Checking to See If Your FAFSA Was ProcessedOnce you’ve submitted your FAFSA online, you are immediately able to check its status. If you submit a paper FAFSA, you can check the status once it has been processed, which takes anywhere from seven to 10 days after the date you mailed the form.
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Where Does the FAFSA Information I Filled Out Go Next?Once you submit your FAFSA form, the information is given to the schools you listed on the application. From there, the financial aid offices at each school will use the information you provided to figure out how much federal student aid you qualify for at their school. Plus, if the school you applied to has additional funding opportunities, they’ll use your FAFSA information to determine whether or not you’re eligible for that as well. The information is also given to your state’s higher education agency, along with any other agencies in states to schools which you’ve applied. That’s because many states have financial aid funding they award based on your FAFSA information. Sometimes, states and colleges may require more financial information from your family. In those cases, they will have a supplemental form that you will need to fill out in addition to your FAFSA. If you have questions about whether or not your state or school requires this, reach out to the financial aid office of the schools to which you plan to apply or have already applied.
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Will I Hear from Anyone?You’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), a summary of the information you sent, anytime between three days and three weeks from the time you submitted your FAFSA. It’s important to look over your SAR in order to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. Unfortunately, the SAR will not specify how much financial aid you’ll qualify for, but you will get award letters from the schools you indicated on your FAFSA form. These award letters can be electronic or paper, and the time you receive your award letters can vary. If you fill out the fall FAFSA, you can expect them sometime in the spring or up to as late as right before you start school, depending on when you submitted your information and how the school awards aid.
The Verification ProcessIf you see a note on your SAR that says you’ve been selected for verification, it simply means you’ve been selected to verify that the data on your form is correct. It’s not a big deal – some schools may want to verify your information or you could have been selected at random. Some schools even verify all of the FAFSA forms they receive from students. If you are asked to verify, provide the documentation that the school asks for by their individual deadline indicated. Being late may cost you financial aid dollars.
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