What Do EFC Codes Mean on the FAFSA SAR Report?

Student AID Report EFC Codes Explained

When you file the FAFSA the government FAFSA processing center runs your information through several processes and provides to FAFSA filers a Student Aid Report (“SAR”) that contains various codes and a opportunity to correct your results  if necessary.

The SAR Report contains your expected family contribution (“EFC”) number (“EFC”) with additional information.

The primary purpose is to communicate your EFC to you.

You can receive your SAR in either  paper or electronic form.

Graduation Cap Black with Black Tassel[Strategy Alert:] The SAR  not only shows you your EFC number but also sumarizes the information used in the calculation. Makes sure you check the information for accuracy.

Here are the codes and what they mean.

Expected Family Contribution Number (“EFC”)

Your EFC Number is located in the upper right hand corner underneath the SAR produced date standing for your Expected Family Contribution. This is a number/index that is used to determine Financial Aid Eligibility by the College Financial Aid Office (“FAO”). It does not mean this is what you will actually pay there are many variables that can go into the amount of financial aid you receive.

Asterisk (*)

You are selected for verification meaning you are being asked to provide additional information. This can be an inconsistency in the information reported or just a random selection through automatic triggers that the processing center deploys.

Approximately 30% of SAR’s are audited but individual schools can audit your financial information at a much higher percentage at their discretion.

Notice of verification will be included in the SAR document you receive with a (*) next to your EFC number.

“C Code” or “C Flag”

The information for the student entered on the FAFSA is a mismatch with the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) data base. Check your FAFSA input and make sure you entered your name just like it appears on your Social Security card. Do not use nicknames deviations, or abbreviations.

DRN – Data Release Number

A four-digit reference number that appears on page one either in the upper right corner paper version or upper right version for electronic version.

Important: If you want to send your FAFSA/SAR results to schools that you did not indicate on your FAFSA filing, then you will need this number for reference when contacting the school so they can receive your information.

Loan Summary

List any outstanding federal loans. Review for accuracy and visit National Student Loan Data System’s Web site for more detailed review or questions. You will need your FAFSA Pin for access.

FAFSA Changes

These corrections to your data appear in the last few pages. Review your current data carefully and you may have made “estimates” based upon you “financial snapshot” that was available on the day you signed the FAFSA.

Situations change, more accurate financial information becomes available, so the make the necessary corrections as soon as possible.

It is best to do these online and again you will need your PIN number.

Pell Grant

Eligibility for this high financial need is referenced at the bottom of the SAR acknowledgment letter if you qualify.

The lower your EFC the more money you qualify for, the maximum for 2016 – 2017 is $5,815. Actual qualifying college expenses must be charged or the amount paid is reduced by the actual expense.

Your EFC During College

Remember that you will want to consider strategies to reduce your EFC number when possible throughout college.