Applying for Financial Aid at More than 10 Colleges on the FAFSA

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Mark Kantrowitz

By Mark Kantrowitz

August 26, 2022

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available to students on October 1 of the year before they enter college. The online FAFSA provides space for applicants to list up to 10 colleges, and the PDF version has space for only four colleges. In some cases, students may want to add another school to the 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 10 colleges for the same academic year?

This is one of the most common questions about the FAFSA.

This article will explain step-by-step how to add a school to the FAFSA if you’ve already listed 10. The solution involves deleting the original set of 10 colleges after the FAFSA has been processed, then adding a new set of 10 colleges.

How to Add More Than 10 Schools to FAFSA: Step by Step Guide

Here’s how to send FAFSA to more than 10 schools:

  1. Check the financial aid application deadline for every school you want to apply for and work out which 10 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 10 colleges with the earliest deadlines and submit it.
  3. Once you receive the SAR notification that your FAFSA has been processed (generally within a few days of submission), 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 13 colleges in total, delete three from the list and replace them with the last three schools you haven’t listed yet. You can delete the remaining seven, or leave them on the list – it doesn’t matter.
  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 the First Set of 10 Colleges

When adding schools to the FAFSA, list an in-state public college first on the FAFSA 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 nine spaces to list the colleges with the earliest financial aid deadlines on the FAFSA and submit the FAFSA.

Wait for the SAR

When you get your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education, it is a sign that the 10 colleges have received your Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) containing your FAFSA information.

Then, it is safe for you to login to fafsa.ed.gov , 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 SAR before deleting the old colleges and adding a new school or school code. You can view your SAR 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. 

Tips for adding additional colleges to the FAFSA

  • You can remove listed schools from your FAFSA after submission and it won’t affect your application, as the college will still have the data you originally submitted. Therefore, there’s no issue with deleting some of the 10 schools you originally submitted in order to list more.
  • You can also add more schools over the phone by calling the Federal Student Information Center or on paper if you have a paper Student Aid Report (SAR), but you can only add up to four additional colleges via paper.
  • Always list public, in-state schools first, as your state may only award grants to students who list a state school first.
  • Rank the colleges you’re applying for by application deadline, and list those with the earliest deadlines after the public, in-state schools.
  • It’s always a good idea to check your application for each college via the school’s applicant portal to make sure they’ve received not only your FAFSA but also all other required documents.
  • 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.

How to Make FAFSA Corrections

If, after submitting your FAFSA, you realize it contains any errors, it’s important to resubmit your form with the correct information. If you’re applying to more than 10 schools, you’ll need to repeat the steps above to send the FAFSA correction to all schools.

For more on making corrections to your FAFSA, see our complete guide here.

A good place to start:

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