FAFSA Completion and Next Steps

What to expect after you submit your FAFSA

  1. Your completed FAFSA will be electronically submitted to the federal processor contracted by the Department of Education (ED).
  2. You will receive an e-mail with instructions for signing your FAFSA. We recommend the electronic PIN signature option because it is faster, but the email will also include instructions for how to log in to your My FAFSA account on our website where you can download and print a hardcopy FAFSA signature page. This signature page would need to be signed and then mailed directly to the federal processor. It is important that you complete the signature requirement immediately, as your FAFSA will not be considered "fully processed" until you do.
  3. Your FAFSA will be processed and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be determined based on ED’s Federal Need Analysis Methodology and information you provide on your application.
  4. We will monitor your application status daily until it is fully processed and will notify you by e-mail once it is complete.
  5. Within 7-10 days, 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) that specifies your Expected Family Contribution. The SAR is your record that your FAFSA was processed.
  6. School financial aid administrators use your SAR and other information you have provided to them to prepare a financial aid award package for you. Depending on the types and amount of financial aid for which you are eligible, your financial aid package may include a mixture of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, college-sponsored aid, and/or loans, and will be communicated to you in the form of a Financial Aid Award Notice.
  7. You will typically receive a Financial Aid Award Notice only from those colleges to which you have been offered admission. The notice will include specific information on how to accept and/or apply for any financial aid offered, along with next steps in the process.
  8. Some colleges may require additional forms and/or applications for financial aid; it will be your responsibility to complete and submit these documents.
  9. Students are encouraged to contact college financial aid administrators to determine exact financial aid policies, procedures, and deadlines. Financial aid administrators can tell you when award notices will be distributed, and if any additional forms or applications for aid are required. They will also be able to answer any specific financial aid questions you have.
  10. Because you must file a new FAFSA each year to be considered for most types of financial aid, including non-need-based federal aid, we will notify you when it is time to renew your application for the coming academic year.