admission and career tips.
- We guide your student in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- We assist in the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile and all supporting paperwork if applicable.
- We provide any other institutional financial aid forms that are required by the individual schools that you provide for us.
- We verify the accuracy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) and assist in making any adjustments.
- We provide a best fit college search. This will based on the general interests of the student, and the student will be given access to an on-line program which maintains this information. We will also give additional recommendations if needed.
- We allow your student access to our on-line software which will entail discussing admissions requirements, admissions essays, selecting the right colleges, how to fill out the different types of admission applications, and what the student should be doing now.
- We provide a college planning checklist containing essential deadlines, upcoming events, and time lines concerning what we will be doing for you and your student and when.
- We calculate your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). We will provide recommendations and/or a plan to reduce the EFC.
- We provide financial aid award estimates for each school being considered as well as recommend additional schools to be considered.
- We provide information on how to attain student loans, grants, and scholarship when applicable.
- We schedule conference calls for what you need to be aware of or what you should be doing at that time to keep everyone on-track.
- We provide guidelines in the appeal process, how to read your award letters, what to do if they don’t offer you enough aid, as well as financial tips that concern paying for college.
- We perform a career search (including education requirements, career description, as well as starting salary estimates). This will be based on the general interests of the student, and the student will be given access to an on- line program which maintains this information.
Students may enroll in the HIFE CPP as early as the spring semester of their 8th grade up to their high school senior year.