PHEAA Offers Guidance on Next Steps of the Financial Aid Process


Submitting the FAFSA is not the end of college financial planning

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is encouraging students and their families who have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to carefully review their Student Aid Report (SAR), which will outline their federal student aid eligibility for the 2011-12 academic year.

Submitting the FAFSA has never been more important for families who are struggling to pay for a higher education. “Anyone who does not take the time to submit a FAFSA will needlessly forgo eligibility for a variety of student aid programs, including federal student loans and the Pell Grant,” said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. “PHEAA’s outreach staff works closely with Pennsylvania students and families to help ensure that the entire process, from filing the FAFSA to understanding their Student Aid Report, is as easy as it is valuable.”

If the FAFSA was submitted online, the SAR will be delivered electronically in about three to five days. Families who submit a paper FAFSA should receive their SAR in three to four weeks. Included on the SAR is the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the federal government determines a family can be expected to contribute toward their total cost of attendance. Families should review the information on the SAR for accuracy and submit any corrections promptly.

The information from the SAR is shared with the schools that the student listed on the FAFSA. If a student is accepted at more than one school, each school’s financial aid office will use the information from the student’s SAR to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid, including federal and state grants, institutional awards, work-study funds and federal student loans. The family will need to carefully compare each school’s financial aid package to determine which offer best meets their individual needs. Typically, aid packages that include more gift aid, such as grants and scholarships, are preferable to packages that include more loans, which must be repaid. Once the family decides which school the student will be attending, each school that has offered acceptance should be notified promptly about the student’s decision.

“In keeping with our public service mission, PHEAA has assembled many resources that can help families with every step of the student aid planning and application process,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman.  “These include a variety of online resources, such as, as well as our outreach staff who work exclusively in the field alongside our secondary and postsecondary school partners.”

For more information on higher education funding options, schedules for upcoming financial aid and FAFSA completion events, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and video clips offering tips on planning for higher education, students can “Like” PHEAA’s Facebook page at, search for our video tutorials on YouTube.comor visit


About PHEAA Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has evolved into one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations. Today, PHEAA is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach and other student aid programs.

PHEAA’s earnings are used to support its public service mission and to pay its operating costs, including administration of the Pennsylvania State Grant and other state-funded student aid programs.  PHEAA continues to devote its energy, resources and imagination to developing innovative ways to ease the financial burden of higher education for students, families, schools and taxpayers.

PHEAA conducts its student loan servicing activities nationally as FedLoan Servicing and American Education Services (AES).

About FedLoan Servicing Buildingon PHEAA’s 45-plus years of student aid experience, FedLoan Servicing was established to support the U.S. Department of Education’s ability to service student loans owned by the federal government. FedLoan Servicing is one of a limited number of organizations approved by the Department of Education to service these loans and is dedicated to supporting borrowers with easy and convenient ways to manage their student loans.  For more information, visit

About AES American Education Services (AES) was created to guarantee and service a variety of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and private student loan products for lending partners throughout the nation. AES is a national leader in providing quality customer service to millions of student loan borrowers through its highly-trained and experienced customer service representatives.   For more information, visit