What to Expect After Completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid

What to Expect After Completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Student Aid Report (SAR)

After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive an output document called the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR provides you with processed application information and includes comments explaining your financial aid eligibility. Make sure you review your SAR for accuracy and make corrections or updates if necessary.

Document Notification Letter

Once the result of your FAFSA is received by the college, you will begin to receive document notification letters regarding the status of your financial aid. These letters will include documents needed to complete your financial aid file and documents that have been already received by the Office of Financial Aid.

Document notification letters are emailed to students via their Charter Oak student email. If you do not have an COSC email, correspondence will be sent to the email that you provided on your FAFSA.

To facilitate the processing of your financial aid, we encourage you to submit all required forms and documentation to the Office of Financial Aid as quickly as possible. When submitting paperwork, please reference your name and student id on each piece of paper that you send to us.


If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, or by Charter Oak, you will be required to submit documentation to validate the data reported on your FAFSA. Our office will request any required information from you via a document notification letter. Please respond promptly to all requests for information so that we may process your financial aid in a timely manner.

Award Notification Letter

Once your financial aid file is complete our office will determine your financial aid eligibility and issue you an award. Please read your letter carefully and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. You should keep a copy of the letter for your files and make sure to follow all funding instructions that will be included with your letter.

Please note that our office reserves the right to change, update or modify your financial aid award if circumstances warrant. Listed below are factors that often result in a modification of financial aid:

  • Verification, updates or corrections to information reported on your FAFSA.
  • Changes in enrollment status (i.e., full-time to part-time, withdrawing or dropping classes).
  • Satisfactory academic progress deficiencies.
  • Receipt of outside sources of financial assistance (i.e., scholarships or tuition assistance benefits).

Disbursement of Funds

Students enrolled for the entire academic year will have their financial aid disbursed in two installments - one disbursement will be made in the fall term and one disbursement will be made in the spring term. Financial aid awards are credited to your student account against your semester institutional charges for tuition or fees. If the amount of financial aid exceeds your semester bill, the Business Office will generate a refund for the excess amount.

Please note that financial aid funds will not be released until enrollment can be verified by the Office of Financial Aid and all fund requirements are met.

Semester disbursement dates are published Financial Aid's Announcements on ACORN. Since the College has multiple start dates within a semester, disbursements dates are always based on individual student semester start dates.

What Happens After you Accept your Direct Stafford Loan

First time Federal Direct Loan borrowers will have received instructions with their award notification letter requesting completion of Entrance Loan Counseling and a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), so that loan funds can be disbursed to your student account.

Note: The MPN (details your rights and responsibilities as a Federal Direct Loan borrower) and Entrance Counseling must be completed before loan funds can be credited, per federal regulations.