Financial Aid

What to Do After Submitting Your FAFSA

Did you know? You can make changes to your FAFSA once you've submitted it.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

October 27, 2022

What to Do After Submitting Your FAFSA
Once you've submitted your FAFSA, you may have questions or changes to the document. Here's what you should expect and how to make edits.
Congratulations! You’ve filled out your FAFSA and successfully submitted the form. But sometimes, families need to put a little more time into their FAFSA application. From quick follow-ups to FAFSA changes, there are a few housekeeping items that sometimes must be completed. Look at those specific circumstances below and learn the next steps in the process of obtaining financial aid.

Check the Status of Your FAFSA

Once you’ve submitted your FAFSA online, you will receive an email confirming your FAFSA has been processed. It takes about three days for the form to be processed and sent to the college(s) selected. Submitting your FAFSA electronically allows you to immediately check your FAFSA 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.

Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

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.

The Verification Process

If 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 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.

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 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 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.

Make Corrections or Update Information on Your FAFSA

You can update your FAFSA information if your situation changes. You are also able to update your contact information (your mailing address, email, or phone number) in case that changes.

Where do I make changes to my FAFSA?

You can make corrections or updates to your FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website.

Can I Update my information on the FAFSA?

Making corrections to your form is easiest online, but you must wait until your application has been processed. You MUST update the following changes in order to qualify for the right amount of financial aid: Dependency status – This needs to be updated if you become pregnant or if your legal guardianship changes. If your marital status needs to be updated (and only yours – the student who filed the FAFSA), contact your school’s financial aid office to see if you’re able to update the information. Household changes – IF you’re selected for verification (and only if) you must update your FAFSA to reflect any changes in your household – whether it’s yours or your parents. If your household changes as a result of marital status (and only yours – the student who filed the FAFSA), contact your school’s financial aid office to see if you’re able to update the information.

Can I Add Schools to My FAFSA?

If you have already submitted your FAFSA, you can still add additional colleges. Here’s how you can add colleges:
  1. Log In from the FAFSA Home Page.
  2. Select “Add/Change Schools.”
  3. Find the colleges you would like to add from the “College Search View.”
  4. Select the box next to the colleges you would like to add and click “Continue” to add these colleges to your list of schools.
The FAFSA only allows ten colleges to be added.

Where can I make changes to my FAFSA?

You can make changes to your FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website, but you have other options, too. If you want to make changes online, login to your account on From there, you can find a “Make FAFSA Corrections” option on the “My FAFSA” page. You are also able to write in corrections/updates on your SAR, once you receive it. There’s an address provided on your SAR to mail the correct information. Additionally, your school’s financial aid office may be able to make electronic updates to your form. Contact them directly if you have any questions about changing your form.

How Long Does It Take the FAFSA to Process Updates?

According to, it can take approximately three days for the form to be reprocessed, updated, and sent to the school(s).

When Will I Receive My Financial Aid Award Letter?

Financial aid award letters can be electronic or in paper format. 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.

How Long Will It Take to Receive FAFSA Money?

You will not receive your Pell Grant or Federal Direct Loans until you have accepted the proposed financial aid award package from the school you will be attending. Any accepted funds will first be applied to your school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board or any other college charges. Any remaining funds will be distributed to you via your college’s financial aid office; remember these funds must be used for educational expenses only. Most students have access to additional loan funds within the first few weeks of the fall semester. Remember to borrow smart; do not take out or use more student loan money than necessary—you will have to pay this back! Connect with your financial aid office to get a timeline. Updates and changes to the FAFSA are not only possible; they’re encouraged. Try to complete any changes before your state's FAFSA deadline. By providing the most up-to-date financial information, you’re making it possible for the federal and state governments as well as schools to create a financial aid package that works for you and your family.

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