What to Expect After Completing your FAFSA

Student Aid Report (SAR)

After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive an output document called the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR provides you with processed application information and includes comments explaining your financial aid eligibility. Make sure you review your SAR for accuracy and make corrections or updates if necessary.

Document Notification

Once the result of your FAFSA is received by the College, you will begin to receive document notifications regarding the status of your financial aid. These notifications will include documents needed to complete your financial aid file and documents that have been already received by the Office of Financial Aid.

Document notifications are emailed to students via their Charter Oak student email. If you do not have an COSC email, correspondence will be sent to the email that you provided on your FAFSA.

To facilitate the processing of your financial aid, we encourage you to submit all required forms and documentation to the Office of Financial Aid as quickly as possible. When submitting paperwork, please reference your name and student id on each piece of paper that you send to us.


If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, or by Charter Oak, you will be required to submit documentation to validate the data reported on your FAFSA. Our office will request any required information from you via our document notification process. Please respond promptly to all requests for information so that we may process your financial aid in a timely manner.

Award Notification

Once your financial aid file is complete our office will determine your financial aid eligibility and email you an award notification. Please read the terms and conditions of your financial aid award carefully and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Also, make sure to follow all funding instructions that may be included with your award (i.e., entrance loan counseling).

Please note that our office reserves the right to change, update or modify your financial aid award if circumstances warrant. Listed below are factors that often result in a modification of financial aid:

  • Verification, updates or corrections to information reported on your FAFSA.
  • Changes in enrollment status (i.e., full-time to part-time, withdrawing or dropping classes).
  • Satisfactory academic progress deficiencies.
  • Receipt of outside sources of financial assistance (i.e., scholarships or tuition assistance benefits).

Disbursement of Funds

Students enrolled for the entire academic year will have their financial aid disbursed in two installments - one disbursement will be made in the fall term and one disbursement will be made in the spring term. Financial aid awards are credited to your student account against your semester institutional charges for tuition or fees. If the amount of financial aid exceeds your semester bill, the Business Office will generate a refund for the excess amount. Financial aid funds will not be released until enrollment can be verified by the Office of Financial Aid and all fund requirements are met.

NOTE: Students who withdraw, stop attending, or drop classes may be required to return all or a portion of their disbursed financial aid dollars. This is true even if a student has received a financial aid refund check or EFT. This is because students earn financial aid through attendance. The percentage of aid earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period that a student completes.

Semester disbursement dates are published under the Financial Aid Announcements page of the student portal, ACORN. Since the College has multiple start dates within a semester, disbursements dates are always based on individual student semester start dates.

What Happens After you Accept your Direct Stafford Loan

First time Federal Direct Loan borrowers will receive instructions with their award notification requesting completion of Entrance Loan Counseling and a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), so that loan funds can be disbursed.

Note: The MPN (details your rights and responsibilities as a Federal Direct Loan borrower) and Entrance Counseling must be completed before loan funds can be credited, per federal regulations.