Scholarship Process may include FAFSA


Dear Eligibility Coach:

My daughter was offered a full athletic scholarship for next year.

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The school sent us an email saying that we need to complete the FAFSA. If she is getting an athletic scholarship, why do we need to complete financial aid information?

Dear Parent:

Many universities require all scholarship recipients to complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA] before they will issue any scholarship money to any student in not just a student-athlete. While you may not feel that you need financial aid because of the scholarship offer, the university needs to make sure that it is using all of its allotted money most effectively and if your daughter qualifies for any federal grants, or for other academic scholarships that the university offers to students who qualify based on income, the money it has offered to your daughter may be used for another student so that two students can attend the university rather than one.

It is free to complete and file the FAFSA, and you may qualify for some federal money that you don’t realize you qualify to receive.


You can complete, submit and track the FAFSA application online. The online program checks your data before

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it is submitted to the processing center, so there is less chance of making an error. Make sure you adhere to the university’s deadline for filing the application.

Gathering Documents

The FAFSA asks for general demographic informaiton and for information about your financial situation. It is a good idea to have the following information or documents availalbe before you begin completing the FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers;
  • Your driver’s license number;
  • Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including W-2 information for you and for your parents
    • IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or Foreign tax return;
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents ;
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate .

The Student Aid Report (SAR)

After your information is analyzed, you will receive a SAR that summarizes the data you entered on the FAFSA. The Department of Education will send this form to you either by email or by postal mail.

Once you receive the SAR, you need to review it carefully looking to identify any errors. The form will highlight items that it thinks need attention. Follow the directions provided for making and submitting corrections. Make sure to submit any necessary corrections promptly. Also, keep a copy of the SAR for your records.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

On the front page of the SAR, you’ll find a figure called the EFC. This figure is an indicator of your family’s financial status. It will be sent to the univeristy you listed on the FAFSA as well as your state’s scholarship agency. The EFC will determine your actual financial aid award.

Questions about the FAFSA?

If you have questions about completing the FAFSA, contact the financial aid of the university you will attend, or the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800-4-FED-AID (433-3243). The phone line is available from
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Eastern Time, and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

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