SAR stands for Student Aid Report and is what you receive after your FAFSA is processed. If you provided an email, you should receive a link to your SAR three to five days after submitting the FAFSA. If you submitted a paper version without an email address, it will take up to three weeks to received the results. Federal Student Aid has a table showing the timelines for receiving the SAR.
The SAR contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is based on the information you submitted in the FAFSA. The SAR contains a summary of all of the information you submitted. You should review the data carefully to make sure there aren’t any errors. If you need to make any corrections, the SAR will have instructions on how to make corrections.
You cannot change “income or asset information to reflect changes to the family’s financial situation that took place after the FAFSA was filed. For example, if the student’s family spent some of their savings after filing the FAFSA, the student may not update his or her information to show a change in the family’s assets.” Students will need to the contact the school’s financial aid office directly to explain significant changes in family circumstance. (From the 2013-14 Counselors and Mentors Handbook)
Other information on the SAR includes any federal student loans you currently have, your Pell Grant Eligibility, and Data Release Number (DRN) which is used as a reference for your SAR.
Some FAFSAs are selected for verification. If your SAR indicates that you have been chosen for verification, the school will contact you to let you know what documentation you must submit and the deadline. Some FAFSAs are selected for verification randomly while others because of discrepancies that appeared in process the data. You should complete the verification as soon as possible since so much institutional aid is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
You may also add schools to receive the FAFSA. Only ten schools are allowed to be listed on the FAFSA. If you add an eleventh school, one of the original ten schools must be removed. Any school removed will not receive any updates made after being removed from the list. You can have schools add themselves to your record by providing them with the DRN.
If you do not need to make any changes to the SAR, you don’t have to do anything. Just keep a copy for your records.
For more information: Understand Your Student Aid Report