How To Do a FAFSA® Transfer: What Transfer Students Need To Know

If you are transferring to a new school, you can easily complete a FAFSA® transfer by adding your new school to your application at FAFSA.gov and submitting a correction.

While your Expected Family Contribution will remain constant at your new school, it’s like your financial aid offer will change due to the school’s cost of attendance, fund availability, and other variables.

How to Transfer Your FAFSA® to a New School

Transferring your FAFSA® to a new school is simple. Although you need to fill out a new FAFSA® for each school year, you do not need to fill out a separate FAFSA® for each school. Instead, you choose which schools will receive your FAFSA® by adding them to the list on the “School Selection” page.

If you are transferring in the middle of an academic year, you will need to log in to FAFSA.gov, select the option to make corrections, and add your new school to your application.

How Your Financial Aid Will Be Calculated

It’s important to understand that the financial aid office at your new school will have to recalculate your financial aid from scratch.

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In addition to FAFSA®, your new school will have its own financial aid application for you to fill out. Once it receives both applications, the financial aid department will calculate your financial aid. Your financial need, cost of attendance, and academic progress can all affect your aid eligibility.

Keep in mind that not all schools have access to the same types and amounts of aid. Therefore, your financial aid package may not be identical to what you received at your previous school.

Why Your Aid Might Be Different at Your New School

Your financial aid could differ for several reasons:

  • Cost of Attendance: The amount of federal aid you can receive depends not only on your financial situation but also on the actual cost of attendance. If your new school is less expensive than your previous school, the lower cost of attendance will affect your financial aid.
  • Fund Availability: Some types of aid are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis because funds are limited. Your new school may not have as much grant money to distribute as your previous school did, and transferring can put you at the back of the line — especially if you transfer mid-year.
  • School-Specific Aid: In addition to federal aid, many schools and states have their own scholarships and grant programs. When you transfer schools, these types of awards do not go with you.
  • Academic Eligibility: Each school has its own Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy under federal guidelines. If your grades have made you ineligible for funds at your current school, switching to a new school may reset your SAP status — to an extent — and make you eligible for federal aid again.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, it’s wise to compare the financial aid packages at different schools before finalizing your decision to transfer.

Resources:

Program Integrity Questions and Answers – Satisfactory Academic Progress.U.S. Department of Education, 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2018.