Notice to 2017 Scholarship Program Applicants
If you wish to submit your 2017‑2018 Student Aid Report (SAR) to the Community Foundation Scholarship Program, it must be received in the Community Foundation office no later than Monday, March 13, 2017.
What is a FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that may be submitted annually by current and prospective college students (both undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to apply for federal student financial aid, such as Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and work-study programs.
The FAFSA is also used to apply for most state and college financial aid.
Once the FAFSA is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, it will be processed and a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be produced.
Note: If you submit a FAFSA, you are not committed or required to accept financial aid offered from the U.S. Department of Education, a state, or a college.
Further information is available at: studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa
When should I submit my FAFSA?
It is strongly recommended that you complete and submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid missing available funding opportunities. The FAFSA became available on October 1, 2016. State financial aid for Illinois residents is available on a first come, first served basis until the funds that are allocated for financial aid are depleted.
What is a SAR?
The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information provided on the FAFSA.
The SAR also includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number, which is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
Detailed information is available at: studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/next-steps/student-aid-report
What is an EFC?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law with the information you report on your FAFSA. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.
Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Other organizations (such as ours) use the EFC in part to determine your eligibility for scholarships that require students to have need for financial aid.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
The EFC number will appear in the upper portion of a paper or electronic SAR.
Do I have to submit my SAR to the Community Foundation Scholarship Program?
No. Submitting your SAR to our Scholarship Program is optional. However, the majority of scholarships offered through our Scholarship Program are Traditional Scholarships.
If you submit your SAR, you will be eligible to be considered for Traditional Scholarships as well as Merit Scholarships.
If you wish to be considered for Merit Scholarships ONLY, you do not need to submit a SAR.
To learn more about Traditional Scholarships and Merit Scholarships, please see our Scholarship Program Guide.
Traditional Scholarships are based on academic ability and financial need.
Merit Scholarships are based on academic ability. Financial need is not required.
When will my SAR be available?
If you provide your e-mail address on your FAFSA, an e-mail will be sent to you with a link to your SAR within 3-5 days.
If you did not provide your e-mail address on your FAFSA, a paper SAR will be mailed to you and received within 21 days.
Detailed information is available at:
How do I get my SAR?
If you provided a valid e-mail address, you will receive and e-mail with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR.
If you did not provide a valid e-mail address on your FAFSA, you will receive either a SAR or SAR Acknowledgement via postal mail.
Please visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/next-steps/student-aid-report#how-and-when for more information on how to receive your SAR.
What documents do I submit to the Community Foundation Scholarship Program if I want to be considered for traditional scholarships?
You will need to submit either your FAFSA confirmation e-mail page OR your Student Aid Report. Only one is required. See examples below:
Submit your e-mail from Federal Student Aid with a subject line of “FAFSA Confirmation Page E-Mail” to email@example.com.
Submit your 2017-2018 Student Aid Report (SAR). Submit all pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.