How to List More Than 10 Colleges on the FAFSA

In Paying for College on May 16, 2016

Most students apply for admission to ten or fewer colleges. But, some students feel the need to apply for more. Perhaps they are worried about getting into at least one college with a good financial aid offer.

Yet, when it is time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA, they find space to list only ten colleges.

How do you list more than ten colleges on the FAFSA?

Follow these steps:

  1. Start by listing an in-state public college first. Some states require a state school to be listed first to consider the student for state grants.
  2. Next, list the colleges with the earliest financial aid deadlines.
  3. Wait until you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). This is a sign that the colleges on the FAFSA have received your FAFSA information. (The colleges’ version of the SAR is called an ISIR, or Institutional Student Information Record.)
  4. After you receive your SAR, login to FAFSA on the Web at Delete the original list of ten colleges and substitute a new list of ten colleges.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary to list all of your colleges, each time waiting until you receive a new SAR before listing the next batch of colleges.

It is also possible to add colleges to your FAFSA by using the data release number (DRN) from your SAR. You can give the DRN to a college and the college can then add itself to your FAFSA, pulling down your FAFSA data. Alternately, you can call the federal student aid information center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and ask them to add the colleges to your FAFSA. They will need your DRN to do this.

If you need to update the other information on your FAFSA, such as correcting the income information after you file your federal income tax returns, don’t worry. All of the colleges that you have previously listed on the FAFSA will have access to the updated information.

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