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 the processing of your FAFSA is completed, you will receive an output document called the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will be sent to you in one of three ways.

  1. Students who give an email address will receive an email with a link to an online SAR that they can access by providing their PIN.
  2. Students who applied using a paper FAFSA application, and did not provide an email address, will receive a paper SAR in the mail. If you do not receive a SAR, please call the Department of Education at (800) 433-3243 and request a copy.
  3. Students who applied electronically, and did not provide an email address, will receive a SAR acknowledgement in the mail.

Note: The SAR includes comment codes and text explaining eligibility results. Please review your SAR for accuracy and make any 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 indicate all missing documents and all documents that have been received.

Notification letters are emailed to students who provided an email address on their FAFSA. Students who did not provide an email address will receive all correspondence via the U.S. mail.

To facilitate the processing of your financial aid, we encourage you to submit all required documentation to the Office of Financial Aid as quickly as possible.  Please reference your name, or the student's name, and social security number on each piece of paper that is being submitted to our office.


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.

The college's fee award will be disbursed in one installment, in the term in which the fee is due.

Financial aid funds will notbe released until the student's enrollment can be verified by the Office of Financial Aid and all fund requirements are met. The disbursement of aid will not be made until 30 days after the start of classes.

What Happens After you Accept your Federal Direct Stafford Loan

First time Federal Stafford 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 Stafford Loan borrower) and Entrance Counseling must be completed before loan funds can be credited, per federal regulations.