FAFSA Corrections

Filing the FAFSA 2016-2017 Edition Cover PaperbackThe Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA

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After the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is submitted, the applicant may not change any information that was correct as of the date the FAFSA was submitted. In most cases, the applicant may not modify any data elements to reflect changes that have occurred since the FAFSA was filed. For example, if the parent’s investments have lost value since the FAFSA filing date, the applicant may not change the parent assets reported on the FAFSA.

However, if the applicant made an error on the original FAFSA, the applicant must correct the error. The correction must be accurate as of the date the FAFSA was filed, not the date the information was changed.

Corrections are one of three types of changes that may be made to the FAFSA. The other two are Adjustments and Updates.

Examples of FAFSA Corrections

The most common type of correction involves updating estimated income and tax information on the FAFSA after federal income tax returns have been filed. For example, applicants may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to correct the income and tax data elements on the FAFSA.

Applicants may also add or remove colleges from the FAFSA, or change email addresses, mailing addresses and other contact information. (Strictly speaking, these are updates, not corrections.) Changes in the PIN, email address and mailing address may not occur until the applicant’s identity is confirmed with the Social Security Administration (SSA), which can take up to 3 days from the date the PIN is requested.

Another type of correction involves correcting genuine errors in the information submitted on the FAFSA. For example, if an applicant transposed two digits in the parent asset figure, reporting $45,000 instead of $54,000, the applicant must correct the error.

Corrections may not be made to the applicant’s Social Security number. Even if the applicant is able to change the Social Security number on the FAFSA, the FAFSA may still be associated with the original Social Security number. Applicants who have a typo in the Social Security number on the FAFSA should contact the college’s financial aid administrator for assistance. It may be necessary for the applicant to submit a new FAFSA with his or her correct Social Security number.

How to Make a Correction on the FAFSA

There are three methods of making a correction on the FAFSA: online, by mail and by phone.

  • The easiest way to make a correction to the FAFSA is to log in to FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov and click on "Make FAFSA Corrections." Be sure to sign and submit the corrected FAFSA after making any changes. A FAFSA PIN may be used to sign the FAFSA correction. The corrected FAFSA must be signed by the individuals whose information was changed. If the student is a dependent student, a parent PIN will be required to correct parent information. Otherwise, the student’s PIN is sufficient. As an alternative to signing the correction with a PIN, the applicant or parent can print, sign and mail a paper signature page. If the applicant, spouse and/or parents, as appropriate, do not sign the corrected FAFSA, an email reminder will be sent after seven days of inactivity.
  • Corrections may also be made on a paper Student Aid Report (SAR). The corrections should be made adjacent to the field listing the incorrect information. After making all the necessary corrections, the student and parent, if applicable, should sign the SAR and mail it to the address listed near the signature line.
  • One can also make corrections by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Corrections by phone are limited to updating contact information and adding or removing a school. Applicants will need to provide the 4-digit Data Release Number (DRN) from the SAR to allow the FSAIC to make these corrections.

Corrections may occur at any time before or during the award year.

If a correction is submitted online, the correction will be processed in 3-5 days.

The applicant will receive a new Student Aid Report (SAR) after the corrections have been processed.

If the applicant wants to make additional corrections, he/she will need to wait until after he/she receives the SAR to make those corrections.

Consequences of Making a Correction

If an applicant corrects an error on the FAFSA, other than through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, the FAFSA is more likely to be selected for verification. If a FAFSA is selected for verification, the applicant will have to supply the college financial aid administrator with documentation of the amounts reported on the FAFSA. Verification is intended to improve the accuracy of the FAFSA by reducing the number of errors on the form.