FAFSA Correction?

Just got a notice that D22’s FAFSA had been corrected. Went to the website and saw on a new SAR report that EFC had gone up more than $4,000. Ugh. Can someone explain how this happened and what impact it would have on CSS schools and the NPCs, if any?

Did you provide copies of your tax returns to any schools? And did you contribute pre-tax earnings to a qualified retirement plan? If so, did you report that money as untaxed income? If not, that’s the reason for the increase, which the financial aid office saw on your W-2. That’s the most common reason for an increase of that amount, from my experience.

Yes, did the auto download and reported pre-tax contributions. Since that is the case could this be a mistake? How do you know what the “ correction” is?

What impact will that have, if any, on NOC estimates? I claimed the non-tax info for those as well.

You should log in & print out the previous and new transactions. Compare them line by line to see what changed. Post what you find here.

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My guess is that the info on your FAFSA and Profile did not match up somehow. Did the school making the correction use the Profile and IDOC? If so, they could have found an inconsistency which the are required to correct. @kelsmom is that correct?

That’s correct. If a school has any conflicting information on file, they are required to update the FAFSA to resolve the inconsistency. That’s why comparing the two transactions is wise - that will reveal what was updated.

Good advice. I will compare and report.

I called the FAFSA hotline and they told me a college did make the correction but they didn’t know which college or what the correction was. They said only colleges that had admitted my D would have made the change. She’s only gotten word from 3 schools — I called all of them and all said they hadn’t made the change. They all said they were just getting the FAFSA information and so couldn’t have made changes and all confirmed no verification requests.

Very strange. I will do the line-by-line next.

@thumper1 and @kelsmom nothing different! On untaxed portions, tax exempt interest it just says “ transferred from the IRS” since we used that tool.

What can I do next? It seems like this is an error.

You said that there are no differences, but the EFCs are different? That makes no sense. Are there any comment codes on the new Student Aid Report? The comments/comment codes will provide a clue. What is the date on the new Student Aid Report?

The difference does not have to be in any dollar amount entries. Is it possible you had a second kid in college last year? Is it possible you entered something incorrectly on the profile….anything.

I would check each and every entry. Number of kids, students in college.

Any chance you are self employed? Or own a business or part of a business?

We received an email this weekend also advising that changes had been made by a college to the fasa form. It does not appear that there were changes but I gave yet to review line by line.
It seems odd to me that changes would be made at this point in the process for fall of 2022? We have one waitlist and one college we plan to accept. The school who we plan to accept already provided their financial aide offer do it seems unlikely they would make an update? Could it been the waitlist school reviewing our financial aide details? All others on the list were rejections or schools we already declined. I’m sure we are reading into this but would be thrilled if the wl comes through. Any thoughts?

Usually the FA offices are working independently of the admissions offices. I don’t think you can assume it wasn’t a ‘declined’ school, or that it was the WL school. The FA office may have made the change a while ago and it is just catching up with the releases.

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There are a number of small changes that might be made that don’t affect the EFC. Don’t read anything into it - it’s just the financial aid folks doing what they need to do (working through a list).

Our change led to an increase to our EFC of more than $4,000. I can’t figure out what changed because we used the IRS retrieval service.

Does the college use the CSS Profile? Is it possible there was an entry on the Profile that didn’t agree with what was entered on the FAFSA? This could be assets, number in college, tax filing status, marital status, amount of money in a rollover…lots of things beside family income.


Hmmmm. $4,000 is a big change. Did you contribute to pretax retirement accounts at work? If so, and if you didn’t report them, the school could have added them in based on your W-2 (assuming you sent those to the school).

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Are you self employed?

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All 401K contributions reported. What I did not report was required pension contributions. I’m a state worker.

Federal Student Aid. If you didn’t report an amount in one of these boxes, the school has to update the FAFSA with the amount. Is that the issue for you?