So you’ve started or completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and now you’re wondering what the heck happened to it.
Well, checking your FAFSA status is easier than you think. Here’s how you can get started.
How to check your FAFSA status online
The status of your paper FAFSA application won’t be available until seven to 10 days after you drop it in the mail. You can check the status of electronic FAFSA submissions in three to five days.
If you include your email address on your FAFSA submission, you’ll receive an email with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). You’ll be notified via regular mail if you don’t include your email address.
If you haven’t received a FAFSA confirmation, the status of your application can be found at FAFSA.ed.gov.
You can log in using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which includes your username and password, or other personal information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth. The Department of Education recommends that students log in using their FSA ID to avoid misstating their personal information. It also says parents should log in using the student’s personal information.
After logging in, you should find your FAFSA status in bold text on the website’s “My FAFSA” page. Your status could be anything from “Not Submitted” to “Processing” and beyond. If your status shows as “Processing,” the Federal Student Aid Office recommends that you wait a few days to check it again.
If you haven’t completed your FAFSA but have it saved online, your status will be “Not Submitted.” Be aware that your saved FAFSA application will expire after 45 days. At that point, you’d need to start over.
Working on your application a little bit at a time is fine, but make sure you submit it before the FAFSA deadlines.
If you’re still unable to review your FAFSA status, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center for help. It offers email, chat, and phone support. Check out this video from the Federal Student Aid Office for a quick look at the entire FAFSA approval process.
How to check your FAFSA status via your school
When you submit your FAFSA, you should land on a confirmation page that spells out your estimated financial aid award. If you want an estimate before submitting your application, you could use the FAFSA4caster, a free tool that predicts your aid in advance.
If you’re wondering about your actual financial aid award after submission, ask your campus financial aid office.
The colleges listed on your FAFSA will receive your SAR as soon as one day after it’s processed by the Federal Student Aid Office. But it could take them weeks to download your SAR and use it to determine how much financial aid you can receive toward your cost of attendance.
Colleges typically send out a financial aid award letter not long after your acceptance letter has arrived. But you’re not guaranteed to receive an award letter from every college you listed on your FAFSA. If you have questions about the aid you might receive from a particular college, reach out directly to its financial aid office.
You might get a notification from a school that you’ve been selected for a “verification” process. That doesn’t mean you did anything wrong on your aid application. In fact, some schools verify the FAFSA of every accepted student.
During the verification process, you might be asked to provide family financial information, such as a recent tax return. Fulfill these requests as quickly as you can to give yourself the best possible shot at need-based aid awarded on a rolling basis.
Stay on top of your FAFSA status
It takes less than an hour for most students and their families to complete the FAFSA. But it can take just a split second to make a mistake or forget to follow up on your FAFSA status.
Stay on top of your application for federal aid. It could mean a world of difference if you’re planning to rely on grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans that require having a FAFSA on file.
You’d be wise to get out in front of any problems too. As you’re waiting on the “Processed” FAFSA status, reread your original application. If you notice any mistakes, input information to make fixes as quickly as possible. You can do this by clicking on “Make FAFSA Corrections” once you land on the “My FAFSA” page.
Now that you know how to check your FAFSA status, address your other burning questions about federal student aid with our FAFSA FAQs.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.69% – 10.94%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.82% – 12.82%3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Discover|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit PNC|
|3.88% – 12.88%6||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SunTrust|
|4.72% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|4.04% – 12.01%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|