I submitted my FAFSA; what happens next?

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If you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online using FAFSA on the Web, then the U.S. Department of Education will process your application within 3-5 days. If you submitted a paper FAFSA, your application will be processed within 7-10 days.

Once your application is processed, you will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA. Review your SAR and make sure all of the information is complete and accurate.

If there is any missing or incorrect information, then you should complete or correct your FAFSA as soon as possible.

Your SAR will include your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant, and the college uses the EFC to assess your eligibility for other federal and nonfederal student aid.

Once your FAFSA is processed by Federal Student Aid, your SAR is sent to the colleges that you listed on your FAFSA. Each college will use the information on your SAR to determine your eligibility for federal and nonfederal student aid. The colleges you listed are responsible for creating your award package and disbursing your financial aid. However, listing a college on your FAFSA is generally not sufficient to receive aid at that college, as most colleges do not create award packages for every applicant who lists the college on a FAFSA.

You should contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend to find out if there are additional requirements for receiving financial aid and to learn more about the process of applying for aid at that college.

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