What Happens After I Submit my FAFSA?


Congratulations! You’ve finished filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid! Now what?

First, the information in your FAFSA is submitted to the Department of Education’s Central Processing System.

That’s where it all begins.

If your application is complete, you and the financial aid offices of up to ten schools listed on your FAFSA will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) — usually within 3 to 5 days.

Your SAR is a paper or electronic document that specifies your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) — a very important number that will determine your need and eligibility for aid.


If your application is incomplete, your SAR will not include an EFC, but it will display text that specifies any issues that need to be resolved.
Here’s how to make corrections to your FAFSA!


If the SAR does not arrive within three weeks, call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or login to www.fafsa.ed.gov to inquire about the status of your FAFSA.


Next, using the information on your student aid report, the schools will then determine your financial need and prepare a financial aid award package for you and soon after, the award letter, if you’re chosen.

Each school’s award letter is phrased differently, but you should expect to see what type of aid and how much of it you will be getting if you decide to accept the admission.

Depending on the types and amount of financial aid for which you are eligible, your package may include a mixture of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, college-sponsored aid, or loans.


In some random cases, your school or Federal Student Aid may ask you to verify the accuracy of the information you provide on the FAFSA.

If you were selected for verification, you will find an asterisk (*) after your EFC and instructions on what you need to do.