Yes, you can edit the FAFSA after you’ve submitted it. And, you should edit it if any information is inaccurate or outdated.
When filling out the FAFSA, you are required to enter information that’s correct as of the day you sign the application. However, this information could change any time. You may move and have a new address. Your dependency status may change or maybe your income has changed. Regardless of what has changed, you will want your FAFSA application to reflect the updated information. There are several ways that you can make the necessary changes. But first, a look at why you must edit the FAFSA and update your information.
Importance of Editing the FAFSA if Your Information Has Changed
This information on the FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for certain school and state financial aid. The information is also shared with the colleges you’ve listed on your application. The college’s financial aid office uses these details to determine how much aid you may be eligible for at their school. Any change in your dependency or income status will affect your financial aid eligibility.
Deliberately providing the wrong information or failing to update the information intentionally can have serious consequences. At the very least you will have to pay back any financial aid you received under false pretenses. In a worst-case scenario, you could face criminal charges of fraud. According to the Higher Education Act of 1965, any student caught lying on the FAFSA could face up to five years in prison and a $20,000 fine. This is in addition to paying back the financial aid you received.
One Important Thing to Know About Editing the FAFSA
There is no specific time period for editing the FAFSA. Ideally, you should edit it as soon as your status changes or you realize that some information is incorrect. There is one restriction that you need to be aware of. You cannot edit the FAFSA between the period of submission and the time that the application process is complete. The application process typically takes about three to five days, during which time the data is locked. This prevents any changes from being made while the data is being compared with other databases.
Common Reasons for Editing the FAFSA
Some of the more common reasons why you may want to edit the FAFSA could be:
Correcting any mistakes you made while filling up the application.
Updating your email address, postal address, or other contact information in case of any changes.
Making updates to your dependency status, such as pregnancy or legal guardianship.
Changing Federal School Codes in order to update the list of schools that can see your FAFSA information. You can list up to ten schools on your FAFSA form. If you already have ten schools listed, you can choose which school to delete from the list. The school removed from the list will no longer have access to any new information you report on the FAFSA.
All of the above edits can be made directly on your FAFSA application after the initial 5-day restriction.
However, not all updates can be made by editing the FAFSA directly. There are a few additional steps involved to update some information on the FAFSA. For example:
Marital Status Changes: If your marital status changes, you may not be able to update your new status directly. You will have to first speak to your school’s financial aid office to find out the next steps.
Current Income: You also cannot edit the FAFSA directly to reflect any significant changes in your income or your parent’s income for the current year. In this case, too, you should speak to your school’s financial aid office to find out how to proceed.
Extraordinary Circumstances: You and your family may have other extraordinary circumstances that can’t be reported on the FAFSA form. Speaking to your school’s financial aid will help clarify your next steps.
One Thing You Cannot Edit On the FAFSA & What to Do Instead
One thing you cannot edit on the FAFSA is your Social Security Number (SSN). There is no provision to edit your Social Security Number. If you filed the form using an incorrect SSN, you will have to fill and submit a new FAFSA form altogether. You should know that this will be considered as a completely new submission. Your old application will be disregarded. This also changes the date your FAFSA form is submitted and processed.
The fastest and most efficient way to submit a new FAFSA with your correct SSN is by filling in the online application. Before doing this, be check to check your school or state submission deadlines. Your FAFSA must meet these deadlines for you to qualify for school or state aid. Correcting a wrong SSN is absolutely necessary. There’s no way around it. If the deadline is too close, speak to the financial aid office at one of the schools listed on your SAR. They may be able to correct your Social Security Number on the FAFSA. If they cannot, they will advise you as to the best way to proceed.
You can also change your SSN on your paper Student Aid Report. Make the change, sign it, and mail the edited form to the address provided on the SAR. While this is one of the options available, be aware that the processing time can be as long as three weeks. This is the least efficient way to go about changing your SSN. Also, you can only change the SSN through the paper SAR once, not more than that.
How to Update Your FAFSA
Editing your FAFSA form to correct or update any information is easy. Go to fafsa.gov and log in using your FSA ID user name and password. Update the information on the form, save it and submit the edited form for processing.