Social Security Number
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SAR: Student Aid Report
SSA: Social Security Administration
SSN: Social Security Number
FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Students must provide a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to be eligible to receive federal and state funds. The FAFSA verifies that your SSN is correct and that the SSN corresponds to your name and birth date.
If there is a discrepancy in your information, the FAFSA will indicate that the SSN does not match to the information of the Social Security Administration (SSA). You will then be required to resolve any conflicts before receiving aid.
Take a look at the scenarios below and review the steps you can take to resolve any issues.
My SSN is invalid
If the SSN does not match with the SSA, (i.e., the number is not found in their database) the FAFSA will be rejected. The Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate that you should correct the SSN. When the SSN has been reported incorrectly on the FAFSA, you should complete a new FAFSA with the correct SSN. If the SSN reported was correct, you must contact a local or regional SSA office to resolve the problem.
There is a discrepancy on my date of birth
If your name and SSN match, but the SSA shows a different date of birth, this will be indicated on the SAR. You must correct this either through the school or by submitting the SAR for correction. Note that the FAFSA will be rejected if the year of birth is mistakenly reported to be the current year (or a year later). In this case the student must submit a SAR correction before aid can be received.
I accidentally used a nickname, not my full name
If the SSN exists in the database but there is a discrepancy regarding your name, this will be indicated on the SAR. You must make the correction either through the school or by submitting a SAR correction. This situation is likely to occur if you used a nickname on the FAFSA or failed to inform the SSA of a name change. If both the reported name and SSN are correct, you should contact the SSA.
Insufficient information or processing problems
If the FAFSA is missing either your last name or date of birth, no match with the SSA will be conducted and the FAFSA will be rejected. The SAR will indicate that you should check those items and make the appropriate corrections. If the correction does not provide a match, the SAR will indicate an invalid SSN. You must provide documentation to the Office of Financial Aid before aid is received.
When there is no match due to processing problems, the SAR will indicate that you need to provide documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. In certain circumstances, a student may need to provide a copy of their social security card to correct the problem. These corrections are completed (with verification) by the Office of Financial Aid.