How to apply for financial aid at more than 10 colleges on the FAFSA

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By Mark Kantrowitz

September 13, 2018

The online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides space for applicants to list up to 10 colleges.  The PDF version has space for only four colleges. So, how do you use the FAFSA to apply for financial aid at more than 10 colleges? This is one of the most common questions about the FAFSA.

The solution involves deleting the original set of 10 colleges after the FAFSA has been processed, then adding a new set of 10 colleges.

First set of 10 Colleges

List an in-state public college first on the FAFSA, 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.

The SAR is a sign the FAFSA was sent to the schools

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, delete the original list of 10 colleges and add 10 new colleges.

Add the next set of 10 colleges as a correction

To delete and add colleges, you will need to make a “correction” to your FAFSA. 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 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 new colleges.

Other ways to add colleges to the FAFSA

If you don’t have convenient access to the FAFSA web site, 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 college and the college can add itself to your FAFSA.

A good place to start:

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