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  4. How to check if your FAFSA has been processed

You can check the status of your FAFSA immediately after submitting it online. You can check the status of a paper FAFSA after it has been processed (roughly 7–10 days from the date mailed). Here’s how:

If your FAFSA is still being processed, we recommend that you wait a few days before checking the status again.

What happens to the FAFSA information after it’s been submitted?

Your FAFSA information is shared with the colleges and/or career schools you list on the application. The financial aid office at a school uses your information to figure out how much federal student aid you may receive at that school. If the school has its own funds to use for financial aid, it might use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for that aid as well. (The school might also have other forms it wants you to fill out to get school aid, so check with the financial aid office to be sure.)

Your information also goes to your state higher education agency, as well as to agencies of the states where your chosen schools are located. Many states have financial aid funds that they give out based on FAFSA information.

When will you hear back from FAFSA?

When you submit the completed and signed FAFSA form electronically you will get a confirmation page and receive an email confirmation (if you provided your email address). Print and or save this information to access in the future.

Between 3 days and 3 weeks after submitting the FAFSA, the Federal Student Aid office at the U.S. Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review the SAR to ensure the information is correct and no corrections are needed.

The Student Aid Report does not provide information on the type of aid you’ll receive. You will receive a separate letter from the colleges, universities and career schools you’ve listed on your FAFSA. The schools will calculate your financial aid package and will send you either an electronic or paper “award letter.” The award letter will list all eligible financial aid loans and grants provided by the school. Each school sends awards letters at different times.

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