Virtual Adaptation - ANALYZE: A Student Aid Report

Jul 20, 2020
Teaching Remotely

Once you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). This report will provide you with some very important information about:

  • your financial aid eligibility, 
  • how much colleges assume your family will need to pay, and 
  • what types of other aid you may be eligible for. 


In the activity ANALYZE: A Student Aid Report, students will analyze a sample Student Aid Report and understand the importance of carefully reviewing this document.


At a time where many schools have transitioned to offering synchronous and asynchronous learning, we’ve listed some adaptations and extension ideas that may work for your current classroom environment.


Synchronous Environment Ideas:

  • Start by reviewing the timeline of financial aid and when students will receive their Student Aid Report. 
  • Review a sample SAR (here is one you can use) with the entire class pointing out key information such as:
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    • Verification (is further verification needed?)
    • Data Release Number (DRN)
    • Outstanding Federal Loan Summary
    • What to do if you need to make changes
  • If your conference platform has breakout rooms, consider breaking students into partners or small groups to work through the questions together. 
  • Consider adding a final question to this activity asking “What are two additional questions you have about the purpose and information included in a SAR?” When you bring students back together as a whole group, have the students add their questions to a collaborative tool (Nearpod, Padlet, or any Google tool) and discuss some of their questions. 


Asynchronous Environment Ideas:

  • Assign the activity as written. It may be helpful to add additional resources (listed below) or a pre-recorded video giving a basic overview or a tour of a sample Student Aid Report. This will help students fully understand the purpose of this document. 


No Tech?

  • This activity is great for a student who does not have technology access. Simply provide and print the sample SAR and questions.


Extension Resources:

Here are a few additional resources that could be used with this lesson:



View NGPF’s Virtual Adaptation Series if you’re looking for additional resources with suggestions on how to facilitate in a virtual environment. 

About the Author

Amanda Volz

Amanda joins the NGPF Team with 18 years of experience teaching personal finance. During that time, she led her students to hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, won multiple awards, and most importantly, impacted the financial lives of thousands of high school students. Amanda prides herself on being an educational leader and is constantly looking for innovative ways to make the classroom relevant, rigorous, and fun. She is a passionate advocate for financial education and has been a long time member of the NGPF community. Fun fact - Amanda was NGPF’s first teacher account! When Amanda isn’t working, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her husband and two children.