FAFSA and School Selection


READ PREVIOUS                                                                                                             READ NEXT

Now, we will move into the next section where we will talk about the questions associated with the school selection.

You can take a look at the image for your better understanding. Following the image, are the suitable answers to the given questions.

As the guidelines provided in this section, a Student can add up to 10 colleges, and the information relating to the financial aid will be sent to the colleges chosen by the student.

The student must list each campus separately, because the financial aid may differ according to the different campuses.

Filling the FAFSA online will provide additional features, and enable students to do a detailed research about the schools. The students will have access to information like graduation rates, loan default rates etc.

Related:How to determine the dependency status of a student?

Federal School Code

The Federal School Code is different for different schools. Let us learn more about the Federal school codes, and understand their importance.

The Federal School Codes can make the search easier and faster.

You can notice in the image that the city name is optional, but if it is mentioned, it can narrow the search.

You need to mention the Federal School Code, and it can be found on the college’s website under the financial aid section.



The section will ask you to select your housing plan, and you will be provided with three options-

  • On campus
  • With parent
  • Off campus

If you are not sure about your housing plans, then it is advisable to select “On campus”

Related:Parent Demographic information Section: All you need to Know

How to apply for financial aid for more than 10 schools at once?

The section also contains a tab called” ADD A SCHOOL,” where you can select up to 10 schools, and the information will be sent to these schools only. You can delete the previous college and add a new college after you receive the Student Aid Report (SAR), because the receipt of SAR indicates that the college has already received the FAFSA. Therefore, deleting the college and adding another college won't impact your financial aid.

To add, delete and make changes, you need to follow the following steps-

Log in and select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” ----- Go to “School Selection” page and make the changes.

You can also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center @ (1-800-433-3243). You will be asked for your Data Release Number (DRN) and you can add the desired colleges using the DRN.


Now you might ask- What is the difference between DRN and FSA ID?

As mentioned earlier, the FSA ID is used for filing the FAFSA, and can help you to electronically sign the FAFSA, federal education loan and promissory notes. It is not advisable to share your FSA ID. In order to add colleges or make changes, you need to share your DRN number with the financial aid staff and the Federal Student AID information center,

This might lead to another question-

How does the financial aid get affected if a student is transferring to a different college?

Applicants who are willing to transfer to a different college need to add new college to their FAFSA, but it is important to note that transferring to a different college is not easy from the financial aid point of view. Each college has its own way of calculating the financial eligibility of a student as per its own guidelines. So, the eligibility may be affected depending on the level of education of a student, the status of enrollment, and most importantly the amount of   federal aid used at the previous college will influence the amount of federal aid you get for the current college.

 NOTE: There is a positive news for the students who are in desperate need for the Federal Aid. Students who are tight on finances can often go for the Need-Blind colleges.

The colleges who do not consider the financial strength of the family, while giving admission to the students are called as Need-Blind Colleges. However, need-blind colleges become need-sensitive when they are required to admit students that have their names on the waiting list.

For Example- Amherst, Babson, Bard, Baylor and Wellesley are need blind

How will the income affect the eligibility for financial aid?

Most parents with good income, often have doubts whether or not their child will be eligible for financial aid. However, Federal Stafford and Federal Plus loans don’t depend on the financial condition of a family. Therefore, rich students can avail these loans at a low rate of interest.

Related:Can I trust FAFSA with my tax related information?

The Financial Need of a Student= College’s Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

 So, a wealthy student who enrolls himself/herself in an expensive college can qualify for the need based aid.

Similarly, the number of children of a wealthy family, studying in the college significantly affect the chances of getting need based aid.

Suppose the gross income of a family is $100,000 and the expected family contribution of the family is $29,000, then the student will not qualify for financial aid if he plans to study in a public college. However, he/she can easily qualify for financial aid if he plans to study in an expensive college  that charges 60,000$ per year.

But if the same family has 2 children in college, then the expected family contribution for each child will be reduced to 50 percent, and the student can apply for financial aid even at a public college.

As per the statistics of 2011- 2012, 11.3% of the students having a gross family income of $100,000 or more were eligible for need based grant, whereas 18.9% received non- need based grants.

Therefore, unless your parents have a reportable assets worth millions or a gross annual income more than $400,000- you should never give up the idea of applying for the federal education loans, and must file the FAFSA.

Related:How to determine the dependency status of a student?

READ PREVIOUS                                                                                                             READ NEXT

Other lessons on FAFSA