Applying for Financial Aid at More than 20 Colleges on the FAFSA

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Mark Kantrowitz

By Mark Kantrowitz

August 18, 2023

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been updated to allow applicants to list up to 20 colleges, instead of just 10 colleges. This change takes effect with the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Although 20 colleges are probably sufficient for most students, it’s possible you may find yourself in a situation where you want to add another school after submitting your FAFSA. 

For example, what if you aren’t sure which colleges you want to apply to yet? Or, what if you change your mind? Can a college student use the FAFSA to apply for financial aid at more than 20 colleges for the same academic year?

The answer is yes. This article will explain step-by-step how to add a school to the FAFSA if you’ve already listed 20.

How to Add More Than 20 Schools to FAFSA: Step by Step Guide

Here’s how to send FAFSA to more than 20 schools:

  1. Check the financial aid application deadline for every school you want to apply for and work out which have the earliest deadlines. Be sure to check if any have special deadlines for Early Action or Early Decision applicants.
  2. Complete your FAFSA with the colleges with the earliest deadlines and submit it.
  3. Once you receive the FAFSA submission summary notifying you that your application has been processed, log back into your FAFSA, select “make FAFSA corrections”, and replace as many of the listed colleges as you want with new schools. So, if you want to apply for 23 colleges in total, delete three from the list and replace them with the last three schools you haven’t listed yet.
  4. Resubmit your FAFSA with the new schools.
  5. In a few more days, you’ll get another notification that your new FAFSA submission has been processed. This means that all of the schools you want to apply to have now received your FAFSA.
  6. Log into the applicant portals of all schools you’re applying to and double check they’ve marked your FAFSA as received. It’s a good idea to check they’ve received all necessary documents and your application is complete at the same time.

Enter Public Colleges First

When adding schools to the FAFSA, include an in-state public college first on the form to qualify for state grants. While the U.S. Department of Education no longer shares the list of colleges on the FAFSA with the colleges, it still shares this information with state grant agencies. If you do not list a public college first on the FAFSA, you will not be considered for state financial aid funds.

Next, use the remaining 19 spaces to list the colleges with the earliest financial aid deadlines and submit the FAFSA.

Be sure to check if the colleges you’re applying to also require other aid forms like the CSS profile, and if so, what the deadlines are for submission.

Wait for the FAFSA Submission Summary

When you get your summary from the U.S. Department of Education, it is a sign that the colleges on your list have received your Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) containing your FAFSA information.

Then, it is safe for you to login to , delete the original list of 10 colleges and add 10 new colleges.

How to Add a School to the FAFSA as a Correction

To delete and add colleges, you will need to make a FAFSA correction. After you create a Save Key for this session, click the Next button until you reach the School Selection Summary page, where you can delete the old colleges and click on ADD A SCHOOL to add new colleges.

Don’t worry. The financial aid office at the old colleges will continue to receive updates to your FAFSA information even though they are no longer listed on the FAFSA. So, if you correct an error on the FAFSA, they will be able to see the correction.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary. Each time, you must wait until you receive the FAFSA submission summary before deleting the old colleges and adding a new school or school code. You can view your data at any time by logging into the FAFSA using your FSA ID.

Other Ways to Add Schools to the FAFSA

If you don’t have convenient access to the FAFSA website, you can add and delete colleges by telephone. Call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and give them the Data Release Number (DRN) from your SAR. They will then delete the old colleges and add the new colleges for you. You can also give the DRN to a school‘s financial aid office and the college can add itself to your FAFSA application.

Once you’ve added each school or federal school code, contact each financial aid department to see if any additional documentation is required for your financial aid application.

If you don’t receive enough financial aid and federal student loans to cover your full college costs, you may want to consider a private student loan. Many students use private student loans as a supplement to savings, financial aid and federal student loans. 

A good place to start:

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