right arrow
PARENTS4PARENTS is a new initiative aimed at highlighting the vast expertise of our parents community while helping other parents better navigate the college admissions process. aggies1989 is a UC alumnus and parent of two UC college kids. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: fintech3753 is a current student at the Wharton School. Majoring in finance, he is hoping to pursue a career at the intersection of finance and technology. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our August Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

College Corrected FAFSA, EFC Reduced, How Do I Understand What They Changed

LRLMomLRLMom 22 replies8 threads Junior Member
Kid is off the wait list at a need only CSS Profile school that meets full need for everyone including the wait list. Need blind and kid was accepted and now has to decide whether to attend and waiting for FA notification. We filled the FAFSA out and the CSS and used DIRT. We had some 2018 one time income and asked the new school to exclude it from their calculations and gave explanation as to why. They are reviewing.

This morning kid got a notice that a college had corrected the FAFSA. There are currently two colleges on FAFSA, old one planned to attend (FAFSA only) and new one. So not even sure who did it but when I looked at the SAR report and our response summary it only mentioned the graduation rate of the new one (both are top colleges, I bring that up only to illustrate that I suspect it was the new one). The old school was no longer listed (technically kid is still enrolled for fall in old school). Can one school even delete another?

The weird part is that as a result of the change our SAR and EFC were reduced a significant amount (as in for a FAFSA only school we would be paying less). While I am thrilled if this is our EFC, I am also mystified. Plus I am wondering if I have been making mistakes all along that cost us money? I would love to ask the school but any time you ask them with a question it delays the process of getting aid and I want the kid to make a decision already or kid will be closed out of classes.

I compared the old SAR and the new one and could not figure out what they changed. Other than a business we have nothing unusual, no divorce, no custody issues, no step children so there is really only our income and assets to report. Our asset amount was not changed. I rechecked the number in college and kid's asset and income, still none.

Is there a way to figure out what they changed? I have been doing these for awhile so not my first FAFSA. Can a college change the answers filled in by DIRT?

Is it simply that the new school had agreed that the one time income should not count? I could understand them discounting it in their own deliberations but to amend the FAFSA? The income was listed on our tax return and we used DIRT so it would have been listed. What if kid changes mind about transferring? How is it binding on the old school? Note will probably transfer so that I am simply curious.

Will it is good news I hope, I am mystified and would love to understand what changed
5 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: College Corrected FAFSA, EFC Reduced, How Do I Understand What They Changed

  • thumper1thumper1 78505 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    edited July 11
    You did a side by side comparison of your original FAFSA and the current one?

    1. Your new school (and congratulations) uses the CSS Profile to determine awarding of institutional need based aid, not the FAFSA. So, your need based aid award from that school won’t even consider the FAFSA EFC unless it means that now your kid will get more Pell money.

    2. I thought only the school that amended could see the changes, and not anyone other college . @kelsmom?

    3. You say you have nothing “unusual” but really owning a business is not something most families have. But a small business wouldn’t appear on your FAFSA anyway. But it will appear on your Profile.

    If it were me, I would be patient and just wait for the financial aid award from the waitlist college. When did they say you would be receiving this??
    edited July 11
    · Reply · Share
  • kelsmomkelsmom 16162 replies99 threads Senior Member
    edited July 11
    I suspect the new school made the changes, and they did it in such a way that the changes were not reported to the first school (there is a way to make changes that affect your FAFSA for one school & a way that affects it for all schools listed). You used DRT, so you can’t see the income items, correct? You requested that some one-time income be excluded, so I assume they reduced your income...and you can’t see that adjustment.

    You can always call the school to confirm this.
    edited July 11
    · Reply · Share
  • LRLMomLRLMom 22 replies8 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    You did a side by side comparison of your original FAFSA and the current one?

    Yes, it was the first thing I did. I am not sure we qualify for Pell but it may give us more federal loans, possibly.

    They use CSS so perhaps will still award FA based on the CSS but will exclude income to get more loans so that will be a way to meet need. Do most CSS schools full need schools use unsubsidized loans to meet need? I am thinking not but I could be wrong
    kelsmom wrote: »
    I suspect the new school made the changes, and they did it in such a way that the changes were not reported to the first school (there is a way to make changes that affect your FAFSA for one school & a way that affects it for all schools listed). You used DRT, so you can’t see the income items, correct? You requested that some one-time income be excluded, so I assume they reduced your income...and you can’t see that adjustment.

    You can always call the school to confirm this.

    I cannot see any of the income items which is why it surprises me that they can change them if I used DRT since essentially the federal government is reporting my income.

    Thank you Thumper1 and Kelsmom. Right now it is impossible to get through and every time I send an email it seems to delay things. FA was supposed to be ready last week, then early this week. I think they are overwhelmed
    · Reply · Share
  • kelsmomkelsmom 16162 replies99 threads Senior Member
    You can’t see the income items, but the school can. I am betting that they adjusted income per your request for a review. This would result in a lower EFC. You won’t get any more in loans (maximum for a freshman is $5500, sophomore $6500 and junior/senior $7500 per year). It might result in subsidized loan if there wasn’t any before, or it might result in some institutional aid (grant). Or it might not make any difference in aid offered. It’s not possible to know, so unfortunately, you have to “wait & see.” I know that’s easier said than done!
    · Reply · Share
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4985 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Do most CSS schools full need schools use unsubsidized loans to meet need? I am thinking not but I could be wrong

    Some schools that meet full need do not include federal direct loans in the aid package at all, but most do (although some of these schools only include subsidized loans).
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity